500 W. Western Ave, Suite 1, Muskegon, MI 49440, (231) 375-5184 http://pigeonhillbrew.com/
When I started my Memorial Day weekend brew tour, Pigeon Hill was a top destination. Disappointed I was not. I've visited Muskegon a handful of times in my life, but wasn't too familiar with it's past. Being a little bit of a history nerd I love the fact that Pigeon Hill incorporates much of the cities past in its brewery. I felt like I was walking into a history class, but instead of studying a book you study the walls.
Lets start there... when you walk toward the entrance you can see the name of the structure "Nobel Building" on the façade. It was constructed in the 1920's. It's great to see them utilized a place almost 100 years old. The name "Pigeon Hill" comes from a 300 foot sand dune that attracted tourists from all over the state in the late 1800's. The land was eventually sold to a company that slowly sold the sand for industrial purposes. Needless to say, today the dune only stands in our minds with help from places like Pigeon Hill. There are a bunch of photos and merchandise around the brewery to show people what we missed out on. Then there's the Muskegon Brewing Company. Who knew right? Old beer bottles and wooden beer cases from them line the walls to show off the towns history of brewing great beer.
The tradition continues today. Pigeon Hill does brew some great beer. 14 on tap this weekend, from aggressively hopped IPA's to some super sweet Porters! I've had a few of their canned beers in the past, but you don't get a true taste of the work they do until you visit the brewery. S.C.P. Salted Carmel Porter (4.0). Described as a "6.0% traditional porter, it takes a turn once caramel and salt are added to this brew. The use of chocolate malt even gives it flavors of chocolate that reminds you of a piece of candy". This was my last beer of the weekend and probably the best of theirs. Just sweet enough and completely full of flavor. Jumping back to Friday I started with the Renegade DIPA (3.75). Pigeon Hills say, "this 9.4% West Coast style DIPA starts with pine and citrus in the nose. These elements then carry into the mouth with added notes of grapefruit and a pleasantly dry finish". I love my IPA's and this one did not disappoint. Another great beer I tried was the "Sunday Funday", WALTER BLOND ALE. They changed this one up a bit though for the day. Adding Lemongrass and Thai Chilies, making it WALTER GOES TO BANGKOK (3.50). I love when breweries play with one of their standard brews to give it a completely different taste. This beer had just enough bite at the end of it. Not over powering with the chilies at all. I also tried the LMFAO Stout (on nitro), Longer Days IPA, and the Alright, Alright, Alright ESB. Not only a great brew, but one of my favorite quotes from a movie. How many of you guessed???? I didn't have enough time on my hands to try the rest of their taps. Just means I need to make another trip I suppose.
Pigeon Hill doesn't serve food beside some small snacks, but that's just fine. They share the Nobel Building with Topshelf Liquor Bar & Pizza. Their menu is amazing. Pigeon Hill doesn't mind you walking next door to put in an order and bring it back. Ate there twice over the weekend. I did the brewery trip with my buddy Roy. We both can put away some pizza! Friday night we started with your standard large cheese and pepperoni pie that we could barely finish. I consider myself to be a bit of a pizza snob, so being picky about my pie is an understatement. Theirs blew us away. All around great, tons of cheese, tangy sauce, and plenty of pepperoni covering the top. Also nice and thin with just enough brown on the bottom of the crust. On Saturday I tried the Santa Fe Chicken Egg Rolls as an appetizer, and then the Chicken Pita sandwich, "seasoned chicken breast, onions, fresh tomatoes, and tzatziki". Everything was delicious and great prices too.
Pigeon Hill is yet another must stop for beer on your next Michigan West Coast trip. They do have a patio out front if you want to smell that fresh Lake Michigan air. The wait bartenders & waitstaff were some of the most friendly on our trip. Met some great locals too while sitting at the bar drinking and eating that were just as friendly. Must be in the Muskegon water. Want to give a little shout out to Janine and Bruce. Nice meeting both of you "twice". Hope our paths cross again at some point.
You're missing out if you don't stop at Pigeon Hill the next time you're in Muskegon. Not only will you leave there with a little more knowledge about this great town, you get to sample some of Michigan's fine craft brew while doing so.
RATING, 4.0 Pints