Dine & Drink

Raise a Glass to Michigan’s Regional Craft Breweries – A Guest Blog Post

By September 16, 2015 No Comments

Michigan has a long-standing history of brewing beer – dating back to the 1800s when mining, fishing, lumbering and other company towns set up local pubs to service their workers and the community.

In the Little Traverse area, the first brewery of note was the original Petoskey Brewing Co.—which operated north of downtown from 1898 until 1915. Today, that big brick building has once again becoming a brewing hub as the home of the new Petoskey Brewing. Since opening in 2012, this brewery continues to craft a variety of unique blends for pub patrons as well as a limited portfolio available in 16-ounce (one pint) cans at retail outlets and on draft at bars and restaurants around the state. Among the more recognizable beers is Sparkle, an American lager, based on a recipe from the original brewery.

Tucked into downtown Petoskey, Beards Brewing has been welcoming visitors to its intimate space for three years. Growing slow and steady, the brewing team here is focused on making original brews with obscure names, unique flavors and loads of passion. Now up to 10 taps, you can sip a pint or order up a sampler board, grab a bite from Happy’s Tacos (which often shares production space) and catch live local entertainment on select nights. A production brewery is in the works in Charlevoix, which will allow Beards to expand its presence in the retail world around northern Michigan.


Pond Hill Farm, north of Harbor Springs, is the ultimate agricultural destination in the area—with a farm market, garden café, winery and brewery complimenting each other in a rustic and rural setting. Tunnel Vision Brewing (located on the M-119 “Tunnel of Trees”) aims “to brew avant-garde beers that find their origins in the traditional style” by using local ingredients whenever possible. Since opening in 2014, the master brewers have taken to growing and harvesting their own ingredients whenever possible, meaning the farm to barrel experience delivers the flavors and natural nuances of the local soil.

The Mackinaw Trail Brewing Company, located inside the Mackinaw Trail Winery on US-131 south of Petoskey, opened during the summer of 2014. Visitors will find eight beers and two hard ciders or cysers on tap at all times, with a fresh rotation of styles and flavors throughout the year including many seasonal offerings fitting for Northern Michigan. Order a sampler, a pint, a snifter or fill a growler to go. Of course, wines are also available for sampling. Mackinaw Trail also operates a Bistro, with charcuterie, salads, snacks, sandwiches and desserts—perfect for beverage pairing!


The area’s newest operation is Lake Charlevoix Brewing, overlooking Round Lake in downtown Charlevoix. Located at 111 Bridge Park Drive (in the south end of the building which houses the Keweenaw Star and Beaver Island Boat Company), the 1200-square-foot pub offers 60 inside seats and an additional 50 in the outside Beer Garden, where grilling and live music are offered—weather permitting. Eight beers are on tap each day, including four rotating recipes crafted by the four-man brewing team on a 5-barrel system, purchased from Psycho Brew in Greenville (fabricated entirely in Michigan, from all American stainless steel).


For an expansive selection of Michigan craft beers, be sure to check out Tap 30 Pourhouse in downtown Petoskey and Bridge Street Tap Room in downtown Charlevoix.

For more about Michigan, “The Great Beer State,” visit the official website of the Michigan Brewers Guild—the trade association currently representing more than 170 breweries around the state.

Upcoming Craft Beer Events
September 26—Hops ‘n Highlands, Boyne Highlands Resort
October 10—Harbor Springs Beer Festival

Submitted By: Dianna Stampfler, President – Promote Michigan






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