Near downtown Detroit is an abandoned neighborhood now referred to as “Zombieland.” During my recent beer and baseball outing in the Motor City, I passed within half a mile of it on foot as we traversed downtown near Comerica Park.
Looking up to see an abandoned building with the word “Zombieland” painted across it gives you a creepy feeling, no matter where you are. As an avid watcher of AMC’s The Walking Dead (and a reader of the comic book series as well), I could almost hear the guttoral moans and shuffling feet behind me.
It could have happened; last year there were rumors that a Zombie-themed park would land in that neighborhood. Whether that may still happen, I do not know, especially in light of the city’s recent plans to file for bankruptcy. The whole situation was sobering.
Which is an ironic statement, considering how much beer we ended up drinking. But before I get to that, I want to point out that we actually enjoyed our time in Detroit. Comerica Park is beautiful, and the area surrounding that and Ford Field seems much improved since my last visit roughly 10 years ago. We even cabbed it to the site of the original Tiger Stadium and got to play ball with a few other folks on the original field. Those are hallowed grounds indeed. (But I will say this: Rob pitches everyone outside. That’s my excuse for grounding out weakly to second, anyway.)
Before the game on Saturday, we stopped off at a couple of local beer spots, which happened to – conveniently – be situated next door to each other.
The first was a small bar and eatery called Small Plates, which had some locals on tap. Here’s what we checked out:
Rochester Mills Beer Co. Rochester Red (5.9% ABV) – This is a classic red ale, malty and nutty but with a lighter body than you’d expect upon first inspection. I ended up getting a pint of this. Well, at least according to my notes I did.
Frankenmuth Brewery Twisted Helles (5.5% ABV) – This is a pleasantly light beer with a smooth body. The flavor wasn’t anything special, but it was a solid summer beer that combined bread-like flavors with some notes of fruitiness. Not bad.
Motor City Brewing Works Ghetto Blaster (4.2% ABV, 15 IBU) – This English mild ale was an interesting change of pace. Ghetto Blaster has a strong coffee nose, but is much lighter than the nose and color suggest. It is described as having a “clean biscuit flavor,” although in my notes I jotted down “roasted walnut?” Recommended.
And then we walked next door to Detroit Beer Company:
Broadway Light (4.3% ABV) – This is exactly what you think it is – a drinkable, pale lager that is crisp, with just a hint of a bite. It’s made for those folks that want something cold and crisp, without assertive flavor, and is all-day sessionable. We probably should have just split a pint of this and moved on.
Double Play IPA (?% ABV) – Now we’re talking my language. This one is dry and hoppy, nicely drinkable and one of those beers that would pair perfectly with a pile of hot wings or some other spicy dish. Rob, who leans toward Guinness, said, “It’s like drinking metal.” Oddly, I could find precious few references to this beer online, making me wish I’d jotted down the ABV and IBU ratings on the spot. Inebriation breeds sloppiness, I suppose. I’ll leave the ABV content up for guessing.
Crooked Grill IPA (6.75% ABV, 50 IBU) – Well, I wrote down the ABV and IBU on this one, so I guess I was more sober than I thought at this point. This is an English IPA that is right up my alley. It’s milder than a lot of IPAs I’ve had – more than drinkable, but with enough of a wallop that I knew to stick with just a sample.
By the time we arrived at beautiful Comerica Park, we knew we had to back off to the Labatt’s Light or we’d soon die an awful death by exploding liver. I have to thank Rob for joining me on my quest and for not making fun of how inebriated I became.
Luckily, when we got back to our hotel, we got some comfort food in our bellies at the hotel restaurant and began our recovery.
Although, we probably should not have raided that mini-bar once we got back to the room …