Never Too Much Beer In Marquette

Never Too Much Beer In Marquette

While I wouldn’t consider myself a craft brewery connoisseur, I certainly do enjoy a nice microbrew. As I researched restaurants and places to visit in Marquette for my #MittenTrip, Ore Dock Brewery and Blackrocks Brewery were two that kept popping up. After taking in the simultaneously massive and hauntingly eerie remains of the Lower Harbor Ore Docks, we naturally migrated over to Ore Dock Brewery.

Ore Dock Brewing Company - #MittenTrip - Marquette - The Awesome Mitten
Ore Dock Brewing Company. Photo by John Kalmar.

Founded in 2012, Ore Dock Brewery is housed in a converted auto garage and offers a variety of Belgian and American-style beers. The Belgian Wit I sampled was truly one of the best beers I’ve ever enjoyed. Not to sound like a beer snob, but I’ve had a number of authentic Bavarian and Belgian beers in Europe, and this one ranks right up there all of those. My travel companions were equally impressed with the 007 Golden Rye as well as The Buzz Honey DIPA.

In my mind, what really sets apart a good brewery from a great brewery is the availability and execution of an outdoor patio. Ten more points for Ore Dock Brewery! The front of the building is a garage door that was rolled up for the nice July weather, connecting the patio with the interior bar and seating areas. In addition to a standard bar, there are a number of chairs, tables and benches, as well as an impressive collection of board games to keep the brewery patrons entertained. It’s a shame that Marquette has a number of great breweries that we had planned to try—I wouldn’t have minded a return trip (or two, or three) to Ore Dock Brewery to enjoy a pint of the Belgian Wit again.

Blackrocks Brewery - #MittenTrip Marquette - The Awesome Mitten
Blackrocks Brewery. Photo by John Kalmar.

Up next on the list of to-do micro breweries was Blackrocks Brewery, just a quick three block walk from the Landmark Inn. Returning from cliff jumping at the Black Rocks worked up our beer appetites for Blackrocks Brewery. We had actually tried to grab some brews there on Friday night, but arrived at 11:05, five minutes after closing time. When we did approach the building at night, it looked and sounded more like a college party house than a brewery. That alone prompted us to carve out extra time for a redux on Saturday afternoon.

Blackrocks Brewery - #MittenTrip - Marquette - The Awesome Mitten
John Kalmar at Blackrocks Brewery (wearing a High Five Threads shirt). Photo by Kale Davidoff.

I sampled the Honey Lav and the Grand Rabbits, while my pals went for the C3PA and King Korn. The temperatures on Saturday were in the upper 80s, but that didn’t deter us from staking out a nice location on the outdoor patio to sip our drinks. A number of picnic tables and benches lined the fenced in front yard of the brewery, while neighboring trees offered a brief break from the hot July sun. Outdoor yard games added another dimension to the college-like atmosphere of the brewery and kept the patrons entertained.

We returned inside for another beer and decided to check out the neat (and air conditioned) upstairs. The upstairs was lofted and created an atrium-like feel with tabletops and stools surrounding the edge of the railings. Like Ore Dock Brewery, Blackrocks also offered an impressive array of boardgames for the beer and game loving patrons.

While the Belgium Wit at Ore Dock Brewery will forever be ingrained in my tastebuds, it’s highly recommend trying out both breweries. You can never have too much beer, right?

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Born in Detroit, raised in Grand Rapids and schooled in East Lansing, I'm a Michigander, through and through. After receiving my B.A. in journalism with a specialization in graphic design from Michigan State University in 2011, I ventured outside the comfy confines of the Mitten to take a newspaper job in Louisville, Kentucky. After a bourbon and KFC fueled year in the fake south, the pull of the Great Lakes was too strong to keep me away, and I soon returned home. While West Michigan will always be home, I'm enjoying my second stint as a metro Detroiter. Despite being more than a little rough around the edges, I'm continually drawn to and amazed by the city of Detroit. The art, architecture and history of this city is almost unlike any other place in the world. Detroit City really is the place to be.