News

Brew Your Way through West Michigan: The Area’s Best Beer & Breweries

The first breweries in the state were local pubs, established in fishing, mining, lumbering, and other industrial towns. Today, nearly 300 breweries dot the landscape of West Michigan, crafting award-winning brews and welcoming visitors from near and far. Nationally, Michigan ranks fifth in the number of craft breweries, and cities such as Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids are repeatedly recognized as Beer city locales. Below you’ll find info on our favorite local breweries, as well as upcoming beer-related events to help you find your new favorite West Michigan brew.

Check out our interactive Beer Map to help plan your next West Michigan Brewery outing

Our Favorite Local Breweries and Pubs

Atwater Brewery in Grand Rapids has over thirty beers on tap that are always changing! Now is a great time to try out a flight for only $10. Not a beer drinker? No problem! Atwater has wine and spirits too. Grand Rapids is known as Beer City for a reason. Check out some of our other favorite Grand Rapids breweries: Brewery Vivant, Founders Brewing Company, Grand Rapids Brewing Company, Harmony Brewing Company at Harmony Hall, City Built Brewing, Mitten Brewing Company, Thornapple Brewing, and The Knickerbocker Brewpub & Distillery.

Kalamazoo offers some of the state’s best breweries. From the popular and historic Bell’s Brewery and Eccentric Cafe to Arcadia Brewing Company and Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing, you are sure to fall in love with each and every one of these places.

Traverse City is home to some of our favorite breweries! Next time you’re in town, check out Brewery Terra Firma and Rare Bird Brewpub for a memorable experience filled with unique Michigan craft beers, great service, and even better food.

Cedar Springs Brewing Company in Cedar Springs may be the new kids on the block, but they are not letting that slow them down! The microbrewery includes a full-service restaurant, featuring handmade beers, wine, spirits, and sodas.

Next time you’re in Ludington, make sure you stop in and check out Jamesport Brewing. They brew their own beers and also have a full-service bar with an extensive wine and domestic beer list as well. Stop in for “Hoppy Hour” on weekdays from 4-6 p.m. for great deals on both food and drinks!

Next time you’re in Marshall, stop by the popular Dark Horse Brewing Company to sample and enjoy some quality craft beers and highly-rated food. While here, check out the coffee shop, ice cream, bakery, taproom, beer garden, wood ship, and cycle repair shop all at the same site! Mark your calendar for their special events and live music scheduled all summer long.

Greenbush Brewing Company in Sawyer focuses on making sure that all of their freshly-brewed craft beers embody flavor, complexity, character, and intensity. Lucky for visitors who want to fill their bellies with more than beer, Greenbush also features insanely delicious food. Take your pick from BBQ fare to imported charcuterie meats & cheeses.

Craft Michigan beer is a wonderful thing and Charlevoix is a great place to experience it. Make sure and check out a local favorite, Lake Charlevoix Brewing with live music and a wide range of brews made on site. From pale ales to porters, you’re sure to find something you love!

Old Boys’ Brewhouse in Spring Lake is committed to community, fresh beer, and fresh food. Whether you drop in for refreshment, nourishment, or both, their fantastic and helpful staff will make sure your experience is fun and enjoyable.

Newaygo Brewing Company in Newaygo is geared towards adventurers and nature-lovers. Newaygo Brewing puts a large importance on supporting neighbors and fellow Michiganders, with a menu featuring locally-bought foods, and beers made with ingredients like coffee roasted in Traverse City and maple syrup practically dripped from their backyard. There is a beer for everyone here!

Perrin Brewing Company in Comstock Park is committed to crafting high quality and consistent brews among each of their products, with a focus on a classic look backed with a revolutionary taste. Offering over 20 beers in the taproom, Perrin intends to find a brew fit for everyone.

Rockford Brewing Company in Rockford focuses on three things: Quality, Community, and Culture. Brewing beers and whipping up food that is both innovative and familiar, RBC is your home away from home. Enjoy free live music every Thursday and Saturday for a great night out!

Saugatuck Brewing Co. in Saugatuck has been a leading producer in the Michigan Craft Beer Industry since brewing its first beer over a decade ago. The brewery boasts two tasting rooms & outdoor patio dining. With over 30 taps, hard cider, and wine, along with a full food menu including everything from unique entrees to shareable appetizers, there is something for everyone. Live music and arcade games increase the dining experience for visitors. As if all of this isn’t enough, SBC is the only brewery in the state of Michigan that you can work with their brewers to brew your own custom beer.

Stormcloud Brewing Company in Frankfort is the perfect craft beer destination. A myriad of favorite brews fill 16 taps. They also dedicate a tap for local cider or mead, in addition to serving three varieties of private label wine for the non-beer drinkers. Their kitchen is always producing delicious flatbread pizzas, sandwiches, salads, soups, appetizers, and specialty popcorn, with many menu items featuring locally grown or raised ingredients.

Upper Hand Brewery in Escanaba is a a young brewery, but their passion runs deep. From St. Ignace to Ironwood and all the way down to Menominee, their beer is brewed where it’s meant to be enjoyed: Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. You can find their beers on draught and in bottles throughout the U.P., but you won’t find it below the Mackinac Bridge. Just one more reason to head up to visit this gorgeous and wondrous place that many are proud to call home.

Holland houses some of our favorite Michigan breweries. Great Legs, New Holland Brewing Company Pub & Restaurant, and Our Brewing Company are all great options for anyone looking to enjoy some of the state’s finest brews either inside or out on a sunny patio.

Walldorff Brewpub & Bistro in Hastings is the perfect place to enjoy American food, craft brews, and wood-fired pizzas in one of America’s Top 100 Best Small Towns. Brewed daily, using only the best ingredients, Walldorff strives to bring you the freshest, most flavorful beer in Michigan. You’ll find everything from the smooth and easy Bistro Blonde to their rich & creamy State St. Oatmeal Stout.

SE4SONS Gastropub in Muskegon is the perfect pairing of seasonal fare and breathtaking views. At Muskegon’s first gastropub, guests enjoy a unique experience where innovative, high-quality food and exceptional service are always in season. Grab a beer or two while taking in the picturesque views at this local gathering place.

Events and Specials being Offered in West Michigan for every Beer-Lover

Not only does the Michigan Brewers Guild unify the Michigan brewing community, they also hold several beer festivals and events throughout the year! Their upcoming Summer Beer Festival is July 27th and 28th, and hosts approximately 150 Michigan breweries sampling over 1,000 different craft beers. Tickets for the Summer Beer Festival are available on the Michigan Brewers Guild website.

On July 18th, Four Roses Cafe in Plainfield is hosting a social hour and dinner starting at 6:30 p.m. For just $55, you can get a five-course meal paired with five different Dark Horse Brewing Company beers. Seats are limited, so reserve your spot soon.

The JW Marriott in Grand Rapids is offering a Beer City Package, which includes overnight accommodations, four local Grand Rapids beers served to your room upon arrival, a beer city passport, two breakfast vouchers, 20% off at The Spa and JW Marketplace, complimentary valet or self-parking, and more! Also stop by The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck, located on the ground floor of the restaurant, for some can’t-miss Happy Hour deals!

Stop by the Capital City of Lansing on Saturday, September 19th for Beerfest at the Ballpark at Cooley Law School Stadium. Attendees are given the opportunity to taste more than 200 craft beers and ciders from over 50 Michigan Breweries while enjoying the ballpark’s atmosphere and live music. Get your tickets today so you won’t miss out!

Stop by Douglas on July 26th for the Douglas Social! Bring the family for an evening filled with live music, craft beer, local vendors and amazing food.

If you have a love of craft beer and summer weather, you won’t want to miss this year’s Burning Foot Beer Festival at Pere Marquette Beach on August 25th. With 70 breweries from Michigan and surrounding states, mouthwatering local food vendors, and live music, there is something for everyone. If all of this isn’t enough for you, Burning Foot also uses this as an opportunity to partner with local nonprofits. This year, Kids’ Food Basket will be running a pretzel necklace station for patrons to enjoy while sampling the many beers available. Follow Burning Foot Beer Festival on Facebook for more updates and info!

Head to one of the three HopCats in West Michigan (Grand Rapids, East Lansing, or Kalamazoo) at their special tapping events for Belgian National Day on Saturday, July 21st! They celebrate the best way they know how: by tapping some of their favorite Belgian beers. Each area HopCat will offer a tap list of top Belgian offerings, additional bottles, exclusive glassware, and Crack Frites (a Belgian twist on their famous Crack Fries). Check out the special tap lists for the day at each of the locations- Grand Rapids, East Lansing, and Kalamazoo.

Northern Michigan is known for their food and beer scene. Stay at Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire and take advantage of their shuttle running from the resort to local downtown favorite breweries and bars, including Short’s Brewing Company.

Thanks to Michigan BrewVine you can now experience the best wineries and breweries in Northern Michigan while receiving exclusive discounts. Passport holders explore more for less! New and improved, they have recently added even more wineries and breweries to the passport. Get your passport today for only $25, and it’s good for the entire year.

What better way to see all the great breweries around the Traverse City area than by bike? Grand Traverse Bike Tours in Suttons Bay offers a brewery-to-brewery tour by bike! So many great beers and sights, you just might have to do this tour more than once.

West Michigan Beer Tours in Kalamazoo is hosting their annual Hop Harvest Beer Tour, where participants visit a family-owned hop farm for samples and a tour. You’ll then get the chance to stop by some of the breweries that use these hops in their beers.

Pure Michigan Cities with the Best Craft Brews

The city of Lansing has some great breweries and bars to explore on a night out on the town. Hop on the Greater Lansing Makers & Shakers Trail for the best of the capital region’s artisan beers, wines and spirits.  

The city of Mt. Pleasant has some great breweries that you have to check out ASAP! All of these hot-spots have great craft beer and mouth-watering food options to go along with them.

Next time you’re in Cheboygan, stop in for a brew at one of the state’s most popular up-and-coming breweries!

Stroll down Grand Haven Main Street and stop in one of the craft breweries that are beer-enthusiast approved. Visit on Tuesday nights and enjoy a free concert in Central Park or Wednesday nights to dance on the waterfront.

There are so many great breweries in the city of Muskegon, it can be hard to choose which one to go to! Hop from place to place for some fantastic brews and food pairings, your tastebuds will thank you!

The Mackinaw area is one of the best places to celebrate July as Michigan Craft Beer Month. Raise a pint and celebrate the microbrewing industry around the state of Michigan! Whether you’re sipping at a tap room, enjoying a six-pack at the beach, grilling up beer-friendly fare, taking in a round of golf or attending one of the many summer beer events, there is an unlimited number of ways to bring Michigan beer into your summer plans in Mackinaw.

Sault Ste. Marie is home to many breweries that are serving up locally-brewed beers that you cannot miss out on. Some of the spots also provide games or live entertainment for your enjoyment!

Stop by the city of Mecosta for some delectable brews, kind staff, and mouthwatering food pairings. Take your pick from one of the breweries in the area, you can’t go wrong!