Monday, August 4, 2014

Ale Mary’s Raises the Bar

Billed as a “Craft Beer Hall,” Ale Mary’s in downtown Royal Oak is like One Eyed Betty’s sophisticated older sibling. Both the rock music and crowd are classic, setting the mood for a subdued and lingering pub experience. While waiting for a table, I was attended to by not one, but two, bartenders, despite a completely full bar. I grabbed my $7 beer (okay so it’s a little more expensive than some of the beer gardens in the area…) and was seated within 15 minutes.

From the Oberon-glazed whitefish to the customized beer-tap chandeliers, just about everything at Ale Mary’s is beer-infused. Being beer-illiterate, I let the server decide which six beers to fill my flight with, based on the few brews I do like. From there, I ordered a couple of “shareables”: Fatty’s Final beer cheese dip, a cheese and charcuterie board, and the Summer Parade salad. I’m a sucker for cured meats and was actually excited to hear about the pairings when the charcuterie board arrived.
Unfortunately, the acoustics drowned out any explanations and I had to refer to the accompanying cheat sheet. A few drinks into my flight, though, and I was gobbling down pretzel bites, dripping with hot cheese dip, not caring what beer best brought out the smoked bacon goodness.

The appeal of Ale Mary’s is its unpretentious vibe. If you are a beer aficionado, you can take your time discussing the food and drink with attentive and knowledgeable staff. If not, you can slowly snack and get buzzed, without being judged.

Ale Mary’s is located at 316 S. Main in downtown Royal Oak.


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