A Tale of Two Jolly Pumpkins: Detroit vs. Traverse City

Jolly Pumpkin Detroit
The overall aesthetic of the Jolly Pumpkin Detroit holds true to its predecessors, but boasts a modern twist.

It is no secret that we’re longtime fans of Jolly Pumpkin and North Peak Brewing Company. We fully admit to squeeling like little fan girls when we heard back in 2012 that they may be opening in Royal Oak. Although that didn’t pan out, we were equally as excited when they officially announced the Midtown Detroit location.

Last week, our craft beer dreams came true when the newest Jolly Pumpkin opened at 441 W. Canfield in Detroit. We were curious to see how the Jolly Pumpkin concept would translate in this up-and-coming urban setting.

We were not disappointed.

The woodwork, finishes, and overall aesthetic of the Jolly Pumpkin Detroit holds true to its predecessors in Traverse City, Ann Arbor, and Dexter, but manages to shine in its own way with its open and airy feel, vast windows letting in natural light, and vibrant atmosphere.

For all of you fellow fans, we want to break down the differences between the original Traverse City brewpub and the newest kid on the block. While we love both places, we want to give you a quick glance at what makes each place unique.

Once you’ve been to both locations, weigh in on your favorite! Hit us up on Twitter and Instagram.

Location: Detroit, MI Traverse City, MI
Overall Feel: The Jolly Pumpkin in Detroit boasts an industrial cool, but keeps a healthy amount of wooden charm from its predecessors. It’s in a hip area surrounded by shops like Shinola and City Bird and is in walking distance of Traffic Jam & Snug, Avalon Bakery, Motor City Brewing Works, HopCat, and more. The Jolly Pumpkin in Traverse City is surrounded by the beauty of Old Mission Peninsula. Its rustic, cabin-like feel perfectly mimics the “Up North” vacation experience and is fit for a Pure Michigan commercial.
Menu: Focused on artisan pizzas. Sandwiches and salads are available, too. We enjoyed the Pork Pie pizza and look forward to trying more pies. Diverse menu that runs the gauntlet from perch to pizza, salad to steak, and everything in-between. We recommend the Crab Tots and Pulled Pork Nachos.
Taps: Jolly Pumpkin / North Peak / Grizzly Peak beer is really good and they have plenty of it. There are fewer taps than Detroit, but still a sufficient quantity of glorious beer to go around.
Service: The servers and bartenders are personable and well-versed in their craft. Our bartender, Mike, explained that all employees went to the Dexter facility to learn about Jolly Pumpkin beer. The “bartender-who-waited-on-us-27-times-but-we-can’t-remember-his-name-because-beer” does an awesome job; we love seeing him every time we visit.
Unique Features: The Detroit location is primed for people watching. Being so centrally located to other establishments in Midtown is a definite plus. Detroit’s on the up-and-up, so it’s great to see the surrounding area thrive. It’s on the beautiful West Grand Traverse Bay, need we say more? The tasting room is an added bonus, allowing you to sample beer, wine and spirits, all in one flight.
Verdict: Jolly! Lots of taps, delectable artisan pizzas, and it’s close to home. Jolly-er! What can we say? This place will always have a special place in our hearts for being the O.G. Jolly Pumpkin brewpub.
Jolly Pumpkin Traverse City Michigan
The view from the tasting patio at the Jolly Pumpkin in Traverse City speaks for itself.


Leave a Reply