Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Filling Station Microbrewery

Outdoor seating lines the patio at the Filling Station Microbrewery in Traverse City during the warmer months.

Welcome to the Filling Station Microbrewery of Traverse City. No longer are the trains rumbling through or screeching to a steam or diesel spewing stop at this historic depot. Nowadays, the only rumbling comes from the brew house, the only smoke from the wood fired stone pizza oven. If you're a fan of artisan pizzas fresh from the flame's tender licking and handcrafted brews, then the Filling Station Microbrewery is the place for you!

One of Traverse City's newest breweries is receiving some rave reviews.

Located near Traverse City's public library off of Woodmere Avenue, this microbrewery focuses, first and foremost, on their beer selection. That selection is partnered well with some very creative and tasty artisan pizza offerings.

You'll notice that the urban minimalist atmosphere mixes well with the menu offerings and the slowly evolving industrial surroundings of this former home to numerous Traverse City rail based enterprises. Again, this joint doesn't need to tease your senses with any sort of flash or sparkle in the decor. They know why you're there, for brews! That's where they focus their dazzle! 

Urban and open, the decor at the Filling Station Microbrewery only adds to its offerings.

Despite the fact that the depot that houses the Filling Station Microbrewery was the epicenter of a hard working area, the views from the Filling Station's dining areas are perfect for a slice and a pint. The Boardman Lake is just a few steps away and the people watching is spectacular during the warmer months, what with one of Traverse City's many parks running adjacent to Boardman Lake's shores just beyond this eatery's windows, the TART trail cutting through that park, the library next door and a small marina and sailing school nearby as well.

The Filling Station Microbrewery near Traverse City's public library is a great place to meet and unwind.

We'll begin with the food! As stated, this eatery features wood fired pizzas and a lovely salad option. Some of the highlights of the menu include:

Cock O' The Walk for $14. This pizza features house made basil oil, oven roasted chicken, artichokes, oven roasted tomatoes and mozzarella.

Burlington Northern for $14. This pizza features garlic oil, roasted garlic, red onions, fresh pears, prosciutto, brie and a balsamic reduction.

Three Rivers for $12. This pizza features marinara, fresh basil, roma tomatoes and mozzarella.

As I said before, there is also a fun and tasty salad as well as a dessert pizza (for guys like me who can not live without dessert) that features Nutella, graham crackers, marshmallow and more. Yum!

The taps are magical at the Filling Station Microbrewery.

Now, on to the reason that this place exists! The beer! (also Yum!)

Each brew is listed under a track number, tracks 1-9. These tracks do change from time to time, so the beers listed below may not be the exact same as the ones offered during your visit. Be sure to check out their site for updates on small craft brews, etc.

Having said that, their current menu offers some tasty, fun examples of craft brewing, definitely worth a look and sip on your next trip to Traverse City!

Out of the 9 available treats, I'll list three, two from my set of favs, one from my lovely Lisa's preferred drinking style.

First (as always), my lovely Lisa.

Track 4 carries a Dublin Stout. 4.3% ABV for you tickers out there. It is described as a nice session stout.

My two picks are these:

Track 3 features a Bacharach Golden Ale, 4.4% ABV. It's a nice malty ale with a subtle bittering.

Track 5 is a Denver Brown Ale, 4% ABV. It has a higher finishing gravity, which gives body and sweetness to this mild ale.

Arriving on every track, some scrumptious brews!

Obviously, my tastes are my own. If you don't see something that tickles your fancy in the items that I have chosen to highlight, don't let that stop you from visiting this brand spanking new TC brewery! There are plenty of other options available on both their pizza and beer menus.

An ancient art conjures up some tasty fare at the Filling Station Microbrewery!
Traverse City is hoppin', literally. The number of breweries springing up throughout TC and beyond is astounding. Another brewery is slated to take up residence within the depot district very soon. Life is good here in the Grand Traverse region for lovers of both the hop and the vine. And, luckily enough for us all, local and visitor alike, these amazing concoctions are being paired with some superb culinary offerings.

Whether it be the fun, urban atmosphere of the Filling Station Microbrewery or any of the other outstanding dining experiences here in Traverse City and the surrounding regions, you will be hard pressed (hard cider pun, that's also a very popular and growing industry here in the Grand Traverse region. Aren't I just da bomb at these innuendos and sly transitions??) to find any other city or town that can rival Traverse City in culinary prowess, options of amazing local brews and vints (my own word, that).

I encourage you to keep an eye on this blog for some amazing "do not miss" dining experiences here in Northern Michigan! Pass the word around! And hit up the Filling Station! It's easy to miss joints like this if you're new to the TC area or don't really get out too much. It is my aim here to make a resource for those that want to be "in the know" to actually have a constantly updated, actionable way to truly be in the know! Thanks for reading!

(All photos by Brooks Vanderbush)

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