Mitten Brewing Company: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Housed in a historic Victorian-era fire station, with a vintage baseball theme, Mitten Brewing Company hits artisan pizza and craft beer out of the park.

Location: Mitten Brewing Company located at 527 Leonard Street NW on the west side of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Find the restaurant’s website here.

Menu: The menu at Mitten Brewing Company is a focused pizzeria menu with some baseball themed appetizers, like roasted peanuts in the shell, just like at the old ball game.

Since one of the owners, Chris Andrus, is a vegan, the menu represents lots of vegan and gluten-free options. You can choose a full flight of vegan or gluten-free pizza options. The menu spells out vegan and gluten-free choices.

Mitten Brewing Company offers many vegan ingredients to build your own vegan pizza, including vegan pepperoni, chicken, chorizo, bacon, Italian sausage, and jackfruit, along with vegan cheese.

The menu features some dishes with Mitten Brewing Company’s beer. For example, the Tavern Cheese is house-made with sharp cheddar and Mitten Brewing Company beer. They serve the spread with house-made rosemary focaccia.

I love the whimsical baseball references on the menu. The menu offers the field of greens, the curse of the goat, Thai Cobb, Westerdog, the grand salami, and the plate setter. An example is the Curse of the Goat that starts with a tomato basil sauce, with house hand-pinched sausage, crumbled goat cheese, fresh basil, and peppadew peppers.

Thoughts: The Victorian-era former Engine Number Nine firehouse, exemplified restoration rather than remodeling. The 120-year-old building features exposed brick throughout.

The baseball theme begins in the lobby with four blue stadium-style seats from the old Detroit Tiger Stadium. An old English D representing the Detroit Tigers decorates one of the exposed brick walls, along with historic black and white photos.

They make baseball bats from ash wood, and the baseball theme continues with the restaurant’s tabletops also made from the same wood.

The bi-level outdoor deck is a great summer spot to enjoy the fresh air and drink a cold one. A second story taproom is available year-round.

A firm rule exists that if the Detroit Tigers are playing, all five televisions carry the game. No channel changes. Mitten Brewing Company is the place to go to watch baseball.

Every brewery has a flight of beer, but Mitten Brewing Company adds to it with pizza flights for those who can’t make up their mind. Any six of the specialty pizzas, including the weekly special, can be combined into a pizza flight. A flight is six pizzas served on a wooden paddle, making a meal that feeds up to four.

At Mitten Brewery, the crust is light and airy; the edges aren’t left behind on the plate, as they are in some pizzerias.

In addition to all the typical pizza toppings, Mitten Brewing Company offers over 35 different toppings for the build-your-own pizza. After the vegan “meat” options, some of the more unusual ones are the seasoned artichoke hearts, peppadew peppers, house hand-pinched sausage, and their house-baked pulled chicken.

The Mitten Brewing Company doesn’t take reservations; however, you can reduce your wait time by signing into their waitlist via Yelp.

Michigan is ranked fifth in the nation for breweries, and Grand Rapids has been dubbed Beer City, USA. So Grand Rapids developed the Brewsader passport where visiting eight of the city breweries and collecting their stamps, electronically, you can earn a free T-shirt. Collecting stamps is a fun reason to explore the various breweries in the city.

Price Range: Appetizers range from $2 for the peanut basket to $14.99 for the Charcuterie board with artisanal cheese and specialty meats. Sandwiches range from $10.99 for the Cuban sandwich to $11.99 for the grand salami sandwich. Specialty pizzas range from $13.99 for the Margherita pizza to $24.99 for the pizza flight. A pizza dinner for two is under $40, including beer, tax, and gratuity.

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