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Leelanau gets a Microbrewery: Sugarfoot Saloon

Pat Stinson has a nice feature in the Glen Arbor Sun on how Sugarfoot Saloon has formed a beer-making partnership with homebrewer Brian Bartos and is serving microbrewed beer:

“I thought it would be really nice to have crafted beer for our customers,” said Sugarfoot owner Pete Bardenhagen, who persevered through paperwork required for brewpub licensing, (which took seven months), while Bartos selected equipment and fine-tuned his brew recipes.

When he isn’t controlling sea lamprey populations in Michigan streams as a US Fish and Wildlife Service biologist, Bartos brews up trial batches of beer for the ’Foots. Currently on tap are “Liquid Sunshine” (4.5 percent ABV), described as a citrusy, Belgian wit (wheat) style ale with clementine zest and summery spices, “a taste of sunshine for those cloudy days;” “Bavarian Hefeweizen” (4.5 percent ABV), a light-bodied wheat beer brewed in the German tradition with a smooth, banana flavor and a hint of clove; and a higher octane porter (5.2 percent ABV) that’s “filled with flavor yet deceptively smooth.”

“It’s a good, rich, dark beer,” said porter drinker John Rabideau, a Sugarfoot neighbor and patron and the owner of Grand Traverse Timberpeg, a builder of timber homes.

Next up on the brew menu is a chocolate ale, soon to replace the vanishing “Hefi,” and too new to appear on the bar’s whiteboard descriptions. The saloon’s brew menu currently changes about every three weeks, which is a point of pride for the “pub” and a note of caution for those who fall in love with a particular style. Enjoy it while you can, because it may be gone all too soon.

Read more at the Sun and I have to say that Right Brain in Traverse City has done very well indeed with a similar format – good thinking Pete!

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