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Pizza and a pint: I give The Mitten Brewing Company the once over

I attend the grand opening of The Mitten Brewing Company to evaluate their highly anticipated pizza offerings.
Underwriting support from:
Pepperoni Pizza

Pepperoni Pizza /Chris Freeman

The perfect char

The perfect char /Chris Freeman

The "Grand Pumpkin" beer

The "Grand Pumpkin" beer /Chris Freeman

Who doesn’t like a repurposed building? Old factories are being turned into office space and apartments, old missile silos are being turned into homes, and the most recent local convert is the old fire station at 527 West Leonard was turned into The Mitten Brewing Company. The Mitten Brewing Company is essentially a new local brewery that also serves pizza as their primary food of choice.  

Although I always try to support local food and local business as much as possible, I have found myself becoming tired of what I perceive as trendy, pretentious, overpriced breweries/restaurants popping up all over town that seem all the rage. Some of these places have earned their hype, while I find that others just leave me scratching my head as to why they are so popular. With that in mind, I admit to walking into The Mitten Brewing Company with a chip on my shoulder.

Since I am a foodie, the pizza was the most important thing to me and the beer was secondary. I went ahead and ordered a pepperoni pizza.

My initial complaint was that you could only order a 12”pizza. If I was alone this would have been too much to eat and with my wife and son with me on this excursion it was really too little. I wish that I had more size choices and, to be honest, I do find a one item 12” pizza for $11 to be a tiny bit more than I would be excited to pay for it. 

While we were waiting for the pizza, I realized that we would all be dying of the munchies afterward. I decided to order an appetizer of peanuts to fill the inevitable void that the small pizza would not. I also ordered a beer called “The Grand Pumpkin” as I also thought that it was fair to give the beer (their specialty) a fair try.

I would describe the beer as good but given its name, I was expecting a stronger taste of pumpkin. The beer was interesting in the respect that there was virtually no aftertaste. For my wife, who is not a fan of beer, this was a positive feature of its flavor profile. The taste of this particular beer was a little lighter than I was hoping for, and I admit a curiosity of wanting to try one of their stout beers on another visit. By the time I had nearly finished the beer, the pizza had arrived. As it turns out, the pizza was better than I had hoped.

The pizza crust was extremely thin, which I prefer and they had achieved a perfect char on the bottom. The sauce, which is the most important part of the pizza for me, was fairly good. Unlike many pizzas, that lack a sufficient quantity of sauce, this one had the perfect amount of sauce and only a little more garlic would have made this savory concoction perfect. The cheese was both tasty, and just the right quantity to balance with the sauce. The pepperoni…well, it’s hard to go wrong with pepperoni. 

So, what are my overall impressions of Mitten Brewing? The atmosphere was excellent because of its unique nature. The pizza was small and a little overpriced, but better than most of the pizza places in Grand Rapids, and the beer was good enough to warrant additional visits to try a wider variety of their offerings. Overall, I would give them a good solid “B” for a grade. It is certainly worth checking out, and I can easily see how this bar could become somebody’s local favorite.

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