Michigan Breweries: Finding the Perfect Brew and Where to Stay Afterwards

Glasses of craft beer
Glasses of dark and light beer and ale.

For many years, Michigan was symbolized as the beloved motor state. Recently though, the Great Mitten State is becoming known as the Great Beer State, with dozens of craft beer producers making some of the boldest and best brews in the country. As with building a great car- everything goes into the best beer in Michigan – great ingredients, clever ideas, and hard work.  Discover the finest and most unique Michigan Breweries with our guide to the best lagers and ale makers in the state and where to stay afterward.

We asked two of our MBBA innkeepers (Brian at Looking Glass Beach Front Inn and Tony from Washington Street Inn)  to share some of their favorite Michigan Breweries. Follow along as we highlight some of their favorites and others that have received rave reviews. It’s very apparent that no matter where you are staying in Michigan, there is a pint of local craft beer waiting for you on a counter. And after your brew experience, know there is also a quality assured Michigan Bed and Breakfast ready to welcome you nearby. And did we mention the mouthwatering breakfasts that B&B innkeepers take pride in serving? Follow MBBA’s Facebook page, where we often feature their tasty breakfast creations.

 

How to talk like a Brew Expert

If you are new to the Brew Pub scene, here’s a little overview to get you started. You’ll quickly discern which type of beer excites your taste buds and which brewery is your favorite Michigan destination. The content below was gathered from a Time article written by Mahita Gaganan.

The significant difference between types of beer comes down to the type of yeast used to ferment it. A beer can qualify as a lager or an ale, depending on the fermenting process. Ales are created through top fermentation, a process in which yeast ferments at warmer temperatures and settles at the top of the beer. The yeast used to make lager tends to settle at the bottom of the beer, and the fermenting process is longer and takes place under cooler temperatures. The yeast in ales has a higher tolerance for alcohol than the yeast used in lagers. Beers start as an ale or a lager, and their specific styles and flavors continue to evolve.

What is a lager? Lagers are a typical entry point into beer for new drinkers. Made with bottom fermenting yeast that has a lower tolerance to alcohol, lagers can taste light and a little malty.

What is an IPA? India Pale Ales (IPAs), which encompass numerous beer styles, get their characteristics primarily from hops and herbal, citrus, or fruity flavors. They can be bitter and contain high alcohol levels, though the final product depends on the variety of hops used.

What is pale ale? Pale ales are usually hoppy but carry a lower alcohol content than IPAs. Most pale ale, which can include American amber ale, American pale ale, blonde ale, and English pale ale, is malty, medium-bodied, and easy to drink.

What is a pilsner? Pilsners, originating from the Czech Republic, fall under the larger category. German pilsners give off a pale gold color and crisp flavors, while Czech pilsners are a little darker with higher bitterness.

What is a stout beer? A dark beer, the flavor of stouts depends on where they come from. Sweet stouts primarily originate from Ireland and England and are known for their low bitterness. Ireland’s Guinness brand produces some of the world’s most recognizable stout beer. Stouts made in the U.S. combine the typical dark body and creamy notes with the hoppy bitter flavors characterized by American beers. American stouts are robust, highly roasted, bitter, and hoppy, with solid malt flavors that some say give them the taste of coffee or dark chocolate.

What is wheat beer? Wheat beers rely on wheat for the malt ingredient, which gives the beverage a light color and alcohol level that makes it perfect for kicking back during the summer and combining it with fruit, like a slice of lemon or orange. With their funky and tangy flavors, some wheat beers fall under Belgian-style brews, while the ones made in the U.S. have a light flavor that recalls bread.

What is Belgian beer? Belgium’s rich beer culture has poured into the U.S. over the years, giving enthusiasts on this side of the Atlantic an appreciation for the wide variety of Belgian-style flavors. Belgian beers span pale ales, dark ales, fruity beers, and sour ales. Belgian-style beers are generally described as carrying fruity, spicy, and sweet flavors with high alcohol content and low bitterness.

What is sour beer? Gaining recent popularity, this highly tart, sour beer can take on many forms, including Belgian-style Lambic beer, fruity Flanders ale, and lemony Berliner Weisse beer. With the addition of fruits like cherry, raspberry, or peach, sour beers marry sweet and sour to make new beer flavors.

I would love to hear back from our readers what is your favorite Michigan Craft Beer. Below is a list of the popular towns with outstanding and unique breweries. We’ve listed each town alphabetically and have included wonderful Michigan Bed and Breakfast nearby.

Allendale

Trailpoint Brewery

Branding itself as “a brewery without pretense,” this is a great place to embrace living like a local to catch up with the community, chat with old friends, and meet new ones. You’ll frequently find the beer-loving owners on its outdoor patio. Its menu includes well-balanced beers, such as CIPApotamus, an American IPA; Dark Trail, an oatmeal stout; Dr. Peelgood, a blood orange wheat; Toasted Brunette, a brown ale, and more. Food trucks and entertainment on the weekend.

 

Bed and Breakfasts nearby- 

Prairieside Suites Bed and Breakfast  Grandville- SW

 

Alpena

Austin Brothers’ Beer Company

This family-owned brewery specializes in American-inspired ales using unique ingredients and new hop varieties. You will find many brews on tap, from larger to strong IPAs. The family moved here from California after being charmed by small town Alpena while on a Michigan vacation. The rest is history, with a family dream becoming a reality of creating a production brewery and tasting room offering unique beers and scratch-made food. Established in 2015, Austin Brothers can be visited for unique and experimental batches and some tasty food. You can also find Austin Brothers’ Beer throughout the state of Michigan in select locations on draft and now in cans for purchase.

 

Bed and Breakfasts nearby- 

Presque Island Lodge  Presque Isle-NE

Dexter

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales and Kitchen

Initially founded in 2004, where it began its roots in Dexter, Michigan, this popular Michigan brewery offers a variety of unfiltered, vegan-friendly, and unpasteurized “rustic country” beers. Jolly Pumpkin uses a unique process of fermenting their beers in wine and bourbon barrels and large founders. The wood and naturally occurring cultures create a beer described as leathery, earthy, wild, funky, or even “sweaty horse hair character.

Across their three gastro-pubs and tap/tasting room in Dexter, they have an impressive selection of handcrafted beers, plus some excellent food accompaniment- from their Detroit pizzeria to their Traverse City grill, complex flavors rule. Other locations include Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Grand Rapids, East Lansing, and Royal Oak.
Bed and Breakfasts nearby- 
Canterbury Chateau– Brighton-SW
Robyn’s Inn- Plymouth-SW
Newton of Ypsilanti– Ypsilanti-SW

Bellaire

Short’s Brewing Company

Located in downtown Bellaire’s heart of Northern Michigan, Short’s Brewing Co. Pub is the perfect place to grab pub fare and a drink. For those ale lovers, Short’s Brewing Company offers 20 on-tap beers. The entire Bellaire community supports the company that is known widely for its flagship and experimental brews.

Unique blends can be found here, including their Uber Goober, which includes copious amounts of dark, chocolatey malt, oatmeal, and peanut butter swirl together to be one of the oldest stouts in the Short’s Brewing portfolio.

 

Bed and Breakfasts nearby- 

Inn at Breezy Hill Farms, Bellaire-NW

 

Detroit Area

Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

One of the state’s most award-winning beer producers, World Beer Cup gold medals, and numerous Great American Beer Festival awards show you that you are dealing with quality beer at this brewing company.  This jewel sits on the corner of Mound and Chicago Road in the old Lutz hardware store owned by the Kuhnhenn family. Its roots come with a humbling story- the brothers started brewing after Eric was introduced to craft beer in college. He brought the hobby home and introduced it to his brother Bret. Bret began selling homebrewing supplies from the hardware store, and soon, it became more profitable than selling hardware. The hardware component of the establishment did not disappear from the brewery until mid-2006.

Dragonmead Microbrewery

Dragonmead Microbrewery has a wide variety of beers, including American Ales, German Style Lagers, Belgian Style Ales, and more. One of their popular brews is Willy’s Oompa-Loompa Stout, and their pub has a unique and casual medieval atmosphere. Although this microbrewery is known for its beer, you should also try their custom-made sodas in flavors like Dragonroot Beer and Strawberry Cream.

 

Bed and Breakfasts nearby- 

234 Winder, Detroit SE

Cochrane House, Detroit SE

Frederick K Stearns House, Detroit SE

Robyn’s Inn, Plymouth, SE

Flint

Tenacity Brewing

Located in one of Flint’s downtown old fire stations, Tenacity features a variety of crafted beers on taps, such as Tenacity Light, Milk Stout, Irish Red, Honey IPA, and more. Beer bites are available with seasonal outdoor seating with a beer garden and fun board games.

 

Bed and Breakfasts nearby- 

Knob Hill Bed and Breakfast, Flint-SW

Grand Haven

Odd Sides Ales

This delightful brewery is a relatively young and small startup in the old Story and Clark Piano Factory. Here you will find over 15 taps with traditional favorites, including Grapefruit Beer and their Hipster BrunchStout, a maple, coffee, and bacon beer that is a smoky delight. Each beer has a unique flavor that will see you working your way through the taps in no time.

Grand Armory Brewery

You’ll find high-quality, diverse beer styles at the Grand Armory Brewing. The taproom is in the Armory Building, a 113-year-old historic facility located at 17 S. Second St. in the heart of Grand Haven’s downtown district, just blocks from the waterfront and Lake Michigan’s beaches. The taproom has 20 taps and offers many styles of ales and hand-crafted ciders. The IPAs are brewed with 100% Michigan-grown Centennial hops.

 

Bed and Breakfasts nearby- 

Looking Glass Beach Front Inn– Grand Haven SW

Washington Street Inn– Grand Haven SW

 

Grand Rapids

Founders Brewing Company

Founded in 1997 and available in all 50 states, this state-of-the-art brewery is respected with 20 years spent honing its huge flavors, flying in the face of the mainstream, and the process of gaining a cult following across the country. It was primarily down to their hard work creating unique, bold beers that saw their home in Grand Rapids named Beer City USA, giving the Michigan scene the reputation it currently holds.

Greyline Brewery

A small neighborhood brewery serves fresh ales, and delicious eats and features live music year-round. Beer is available to go in cans and crowlers—great reviews on their beer and food menu, including sliders, hamburgers, and nachos.

Brewery Vivant

Evocative brewery pub in an old chapel that serves culturally craft beer and French pub fare. This is not your average Brewery. As quoted from their website- “Visit the world’s first LEED certified microbrewery housed in a refurbished historic funeral home in the East Hills neighborhood. Live the bon vivant with neighbors, brewers, and monks enjoying rustic European-inspired beers and outstanding locally sourced dishes from our scratch kitchen.”

 

Bed and Breakfasts nearby- 

The Parsonage Inn, Grand Rapids, SW

Leonard at Logan House, Grand Rapids, SW

Grayling

Dead Bear Brewing Company

Craft brews and hearty tavern fare are served in a lodge-like building. This brewing company has 21 brews on tap and a full bar. You will not leave hungry because of their premium burgers and specialty Reuben egg rolls.

 

Bed and Breakfasts nearby- 

Hansen House, Grayling

Holland

New Holland Brewing

Not surprisingly-  New Holland Brewing is located in Holland, Michigan. The company operates a brewery and distillery with a brewpub and restaurant in downtown Holland and Grand Rapids. The company’s beers are sold at its restaurant, distributed throughout 44 states, and exported to Canada, Europe, and Asia.

Brett Vanderkamp and Jason Spaulding, the founders of New Holland Brewing Company, grew up together and attended the same college, where they fostered a love of craft beer making. Their business plan took two years to formulate, but once complete, the pair quickly lined up investors, and in 1996 New Holland was founded. Today, the merged company is one of the largest beer companies in Michigan and is now a distillery of whiskey, rum, and gin.

 

Bed and Breakfasts nearby- 

Inn at Old Orchard Road, Holland

Dutch Colonial Inn, Holland

Kalamazoo

Arcadia Brewing Company

Using UK ingredients and traditional brewing equipment used in the British Isles for centuries, it is the nearest you can get to an Olde English beer while still being in the urban heart of America. These ancient processes give them ample time to slightly alter the brew during its production, meaning near perfect and hand-crafted bitters and ales every time.

Bell’s Brewery Inc

From humble beginnings making beer in a soup kettle no less, these brewers are now one of the biggest beer producers in the area.  Larry Bell started homebrewing in the early 1980s and opened a homebrew supply shop in Downtown Kalamazoo in 1983. As more and more people were requesting samples of his beer, Larry began brewing commercially in a 15-gallon soup pot and opened Kalamazoo Brewing Co., which sold its first beer on Sept. 19, 1985.

Bell’s brews acclaimed beers such as Hopslam Ale, Oberon Ale, and Two Hearted Ale. It operates a brewpub and a store selling merchandise and homebrewing supplies at its Kalamazoo location.

 

Bed and Breakfasts nearby- 

Kalamazoo House, Kalamazoo House

 

Petoskey

Beards Brewery

Beards Brewery is bursting into the Northern Michigan brewing scene. Based in downtown Petoskey, it has become a popular place to gather for excellent pub food and craft beer.

In their tenth year of business as a local pub destination and Michigan beer manufacturer, Beards Brewery is releasing a Limited Release of their beer, Tree Blood, to Michigan markets. Tree Blood has been a seasonal staple in the Beards beer release calendar, but this is the first time it will be packaged in both draft and 16oz cans and made available in all their distribution markets.

 

Bed and Breakfasts nearby- 

House on the Hill, Ellsworth, NW

 

Sawyer

Greenbush Brewery

Greenbush Brewery is a microbrewery located in the coastal town of Sawyer, Michigan.  This brewery is set apart by its pub grub which includes hand-cured meats and tasty BBQ. Hangout offerings include 12 taps of house-brewed beer, including experimental ales.

 

Bed and Breakfasts nearby- 

Goldberry Woods, Union Pier

Traverse City

Earthen Ales

Jamie and Andrew founded Earthen Ales. A husband and wife team who combine their love of cooking, science, and the art of brewing into a variety of fine beers!

Their beers are inspired by places they’ve lived and visited and the friends they’ve made along the way. The goal is to create unique beers with a sense of place and bring people together. They keep some simple snacks on hand to go along with their beer, along with some non-alcoholic beverage choices.

Right Brain Brewery

Despite being called ‘Right Brain,’ this brewery believes in experimenting with the Left Brain and adding unusual ingredients not typically used in the beer brewing process. They brew high-quality popular styles like Ambers, Pales, Stouts, and IPAs and unique styles with impressive materials like whole pig parts, asparagus, or real cherry pie.

 

Bed and Breakfasts nearby- 

Chateau Chantal– Traverse City, NW

Antiquities Wellington Inn– Traverse City- NW

Grey Hare Inn- Traverse City-NW

 

Front of Leonard at Logan
Leonard at Logan, a perfect quality assured bed and breakfast in Grand Rapids.

Michigan Breweries and MBBA Inns make for a Perfect Getaway

If you love craft beer, you can see Michigan is filled with wonderful breweries, and we have many excellent Bed and Breakfasts throughout the state for you to stay at.  Grand Rapids has been called  Beer City USA. It’s a perfect central location to start your Craft Beer Getaway.

 

Check out our excellent quality assured bed and breakfast and book your stay today-

www.laketolake.com

_________________________

Our monthly articles are, like this one, packed with interesting travel ideas and news of outstanding Michigan bed and breakfasts. To make sure you don’t miss one, subscribe now. Our quick-read newsletter will come to your inbox. No spam. No sharing your email address with anyone else. Good stuff.