COMSTOCK PARK, MI — If you’ve got a hankering for a great cocktail and some classic Dutch fare, Bier Distillery in Comstock Park has you covered on both fronts.
Owners Joel and Sara Bierling opened Bier Distillery in 2016 and added its Dutch food lineup in 2020.
The menu honors Joel Bierling’s father, who was born in the Netherlands. Dutch classics like split pea soup and cod are sprinkled in among more over-the-top choices.
“Growing up, I pretty much ate all this type of food,” Bierling told MLive/The Grand Rapids Press. “(My dad) was born in the Netherlands and the whole family immigrated in 1950.”
The menu even includes such items as the apple pie burger and the Dutch Boy burger.
Bierling describes the atmosphere of the distillery and restaurant as cozy and warm, with furniture made from barrels and a variety of seating options. The main level of the restaurant has a bar and an upper-level mezzanine overlooks the main level. There is also a back and front patio, both of which are open for the season.
For appetizers, try the Bitterballen, which are breaded and fried balls filled with beef pot roast and served with whole grain mustard for $12. Or try the Kibbeling, cod marinated in beer, egg and mustard, then coated in rice flower, fried and served with a house-made tartar sauce for $15.
“One of the more popular ones is Bitterballen,” Bierling said of the Dutch menu choices. “It’s a ball that’s got some meat and vegetables in it. It’s a very common food in the Netherlands, it’s often a street food.”
Bier Distillery’s menu offers a wide range of burgers, including the Dutch Boy burger. The hefty steak burger is topped with Gouda cheese, sauteed mushrooms, olives and a whiskey cream sauce for $13.
If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, try the apple pie burger. The burger is served on a brioche bun with bacon, Gouda cheese, battered and fried Granny Smith apple slices and covered with an apple cider barbecue sauce for $16.
“The burgers, our Dutch Boy burger is my favorite of the bunch,” Bierling said. “That’s what I steer people to.”
A classic Dutch favorite on the menu is the Uitsmijter, which is an open-faced sandwich on toasted sourdough bread made with grainy mustard, ham, Gouda cheese, tomato and an over-easy fried egg for $15.
Of course, if you leave room for dessert, try the Stroopwafel ice cream, topped with chunks of the beloved Dutch caramel waffle cookies, drizzled with caramel sauce and topped with a mini Stroopwafel for $7.50.
Bier Distillery started off, of course, as a distillery and maintains a large cocktail menu. One of the most popular cocktails is the Henry Jackpot, made with Sole Cry rye barrel reserve whiskey, Henry’s absent absinthe verte, lemon and house grenadine for $12. If you’re looking for a summer cocktail, try the Heartbreak Lemonade, made with vodka or gin, lemon, cranberry, ginger syrup and ginger soda for $10.
“We took some of our favorites we’ve had in the past and developed a completely original cocktail menu off that,” Bierling said. “Another popular one is the ButterBier. That has rum in it and it’s extremely popular.”
Bier Distillery is located at 5295 West River Drive NE in Comstock Park. The restaurant is open 3-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 3-11 p.m. Friday, noon-11 p.m. Saturday and noon-7 p.m. Sunday. A full menu is available online at bierdistillery.com and the restaurant can be reached at 616-888-9746.
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