It’s always happy hour at ShorelinePublished 3:21pm Tuesday, May 11, 2010
By JESSICA SIEFF
It’s around 2:30 p.m. and it’s a rather breezy but hazy afternoon in Michigan City, Ind. On a big screen that’s hanging against the far wall inside Shoreline Brewery, the Chicago Cubs are facing the Arizona Diamondbacks.
It’s the perfect time, perfect weather for a pint glass, and the waitress, Missy – hair pulled back and wearing one of the restaurant’s tie-dyed T-shirts – brings a couple to the table.
It’s fitting. Inside Shoreline Brewery, a picture of The Grateful Dead’s infamous front man Jerry Garcia hangs just off the bar.
Where there’s a stage just snug enough for small area bands and musical artists, there’s a wall clad with concert posters and a big sign advertising open mic nights on Tuesdays. Music is obviously taken seriously at Shoreline.
So are the details.
Mason jar-style mugs stock glass cases that frame the wall behind the bar, between the pints and fifths of premium liquor. A colorful chalkboard outlines the list of specially crafted brews available.
In this particular case, as comedian and movie star Vince Vaughn leads the fans at Wrigley Stadium in a rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” Missy is bringing out a pint of Don’t Panic English Pale Ale. It’s golden in color and described as a “classic English pale ale, medium body, lightly hopped to provide a slight citrus note to the finish of a malty start.”
It’s as good as it sounds. Malty indeed, almost creamy as it rolls down the tongue and the citrus is light enough to leave room for the taste of a craft brew. It’s not too heavy and it’s the perfect way to introduce oneself to Shoreline’s menu of specialty beers.
Like the Curse the Goat Dopplebock. “Monks brewed dopplebocks for Lent,” the menu explains. “While fasting, they were allotted a few liters of beer a day to sustain life. For 40 days all they could consume was beer, so they made it strong and hearty. Our dopplebock is both strong and hearty while also being ultra smooth.” The beer went on tap in time for the Cubs’ home opener.
The restaurant is serious about its beer and its ball games but it hasn’t forgotten about the food.
Shoreline’s menu is eclectic. There are the staples, burgers and beef sandwiches, big salads and beer battered fish and chips – but Shoreline goes one step further with interesting choices throughout the menu.
From sourdough pretzel appetizers to the falafel, there’s also dignified dinner choices including filet mignon and oatmeal stout-braised lamb shank.
No doubt, Shoreline wants to be a favorite of regulars and new visitors to the Michigan City area. It’s the kind of place you take all your friends to watch the game and have a few drinks – or where you leave the boys while the girls get some serious shopping done just up the road. And it’s just off the beaten path enough to have a relaxed dinner after a night (or two) of gambling up at the Blue Chip Casino.
The exterior of the building leaves much to be desired at Shoreline, but it adds to the charm of this restaurant, located on Wabash, just across the street from the Lighthouse Premium Outlet Mall. Because just a couple of steps inside and the smells coming from the kitchen, the lively chatter streaming out from the bar tells guests they’ve found one of those unique spots they’ll want to come back to over and over again.
Shoreline Brewery is located at 208 Wabash St., Michigan City, Ind. For more information, call (219) 879-4677 or visit www.shoreline brewery.com.