• Madison

Everything Marshall: Grand River Brewery Edition

Grand River Brewery’s Marshall location is truly the perfect place to enjoy cozy warmth this Fall. For this week’s blog post, I wanted to show what makes GRB Marshall so special and so inviting, and to highlight their celebration of Autumn. Along the way, I had the wonderful opportunity to interview both the restaurant manager, April, and the mixologist, Brooke. They each provided unique perspectives on what makes their location stand out, what makes it important to the community, and what Grand River Brewery’s overall values are. Housed in the historic J.H. Cronin Building, the atmosphere is comfortable, familiar, like coming home. Both April and Brooke’s welcoming demeanor contribute greatly to this feeling, as does the overall positive attitude held by the staff.

Asking April about the source of this positive attitude, she spoke of her own unwavering optimism and how she makes an effort to let that overflow onto the staff. She went on to say that this optimism is held up by a foundation of respect; it is made known among all those who work at GRB Marshall that they are equally important to the operation. April has created a culture based on teamwork rather than strict hierarchy, and the system truly speaks for itself. The whole GRB Marshall staff have a great flow and compatibility, something that takes time, dedication, training, and respect to build.

Marshall’s mixologist, Brooke, reiterated this to me when telling me about the weekly cocktail specials they offer. The bar staff are regularly engaging with this process, pitching drink ideas and brainstorming along with Brooke. It’s a good sign, showing that the staff are invested in their work and developing their own skills and craft. Brooke’s encouraging attitude certainly contributes to the team’s commitment to mixology and quality craft cocktails- both her and April are skilled in uplifting their team. For the specialty Fall Cocktails, Brooke took the lead and came up with some truly delectable cocktails.

With the GRB Long Island Iced Tea being one of our most popular drinks, Brooke took on the challenge of crafting a seasonal twist on this favorite classic. Made with all the classic ingredients plus spiced honey, house-made lemon cordial, and hot tea, this warm take on a Long Island is called the Spiced Island. Another warm option is the GRB Mulled Wine, made with delicious Lakeshore Red Wine, two whole oranges, two Michigan apples, maple syrup, house-made simple syrup, allspice, and garnished with cinnamon sticks. Mulled wine has a rich history that goes back to the Roman period, when it was used to keep warm during the winters. With the weather turning colder each day, GRB Marshall thought it the perfect time to roll out a craft Mulled Wine. The Lakeshore Red wine serves as a delightful base for this potion of old school, hearty spices.

Something that makes Grand River Brewery Marshall’s cocktails unique and artisanal is the mixologist Brooke's dedication to house-made infused liqueurs, especially the Spiced Rum and the Butterscotch Schnapps. Brooke’s personal favorite cocktail features both of these specialty infused ingredients: Christmas Came Early combines the GRB Spiced Rum and the Butterscotch Schnapps with apple cider, fresh squeezed oranges, and cranberry juice. The GRB Spiced Rum is made with GRB rum, nutmeg, allspice, fresh squeezed orange juice, and cinnamon sticks, making it dangerously smooth and easy to enjoy. Brooke also worked to develop a Vanilla Vodka to use in the P.S. White Russian. The smooth vanilla vodka marries beautifully with the house made coffee liqueur and pumpkin spice cream, making for a perfectly seasonal, perfectly crafted, and perfectly creamy blend. With three other specialty Autumn cocktails ready to be served at GRB Marshall, you’re sure to find something that suits you this fall at the Marshall bar!

If beer calls to you more than cocktails do, then it’s the perfect time to enjoy the Monkey Mouth IPA, an American style IPA with a hefty malt backbone. The hop profile is front and center, and wonderfully citrusy. Notes of grapefruit and pine balance well with the bitterness of the Michigan hops, making this a perfect cold weather IPA. The Monkey Mouth IPA is used to make our specialty Monkey Mouth IPA Mustard, used generously in the Cubano Sandwich. Made with french bread, ham, pork, monkey mouth mustard, and pickles, this pressed classic sandwich delivers a kick that pairs beautifully with the sunset orange IPA. All of Grand River Brewery’s seasonal offerings are made available at the Marshall location, including the Oktoberfest which is now available on tap!

The seasonal celebrations at Marshall’s GRB location don’t end with the spirits and beer, either. GRB Marshall goes all out decorating for Halloween and Harvest season, and rightly so: Marshall has many community events this harvest season that GRB-Marshall is participating in. The Skeleton Fest Kickoff, adult trick-or-treating, the Halloween costume contest, and Thanksgiving package dinners are just some of the examples of how GRB-Marshall is engaging with the community this fall. The manager April spoke to me about the importance of staying involved with local events, saying that as a business in the heart of Marshall we have an obligation to support and give back to the community. This ideology shows in her customer interactions as well; she’s always bouncing between tables, greeting guests, and making conversation with customers. Her dedication to the community and getting to know the people that make it up is palpable.

April’s attitude and dedication to serving Marshall combined with Brooke’s creative positivity make Grand River Brewery Marshall a truly cozy and inviting place. A home away from home, when you come to GRB Marshall you know you’ll be getting great food, excellent service, and craft drinks. With Fall upon us, GRB Marshall is ready to welcome you into warmth.

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