New South Lyon brewpub, Witch's Hat, is well worth the wait
Two hours to get in on opening day? Lines around the block? Completely full even days after the opening? Wow! This place had better be good!
I am talking, of course, about the newest brewpub in Michigan: the Witch's Hat Brewpub in South Lyon. Witch's Hat opened for business on Dec. 26 with, as mentioned above, crowds and lines and long waits to get in.
Before we even talk about how good the place is — and it is good — I want to mention how awesome this spectacular opening is for the state of Michigan and the state of craft beer. Other than midnight releases of Harry Potter, when is the last time you've heard of anything like this? It was as if an, err, "mash" mob (if you will allow me to rip off that term) descended upon the new brewpub and worked it.
Boyfriend Ken and I tried to go a few days after the grand opening and found it full up. (This ended up being okay as we went to Lake Street Tavern, which had good food and a nice selection of craft beer). I finally made it out again last Saturday, and the place was still jam packed! If not for a reservation for my Meet Up group, I couldn't have gotten in.
So, is it worth the wait? In a word, yes.
The space: Yep, it's cozy. There's a little fireplace, darkly-colored furniture, a short bar with the requisite stools and of course tables and chairs. Ryan, one of the owners, took our Meet Up group to the back, where the magic happens. A lot of magic happens in a small space! Magic like .
The beers: There were eight beers on tap on Saturday, and I got to sample five of them: After Christmas Ale, 1908, Ed's Brown, American Pale and Train Hopper. My personal favorites were the After Christmas and 1908.
The After Christmas is an excellent winter ale with many of the usual winter spices (allspice, cinnamon and ginger) but also with a lovely taste of honey. The 1908 is a smoked wheat beer and absolutely delicious! Malty, well balanced and not too smoky wonderful! All of the beers were quite good, though, so you should have no problem finding a favorite.
The service: The service was impeccable. Our waitress took our orders on little slips of paper and knew our names right away. Glasses were never empty very long, and the waitstaff seemed genuinely happy to be there (rare these days). Ryan could not have been nicer and even shared a pepperoni roll with a slightly tipsy, very hungry beer blogger.
All in all, this was well worth the wait! More beers are coming out all the time, so hitch up the wagon and get up to the Witch's Hat! Cheers!
Patti Smith is a teacher and beer brewer/blogger. Come out and say hi to her at the Reskilling Festival on Feb. 4!