Joe’s Empire Ale & Joe’s Friendly Root Beer
By Ross Boissoneau | March 30, 2019
The preponderance of brewpubs and craft brews has so impacted local bars and restaurants that many have had specialty beers made and branded specifically for their establishment. Joe’s Friendly Tavern in Empire goes that one better. Not only does it offer Joe’s Empire Ale ($5 per pint) but also serves its own proprietary root beer. The former was originally made by Old Nation Brewing of Williamston, but when that brewery found (an insane amount of) success with its M-43 N.E. IPA, it discontinued producing beer for Joe’s. The restaurant initially approached Stormcloud of Frankfort, but at that time the Frankfort brewery didn’t have the necessary capacity. That’s when Right Brain stepped into the breach, and to make the ale even more authentic, it brewed the beer exclusively with Empire hops. As a companion for the non-drinker in the crowd, Northwoods Soda produces Joe’s Friendly Root Beer ($3 per pint), a classically smooth and creamy root beer, neither too sweet nor too bubbly. Find em at 11015 Front St., (231) 326-5506.