As you get to know me, you will soon discover that I LOVE LISTS…And I mean of anything.
“Top Ten Strip Clubs Owned By One-Legged Parakeets”? I’m there!
“Top Five Ways To Make Your Hand Numb”? Got it!
So…because, like me, I know you have been waiting for this list with bated breath, (NOT) I’m finally going to list my favorite breweries in Michigan. This list is tried and true. Most of these places I have honestly spent an entire day “sitting at the bar and sampling their libations”. That sounds much better than saying, “pounding their beers and laying on the floor.” My addendum is…This list is fluid. There are some solid winners here that will always stay on the list, but then, there are others that make me roll my eyes because of inane things like, terrible service, snooty, unfriendly patrons or uneducated bartenders. Minus all of that, all of their beers…all of them…are solid. I may do this list again in two months and at least four will change. Anywho, for brevity, I’m only going to pick one beer that I like from each place, so you know what to look for if you should ever pop in.
Let’s get it started. Let’s get it started in here! (Yes. I sang that last sentence in my head.)
1) Witch’s Hat Brewing Company – South Lyon
I JUST found out about Witch’s Hat this past winter but it took me forever to get there because it is so far away. Once I finally tried their beers, I was hooked. They. Do. Beer. Right. My favorite is everything in their Barrel-Aged Series. I can’t say enough about the gloriousness that is those beers. Actually, I guess that’s all I really need to say.
2) Bell’s Brewery – Kalamazoo
Stouts, stouts and more stouts. I’m the Siren of Stout so I KNOW STOUTS! I have not had one bad stout from these people. That said, I will hopefully be attending the 6th Annual All Stouts Day, Nov. 2nd. How can you go wrong with something called ‘Toasted Coconut Espresso Java Stout’? Be still my beating heart.
3) Kuhnhenn Brewing – Warren
This is Disneyland for Adults. Period. They have a ton of amazing beer-centered events with beer that will blow your socks off. I have been going to their Annual St. Patrick’s Day Events since it was only me and two guys from GM sitting in the Kuhnhenn’s tasting room at 8:00 am…LONG time ago. Nowadays, if you don’t get in line by 6am for the event, you will NOT get a seat at the bar. I have only one thing to say…4th Dementia Olde Ale. That actually looks like four things but you get my point. Try it and Disney’s Fantasia will come to life right in front of you.
4) Dragonmead – Warren
Do yourself a favor, eat before you get here and get ready for the long haul. This brewery consistently wins awards for their beer and it shows in every single one. Final Absolution, Redwing Raspberry, Willy’s Oompa-Loompa Stout…Wait, I said I was just going to name one beer each. My bad. What I really like is they will fill another brewery’s growler with their beer without any b.s. hassle. Now THAT is how you run a joint!
5) Founders – Grand Rapids
The scene during Happy Hour is electric. This place feels less of a brewery and more of a lounge, single’s bar, sports bar, Tinder meet-up spot, chill place, grab one and go. Basically it can be all things to all people. That’s how sweet the atmosphere is. Beer you say? Oh, yea. A 50/50 mix of Rubeas and the Imperial Stout. Heaven in a glass.
6) Griffin Claw – Birmingham
I love pumpkin beers. Maybe more than I love my sister and that’s saying something. Griffin Claw has Screaming Pumpkin and it screams delicious!
7) Odd Side Ales – Grand Haven
I have not been in the tasting room since the remodel but I remember the vibe being oh so cool and the beer oh, so even cooler. At the tasting room, the bartenders do a mean job mixing different beers to make magic. I can’t remember the last beer cocktail I had but I do remember I was so in love with it, I wanted to punch my husband in the face. Do the Bean Flicker Blonde you won’t regret it.
8) Right Brain Brewery – Traverse City
Waffle Sandwiches. Ok, now onto the beer. Mangalista Pig Porter. A piggy, chocolaty, creamy dream. Pork beers are not on my list of favorites but this one is delicious. If you see this in a bottle get one and share it with a group. I couldn’t drink an entire pint but 6oz. is enough to experience liquid pig paradise.
9) Cranker’s Brewery – Big Rapids
They have three locations but I’ve only been to the one in Big Rapids. They have hot dogs. I know after that statement I do not need to say anymore to get you to go but…they also have delicious beer and super friendly people in front of and behind the bar. The Bulldog Red Irish Ale is worth the stop and guess what? It pairs perfectly with hotdogs! No joke.
10) Brew Detroit – Detroit
Can’t leave the D out of a Michigan beer list. It would be sacrilegious. Tucked in an obscure industrial building is a super chill tasting room with super good beer. Their Peanut Butter Porter is delicious and I don’t even like peanut butter. That tells you everything right there.
Now go. GO!