Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ann Arbor Welcomes Mash at Blue Tractor, a Bourbon and Beer Bar

Written by  Paul Starr
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Ann Arbor Welcomes Mash at Blue Tractor, a bourbon and beer bar

Located on E. Washington in downtown Ann Arbor, Blue Tractor BBQ & Brewery recently expanded hiring 20 employees and taking over the space formerly occupied by Café Habana. The lower level is now occupied by Mash at Blue Tractor – a beer, whiskey and bourbon bar that specializes in the craft cocktail tradition.
Blue Tractor BBQ & BreweryBoth Blue Tractor and Mash were designed by Jeff Atkins of Mercury Studios in Chicago who used restored barn wood to line the walls, the décor to resemble 1920s era.

“By expanding Blue Tractor we are able to offer more of what our clientele expects – a relaxed atmosphere where visitors will find everything from fried pickle chips to slow-smoked pulled pork and our Triple Mac n’ Cheese,” said Steve Barnes, general manager of Blue Tractor BBQ and Mash at Blue Tractor. “Our customers now have more space to join friends for a pint of craft-brewed beer at the bar. There, they can watch a football game, or opt for a more spacious table for dinner. Now, with the addition of Mash downstairs, where live music, a wide selection of bourbon and even beer cocktails, we have something new for everyone.”

Mash at Blue Tractor

Mash, an entirely new venue located directly below Blue Tractor, serves up craft cocktails and its bartenders offer a large selection of bourbon. A plaid-clad staff welcomes visitors into rooms where tall tables mingle with cushioned wood crates and local, live music is heard Wednesday through Saturday nights in genres like Americana, Blues and Folk.

Mash features a chalkboard painted ceiling where patrons are encouraged to “leave their mark.” Those patrons who were familiar with the previous décor will find a new fireplace, new stage lighting, vintage wallpaper and Edison light bulbs. A private room for seven features a high definition TV and private bar access.

Blue Tractor appetizers are available at Mash along with cocktails featuring housemade cherry- and lemon-infused bourbon, hand-pressed juices and house made flavored ices, including 1x1 cubes, smoked ice and sphere- shaped ice with mint leaves. The menu features drinks such as the Lipstick on a Pig, Michigan Mitten and the Wild Mash Buck.

Mash mixologists will create drinks of the week and have patrons vote on their favorite.

Blue Tractor BBQ & Brewery

The 1,800 sq. ft. expansion at Blue Tractor BBQ & Brewery began in January 2012 and includes 100 additional seats. Blue Tractor now has a total of seven flat screen high definition televisions. Ann Arbor’s only BBQ restaurant smokes all ribs, chicken, pulled pork and meats in house in two smokers.  The Blue Tractor menu reflects international barbecue featuring pulled pork sandwiches, brisket and BBQ ribs.

Brewmaster Tim Schmidt concocts new flavors including seasonal beers like Oktoberfest and peanut butter stout. Growlers of Blue Tractor brews are available for purchase for $12-15 depending on the beer.

Located in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor, Blue Tractor BBQ & Brewery, established in 2008, is a casual eatery focusing on onsite brewing, a smoke house and barbeque menu. Blue Tractor brewery creates award-winning beer. Every day, visitors will find eight different selections on tap to pair with the restaurant’s inspired Southern smokehouse menu. Blue Tractor is located at 207 East Washington in Ann Arbor and is open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.  Monday – Saturday and noon to midnight Sunday. For more information, call (734) 222-4095 or visit

Ann Arbor’s bourbon, whiskey and beer bar Mash opened its doors in late July 2012. Located on the lower level of Blue Tractor BBQ & Brewery, Mash offers a full bar pouring high-end whiskeys and signature beer cocktails with beer brewed at Blue Tractor.  Beyond its main bar area, Mash offers live music Wednesday through Saturday. Mash is located at 211 East Washington in Ann Arbor. Mash is open 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday – Saturday and 6 p.m. to midnight on Sunday.  For more information about Mash, call (734) 332-6046 or visit

Paul Starr

Paul Starr

Paul Starr is the creator of the I'm a Beer Hound and one of the organizer and the driving force behind Art & Craft Beerfest, Lansing Beer Fest, Beerfest at the Ballpark Spring & Fall. When he's not working on Beer Hound he's probably watching the Lions, Tigers or Red Wings. Being a recent new Dad of twins, he doesn't have much extra time these days for mischief.