I’m a “list guy” always have been. Putting this particular list together was not an easy chore. Beer is the reason I travel the state, but sometimes the destination and what it takes to get there and do there is just as good! Most of these breweries offer more than just bellying up to the bar for a pint.
Nothing makes this guy happier than being behind the wheel on Michigan’s open roads. Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall (not James Taylor) most of these breweries or the surrounding areas offer you “options” to enjoy in conjunction with their beers.
1) Pond Hill Farm Brewery - 5699 S Lake Shore Dr, Harbor Springs, MI 49740, This is the answer to the most commonly asked question I get “Which brewery is your favorite?” Being as active as I try to be, I love when I have “options” along with great Michigan brewed beer. Located on nearly 200 acres, Pond Hill Farm opens most of their property for you to play on during your stop. Bike, hike, ski, snowshoe, petting zoo, hayrides, larger than life slingshots….. Far too many things to list.
2) Brickside Brewery - 64 Gratiot St, Copper Harbor, MI 49918, Vacationed as a child, lived in my later teens, and now visit multiple times each year. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan offers all the activities I love. Including drinking beer. Brickside Brewery & Copper Harbor offer two of my favorite. Killer mountain biking and some of the most scenic kayaking. If you’ve never made the drive up the peninsula I feel sorry for you. My words here cannot begin to describe the beauty in this part of Michigan!
3) Dark Horse Brewing Co. - 511 S Kalamazoo Ave, Marshall, MI 49068, This stop on the list doesn’t offer the sweat producing actives that I enjoy with my beers. At Dark Horse it’s all about getting there and just enjoying the destination. For over 20 years it’s been a must stop for any Michigan craft beer lover! They have one of the if not the best beer gardens in the state!
4) Hop Lot Brewing Co. - 658 S W Bay Shore Dr, Suttons Bay, MI 49682, From Traverse City you can head north on M-22 for the 16 mile drive looking out over West Bay. If it were me, I’d park somewhere in Traverse near the TART Trails and make the easy pedal up to Hop Lot. I promise you it’ll make those beers and tacos taste even more amazing than they already are! Just like Dark Horse, Hop Lot has the ultimate beer garden. Open year round, with warm fires and igloos in the colder months, fresh hops and barbecue to smell during Michigan summers. What? 32 miles is just too much for you. Especially after a few brews? That’s fine… there is the option of Bike there Bus back!
5) Greenbush Brewing Co. - 5885 Sawyer Rd, Sawyer, MI 49125, I’d never been to Sawyer, before my trip to Greenbush. The small downtown area seems to revolve around the brewery. The Taproom, The Annex, Clean Plate Club, and Greenbush Food Hub all are within a stones throw of each other. That’s the kinda world I wanna live it. Beer taking over downtown areas. Heaven??? I think so!
6) Tahquamenon Falls Brewery - 24019 Upper Falls Drive Falls Drive, Paradise, MI 49768, This one is pretty self explanatory right? You take the Upper Peninsula, the falls, hiking trails, kayaking, and beer! Damn, this may be heaven too!?!?
7) Founders Brewing Co. (G.R.) - 235 Grandville Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, I mean it’s fucking Founders. Do I really have to say much more?!? I’m not biking or hiking here, although you can. This is urban drinking at it’s best. Not exactly the same as it was 12 or 15 years ago when I was throwing my peanut shells on the ground. They’ve grown exponentially since my first few visits. Even with all the changes to Founders over the years they still have have some of Michigan’s best beer, and I never go without ordering the Devil Dancer sandwich. Which I do highly recommend if you like a little bit of heat with your food.
8) Short’s Brewing Co. - 121 N Bridge St, Bellaire, MI 49615, One of Northern Michigan’s best stops for beer. The Bellaire area is far underrated for outdoor activities. Perhaps you’ve been on the slopes of Shanty Creek, maybe spent all day on Torch Lake soaking up the sun, or just finished shredding the single tracks at Glacier Hills. Finishing any of those activities always calls for a cold beer. Not many better places than Short’s Brewing to do all of the above.
9) Brew Detroit - 1401 Abbott St, Detroit, MI 48216, No way my top 10 list can be made without Detroit being part of it. If I’m looking for more than just great beer and want to add a little fun, Brew Detroit is the Motor City stop. It has two floors filled with pinball and arcade games, a 22’ Shuffleboard, bristle style dart boards, plenty of large flat-screens to watch your favorite teams on, pool tables on the second floor, foosball, and my personal favorite… indoor Bocce Ball. They also offer the best brewery tour in town. Fun for everyone whether it’s your only stop of the day or part of your Detroit brew tour! You’re in Detroit, fun finds you!
10) Whiskey Point Brewing Co. - 38230 Michigan Ave, Beaver Island, MI 49782, Not open yet….. but look for Whiskey Point to open their doors in 2019. Instantly it’ll become Michigan’s most remote brewery. Beers only accessible by boat or plane (unless you live on the island of course). Now that’s a DESTINATION!