In addition to its many beers, the Jolly Pumpkin offers wines from northern Michigan's Peninsula Cellars. The brewery distills its own spirits, which we didn't try, and offers a lengthy list of nonalcoholic drinks--some, like the Berry Mojito, refreshing and fruity; others, like the Basil Limeade, more pureed salad than beverage.
Jolly Pumpkin's management has clearly taken pains to educate its staff on all aspects of the menu and the brewing of beer. Not only can they explain real ale, nearly everyone--with the exception of one waiter who made it clear he was ready to have us depart late on a Friday night--was uniformly friendly, pleasant, and enthusiastic.
Jolly Pumpkin was slammed with customers almost every time I was there, so it's hardly surprising that the kitchen had a few problems in its execution. But I admire its relatively daring menu, and--despite the bewildering array of restaurants on Main Street--it stands out from the crowd. If the kitchen, which certainly has the potential, catches up to the beer and the service, the Jolly Pumpkin will be one of the most interesting places on the street.
Jolly Pumpkin Cafe and Brewery
311 S. Main, 913-2730
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