A Beer-Lovers Guide to West Michigan Breweries

Whether you’re enjoying a craft IPA in Grand Rapids, sipping a sour in Traverse City, or sampling a flight from your favorite brewery in Kalamazoo, West Michigan is a beer lover’s paradise. No matter your destination, treat yourself to a cold one brewed locally in West Michigan. 

Upper Peninsula Beer 

The craft beer scene is burgeoning in Marquette County, with six breweries currently in operation and more on the way. Want to explore them all? Check out the Beer Passport in the current visitor’s guide which allows you to enjoy award-winning beer and possibly win a prize. 

Visit Drummond Island Resort in the Upper Peninsula, home to the largest bar in the UP! Enjoy a delicious meal and play at the arcade, shoot darts, or challenge a friend to a round of pool. 

Visit these breweries while in the Upper Peninsula: 


North Region Beer 

Northern Michigan has earned national recognition for its local food scene and brewers have found a welcome reception for locally-made microbrews. People are especially drawn to Bellaire’s Short’s Brewing Company’s inventive spirit, beer recipes, and commitment to quality food and craft brews. Visit the Short’s Brewing Company Pull Barn, a seasonal operation at their Elk Rapids production facility featuring 20 beers and ciders on tap in an outdoor beer garden, local food trucks, yard games, and facility tours on the weekend. Shanty Creek Resort 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.

More ideas to grab a drink while up north: 

Central Region Beer

Visit Newaygo County and explore two breweries sure to delight any beer aficionado. Sip on one of over 15 beers available on tap at Newaygo Brewery, including an assortment of unique cask ales for the adventurous beer drinker. The Brew Works of Fremont, also in Newaygo has a made-from-scratch menu and 12 rotating taps delight foodies and beer lovers alike. 

For a day of fun in the sun, visit Rotary Park in Ludington for the Suds on the Shore Craft Beer + Wine Festival on August 17th. The event features more than 60 breweries showcasing their signature craft beer, wine, mead, and cider. The festival in Downtown Ludington will include an afternoon of live entertainment, food, and tasting. 

You’ll find a number of options to enjoy a drink while you Visit MuskegonCheck out the brewery and distillery guide for information about the variety of options in Muskegon County. 

Get ready for Burning Foot Beer Festival, a celebration of beer, beach, art, and music. The festival is held in August along Lake Michigan’s beautiful lakeshore in Muskegon, offering the perfect way to end the summer. 

Holland is home to several breweries that pride themselves on creating fantastic craft beer, artisan spirits, and locally made wine using the finest locally-grown ingredients. Visit them all with the Handcrafted Passport, featuring breweries, wineries, distilleries, and cideries in the greater Holland area. Have a beverage, hear the individual establishment’s story, and get your passport stamped. Passports can be picked up at the Holland Visitors Bureau. Once all stamps have been collected, a specialty beer blade will be provided! Get a behind the scenes look with tours at Great Legs Winery Brewery Distillery, LLC and New Holland Brewing.

New Holland Brewing offers the perfect combination of great beer and delicious food in a casual, eclectic atmosphere. Visit the New Holland Pub on 8th Street in Holland or The Knickerbocker in Grand Rapids for full drink menu including craft beer, artisan spirits, handcrafted cocktails, wine, and cider.

HopCat is synonymous with craft beer in West Michigan. Opened in 2008 in downtown Grand Rapids’ Arena District, the HopCat family’s original location curates a wide selection of local, regional and international beer selections along with its award-winning burgers and variety of comfort-food options. On Sunday, July 21st, HopCat GR celebrates Belgian Independence Day by spotlighting favorites from one of the world’s most beloved beer cultures. The HopCat Lansing location offers a wide range of regional, global, and Belgian beers. If you’re not in the mood for a beer, you can get a glass of wine or a cocktail from their full bar. The newest HopCat opened in the spring of 2019 in Holland. HopCat Holland features 80 craft beers on tap, a robust menu including their famous Cosmik Fries, award-winning burgers, vegetarian and gluten-free options. They also offer a full bar for those guests not in the mood for a beer.

Stella’s Lounge in Grand Rapids is a lot of things — a punk-rock whiskey bar, a nationally famous burger joint, a venue for unique performance art and Grand Rapids’ original retro adult video arcade. And it’s also got some of the best beer deals in town. During Happy Hour (4:00 pm-6:00 pm weekdays, 2:00 pm -6:00 pm Saturday & Sunday), PBRs & Blatz are less than $2. Stop by Drunken Retort on Mondays for discounted New Holland drafts and Gong Show Karaoke on Sundays for specially priced Perrin & Founders beers.

The Grand Rapids Brewing Company story began in 1893, when six local breweries joined forces to open a facility that ran successfully until Prohibition. In 2012, BarFly Ventures founder Mark Sellers brought the brand back to downtown Grand Rapids, where it offers up award-winning original brews alongside homemade food favorites. New for summer 2019: a light-drinking hard seltzer available in a rotating variety of flavors.

From breweries with rotating tap lists and restaurants with live music and open mic nights, there are a number of spots in Mecosta County to enjoy a cold one! 

More breweries to try in the Central Region: 


South Region Beer

West Michigan is fortunate to have some of the best breweries in the world, offering renowned styles as diverse as bourbon barrel-aged stouts to sunny day sipping wheat ales. West Michigan Beer Tours connects beer lovers with a behind-the-scenes experience showing the process, the people, and the pride behind Michigan beer. West Michigan Beer Tours provide unique experiences, such as brewer meet-and-greets, exclusive tastings, and perhaps even lending a hand in brewing or packaging. In addition to tours, you can take advantage of their partnerships with hotels, bars, restaurants, and other local attractions to create a great weekend in West Michigan.

There are many brewery options in the Saugatuck/Douglas area! Saugatuck Brewing Company hosts brewery tours each Saturday, a fun way to learn more about the beverage you know and love. Saugatuck-Douglas is also home to the new Waypost Brewing Company in Fennville and many others in the area. 

HopCat Kalamazoo has taken an old rail freight depot and turned it into a hub for great craft beer. HopCat offers 100 beers on tap every day and a range of regional, global, and Belgian beers in bottles. If you’re not in the mood for a beer, you can get a glass of wine or a cocktail from the full bar.

Bell’s Brewery, Inc. in Kalamazoo is Michigan’s oldest brewery and first microbrew pub. They currently brew more than 20 beers for distribution, as well as a wide variety of small batch beers. Not a beer fan? Try their Mead brewed specifically for Bell’s Eccentric Cafe. The Downtown Kalamazoo campus featuring the Eccentric Cafe offers a full-service restaurant with eclectic menu, a spacious beer garden and patio, and an extensive collection of art, as well as a variety of entertainment. 

South Haven is a destination for sun, sand, and craft brews. Stop by Three Blondes Brewery to enjoy indoor and outdoor seating while tasting locally-sourced food, in addition to their great brews. 

More breweries to visit in South West Michigan:

For an interactive map of these  West Michigan brewery options, visit our Breweries page.