GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) – In West Michigan, craft beer is a way of life. Some breweries are deeply rooted in the area, such as Bell’s Brewery and Founders Brewing Company. Others are new to the game, joining the movement with their take on classic ales, IPAs, porters, and stouts. West Michigan breweries are creating some of the best beer in the world, using local ingredients along the way. If beer isn’t your favorite adult beverage, check out our top picks for Wine and Spirits in West Michigan!
For over 20 years, Arcadia Ales in Kalamazoo has been committed to a British-inspired and American-brewed stable of beers. They aspire to brew beers that achieve brilliance through balance, creating ales that satisfy the senses with complex flavor while providing a refreshing beer that leaves you wanting more.
At Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, craft beer is in their roots. Come see where craft beer got its start here in Michigan by visiting the state’s oldest and largest craft brewery. Start at the beginning with a tour of Bell’s original brewery then head out to Comstock to see where the majority of Bell’s beer is brewed today. Free tours are offered Wednesdays through Sundays in Comstock and on the weekends in Kalamazoo. There are always plenty of events, delicious made from scratch dishes, along with new beers and old favorites to enjoy. Don’t forget to visit the Bell’s General Store for a growler fill, Bell’s beer to go, some new gear, or to pick up some homebrew supplies.
The Livery in Benton Harbor has been creating their hand-forged beers since 2005. They feature 16 taps (two nitro), two Real Ale taps, an outdoor bier garden, and a café serving great food. Their mission is to create a gathering place that will inspire and enlighten a diverse community of people from near and far to celebrate life through beer, music, and food.
The adventure started with the goal of creating a perfect beer. Since then, Saugatuck Brewing Co. in Saugatuck has continued to make waves in the brewing industry. Now, with 15 rotating taps plus hard cider and a variety of wines, they continue to create the best beer experience for their customers. They’re also proud to be the only microbrewery in Michigan with a Brew On Premise license to allow customers to learn about and create their very own craft beer with one of their brewers.
HopCat Kalamazoo and HopCat East Lansing are hosting a Belgian National Day Celebration on July 21st from 11am to midnight. Belgian National Day commemorates the day Belgium gained its independence. To celebrate, HopCat will be pouring nine unique Belgian beers, offering their own version of Belgian Frites by pairing their Crack Fries with a few different aiolis, and selling a variety of bottled Belgian beers. Het is heerlijk! (translation: “It’s delicious!”).
South Haven’s first brewpub is now open! Their new microbrewery offers frequent rotating craft microbrews, full line of spirits, robust food menu, and a variety of Michigan wines. The community is a huge fan of IPAs, welcoming any and all additions to an ever-evolving West Michigan beer scene.
Whether you’re looking for a refreshing IPA or your night calls for a heavier stout, Atwater Brewery & Spirits in Grand Rapids has you covered. Atwater raises a glass to the craft beer culture that has given Michigan the title of the “Great Beer State.” Find the beer you’ve been searching for when you take your first sips at the new Atwater in Grand Rapids.
Thornapple Brewing in Grand Rapids is Cascade Township’s very first brewpub! They offer the community a local spot to enjoy original beer, cider, wine, and spirits, created by a duo of longtime local brewers, who have received international recognition for their beer. With nearly fifty years of brewing experience between the co-founders, they offer a robust list of original potent potable options that represent their favorite styles and recipes.
The Grand Haven area is home to wine tasting rooms, breweries, and even a cider mill that produces delicious hard apple cider. Breweries offer a pub like feel along with live music and flights of their specialty locally made beer. Taste testers are always welcome in the Grand Haven area.
The JW Marriott in Grand Rapids and West Michigan Beer Tours have put together a very unique beer tour on Saturday, August 5th. The end of August and early September mark the peak of hop season. Farms across the state are harvesting their hop crops for breweries all over Michigan, and this tour gets you close to the action with a farm tour and samples before visiting Rockford Brewing Company and Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery & Supply. Return for a night in downtown Grand Rapids with the JW Marriott’s Beer City USA Package, featuring overnight accommodations, four local beers delivered to your room, breakfast, and more.
HopCat Grand Rapids isn’t going to be missing out on the Belgian National Day fun! On July 21st, they’ll be serving up nine unique Belgian beers, Belgian Frites, and a variety of bottled Belgian beers alongside HopCat Kalamazoo and HopCat East Lansing. Celebrate Belgian independence with delicious beer and food!
Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids is launching a limited release beer in the month of July. Their Zaison imperial saison takes inspiration from the southern region of Belgium. Traditionally, this beer is made in the coolness of winter months to be enjoyed in spring and summer. Vivant’s special Belgian yeast strain gives this beer a little funkiness and is accented with tellicherry black peppercorns and orange peel. Try what Brewery Vivant is calling “one of the strongest summertime beers you will encounter.”
Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids is one of the fastest growing breweries and ranks among the top 30 largest craft breweries in the United States. They host brewery tours and tastings, giving visitors the true Founders experience. Sign up and you’ll receive a guided tour of their production facility followed by a tasting of some of their regularly distributed beers, as well as something special. Book a tour and learn more about Founders on their website!
Located on the west side of Grand Rapids, Harmony Brewing Company at Harmony Hall has crafted a menu and atmosphere with German beer hall influences. They brew small batches of well-balanced beer, allowing them to react seasonally and respond the tastes of their beer loving community.
What used to be Engine House No. 9 in Grand Rapids is now Mitten Brewing Company. Mitten’s two-story taproom has been painstakingly restored, creating the perfect location for an intimate dinner, a night out with friends, or an upbeat party atmosphere. The taproom proudly offers unique examples of classic beers with up to 20 beers on tap, as well as a selection of regional wines and ciders. Pair a beer with a pizza made with hand-tossed dough (made from scratch daily), and you have something truly out of this world!
Under the Vines in Grand Rapids carries beers that you won’t find at larger stores. Some of these come from smaller breweries, giving you the opportunity to try beers from up-and-coming makers. If you’re looking to bring some unique and lesser-known beers to your next get together, stop by Under the Vines and check out their selection.
Perrin Brewing Company in Comstock Park has a diverse portfolio of beers, ranging from their much loved year-round and seasonal selections to specialty barrel-aged and sour releases. They even have a partnership with Long Road Distillers in Grand Rapids, where they’ve created a Beer City Whiskey, crafted with mash from Perrin Black Ale. Limited bottles are available at Long Road, along with a signature cocktail made with Perrin Black Malt Whisky.
Located in Grand Rapids, City Built Brewing believes that beer brings people together, and that craft brewing is for everyone. They’ve worked hard to cultivate a staff, beer portfolio, and environment where every visitor can feel right at home. Their featured beer, Flower Power, is a green tea chamomile pale ale with a lightly floral aroma, a subtle bitterness and a dry finish. Try Flower Power and City Built Brewing’s other offerings when you visit their taproom!
Rockford Brewing Company in Rockford is hosting their Paddles for Pints event on July 16th and 17th. Float down the Rogue River with Rockford Brewing Company with a beer in your hand. Rent or bring your own tube, kayak, or canoe for a leisurely time on the river. Sign up in the pub to reserve your spot, as this event sells out fast!
Located on the shore of Spring Lake, Old Boys’ Brewhouse is dedicated to the idea that flavor matters. Good beer can make a good experience even better, with some of their recipes originating as a tribute to brewing tradition, while others have been inspired by a good meal, rock concert, or childhood memory. Regardless of the beers’ origin, these handcrafted ales, lagers, and sodas are created with care and quality in mind.
Great Legs Winery, Brewery & Distillery in Holland has a friendly, educational, fun, and emotionally engaging atmosphere, all with an Italian backdrop. Their current lineup of beer is created in-house, and includes a light ale, American ale, and pale ale, with more coming soon.
Muskegon County is rapidly becoming a craft brew lover’s paradise! They have had two new breweries open recently, giving visitors more reason to stop by. This is in addition to places like SE4SONS Gastropub, which offers a wide variety of beers on tap.
The Lakeshore Art Festival in Muskegon is adding a Craft Beer & Wine Garden to this year’s event! The festival is July 7th and 8th, and you’ll be able to stroll through beautiful Hackley Park and shop for unique one-of-a-kind art, all while sipping on your favorite craft beer.
The Lakeshore Brewers Guild is hosting the Burning Foot Festival on August 26th. Burning Foot Beer Festival is a celebration of beer, beach, art and music, held along Lake Michigan’s beautiful lakeshore in Muskegon. 65 breweries, five bands, with two national acts, and Chef Scott’s new beach menu with a beer twist make this the premier event for beer enthusiasts looking to spend a day in the sand.
Cedar Springs Brewing Company in Cedar Springs takes pride in creating beers with German tradition and flavors. Not only do they make fantastic beer, they also host free live music every Wednesday evening! Grab your friends, a beer, and enjoy live entertainment from a variety of talented artists.
The 2017 Polish Festival in Grand Rapids is August 25th to 27th at Rosa Park Circle. In addition to their delicious Polish food, they’ll be serving up Polish beer in their beer tent. With live entertainment throughout the three-day event, there’s plenty to see, do, and taste at this fun festival.
Be sure to check out one of the above breweries and enjoy your favorite drink!