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Posted on Tue, Apr 19, 2011 : 3:01 p.m.

Black Lotus in Clawson offers quality microbrews in a charming downtown

By Patti Smith

Yes, I know it is Tuesday but I'm running a bit behind this week what with my entire district getting laid off and such. Nevertheless, beer continues to flow so all is well.

As I said last week, my husband and I went on a small beer quest the Saturday before last, and this is stop #2, the Black Lotus in Clawson. This charming brewpub is located in Clawson, which has a cute little downtown that I didn't know about.

The pub's atmosphere reminded me of my usual pub, the Corner Brewery, which is what all other brewpubs are measured against. The vibe was casual and it was definitely a place where I could hang out for endless periods of time.

It also had deep fried pickles, which are my personal favorite beer snack (besides shelled peanuts). I have tried some of Black Lotus' beers at various beer festivals, but this was my first time trying them all at once. Here are my impressions:

People Mover Pils, Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.3 percent. This was their basic American pilsner, very light and crisp and reminded me of the Wolverine lager that is on draft at that brewpub. A nice "gateway beer."

Detroit Hip Hops, ABV: 6 percent. This American pale ale contained citrusy hops and very fragrant. Nice bitter taste and finish.

Red Tao Amber, ABV: 7.5 percent. This was one of my personal favorites. This beer was caramelly and smooth... I certainly would not have known it was so high in alcohol! It had a definite bitter hop taste and a slight "Belgian" taste that was not overpowering. Smooth finish.

Black Bottom Oatmeal Stout, ABV: 5.5 percent. This beer made me think of my friend Cindy, who we call "Stout Girl" (not because she is chubby but because she likes stout beer). I wrote down "worthy of Cindy" in my notes, which means it is a good beer! This was, as the name says, an oatmeal stout. It had hints of chocolate and coffee and a creamy mouthfeel.

DD Blonde Maibock, ABV: 6 percent. Let's hear it for the DD girls! And for this beer! Definitely more of a bock than a blonde, it was Jeff's favorite.

Clawtown Brown, ABV: 6 percent, was my other favorite. All I wrote was "delicious!!!!!!". Sorry I can't give you more, but the sheer number of exclamation points should tell you something.

DTF Tripel Belgian, ABV: 10.8 percent. We asked, and were told that DTF is a saying from that charming piece of Americana, The Jersey Shore. You would have to shoot me to get me to watch that show, so I just started guessing what the letters meant, and finally, our nice bartender told me. You can guess at your own risk. Meantime, get out and enjoy this beer. It had a lovely taste, not at all Belgian-y. Smooth, clear with a sweet finish, this beer was surprisingly easy drinking. Belgian candy sugar gives it its lighter look and mouthfeel and again, it is not what you might think of when you think of a Tripel Belgian. Very good and easily one of my favorites.

All in all, this is a lovely brewpub with great food and even better beer. Next week, hopefully on Monday this time, I'll conclude with our last stop, Lily's Seafood. Until then...

Patti Smith is a special education teacher, at least until close of business on July 29.