Best Breweries in Michigan: An Ultimate Guide

Michigan, the Great Lakes State, has become a paradise for craft beer enthusiasts! With over 350 breweries and a diverse range of beer styles, Michigan has something for everyone.

From the bustling craft beer scene in Grand Rapids to the unique breweries in small towns, there’s no shortage of amazing drinking experiences to be had. So, grab a pint and join us on a journey through the best breweries in Michigan. Cheers!

Key Takeaways

  • Explore Michigan’s craft beer scene with over 350 breweries and popular styles like IPAs, stouts, sours & farmhouse ales.
  • Visit “Beer City USA” Grand Rapids for Founders Brewing Co. or Traverse City for Right Brain Brewery & Earthen Ales.
  • Indulge in unique experiences like food pairings at brewpubs or seasonal/limited edition beers from barrel aged creations!

Michigan’s Craft Beer Scene

With over 350 breweries throughout the state, Michigan’s craft beer scene is booming. The diverse range of handcrafted beer styles, such as IPAs, stouts, sours, and farmhouse ales, cater to every beer lover’s taste buds.

Some of the popular breweries in Michigan include Frankenmuth Brewery, Founders Brewing Company, Brewery Vivant, Right Brain Brewery, and Bell’s Brewery, all known for their great beer.

Prepare yourself, beer fans, as we delve into the world of Michigan breweries!

The Rise of Craft Breweries in Michigan

Michigan’s craft beer scene has seen tremendous growth, all thanks to the innovation, enthusiasm, and dedication to delicious beer. Some notable breweries in Michigan include:

  • Frankenmuth Brewery, founded in 1862, was the first craft brewery in the state.
  • Kuhnhenn Brewing Company, known for its award-winning beers.
  • Dark Horse Brewing Company, also recognized for its award-winning brews.

Michigan has been dubbed “Beer City USA” due to its thriving craft beer scene and passionate brewers.

These breweries, along with many others, continue to push the boundaries of what craft beer can be, making Michigan’s beer scene a must-visit for any enthusiast.

Michigan is home to a wide variety of popular beer styles, including:

  • IPAs, known for their hoppy flavor and high alcohol content
  • Stouts, such as Founders Brewing Company’s Kentucky Bourbon Stout and Saugatuck Brewing Company’s Imperial Neapolitan Milk Stout Bourbon Barrel-Aged
  • Sours
  • Farmhouse ales

Breweries like Wax Wings Brewing Company offer a great selection of IPAs.

For fans of sours and farmhouse ales, these beers offer tart and sour flavors from being fermented with wild yeast and bacteria, or rustic and earthy flavors from being brewed with traditional ingredients and techniques. No matter your preferences, there’s a beer style in Michigan to suit every palate.

Top Breweries in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids, affectionately known as “Beer City,” is home to some of the finest breweries in Michigan. With a vibrant craft beer scene, visitors can enjoy a wide range of brews at top-rated establishments like:

  • Brewery Vivant
  • Harmony Brewing Company
  • The Mitten Brewing Company
  • Speciation Artisan Ales

Whether you’re a fan of hoppy IPAs or smooth stouts, Grand Rapids has a grand rapids brewery to suit your tastes.

Without further ado, explore some of the top breweries in this beer lover’s haven!

Founders Brewing Company

Founders Brewing Company , located in Grand Rapids, is one of Michigan’s largest and most popular breweries. Known for their quality beer and food, Founders offers a diverse range of brews, including:

  • All Day IPA
  • Solid Gold Lager
  • Breakfast Stout
  • Backwoods Bastard (barrel-aged)

Their Belgian beers, including handcrafted beers, are known for their robust and complex flavors, making them a must-try for beer enthusiasts.

With an inviting atmosphere and a dedication to crafting exceptional beer, Founders Brewing Company is a must-visit destination for any craft beer enthusiast.

Brewery Vivant

Brewery Vivant, located in Grand Rapids, is the world’s first LEED certified microbrewery. It is housed in a refurbished historic funeral home with lofty cathedral ceilings and stained-glass windows. This unique brewery is not only a pioneer in green brewing but also offers a range of Belgian-inspired beers, such as:

  • Farm Hand
  • Tart Tangerine
  • Grand Lager
  • Rapid IPA

With a commitment to sustainability and a cozy atmosphere, Brewery Vivant is the perfect spot to enjoy a delicious beer in a truly one-of-a-kind setting.

Traverse City’s Finest Breweries

Traverse City, a popular destination for craft beer enthusiasts, is home to some of the finest breweries in Michigan. Here are some top-rated breweries in Traverse City:

  • Right Brain Brewery
  • Brewery Terra Firma
  • Monkey Fist Brewing Co
  • CraftHouse TC
  • Silver Spruce Brewing Company

There’s no shortage of great beer to enjoy in this picturesque city.

Let’s examine two of Traverse City’s finest breweries and their offerings.

Right Brain Brewery

Right Brain Brewery, located in Traverse City, is known for its innovative and unique beer blends that challenge the norm. With a laidback atmosphere and a variety of creative beers, it’s the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy a truly unique brew.

Some of their popular beer offerings include:

  • Juniper Rye
  • A2 IPA
  • Ale of the Earth
  • Sweetbrier Wheat
  • Lime Wit

For those looking to try something different, Right Brain Brewery is a must-visit in Traverse City.

Earthen Ales

Earthen Ales, another fantastic brewery in Traverse City, offers well-balanced brews in a cozy setting where customers can bring their own food to pair with their drinks.

With a focus on quality ingredients and a welcoming atmosphere, Earthen Ales is a great place to sample unique brews such as:

  • Juniper Rye
  • A2 IPA
  • Ale of the Earth
  • Sweetbrier Wheat
  • Lime Wit

Whether you’re a long-time beer enthusiast or new to the craft beer scene, Earthen Ales is sure to delight your taste buds.

Coastal Michigan Breweries

Michigan’s beautiful coastline is home to some of the best breweries in the state, offering stunning views and delicious brews. From the picturesque shores of Lake Michigan to the charming coastal towns with lighthouses, there’s no shortage of amazing drinking experiences to be had.

Join us as we venture to discover two of the best coastal Michigan breweries.

Bell’s Brewery, Kalamazoo

Bell’s Brewery, located in Kalamazoo, is Michigan’s oldest and award-winning brewery, known for its seasonal releases and lively atmosphere. With a wide range of beer styles, including:

Bell’s Brewery has something for everyone.

Their Eccentric Café offers an extensive menu, a spacious beer garden, and live music and entertainment. If you’re looking for a brewery with a rich history and a commitment to quality, look no further than Bell’s Brewery.

Three Blondes Brewing, South Haven

Three Blondes Brewing, located in South Haven, is a sister-owned brewery that focuses on community, local pride, and hand-crafted beers. With a range of unique flavors like their sugar-infused Imperial IPA, Three Blondes Brewing offers a memorable drinking experience in a charming coastal town.

Whether you’re a craft beer aficionado or just looking for a relaxing spot to enjoy a cold brew, Three Blondes Brewing is a must-visit destination along Michigan’s coastline.

Unique and Innovative Breweries

Michigan is home to some unique and innovative michigan brewery establishments that are pushing the boundaries of what craft beer can be. From quirky beer names and unusual flavors to sustainable brewing practices and historic locations, these breweries offer a one-of-a-kind experience for beer lovers.

Let’s scrutinize two of Michigan’s most unique and innovative breweries.

Odd Side Ales, Grand Haven

Odd Side Ales, located in Grand Haven, is known for its quirky beer names and unique flavors. With a spacious outdoor patio and a wide variety of beers to choose from, Odd Side Ales is a great spot to relax and enjoy a truly unique brew.

Some of their popular offerings include:

  • Bean Flicker Variant with different kinds of coffee
  • Black Cherry Hard Seltzer
  • Black Raspberry Hard Seltzer
  • Blackberry Hard Seltzer

If you’re looking for a brewery that stands out from the crowd, Odd Side Ales is the place to be.

Speciation Artisan Ales & Native Species Winery, Grand Rapids

Speciation Artisan Ales & Native Species Winery, located in Grand Rapids, offers a unique experience for beer lovers with their fall-inspired, complex, and odd style craft beers. Founded by Mitch Ermatinger, this innovative brewery and winery focuses on sour, wild, and spontaneously fermented beer and wine.

With a dedication to using local ingredients and a passion for crafting truly unique beverages, Speciation Artisan Ales & Native Species Winery is a must-visit destination for those seeking to try something different.

Exceptional Breweries in Small Towns

While the bustling cities of Michigan are home to some fantastic breweries, the small towns of the state also offer exceptional breweries with cozy atmospheres and quality brews.

Let’s uncover two of the best breweries in Michigan’s small towns, providing unique beer experiences for both travelers and locals.

Keweenaw Brewing Company, Houghton

Keweenaw Brewing Company, located in Houghton, is the largest brewery in the Upper Peninsula, offering scenic views and a wide range of beers. With popular offerings like Hefe Royale, Early Autumn Ale, and Wequetong Cherry Wheat, Keweenaw Brewing Company is a must-visit destination for craft beer lovers.

If you’re looking for a brewery with a stunning location and an extensive beer selection, look no further than Keweenaw Brewing Company.

Seedz Brewery, Union Pier

Seedz Brewery, located in Union Pier, offers German, Belgian, and Nordic-inspired beers in a new addition to Michigan’s craft brewery scene.

With unique brews like Shark Pils, a German Pilsner, and Sunny Kolsch, a Kölsch, Seedz Brewery provides a memorable beer experience in a charming small town. Whether you’re a long-time beer enthusiast or new to the craft beer scene, Seedz Brewery is sure to delight your taste buds.

Pairing Food with Beer

The art of pairing food with beer is all about selecting beers that complement or contrast with the flavors, aromas, and textures of the food. Different beer styles have unique characteristics that can enhance the overall dining experience.

This section explores the art of pairing food with beer, ranging from brewpub dining to food trucks and events.

Brewpub Dining

Brewpub dining combines a brewery and a pub or restaurant into one spot, allowing patrons to enjoy fresh beer and delicious food pairings in a relaxed atmosphere.

Some of the best brewpubs in Michigan offer an extensive menu of dishes specifically designed to complement their craft beers, such as:

  • Bell’s Comstock Brewery,
  • New Holland Brewing Company
  • Mackinaw Trail Winery & Brewery

If you’re looking for a unique dining experience that pairs perfectly with your favorite brew, brewpub dining is the way to go.

Food Trucks and Events

Food trucks and events at Michigan breweries offer unique culinary experiences and beer pairings in a fun and casual atmosphere. Popular food trucks like:

  • Burger Bus
  • Dia de los Tacos
  • Disco Dogs
  • Fish Express

They often partner with breweries to provide a range of delicious dishes that bring out the flavors and textures of the craft beers.

Food truck events, such as the Kentwood Food Truck Festival and Gabriel Richard Riverview Food Truck Rally, add even more excitement to the craft beer scene in Michigan.

With the growing trend of food trucks and events at Michigan breweries, there’s no shortage of unique and delicious beer and food pairings to discover.

Seasonal and Limited Edition Beers

Seasonal and limited edition beers are special brews that are only available for a short time, typically during specific seasons or events. These unique beers often feature flavors and ingredients that capture the essence of the season, making them a sought-after treat for craft beer enthusiasts.

Let’s examine some of the best seasonal and limited edition beers in Michigan in more detail.

Fall-Inspired Brews

Fall-inspired beers in Michigan capture the essence of autumn with flavors like pumpkin, spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Breweries across the state create unique fall brews, such as pumpkin beers, brown ales, Oktoberfest beers, and even cinnamon donut stouts, to celebrate the season.

These delicious and comforting brews are the perfect way to enjoy the crisp fall air and changing leaves in Michigan.

Barrel-Aged Creations

Barrel-aged beers have become a popular trend in Michigan’s craft beer scene, offering rich and complex flavors that come from aging the beer in wooden barrels, usually oak. This slow process allows oxygen to seep through the wood, adding different flavors to the beer.

One popular example of a barrel-aged creation is the Plead the 5th Bourbon Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout, with an ABV of 11% and a 41 IBU, offering a complex taste with malty hoppiness and hints of burnt biscuit and caramel molasses. For those seeking a unique and indulgent beer experience, barrel-aged creations are not to be missed.

Summary

From the bustling craft beer scene in Grand Rapids to the charming small towns and coastal breweries, Michigan’s thriving craft beer industry offers a diverse range of beer styles and experiences for enthusiasts to explore.

Whether you’re a fan of hoppy IPAs, smooth stouts, or unique and innovative brews, there’s a Michigan brewery waiting for you to discover. So, raise a glass and toast to the Great Lakes State, where every pint tells a story.

Frequently Asked Questions

Michigan is renowned for its variety of beer styles, however IPAs are the clear favorite – making up roughly 41% of all craft beers brewed in the state.

How many breweries are there in Michigan?

With over 350 breweries, Michigan is a great place to find your favorite craft beer.

What are some of the best breweries in Grand Rapids?

For craft beer connoisseurs, Brewery Vivant, Harmony Brewing Company, The Mitten Brewing Company, and Speciation Artisan Ales are a must-visit in Grand Rapids.

What unique flavors can you find at Odd Side Ales in Grand Haven?

Treat your taste buds to unique flavors like Bean Flicker Variant with coffee, Black Cherry Hard Seltzer, Black Raspberry Hard Seltzer, and Blackberry Hard Seltzer at Odd Side Ales in Grand Haven.

What are some fall-inspired beers in Michigan?

Treat yourself this fall with Michigan’s amazing selection of beers like pumpkin beers, brown ales, Oktoberfest beers, and even cinnamon donut stouts!