Newly opened in April 2019, Ghost Isle Brewery is New Buffalo’s newest, most modern spot for craft beer, a full menu, and an everything-in-spirits bar…and if that’s not enough, the majestic views from its perch on the very edge of a spectacular 156-acre wetlands preserve will leave you very happy you chose this particular place to enjoy your New Buffalo visit.
Just two minutes off I-94 and in the heart of the ever-popular New Buffalo tourist town lies Ghost Isle, the 208-seat indoor/outdoor restaurant/brewery that is well worth your time whether you’re traveling through the state or landing in southwest Michigan for a well-deserved vacation. Known for its covered, outdoor patio and enjoyable friends and family green space, Ghost Isle Brewery also features weekend entertainment and a sandwich/entree menu that spins out the latest trends for foodies, along with some of the best traditional fare around. Head chef Matt Lindsey is just as comfortable preparing a meat-eater’s feast as a vegetarian dish that rivals anything on the menu.
Sit at the 30-seat live-edge walnut bar and marvel at its workmanship while gazing out at the Louis J. Sima 156-acre nature preserve, donated by the owners of Ghost Isle to Chikaming Open Lands, a non-profit preservation institution that will protect and treasure these critical wetlands forever. Take your beer and walk out to the outdoor firepit or lean on the railing and relax, imagining the countless generations that came here before you, taken with the magnitude of nature’s beauty. Lift your face to full sun or marvel at spectacular sunsets, approaching thunderstorm skies, or picturesque fall vistas. Mother Nature always delivers here at Ghost Isle.
And the beer…the new, 10 barrel system is a gem to Head Brewer Joe Hinman, who brings plenty of experience and a very special fanbase to the newly opened brewery. “Joe’s beer is well known in the state of Michigan and beyond, and he brings a fabulous 8-year career with him from another popular area brewery,” says owner Jim Sima. “To say we are thrilled with his creations is an understatement. Without using trendy words to describe his style, it’s just plain delicious and appeals to everyone, even when he’s using funky things like rose hips.”
Now the big question: Are there ghosts at Ghost Isle? Owner Jim says Ghost Island, which lies just west of the brewery, was a playground in the wetlands when he was a kid in the 1950s: boating, fishing, frogging, ice-skating. “What a life it was, when outdoor life grew the child,” says Jim. “The stories about Ghost Island were out there, and we always gave it the respect it deserved. So far,” Jim continues, “we’ve been blessed with wonderful happenings and have to believe those are good spirits with the wind at our back.”
“Our reflection with Ghost Isle is to ‘Find Your Spirit!’” continues Jim. “We think it encompasses a lot about life and how you’re spending your time. Especially with recent world happenings, it’s important to wait for that sunset or meet someone for a leisurely beer and a meal. People aren’t waiting to find out that it’s the simple things in life that bring such great satisfaction.”
Parking at Ghost Isle is quite ample, with space for larger vehicles, campers, etc. Hours are generally 7 days, open at noon. Please visit ghostislebrewery.com or the Ghost Isle Brewery Facebook page for more information. We look forward to hosting you!