See West Michigan from a different side by going behind the scenes. These tours show things you might not see on an ordinary visit, from secret wine cellars to private tastings. You’ll receive the inside scoop on everything West Michigan during these in-depth tours!
Go Behind the Scenes in Southern West Michigan
Enjoy one of the regularly scheduled tours of Arcadia Ales’ brewing and production facility at the Kalamazoo Riverfront location every Saturday and Sunday at 2pm and 4pm. For only $5, receive a logo pint glass and 5oz sample in addition to your tour. See what goes into some of your favorite Arcadia beers!
Schedule a group visit to Henderson Castle in Kalamazoo today! Henderson Castle is the ideal place for groups of all types to gather and tour. Choose one of their four tour packages, or customize your experience to create exactly what you’re looking for. Tours can be scheduled to be self-guided or guided through the three-story historic castle and the surrounding property.
Bell’s Brewery offers free tours at both their Kalamazoo and Comstock locations. Their original, Kalamazoo brewery is where beers like Amber and Oberon were first brewed. Located right next door to their General Store and Eccentric Café, this location also includes their Beer Garden and patio. With more than 40 different beers on tap and a full-service restaurant, guests can grab a pint, hop on a tour, and then grab a seat afterwards. Their Comstock Brewery is home to their 50-barrel and 200-barrel brewhouse, located on 30 acres, and only a short 7-mile drive from Kalamazoo. This facility is designed to allow guests a first-hand look at their brewing process, fermentation, and packaging, and also includes two complimentary samples. Times and reservation information is available on their website.
Take a tour to learn about making proper cider at Virtue Cider in Fennville. From pressing apples into juice, to Virtue’s underground fermentation in Cider House 2, to the ins and outs of barrel-aging, you’ll get to know Virtue and the traditional methods they use for their ciders. Virtue Cider offers three different experiences: the Cidermaker Tour, Production Tour, and Family Farm Tour. The Cidermaker Tour focuses on how Virtue Cider crafts the perfect cider, while the Production Tour takes you through the basics of their process. The Family Farm Tour is a tailored experience for families, letting the young ones meet some of the farm animals and taste non-alcoholic cider. Tours can be booked on their website.
At Fenn Valley Vineyards in Fennville, enjoy a fun tours throughout the year. Fenn Valley believes wine should be approachable. These tours have been designed to help take the mystery out of making world-class wine. They aim to strike a balance between education and entertainment. Luckily, the subject matter always keeps things interesting! These tours are pretty in-depth, running an hour and fourty-five minutes in length, and involve wine tasting throughout to illustrate the various points being made. During select times of year, they also offer specially designed tours involving food and wine.
Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at a brewery? Well, Dark Horse Brewing Company in Marshall gives you a chance to find out. This guided tour includes discovering the process of producing the perfect craft beer, bottling it, and tasting the outcome. The Dark Horse Brewing Company is well-known throughout West Michigan, and makes a myriad of beers to delight various palates. The food at the Dark Horse is also first-rate, with a wide selection of sandwiches, pizzas, salads, and more to complement your craft beer. The tours takes place every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6pm, and end with a visit to the VIP lounge for a tasting in your souvenir pint glass for only $10 per person.
St. Julian Winery’s main location in Paw Paw offers free tours year round. Get more out of your experience with a Standard or Enhanced Tour & Tasting. Standard Tours include six samples of your choice and a complimentary logo glass to take home. Or book an Enhanced Tour & Tasting, which consists of an extended tour and your choice of a cheese or chocolate pairing option. Their wine educators will offer an intimate, in-depth education on the winemaking process from bud-break to bottling.
Ever wondered what goes into creating the perfect bottle of vino? Uncover the rich history of Tabor Hill Winery & Restaurant in Buchanan, and explore their modern winemaking facilities with a casual walking tour, offered daily May through October at their Buchanan location. Tours will resume in summer 2018.
Every Saturday at 2pm, Saugatuck Brewing Company hosts Brewery Tours. The cost is $7.50 and includes beer samples, an SBC logoed Pint glass or growler, and a full tour of all their facilities. The tour is open to the first twenty paid ticket holders. You can arrive at 11:30am to purchase your ticket in advance!
Join Dablon Winery in Baroda on a winemaker led walking tour through their world-class vineyard, winery, and underground barrel cellar. You will experience the many components involved in creating first-class wines. Their winemaker will explain how their grapes are planted and cared for, as well as the barrel aging process. The $20 ($15 for Dablon Wine Club Members) tour also includes a wine tasting of their small-batch, handcrafted wines.
Drop by and take a tour of the Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks. See first hand how whiskey is made and explore the history of the Featherbone Factory. They invite you to tour their factory, and at the end of your tour, get a taste of their product! Tours at Journeyman Distillery typically last about an hour, which includes a general overview of the production process along with a unique historical perspective on the building itself. Journeyman Distillery is located in an 1800s factory building with several unique architectural and historical talking points. Most importantly, at the end of the tour, you’ll have a chance to sample Journeyman’s finest spirits.
Malkam Wyman, Round Barn Public House’s Master Brewer, gave multiple brewery tours in celebration of International Stout Day. Malkam explained where the malt and grains came from and how they are used to make different types of beer at the Baroda brewery. He also talked about the water filtration system that filters and then adds minerals based on the original region the specific beer is from. Guests were able to view their barreling program, where certain stouts will barrel age for anywhere from six months to a year, giving them a whole new flavor profile. Keep an eye out for future tours of Round Barn’s brewery, winery, and distillery.
Go Behind the Scenes in Central West Michigan
Great Legs Winery, Brewery & Distillery in Holland is happy to provide complimentary behind the scenes tours of their compact production facility. They produce everything on-site and they’re bottling wines again shortly. Want to observe the bottling experience? Call or email Great Legs to secure your spot!
Coppercraft Distillery is starting tours again at their Holland location! Tours will be available Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and space is limited. Coppercraft Distillery creates premium, small-batch spirits by hand using local ingredients. See how they use corn and grains from a local Holland farm to make their bourbon. Tours can be reserved in advance by calling Coppercraft.
Come to Chocolates by Grimaldi for a fun factory tour, and learn about the creation of chocolate, from pod and bean to delicious delicacies! Taste fresh samples right off the line and visit their production area to see where the magic is done. They use a 1950s enrober just like on I Love Lucy! Come see where Grand Haven gets its unique and tasty chocolates. Tours can be scheduled Monday through Friday.
Visit Long Road Distillery in Grand Rapids for a tour, where visitors are taken through the distilling process and the principles behind it. You’ll get the chance to know what’s in your glass and where it came from. Each tour is conducted by a distilling expert who is friendly, knowledgeable, and eager to answer any question. Best of all, after learning about the spirits, you get to try them! Tours are $10 per person and limited to 15 people.
Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids offers limited tours of their production facility on Saturdays at 11am and 11:45am and Sundays at 12:30pm and Fridays at 5:30pm. Tours are $10 each and include a Founders logo pint glass. They also offer a combined tour and tasting experience and guided tasting of all of their regularly distributed beers, as well as something special. Don’t ask us what it will be. It will vary and may not be determined until the day of the tasting. Surprises are fun!
Gray Skies Distillery, located on the north side of Grand Rapids, began whiskey production in December 2015. An on-site tasting room and cocktail bar opened shortly after in March. Gray Skies Distillery distributes an award-winning gin as well as vodka and spiced rum throughout the state of Michigan, while it waits for its whiskey to properly mature. In September 2017, Gray Skies began offering weekend tours to guests looking to learn more about craft whiskey, and peek behind the scenes at the distillery. There are two tours available, both are led by a knowledgeable distiller who will walk the guests through the entire whiskey making process, including fermentation, distillation, and aging all done on-site at the Grand Rapids facility. The Craft Distilling Tours are free, while the Sneak Peek Tours are $10, and include a craft cocktail to enjoy while on your tour, samples of their barrel finished gin, and a sneak peek sample of their unrelease whiskey straight from the barrel.
If you want a unique way to tour the Grand Rapids beer scene, take a ride with the Great Lakes Pub Cruiser. Hop on this 15-person party bike with your friends and family as you make your way around Grand Rapids, stopping at bars, breweries, and restaurants along the way. Personalize your tour and choose the stops and route that you want. These two-hour tours are the perfect way to explore Grand Rapids, whether you’re a local or just here for the beer.
Go Behind the Scenes in Northern West Michigan
Set your sights on Black Star Farms in Traverse City in a whole new way! Plan your trip and enjoy a 45-minute guided tour through the breathtaking property, including the exclusive inn, centennial barn, and wine cave, all while learning the history of this iconic 160-acre estate and the incredible journey from grape to glass. The tour concludes with a premium tasting (souvenir glass included), featuring Black Star Farms’ award-winning wine, cider, and spirits. Tours are available Mondays and Fridays from June through October, beginning promptly at 11am in front of the Pegasus Barn, and the cost is $25 per person.
A tour of the Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen in Petoskey is a must-see on your next visit to northern Michigan. Tours run Monday through Friday from 10am to 4pm every half an hour, and include a comprehensive review of how Kilwins makes tuttles, truffles, chocolates, caramel, corns, brittles, and other confections. Of course, there are free samples at the end of each tour!
Visit Traverse City and take a complimentary tour of the Chateau Grand Traverse’s grounds and winemaking facility, taking you through the winemaking process from harvest to bottling. All tours begin on their vineyard overlook deck, where your tour guide will highlight winery history and outline their growing practices. The tour will proceed into the winemaking facilities, where you will see first-hand how their wine is made, with descriptions of grape receiving, pressing, fermentation, fining, barrel aging, and the bottling procedure. Their highly trained staff offer tours that are informative, educational, and entertaining.
Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel offers Adult Tour Groups. These tours provide an unforgettable setting for any group with its distinctive dining and accommodations, as well as Afternoon Tea, golf, biking, swimming, and many other activities. In addition, there’s plenty to explore on Mackinac Island. All group tour rates include meals and accommodations.