Bastone Brewery Review

Bastone Brewery located in Royal Oak, Michigan

Thursday morning I went outside to find that all four of the wheels on my vehicle had been stolen. I live in Plymouth Michigan so this was not an expected site.

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The thing is, I had to get to Royal Oak to meet Easy E., my only buddy silly enough to split the $200.00 Westie six pack with me, at Bastone for a business meeting. I had to act quickly calling the police, the insurance company, and the rental car company so I could…drink beer. When you write it down it feels kind of funny but it is the truth.

My insurance company gave me $50.00 per day for a rental car with Enterprise and believe it or not I was able to get a Lincoln MKX to roll to Bastone in. Of course parking in Royal Oak is rough and since I was in a rental I had to find a parking meter that took something other than change but those are first world problems.

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Back to the reason I am madly typing on a Friday night instead of going out on the town – Bastone, lovely Bastone. My God what an amazing place. OK I was meeting Easy E. there, and I would enjoy drinking in a ditch on the side of the road with E. so Bastone could have had me at “hello” and coasted to a middle of the road victory. Instead Bastone earned my affection on every level by being outstanding.

I walked in shivering (I had a rental which did not have my coat in it an it is April in Michigan) and they had two seasonal offerings on the chalk board in the lobby – Sorachi Ace and Cherry Imperial Stout. OK, Sorachi Ace from Brooklyn Brewing Company is a solid beer so I assumed their version would be worth trying (they only serve their own beers at Bastone) but Cherry Imperial Stout…not in my wheelhouse. Undaunted I went in to meet Easy E. and we ordered.

I can sum up my Bastone experience in a single word; phenomenal. If you are not a fan of Belgian style beers you may not be as big a fan as I am of Bastone, because that is all they pour. If you like Belgian style beers you may want to take up residence at Bastone. No really, I would have slept there if they would have let me because the beer is that good. And I did not even mention the food and the service but I will get to that soon.

What people may not realize is that Bastone is a highly decorated brewery with a highly decorated brew master with awards including Small Brewpub of the Year and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival. For a look at the impressive list visit http://bastone.net/br/bastone-awards-and-news

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At Bastone you can order 16 or 22 ounce single beers served in proper glassware, or you can order a few varieties of flights. If you want to try all the Bastone regulars plus the seasonals you need to order the sample flight that includes eight pretty big pours sorted lightest to darkest. There are other samplers that have less beers but if you are going to do something you might as well do it all the way.  You always have to prime the pump so I drank a pint of the Sorachi Ace to get me warmed up for the sampler. Fantastic. Crisp, just hoppy enough, and even a little sour which I normally don’t like but I loved this beer.  A fantastic Saison style. Great start. Next the sampler.

The sampler included one of each of the mainstay beer lineup listed on their website at http://bastone.net/br/bastone-beer

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MONUMENTAL BLONDE
North American Beer Awards Winner and World Beer Championships Medal Winner
An American-style light beer with soft malt and hop flavors 4.5% ABV

MAIN STREET PILSNER
World Beer Championships Medal Winner
A Bohemian style pilsner with moderate hop and malt character 5.5% ABV

WITFACE
World Beer Championships Medal Winner
A Belgian style white ale brewed with orange, lemon and coriander 5.25% ABV

ROYAL IPA
World Beer Championships Medal Winner
An American-style India Pale Ale with a strong hop and malt presence 6.75% ABV

DUBBEL VISION
World Beer Championships Medal Winner
A Belgian-style amber ale brewed with candi-sugar and dried dark fruits 7.5% ABV

NECTAR des DIEUX TRIPLE
World Beer Championships Medal Winner, Best of 2009
A Belgian style strong golden ale with light fruity notes and a hint of sweetness 9% ABV

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Every one of these beers was true to the style and extremely well-balanced. My ranking goes against my typical style profile but here it is best to still good but not as good as the one before it: Witface, Sorachi Ace, Dubbel Vision, Cherry Imperial Stout (WHAT?), Monumental Blonde, Nectar des Dieux Triple, Royal IPA, Main Street Pilsner. If I had to pre-rank, the Triple would have been my guess for #1 and the Dubbel and Cherry Imperial would be close to last. That is why I love sample flights because they can surprise you and get you out of your comfort zone.

I feel the need to explain myself about the Cherry Imperial Stout. I have been very vocal about my distaste for fruit beers but this one was perfect. If the word “cherry” was not in the name you would not be able to tell it had cherry in it, it was that well made. Not like some of the fruit forward beers that taste like cough syrup (read my SommBeer post listing my best and worst of 2015 to see what I mean).

Now the food and service. Our server Jenna was attentive, interesting, funny, and knowledgeable. The food menu has Belgian inspired favorites like pomme frittes and Canadian poutine but there are also American style pub choices like a steak sandwich and thin crust pizzas. Poutine and a thin crust pizza helped me get back to a more level state of mind as some of the ABV’s on these beers were a little steep.

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Finally I took a quick trip around before I left for home. The atmosphere of the place is inviting and casual with a mix of old and new world. They seem to know exactly how much is just right in all parts of this business. I can’t say enough good things about Bastone. Go there and check it out as soon and as often as you can.
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Don Manfredi

Don Manfredi

Yooper, Spartan, martial artist, friend to most things fermented.
Don Manfredi

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One thought on “Bastone Brewery Review”

  1. Bastone’s is one of our go to places. Our hands down favorite beer on tap there is the Dubbel Vision. Fortunately, several years ago we got in on a groupon deal for lifetime beer club membership, so we enjoy the 22 oz. pours. The menu was recently revised and remains solid. Living in Royal Oak, parking isn’t a problem for us; all summer long we walk and the rest of the year we have “secret” parking places that don’t have meters. Glad you enjoyed your visit to Bastone’s and I enjoyed your review.

     

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