In West Michigan, craft beer is a way of life. Some breweries are deeply rooted in the area, such as Bell’s Brewery and Founders Brewing Company. Others are new to the game, joining the movement with their take on classic ales, IPAs, porters, and stouts. West Michigan breweries are creating some of the best beer in the world, using local ingredients along the way. If beer isn’t your favorite adult beverage, check out our top picks for Wine and Spirits in West Michigan!
Beer in Southern West Michigan
For over 20 years, Arcadia Ales in Kalamazoo has been committed to a British-inspired and American-brewed stable of beers. They aspire to brew beers that achieve brilliance through balance, creating ales that satisfy the senses with complex flavor while providing a refreshing beer that leaves you wanting more.
At Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, craft beer is in their roots. Come see where craft beer got its start here in Michigan by visiting the state’s oldest and largest craft brewery. Start at the beginning with a tour of Bell’s original brewery then head out to Comstock to see where the majority of Bell’s beer is brewed today. Free tours are offered Wednesdays through Sundays in Comstock and on the weekends in Kalamazoo. There are always plenty of events, delicious made from scratch dishes, along with new beers and old favorites to enjoy. Don’t forget to visit the Bell’s General Store for a growler fill, Bell’s beer to go, some new gear, or to pick up some homebrew supplies.
Visit one of Michigan’s southernmost breweries at the Constantine Brewing Company and the Laughing Leaves Winery in Constantine. They have six taps that rotate seasonally in addition to their Laughing Leaves wine, which is all brewed and vinted on site. With entertainment throughout the year, Constantine Brewing may be a worthy addition to your beer bucket list.
The Livery in Benton Harbor has been creating their hand-forged beers since 2005. They feature 16 taps (two nitro), two Real Ale taps, an outdoor bier garden, and a café serving great food. Their mission is to create a gathering place that will inspire and enlighten a diverse community of people from near and far to celebrate life through beer, music, and food.
Greenbush Brewing Company in Sawyer opened in 2011 and has expanded three times since, adding the Annex and beer garden. With beers named Anger, Closure, Mammoth and Doomslayer, they can honestly say that full-bodied, flavorful beers are their bread and butter. Lucky for visitors to Greenbush who want to fill their bellies with more than beer, the Taproom, Annex and Clean Plate Club also feature insanely delicious food. Visit this rapidly expanding brewery, which seeks to provide its visitors with the best beer and food in the area.
The adventure started with the goal of creating a perfect beer. Since then, Saugatuck Brewing Co. in Saugatuck has continued to make waves in the brewing industry. Now, with 15 rotating taps plus hard cider and a variety of wines, they continue to create the best beer experience for their customers. They’re also proud to be the only microbrewery in Michigan with a Brew On Premise license to allow customers to learn about and create their very own craft beer with one of their brewers.
Round Barn in Baroda is well known for their wine, but they also have a beer side to them with their Beer Barn. Visit the Beer Barn and you’ll find craft beers on tap, including seasonal releases for summer, including American IPAs, belgian witbiers, and milk stouts, in addition to year-round offerings.
Walldorff Brewpub & Bistro is a great place for American food, craft brews, and wood-fired pizzas in Hastings, one of America’s Top 100 Best Small Towns! They work hard to create their premium handcrafted ales, and always look forward to sharing them with you.
Watermark Brewing Company in Stevensville began as a homebrew operation in 2014 between three friends. Now, they’ve expanded to nine regular beers and a rotation of new and seasonal beers. They have live music performances and food truck events throughout the year, so check out their calendar and plan your next visit!
South Haven’s first brewpub is now open! Their new microbrewery offers frequent rotating craft microbrews, full line of spirits, robust food menu, and a variety of Michigan wines. The community is a huge fan of IPAs, welcoming any and all additions to an ever-evolving West Michigan beer scene.
River Country is home to unique summer beers, beer gardens, and live music to help you enjoy a summer beer excursion. Some of the area’s brewers are new to the scene, coming from homebrewing roots. Make sure that you stop by these breweries as you plan your summer beer bucket list.
More Beer in Southern West Michigan
- Beerfest at the Ballpark Fall – On the Field, Lansing
- Boatyard Brewing Company, Kalamazoo
- Dark Horse Brewing Company, Marshall
- Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing, Kalamazoo
Beer in Central West Michigan
Whether you’re looking for a refreshing IPA or your night calls for a heavier stout, Atwater Brewery & Spirits in Grand Rapids has you covered. Atwater raises a glass to the craft beer culture that has given Michigan the title of the “Great Beer State.” Find the beer you’ve been searching for when you take your first sips at the new Atwater in Grand Rapids.
Thornapple Brewing in Grand Rapids is Cascade Township’s very first brewpub! They offer the community a local spot to enjoy original beer, cider, wine, and spirits, created by a duo of longtime local brewers, who have received international recognition for their beer. With nearly fifty years of brewing experience between the co-founders, they offer a robust list of original potent potable options that represent their favorite styles and recipes.
The Grand Haven area is home to wine tasting rooms, breweries, and even a cider mill that produces delicious hard apple cider. Breweries offer a pub like feel along with live music and flights of their specialty locally made beer. Taste testers are always welcome in the Grand Haven area.
Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids is one of the fastest growing breweries and ranks among the top 30 largest craft breweries in the United States. They host brewery tours and tastings, giving visitors the true Founders experience. Sign up and you’ll receive a guided tour of their production facility followed by a tasting of some of their regularly distributed beers, as well as something special. Book a tour and learn more about Founders on their website!
Located on the west side of Grand Rapids, Harmony Brewing Company at Harmony Hall has crafted a menu and atmosphere with German beer hall influences. They brew small batches of well-balanced beer, allowing them to react seasonally and respond the tastes of their beer loving community.
What used to be Engine House No. 9 in Grand Rapids is now Mitten Brewing Company. Mitten’s two-story taproom has been painstakingly restored, creating the perfect location for an intimate dinner, a night out with friends, or an upbeat party atmosphere. The taproom proudly offers unique examples of classic beers with up to 20 beers on tap, as well as a selection of regional wines and ciders. Pair a beer with a pizza made with hand-tossed dough (made from scratch daily), and you have something truly out of this world!
Under the Vines in Grand Rapids carries beers that you won’t find at larger stores. Some of these come from smaller breweries, giving you the opportunity to try beers from up-and-coming makers. If you’re looking to bring some unique and lesser-known beers to your next get together, stop by Under the Vines and check out their selection.
Perrin Brewing Company in Comstock Park has a diverse portfolio of beers, ranging from their much loved year-round and seasonal selections to specialty barrel-aged and sour releases. They even have a partnership with Long Road Distillers in Grand Rapids, where they’ve created a Beer City Whiskey, crafted with mash from Perrin Black Ale. Limited bottles are available at Long Road, along with a signature cocktail made with Perrin Black Malt Whisky.
Located in Grand Rapids, City Built Brewing believes that beer brings people together, and that craft brewing is for everyone. They’ve worked hard to cultivate a staff, beer portfolio, and environment where every visitor can feel right at home. Their featured beer, Flower Power, is a green tea chamomile pale ale with a lightly floral aroma, a subtle bitterness and a dry finish. Try Flower Power and City Built Brewing’s other offerings when you visit their taproom!
Located on the shore of Spring Lake, Old Boys’ Brewhouse is dedicated to the idea that flavor matters. Good beer can make a good experience even better, with some of their recipes originating as a tribute to brewing tradition, while others have been inspired by a good meal, rock concert, or childhood memory. Regardless of the beers’ origin, these handcrafted ales, lagers, and sodas are created with care and quality in mind.
Great Legs Winery, Brewery & Distillery in Holland has a friendly, educational, fun, and emotionally engaging atmosphere, all with an Italian backdrop. Their current lineup of beer is created in-house, and includes a light ale, American ale, and pale ale, with more coming soon.
Muskegon County is rapidly becoming a craft brew lover’s paradise! They have had two new breweries open recently, giving visitors more reason to stop by. This is in addition to places like SE4SONS Gastropub, which offers a wide variety of beers on tap.
Cedar Springs Brewing Company in Cedar Springs takes pride in creating beers with German tradition and flavors. Not only do they make fantastic beer, they also host free live music every Wednesday evening! Grab your friends, a beer, and enjoy live entertainment from a variety of talented artists.
Mecosta County has a handful of breweries, each offering much more than beer. In addition to delicious beer, the area’s breweries host live music, poetry and open mic nights, and delicious food to help you enjoy what’s on tap.
Mt. Pleasant boasts a rich history of locally owned and operated businesses that create a special experience for visitors. With these unique restaurants and breweries, the area provides ample opportunity to explore new fermentations, delicious food, and an ambiance that draws young and old. You’ll never have the same experience in any other city!
The Ludington area has a brewery making beer right on the shores of Lake Michigan! Enjoy a pint of Ludington, made from locally sourced ingredients, materials, and talent.
More Beer in Central West Michigan
- Big Hart Brewing Company, Hart
- Grand Rapids Brewing Company, Grand Rapids
- Jamesport Brewing, Ludington
- New Holland Brewing Company Pub & Restaurant, Holland
- New Holland The Knickerbocker, Grand Rapids
- Newaygo Brewing Company, Newaygo
- Our Brewing Company, Holland
- The Gallery Brewery, Portland
Beer in Northern West Michigan
St. Ambrose Cellars in Beulah has recently jumped into the microbrewery game with several new beers joining their lineup of wine and mead. Their beer includes an IPA, English Pale Ale, and Summer Wheat beer, with more coming soon. The addition of beer means that St. Ambrose can cater to a variety of drinkers, whether you’re looking for wine, mead, or beer.
Northern Michigan has earned national recognition for its local food scene, so it was only natural that brewers found a welcome reception for locally-made microbrews. People are especially drawn to Bellaire and Short’s Brewing Company’s inventive spirit, beer recipes, and commitment to quality food and craft brews. Shanty Creek Resorts is the natural place to stay while enjoying a trip to Short’s. Don’t forget to take advantage of the shuttle running from the resort to Short’s and other downtown Bellaire destinations.
The Grayling area is home to four different breweries, each with their own vibe and varied selection. Three of the breweries are within walking distance of one another, and two offer dining to go along with your beer. These are unique breweries, with one connected to an art gallery and another one also acting as a coffee shop. Wherever you go, the beer is flowing and you’re sure to have a fun night!
Craft Michigan beer is a wonderful thing! The Charlevoix area has a wide variety of beers for you to try. Their taprooms highlight the best of northern Michigan, with wide ranges of beers that are made right in the heart of Charlevoix. Visit Lake Charlevoix Brewing and try one of their seasonal or experimental beers in addition to their eight flagship beers. From pale ales to porters, you’re sure to find something to love!
The Barrel Back Restaurant at Hotel Walloon on Walloon Lake has a large collection of craft beers on their menu. Nothing’s better than a cold one with a lakeside view!
Sault Ste. Marie brings its northern charm to its craft beer scene. They have two breweries with a total of 12 delicious beers on tap. Enjoy a cold beer after a day out exploring this beautiful part of Michigan!
Boyne City has a taproom that features over 40 taps with craft beer, with options for anyone looking to try something new. Their beer is primarily sourced from the great breweries of Michigan, although they do occasionally bring in some of other favorites from around the country!
While Traverse City’s wine scene may take the spotlight, their beer and breweries hold the same prestige as many of the area’s wineries. One of the best ways to experience beer in Traverse City, as well as throughout Michigan, is with the Michigan BrewVine Beer Passport. With this passport, you can receive discounts on tastings, growlers, and more throughout the state. One of places that you receive these special offers is at Rare Bird Brewpub in Traverse City, where you can receive 50% off a growler purchase and discounts on food! Another brewery to check out in Traverse City is Brewery Terra Firma, with 12 taps featuring their culinary-inspired beers. The Traverse City beer scene is not to be missed, and deserves a spot on your summer itinerary.
More Beer in Northern West Michigan
- Beards Brewery, Petoskey
- Rudbeckia Winery/Burnt Marshmallow Brewing, Petoskey
- Snowbelt Brewing Company, Gaylord
- Stormcloud Brewing Company, Frankfort
- TC Brew Bus, Traverse City
- Upper Hand Brewery, Escanaba
Statewide Beer Resources
The Michigan Brewers Guild recently announced that July is once again designated as Michigan Craft Beer Month! The Michigan Brewers Guild was formed in 1997 and held its first festival in July 1998. Today, the Guild hosts four festivals dedicated exclusively to Michigan craft beer produced by its members breweries, which attracts more than 35,000 people collectively each year. Their upcoming festivals include the UP Fall Beer Festival in Marquette, which features over 600 locally crafted beers from more than 80 Michigan breweries. Whether you’re going on a brewery tour, bringing your friends to a beer festival, or grabbing a glass in a taproom, now is the perfect time to celebrate Michigan’s thriving brewing industry .
2017 Beer in West Michigan
HopCat Kalamazoo and HopCat East Lansing are hosting a Belgian National Day Celebration on July 21st from 11am to midnight. Belgian National Day commemorates the day Belgium gained its independence. To celebrate, HopCat will be pouring nine unique Belgian beers, offering their own version of Belgian Frites by pairing their Crack Fries with a few different aiolis, and selling a variety of bottled Belgian beers. Het is heerlijk! (translation: “It’s delicious!”).
The Tri-Cities Historical Museum and Loutit District Library have teamed up for another walking tour focused on pubs, taverns, and the dives of Grand Haven’s downtown district. The tour is being offered on Tuesday, July 18th and August 22nd. Take a look at the drinking culture of Grand Haven’s past, including many historic photos highlighting long standing institutions and a few facts in this colorful history, including stories of a few raucous fights, drinking games, and a bear in a bar. Afterwards, participants are encouraged to enjoy the rest of the night in Grand Haven, and may find discounts at a few restaurants and bars when they show their wristbands.
The JW Marriott in Grand Rapids and West Michigan Beer Tours have put together a very unique beer tour on Saturday, August 5th. The end of August and early September mark the peak of hop season. Farms across the state are harvesting their hop crops for breweries all over Michigan, and this tour gets you close to the action with a farm tour and samples before visiting Rockford Brewing Company and Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery & Supply. Return for a night in downtown Grand Rapids with the JW Marriott’s Beer City USA Package, featuring overnight accommodations, four local beers delivered to your room, breakfast, and more.
HopCat Grand Rapids isn’t going to be missing out on the Belgian National Day fun! On July 21st, they’ll be serving up nine unique Belgian beers, Belgian Frites, and a variety of bottled Belgian beers alongside HopCat Kalamazoo and HopCat East Lansing. Celebrate Belgian independence with delicious beer and food!
Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids is launching a limited release beer in the month of July. Their Zaison imperial saison takes inspiration from the southern region of Belgium. Traditionally, this beer is made in the coolness of winter months to be enjoyed in spring and summer. Vivant’s special Belgian yeast strain gives this beer a little funkiness and is accented with tellicherry black peppercorns and orange peel. Try what Brewery Vivant is calling “one of the strongest summertime beers you will encounter.”
Rockford Brewing Company in Rockford is hosting their Paddles for Pints event on July 16th and 17th. Float down the Rogue River with Rockford Brewing Company with a beer in your hand. Rent or bring your own tube, kayak, or canoe for a leisurely time on the river. Sign up in the pub to reserve your spot, as this event sells out fast!
The Lakeshore Art Festival in Muskegon is adding a Craft Beer & Wine Garden to this year’s event! The festival is July 7th and 8th, and you’ll be able to stroll through beautiful Hackley Park and shop for unique one-of-a-kind art, all while sipping on your favorite craft beer.
The Lakeshore Brewers Guild is hosting the Burning Foot Festival on August 26th. Burning Foot Beer Festival is a celebration of beer, beach, art and music, held along Lake Michigan’s beautiful lakeshore in Muskegon. 65 breweries, five bands, with two national acts, and Chef Scott’s new beach menu with a beer twist make this the premier event for beer enthusiasts looking to spend a day in the sand.
The 2017 Polish Festival in Grand Rapids is August 25th to 27th at Rosa Park Circle. In addition to their delicious Polish food, they’ll be serving up Polish beer in their beer tent. With live entertainment throughout the three-day event, there’s plenty to see, do, and taste at this fun festival.