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.
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.
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.
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?