• Madison

The Grand River Brewery Experience

This past Monday, I had the opportunity to dine and drink at Grand River Brewery. Though it wasn’t my first time dining there, several things stood out to me on this visit. Being a Monday, mug club members had filled the bar and much of the restaurant. The unique and handmade GRB mugs lined the bar, filled with craft beer for the smiling crowd. The smells from the kitchen waft out into the restaurant, a delicious medley of fresh ingredients and expertly crafted food. Grand River Brewery is truly a special place, so this blog post is about the GRB experience and what you can expect when you come to dine with us.

Still being relatively new to my job, the staff at GRB don’t quite know me yet. That puts me in a special position to have an authentic experience, one just like any other customer. Walking in on this particular Monday, I was greeted at the door by a smiling hostess and the on duty manager, both of whom seemed genuinely happy to see someone come through the door. In a time when restaurants are still recovering from the damage of the pandemic, it can be hard to come by a truly delightful dining experience, and it all starts at the door. I knew right away that this visit would be a good one, and that this is the way everyone is greeted.

Taking my seat at the bar, I noticed that everyone, and I mean everyone, who was seated at the bar had a mug club mug. This may not come as a surprise to you if you’ve seen the size of the Grand River Brewery mug wall, but it was still a sight to see. People were talking amongst themselves, laughing and engaged, enjoying the mug club Monday deals. The bartender saw me right away and was both attentive and kind, helping me choose a flight of beers to sample. She seemed both happy and comfortable in her job, like she was genuinely enjoying her time at work talking with and tending to the customers. She helped create an atmosphere of content comfort, making the experience all the better.

I didn’t have to wait long for my beers or my food. I ordered the sweet potato fries, an excellent appetizer with a perfect balance between sweet and savory.

Filling and nutritious, these large cut fries paired especially well with the Planet Basil beer, which was the first to go out of my flight. The special for the day, the Seared Ahi Tuna, came out next in a very timely manner and it really surprised me. This is no ordinary brewery meal: the Tuna is delicately seared and seasoned to perfection. The peach salsa and sticky rice make for a balanced and healthy meal, a great followup to the hearty sweet potato fries. Each time I’ve visited Grand River Brewery, I’ve been stunned by the quality of the food and the care that goes into it. Being in my position, I know the food is so delicious because the chefs choose their ingredients carefully, always looking for the most fresh and seasonal produce. Just like the brewery experience starts at the door, good food starts with good ingredients, and GRB only chooses the best.

As the brewery continued to fill up with guests and mug club members, I sipped my flight of beers and took the whole experience in. I moved on from the finished Planet Basil to the Solar Lady American Pale Ale, a light yet perfectly bitter beer with a low malt profile. The bitterness combines with the light flavor and is balanced throughout, making this beer an excellent choice for an after dinner drink. As I continued going through my flight, the ever attentive bartender asked my opinion on each one, giving her own tasting notes from memory. We talked about the light grapefruit taste in the Planet Basil and how well it pairs with the Italian Basil used to flavor the beer. Her knowledge on the beers made it clear that Grand River Brewery takes time to train their staff thoroughly, not only in how to pick up tasting notes from beers but how to talk about them. I had a perfectly pleasant time going through my flight, in large part thanks to the bartender.

From the door to the bar, it was obvious to me that the staff overall are trained in such a way that they have the skills and knowledge to enjoy doing their job well. GRB invests in their staff, wanting to help them develop not only as employees but also as people. This means that the Grand River Brewery experience is one of ease, comfort, and deliciousness; the staff really makes this possible. Next time you come to Grand River Brewery, I’m sure you’ll be greeted with a genuine smile. Like me, you’ll leave with a smile of your own. Cheers!

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