Over the course of the past decade, the craft beer scene has exploded throughout Michigan and across the country. While it seems like every West Michigan town has its own collection of micro-breweries with their own loyal followers, Grand Rapids has always been considered a beer town — in fact, it is known to many as Beer City USA.
With dozens of Grand Rapids breweries to choose from, it can be difficult for craft beer drinkers to pick just one. These are the best Grand Rapids breweries to visit:
25 Ionia Ave., Grand Rapids, MI 49503
During the height of the Great Recession, an innovative beer bar concept was formed right in the heart of Grand Rapids. Today, HopCat is a Midwest brand that is known for its multi-tap experience, but in 2008, the Grand Rapid’s Downtown HopCat location was a burgeoning small business.
Now, visitors are able to head to the original location in order to get a feel for the concept of the beer bar, and to say that they have been to the place where it all started.
925 Cherry St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Located in a historic building that was once a chapel, Brewery Vivant brings European flavor and style to the Midwest town of Grand Rapids. This brewery specializes in Belgian and French-style ales, and strives to create a welcoming atmosphere in which guests can enjoy the good life together.
Not only do they serve flavorful brews that are distinctly different from many of the other breweries in the area, but this brewery also boasts a from-scratch food menu.
20 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Operating with the motto “A Renaissance is Brewing,” B.O.B.’s Brewery crafts some of the most eclectic and diverse beers in Grand Rapids. Adventurous beer lovers who want to dabble in something different will love the small batch creations that the brewmaster makes at this brewery.
They fully admit that you may not like all of their beers — but you are sure to love at least a few of them a lot.
Thornapple Brewing Company
6262 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Thornapple Brewing Company was founded in 2017, making it a relative newcomer to the Grand Rapids beer scene. However, the brewers at this company are far from new to the industry. Between the two of them, they have more than 50 years of experience handcrafting small batches of delicious beer.
Best described as a small, neighborhood brewery, Thornapple Brewing Company is an up-and-coming place that is quickly making its mark on the west side of the state.
235 Cesar E. Chavez Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
In many respects, Founders Brewing Company is the brewery that put Grand Rapids on the map as being a beer destination. Today, Founders can hardly be described as a micro-brewery — and many of the most devoted fans of craft beer no longer consider it a part of the scene — however, it’s still a noteworthy place to visit if you love great beer.
Its infamous All Day IPA is considered one of the most drinkable beers in Michigan, and for many, it’s a summer staple.
Arvon Brewing Company
1006 Division Ave S, Grand Rapids, MI 49507
First located in Grandville, Arvon Brewing Company opted to relocate to the beer capital of Michigan in 2020. It has quickly gained notoriety as one of the best places to go in the city if you love sours and fruit-based beers.
In addition to having a taproom in the heart of Grand Rapids, this brewery also offers delivery services throughout the state of Michigan, and some of its beers are sold in specialty stores as well.
Speciation Artisan Ales
928 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Founded in 2016, Speciation Artisan Ales takes a completely different approach to brewing than most Grand Rapids breweries. All of the beers, ciders, and wines at this brewery are created with natural yeast and bacteria as well as locally-grown ingredients.
The brewers see themselves more as guides rather than artists creating a new beverage. The end result is a distinct product that is only available for a limited time in small batches, giving the company an exclusive appeal.
Greyline Brewing Company
1727 Alpine Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
While many craft breweries start out small with the intention of growing into a world-dominating business, Greyline Brewing Company makes no such promises. In fact, it’s sticking with a tried-and-true simple message of creating great beers and being honest with its customers.
With a focus on small-batch brews and delicious food, this neighborhood brewery is quickly becoming a fan favorite in Grand Rapids.
Sacred Springs Micro Tap Room
1059 Wealthy St SE STE B, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Sacred Springs Micro Tap Room is unlike any other brewery in Grand Rapids. This microbrewery specializes in mead, meaducha, and kombucha, all of which are brewed alongside the sound and intention of the dedicated brewmasters. In addition, it also has non-alcoholic kombucha on tap.
City Built Brewing Company
820 Monroe Ave NW #155, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
While travelers from far and wide come to Grand Rapids to sample its many beers, City Built Brewing Company is considered to be a local favorite. This brewery is known for its fresh and bold brews that are a bit eclectic, but still remarkably drinkable.
Its neighborhood taproom is designed to be a comfortable place for conversation where patrons also can indulge in flavorful Puerto Rican food.
1551 Lake Dr SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Harmony Brewing Company is now considered to be a Grand Rapids staple, particularly since it boasts two locations — the original Harmony Eastown and the more recent addition, Harmony Hall.
It was founded by three siblings who decided to make their dreams come true during a recession, and now, it is known for its refreshing beers and its world-famous homemade pizza.
The Mitten Brewing Company
527 Leonard St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
In an attempt to set itself apart from the rest of the breweries in Grand Rapids, The Mitten Brewing Company was created with a vintage baseball theme in mind. Today, its Peanuts and Cracker Jack beer is one of its most iconic selections, largely because it is created from real roasted peanuts.
1504 Plainfield Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
Now owned and operated by Saugatuck Brewing Company — another famed Michigan craft beer company — Creston Brewery is still a hometown favorite in Grand Rapids.
In addition to serving up some of the Saugatuck Brewing Company’s most famous beers, the brewery still has plenty of its original brews on tap for loyal fans to enjoy.
Atwater Brewery in GR
201 Michigan St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
While Atwater Brewery originated in Detroit, it has recently expanded to include many locations, the most recent of which is located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids.
The sleek and sophisticated taproom on Michigan Street is famous for its elongated bar, where dozens of patrons can grab a seat and enjoy a drink in the company of friends, family members, or coworkers.
Jolly Pumpkin Pizzeria and Brewery
428 Bridge St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Across Michigan, the Jolly Pumpkin has become a household name. With locations in Detroit, Traverse City, and even Chicago, it has clearly earned a regional reputation for excellence.
Fortunately, local residents and visitors in Grand Rapids can enjoy their refreshing beers and crisp, flavorful pizzas.
417 Bridge St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
New Holland Brewing has several locations on the west side of Michigan, and the Grand Rapids location is known to all as The Knickerbocker. Situated on the historic west side of the city, New Holland Brewing’s The Knickerbocker features a full food menu as well as a selection of craft beer, wine, and cocktails.
East West Brewing Company
1400 Lake Dr SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Located in the Eastown neighborhood, East West Brewing Company is one of the lesser-known breweries in Grand Rapids, which makes it a hidden gem of sorts.
All of its beers are crafted from high-quality ingredients, and each batch is brewed in the small-batch, artisanal style. In addition, it has a menu of food that includes items made from locally-sourced ingredients.
Grand Rapids Brewing Company
1 Ionia Ave SW Ste 100, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
At the end of the 19th century, six local breweries joined together to become the Grand Rapids Brewing Company. The company thrived until the Prohibition Era was ushered in, and it could not survive the ban on alcohol. However, in 2012, Grand Rapids Brewing Company was revived.
Today, it is one of the most popular downtown breweries, serving up beer made from the original 1893 recipes.
Schmohz Brewing Company
2600 Patterson Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Schmohz Brewing Company is considered to be one of the oldest continuously-operating breweries in Grand Rapids. It has a loyal following of patrons who enjoy checking out what is on tap, as well as playing cards, arcade games, ping pong, and pool. It is a lively and relaxed space where people can hang out together and enjoy great beer.
Brass Ring Brewing
2404 Eastern Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507
Brass Ring Brewing in Grand Rapids is a pub-style brewery known for both its English pub ales and comfort food prepared from scratch. It focuses on small-batch traditional pub ales, porters, and stouts, and its menu is full of freshly prepared, locally-sourced entrees.
In addition to its neighborly atmosphere, it gives back to its local community by donating one meal to children in need for every Neighborly IPA it sells.
More to Explore in Grand Rapids Michigan
Not only is Grand Rapids known as Michigan’s beer capital, but it’s famous around the country for its well-established and continually growing craft beer scene. In fact, there are many visitors who travel to Grand Rapids for the primary reason of experiencing its plethora of micro-breweries and the annual Grand Rapids Winter Beer Festival.
Of course, imbibing in a flavorful craft brew isn’t the only thing there is to do in Grand Rapids. With its commitment to arts and culture and its abundance of natural beauty, travelers will find that it’s easy to fill up their Grand Rapids vacation itinerary with the best Grand Rapids museum, local restaurants, and so many more things to do in Grand Rapids!