And by “last stop”, I mean the last stop on this particular outing! We actually had a bonanza beer outing this past Friday, about which I will blog at a later time.
But for now, I must complete the lovely Saturday tour that we had, which ended with dinner at Lily‘s in Royal Oak. Previously, I had only ever had their beers at various beer fests (along with some memorable barbecued pretzels from a few years back! Mmmmmm) and I really didn’t remember much about them. My bad, as the kids used to say, because these are some excellent brews.
Let me first say that the food was outstanding! Jeff & I both had fish dishes and they were excellent. Nothing was overly expensive and so it would be a nice place for an out of town date night.
Our sampler started with the usual “gateway” beer, which in this case was the Propeller Island Pilsner. But calling this a gateway beer maybe isn’t fair as it weighs in a 5.2% abv. It is a classic lager brewed with Pilsner malt and has its characteristic light, crisp taste. Easy drinking and a nice start to the sampler.
Next was my favorite, Reggie’s French River Red (I have been on this “red” kick lately, I believe). This beer had a nice floral aroma from Centennial hops. Its body is malty and toasty but overall well balanced with the hops. It has a nice mildly bitter finish. Very excellent red, 5.8% abv.
The Whitefish Bay Wheat was a traditional German hefe, which I am not the hugest fan of. This one was pretty good though–not too heavy on the banana and clove tastes, which is good because I do not care for those flavors (which is why I do not really like this style of beer!) Jeff does this style and had nothing but praise.
The A. Strange Stout was excellent–brewed in a porter style, it had a lovely roasty chocolately malty flavor. Definite hop character too, which doesn’t always happen in stouts.
O’Grady’s Cherry Stout was probably my second favorite beer. This was a dry Irish stout made with tart cherries. The tart cherries balanced the coffee flavors very well. According to the bartender, cherry juice was added at the end of boil, so I’m sure that accounts for some of the yummy flavors. Super duper stout that can even be enjoyed by folks like me who don’t always like fruit in their beers.
MacGregor’s Marzen was probably the weakest one for me. I found it lighter than the usual marzens that I drink and a bit plain. It wasn’t bad…just not my favorite.
Sven & Ollie’s IPA was the highest abv on our sampler (7.3%) and it was excellent, but definitely a higher alcohol beer! It was made with Cascade hops and had a full malty taste. Nice, smooth, bitter finish that left a nice taste in my mouth.
This place was a wonderful discovery for us and we will definitely return (in fact, uh, we are going back this Saturday as part of a pub crawl). I should also note that I like the story behind this place. The founders opened it in the spirit of their grandmother, Lily, who was a Scottish immigrant back in the day. They wanted to honor her spirit of food & drink, family & friends. They have definitely succeeded on all fronts. Gramma Lily would be proud.