Let’s leave the wine room for now and head back to the bar, shall we? Beer is what Black Lotus is known for and why the business was started in the first place back in 2006. Six beers are typically on tap, including the stalwarts: Detroit Hip Hops (pale ale), Red Tao Amber, and People Mover Pilsner. Other staples include World Wide Wheat, Funkin’ A Apricot Wheat, and Black Bottom Oatmeal Stout. On the day of this author’s most recent visit, I had one of my highest-rated beers ever: Samsara Ale, 9.5% ABV, a seasonal/rotating tap. It bordered on a brown ale, with interesting notes of cinnamon and ginger on the nose. The finish possessed lots of sparkle, with tones evoking gingerbread cookies and a faint banana and clove presence. It drank very smooth and was one of the more unique brews one will taste. Heightening the moment, it was served in a solid goblet, weighing literally 3 pounds, in which all of their high gravity beers are presented.
The menu is of a decent size for a microbrewery, featuring standard appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and burgers. A highlight is the lunch special: a burger and a pint for $6. Building on Black Lotus’ motto of “Think Global, Drink Local”, many of their ingredients are sourced locally, including excellent salmon from the neighboring Noble Fish. In addition to the beer and Fenn Valley wines, award-winning meads from B.Nektar are available as well.
Live entertainment is also a big draw here, including a very popular open mic night on Mondays, with DJs and bands on other nights. Games and cards are available to keep the drinkers’ brains (and hands) engaged. A small selection of merchandise is available, including pint glasses with the Black Lotus logo and shirts emblazoned with the brewery’s aforementioned motto. And if you’re out late, don’t miss their late night happy hour, with $2 pints from 11 pm-1 am on Monday-Thursday, and 12-2am on Friday and Saturday.
While a bit eclectic in décor, Black Lotus provides excellent beer, food, and entertainment, and stands tall in Michigan’s ever-expanding craft beer environment. And it’s certainly a great place to practice what they preach: that is, Drink Local!