1668 WINERY & LOCKSIDE BREWERY
As the name suggests, 1668 Winery & Lockside Brewery is a combination winery and brewery. It resides in an odd little building smack dab in downtown Sault St. Marie, Michigan. In one end of the building is an L-shaped bar; its 8 seats don’t do it justice. Conversely, the tables are pretty packed in beside the bar and in an odd auxiliary room at the other end of the building separated by the bathrooms. The beer is served in giant, thick, heavy goblets that make it a bit of a chore to carry your and your wife’s beer from the bar to the table; or to drink, for that matter.
Maybe we were just beaten down by the scene and our experience to date with northern Michigan and Wisconsin breweries (we have not yet been to Grand Rapids and Traverse City), but my wife (Goldilocks, an American style ale) and I (Simcoe IPA) both agreed that the beer was better than we expected, if still not that great. In addition to those two beers they had a stout. While their beers constantly rotate, they always have a stout, an IPA and a lighter beer. Unlike with their wines, they do not currently bottle or can any of their beers.
1668 Winery & Lockside Brewery is just over one year old.
SOO BREWING COMPANY
We were a bit pressed for time when we went to Soo Brewing Company, but managed to sneak in a tasting. It’s a pure brewery (no food) set in an old strip mall in downtown Sault (pronounced “soo”) Ste. Marie. The place has a a bit of a cluttered feel to it, but some nice exposed brick and seats that were formerly church pews. There is a large, standing-only bar, which is not our favorite. There were only a few people sprinkled about on the Wednesday evening that we stopped by.
Soo Brewing rotates through 50+ different beers, with a handful on tap at any given time. For our part, their beer wasn’t really our style, which we’ve generally found to be the case in Michigan thus far (with the caveat that we haven’t made it to Grand Rapids / Founders Brewery yet).