From iconic, nationally renowned beer destinations like Grand Rapids to tiny towns with a burgeoning brewery scene, Michigan has become known as one of the best places for craft beer in the country.
If you are the type of person who likes to sip a frothy IPA while enjoying the eclectic, welcoming atmosphere of a locally owned microbrewery, then these are the towns in Michigan that you need to visit. Here are the top eight towns in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula known for their craft breweries.
Located just steps from the mighty Thunder Bay, downtown Alpena Michigan is a hotbed of activity throughout the entire year. This town may be known to most as an outdoor adventurist’s dream come true, but it’s quickly earning a reputation as an up-and-coming beer city.
Austin Brothers Beer Co.
One of the most well-known breweries in Alpena is Austin Brothers Beer Co., a locally-owned brewery started by two California transplants who found themselves loving life in Michigan.
With rustic and industrial notes defining the atmosphere of the facility, this brewery serves artisanal brews and homemade bites. Try the Woody Wheat for a distinct beer that is easy to sip and savor.
Not far from Austin Brothers Beer Co., you will find another local brewery in Alpena — Hopside Brewery, which is the newest addition to the city’s beer scene. It offers 24 in-house selections, all of which are brewed, fermented, and packaged on-site. Grab a Thunder Bay IPA to enjoy the taste of Alpena.
Ann Arbor has long been known for its rich and vibrant craft beer scene, and while it has some well-established breweries that locals know and love, there are always newcomers who are adding something different to try.
Grizzly Peak Brewing Company
Many people will tell you that Ann Arbor first became a craft beer city when Grizzly Peak Brewing Company opened its doors downtown in 1995.
Today, it’s still a much-loved local watering hole, serving a hearty menu with small bites and sandwiches, as well as a variety of draft beers. Experience a commitment to flavor by trying a Trap Hills Michigan Cold IPA.
Another must-visit brewery in Ann Arbor is Townies Brewery, a casual and comfortable brewery that has become a neighborhood gathering space in recent years.
While the indoor dining area allows you to sit back and enjoy a conversation over a beer and a game of darts, it’s the outdoor beer garden that has become truly iconic.
Patio tables and spacious grassy areas allow you to feel right at home. In addition to beer, you will find homemade sangria and twisted tea on the menu.
Breweries have been decorating the Detroit landscape since the 19th century, and the city remains committed to its history of crafting amazing beer. Today, visitors and locals alike in the Motor City can select from a handful of microbreweries to enjoy.
Batch Brewing Company
Batch Brewing Company is a hidden gem in Corktown, but it’s quickly gaining prominence as one of the best breweries in Detroit.
With a menu that consists of sharable plates and hearty sandwiches, it’s the kind of place where you can grab a delicious meal with friends and savor a refreshing pint. For something totally different, try the Mangos of Madness sour brew.
Detroit Beer Company
In the heart of downtown Detroit — just a few steps from Comerica Park, the Fox Theatre, and the Detroit Opera House — you will find one of the most famous breweries in the city — Detroit Beer Company.
The dining area is defined by exposed brick walls and an industrial motif, and it practically embodies the resilience that the city has long been known for. The 313 Pils is a classic that you won’t want to miss.
It only seems natural that Michigan’s Little Bavaria would also be known as one of its best brewery towns. The heart and soul of the beer scene in Frankenmuth can be discovered at the Frankenmuth Brewery.
Situated at the edge of historic downtown Frankenmuth, this brewery has been crafting delicious and flavorful beer since 1862, making it one of the oldest breweries in the country. Today, it boasts a spacious facility that includes outdoor dining along the peaceful riverfront.
In addition to a full menu, you will find a variety of rotating beers on draft to enjoy. To complement the festive nature that was created by the infamous Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, try the spice-filled Christmas Town Ale, which is available seasonally.
Grand Rapids is known as the ultimate brewery town in Michigan, having earned the nickname Beer City USA thanks to the 70 breweries that call it home. With so many breweries to choose from, it would be difficult to choose just one or two to visit. These are some of the hottest breweries in Grand Rapids:
- Located inside a historic chapel that has been transformed into a brewery, you are sure to find heavenly beers at Brewery Vivant. Consider grabbing a pint of Farm Hand Farmhouse Ale.
- Known for its inclusive nature and its complex beers, City Built Brewing Co. is a must-visit on your Grand Rapids brewery tour. Experience its artful flavors with a Baby Pop Session IPA.
- For a taste of England in the heart of the Midwest, head to Brass Ring Brewing. The 8 Pound Hammer is the perfect example of an English Stout.
Whether you opt to enjoy a long-time local legend or you are trying one of the craft brewers who are new to the beer scene in Grand Rapids, you are sure to be satisfied with your adventure in Beer City USA.
It would be impossible not to mention Bell’s Brewery, which has become famous nationwide for its iconic summer beer — Oberon.
When you go to Kalamazoo, you can experience the eclectic nature of Bell’s at the Eccentric Cafe, which has a beer garden, patio dining, and a music venue, making it a true craft beer destination. We would be remiss not to recommend the smooth and refreshing Two Hearted Ale.
One Well Brewing
Bell’s may be the first name that you think of when you dream of Kalamazoo beer, but there are other breweries worth exploring too. One Well Brewing, for instance, is a spot the whole family will love.
With its arcade games and lively atmosphere, it’s a great place for a meal and a beer. For a fruit-forward experience, try the Whoppy Wheat IPA.
Bière de Mac Brew Works
Bière de Mac Brew Works may be a small brewhouse, but it has made a big impression on locals and tourists alike. Known for its niche as a French and Belgian brewery, this brewhouse aims to offer something that everyone will love.
If you happen to stop by on a summer evening, you will be able to enjoy a flight of beers in the beer garden, which is decorated with overhead lights and often hosts local musicians. Soak up all that is wonderful about Northern Michigan with a Bateau Brown Ale.
Another mainstay in the Mackinaw City beer scene is Rusted Spoke, a place where comfort reigns supreme and locals gather to fortify themselves for the long winter ahead.
It’s a favorite among those who are about to grab a ferry to Mackinac Island, and if you are looking to get into the spirit of being a Fudgie, you might want to try the Mackinac Magic Dark Ale.
St. Clair Shores
Given its proximity to the epicenter of Detroit’s craft beer scene, St. Clair Shores may be a beer town that is easy to overlook. However, you would be remiss to pass on through this Detroit suburb without stopping by some of its breweries, which are considered some of the best in the state.
Copper Hop Brewing Company
The Copper Hop Brewing Company, for example, can be found in historic downtown St. Clair Shores. Known for its heated patio areas and pet-friendly policies, it’s the kind of place where everyone can enjoy themselves.
You will often find a food truck parked out front and a live band taking the stage, making it a memorable place to spend an evening. If you are in the mood for a flavor explosion, try the It’s More Tingly Than Hot Ale — which infuses strawberry, lemonade, and jalapeno flavors into one incredible beer.
Plan a Craft Beer Tour in These Michigan Towns
Of course, the Michigan beer scene is known for its flavorful and distinct brews, but what really stands out is the experience that can be found in each one of the locally owned microbreweries in the state.
When you head to these Michigan beer towns and walk through the doors of their famous breweries, you will be greeted by local entrepreneurs who are pouring their hearts and souls into the ice-cold drafts you are being served.
At these Michigan breweries, you will taste — and savor – the true flavor of the Great Lakes State. And, you can find even more amazing breweries in the Upper Peninsula.