What do you get when you have two owners of brewery/restaurant, and one is vegan? A ton of vegan options at an awesome place.
Grand Rapids went a little beer crazy a few years ago. Hauling in the title of Beer City USA, tons of new breweries popped across the City seemingly overnight. The brewery game is still strong here, but most of the breweries have been slow on the vegan uptake. That changed with the launch of The Mitten Brewing Company on the city's West side.
Friends since they were kids, Chris Andrus and Max Trierweiler took on an old firehouse at 527 Leonard. With the preservation of the firehouse complete (including saving the fireman's pole), it was then turned into their dream brewery and restaurant. Chris and Max are big baseball fans, specifically the Tigers, which is pretty obvious when you walk in. The TVs always have sports going, and the decor is baseball photos and pennants, but also stadium seats as you enter.
Few things make us happier than not having to parse through a menu to figure out what we can eat. So Mitten is a dream, since basically everything has a vegan version. Vegan cheese, vegan "meats." For first-timers, we recommend the pizza flight - a sampling of all six vegan pizzas for $27.99 (serves four, so they say).
We like the Pesto "Chicken" pizza. We also enjoy the Thai Cobb (see, baseball kind of a thing here), an asian inspired pie with a peanut sauce base, smothered in veggies including water chestnuts. The breadsticks are amazing, and they are vegan by default so you don't event have to ask. They also have an excellent gluten-free/vegan crust that everyone can enjoy (yes, everyone - it's that good).
If you're not in the mood for pizza, hit up the sandwiches. They offer the Impossible burger, one of the first in town to do so.
Working our way back to the start, there are several appetizers to choose from. Artichoke spinach dip, beer cheese, and a 12-inch soft pretzel served with three dipping sauces.
We have to talk about the beer since it is a brewery after all! The Mitten started out small, brewing at capacity churning out beers as fast as they could. Things have certainly changed since they opened in 2012. Not only are they brewing for their three (3!) locations - GR, Saugatuck and Northport, they are distributing cans. All the Mitten beer is legit, but not all are vegan so just double check with your server.