658 South West Bay Shore Drive, Suttons Bay, MI 49682 (231) 886-4445
My very first visit was September 3rd, 2015. I can say without question Hop Lot has my favorite atmosphere out of any Michigan brewery. You give me give me beer, amazing food, fires burning, and the northern Michigan great outdoors.... HEAVEN! Roy and I were lucky enough to find out about Hop Lot while participating in Floatilla right across M-22. The event was underwhelming to say the least. We over heard a mother and daughter say the word BEER, and I immediately ask WHERE?!?! "Across the street" she says. That was that. We paddled hard back to shore, loaded up the gear, and in less than a 1/4 mile we found our happy place.
First thing I noticed was the large wooden brewery and hops growing right next to it. My first time seeing a brewery growing their own hops on site. You park and walk into Michigan's most epic biergarten. Picnic table upon picnic table. Benches surrounding multiple fire pits. A small stage in the corner for a band, and even a few sets of corn hole. Get this, they even had a lane for Fowling set up. (That has since disappeared)
I'll start with the food. Tacos! Tacos! Tacos! They have sooooo much more, but that's my go to each time. Pork, Grilled Chicken, Baracoa, and Veggie. Each better than the last. I've never gone there and not had at least three. Now I've tried a few other items off their menu. Chips with house made Guacamole and Salsa, Tomato Bisque Soup, and the Cherry Chicken Wrap. All of them are amazing. You can't come here and not try their food. EPIC!
Time to drink. It's what I excel at. Since my first visit I've been back at least 10 times. Was lucky enough to live in Traverse City for 6 month in 2016. I've had the Wakka-Zacca, Trail Ryeder, Rough Swan, Uncle Green Guy, BBA Double Milk Stout, The Norseman, The Politician, Woad Warrior, Red over Red, and a few more that are escaping me. My favorite brew of theirs though is the Leelanau Exchange BBA Vanilla Imperial Stout (4.0). This brew is right up my alley. It's a thick, smooth, dark 10.4% stout. Heavy on the vanilla without being overly boozy. You won't find it too often on tap, but you truly can't go wrong with any of there beers. They also have ciders for the non beer lover.
I can't say enough about my love for Hop Lot. Don't let the weather sway you either. My mom and I went on a Saturday during a torrential down pour this past summer and there were plenty of seats both inside and under the awning. You say it's winter in Suttons Bay, who drinks beer outside? This guy of course! They have their fires raging to keep those bones from getting chilled.
Side notes... If you're vacationing in TC and want to burn some calories pre-beer. The TART Trails will take you right to Hop Lot. A smooth, paved, easy pedal will lead you to a pot of gold. They also host weekly bingo games, and have plenty of live music on their calendar.
RATING, 4.5 Pints
It doesn't get much better than this folks.