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Breweries, brew bars, pubs and dives devoted to serving Michigan-made and craft beers are serious business across Michigan. Some on our short (non-inclusive) list have just opened for biz; others are long-standing. Visit them all and enjoy the finest Michigan-made brew.
Atwater Brewery, Detroit (DD)
Housed in a 1919 factory warehouse in Detroit’s historic Rivertown district, Atwater literally imported a German brew house to brew traditional German lagers. Year-round favorites include Grand Circus Pale Ale, Dirty Blonde and Vanilla Java Porter, among others. Seasonal and single-batch brews vary. Psst … Atwater was the Michigan pick on AOL Travel’s list of “50 places to drink local brews in the 50 States.”
New in 2014, Atwater in the Park opened in renovated church, now a restaurant and biergarten featuring more than 40 taps.
Batch Brewing Co. Detroit (DD)
This Corktown nanobrewery likes to keep things interesting with a constantly evolving menu of small batch, handcrafted beers made at the taproom. Here, it’s charitable to drink the Feelgood Taps, which donates part of the proceeds from every beer to a different local nonprofit or charity each month. The restaurant menu changes weekly, but the yummy house-made Bavarian pretzels, served with Belgian mustard and cheese dip is always available.
Brew Detroit, Detroit (DD)
Located in Corktown, Brew Detroit is best known as the makers of Kid Rock’s Badass American Lager and other brands. In 2015, the brewery added a tasting room and began providing tours of the 68,000 square-foot operation, which was the former home of the Detroit Ball Bearing Company. Grab a growler to go.
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company, Warren (M)
A former mom-and-pop hardware store that was edged out by big-box competition, the Kuhnhenn brothers transitioned the family business into an award-winning microbrewery. Core beers include a Fourth Dementia Olde Ale and a Tangerine Wit; seasonal, rotational and one time brews complete the vast list of offerings.
New in 2016, the Clinton Township Taproom and Brewery will have full bar service and seating for more than 200 patrons, plus an outdoor biergarten and a kitchen serving gourmet sausages and side items.
Liberty Street Brewing Company, Plymouth (GN)
Liberty Street’s tasting room in Plymouth’s historic Old Village provides an assortment of small-batch ales and lagers. Order in from local restaurants or choose snacks from a small pub menu and stick around to sample everything on tap, like Twice Baked (a hoppy, bitter IPA made with baked potatoes and toasted hemp seeds) and Starkweather Stout.
Witch’s Hat Brewing Company, South Lyon (GN)
Witch’s Hat pub, on-site at the brewery, lets you sample award-winning brews like Holy Confusion and Train Hopper. A small family microbrewery, Witch’s Hat has big plans in 2014 to move to a larger space, expanding their taproom seating from 38 to 100. You won’t find food here, but order in from local restaurants or look for food trucks parked just outside.
Bastone Brewery, Birmingham (O)
Award-winning on-site ales and lagers are made with Belgian-style yeast strains and served in a quirky corner building that’s actually three unique spaces in one — equal parts restaurant, wine bar and dance club.
The Detroit Beer Company, Detroit (DD)
A full food menu complements a cast of brewed-on-site, rotating beers like The Detroit Dwarf and People Mover Porter. Just steps from Grand Circus Park, Detroit Opera House, theaters, sports arenas and the People Mover.
Dragonmead, Warren (M)
Dragonmead offers up an impressive list of weekly-changing beers (nearly 50 the week of this writing) in their taproom, along with a dozen meads, a few wines and house-made sodas. Snack on pub favorites (wings, nachos, pizza and more), bring your own food or order in from a list of local restaurants.
Falling Down Beer Company, Warren (M)
A relative new comer, Falling Down celebrated its first birthday in March 2014 and offers on tap a small but mighty list of on-site and freshly brewed beers like 10 Mile Brown and Vampire Bunnies (a cherry ale) alongside a list of elevated pub food. A second location in Oxford, Michigan will open soon.
Fort Street Brewery, Lincoln Park (DW)
Cask-conditioned ales, like the Downriver Fog and the all-Michigan-ingredients MIPA are tapped every Thursday and served alongside an inventive menu (chicken & waffles, duck sliders).
Griffin Claw, Birmingham (O)
Griffin Claw wants us to drink better beer — and we whole-heartedly agree. Their taproom offers tastings of award-winning beers like Norm’s Ragged Ass IPA and Grind Line Pale Ale, and a small but happy menu includes beer-can chicken, fried pickles and mac and cheese bites.
HopCat, Detroit (DD)
HopCat recently opened a location in Midtown in December 2014, extending the brand from their Grand Rapids, Michigan corporate offices. While not a brewery, HC is best known for offering Michigan’s largest tap selection – 130 craft beer taps – and has been listed as one of the Top 50 bars in the U.S. by Draft Magazine. Their kitchen features a large selection of house-made items, including the irresistible Crack Fries.
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales Pizzeria and Brewery, Detroit (DD)
While the brewery is based in Dexter, Michigan, this brand-new Midtown location is gathering positive press for their dedication and variety of rustic country beers. After you've selected your beer, make sure to try the margherita pizza and truffle fries with rosemary aioli on the side.
Motor City Brewing Works, Detroit (DD)
Taste seasonal brews in the taproom or gobble up thin-crust pizzas fired in a brick oven as you lounge on the rooftop deck. Flagship beers like Ghettoblaster are complemented by seasonal and special series beers like Summer Brew, Corktown Stout and Hard Cider. Motor City brews wines and sodas, too.
Sports Brew Pub, Wyandotte (DW)
Unassumingly delightful, this Downriver mainstay serves in-house creations like a stellar Raspberry Wheat and a refreshing, summery Lemon Squeeze (light lemony ale) alongside an eclectic menu (the Sports Club Grill sandwich is killer), with a homey feel and outdoor seating in summer months.
Traffic Jam and Snug, Detroit (DD)
A Midtown fixture, TJs restaurant has been serving up a fresh, house-made menu since 1965 and has the distinction of being the first brewpub in Michigan, adding “microbrewery” to the list of what they do in 1992. Watch their brewing (or cheese making — they use the same equipment for both) from the observation balcony. Or better yet, settle into a cozy table and sample a Grand Theft Pilsner or India Pale Ale with your meal. Save room for dessert.
Woodward Avenue Brewers, Ferndale (O)
WAB puts the “ALE” in Ferndale and serves seven varieties of beer as well as seasonal and specialty brews and rotating guest taps from Michigan and beyond. An eclectic menu includes pizzas, panini sandwiches, candied bacon and a vegan chocolate mousse.
Need More Beer?
Check out Detroit Eater’s Essential Guide to metro Detroit Breweries.
Craft beer brewers aren’t the only ones taking up shop in metro Detroit. Mead (an old-world brew made by fermenting honey) and spirits are also tempting taste buds across the area. Meaderies include B. Nektar and Schramm’s, both in Ferndale; find spirited spirits at Two James Distillery in Corktown and Valentine Distilling in Ferndale; and sample hard ciders at a newly-opened tasting room at Blake’s Cider Mill in Armada.
Here's a fun way to enjoy Michigan craft beers. Motor City Brew Tours (O) offers guided bus, bike and walking tours to Michigan breweries. There are four different history themed brew tours that focus on downtown Detroit, including brew history, prohibition, automotive and Cork-Mex Town.
Looking to try your hand at craft brews? For the DIY-er, Adventures in Home Brewing in Taylor or Brewing World in Warren will set you up with all the equipment, ingredients and know-how you need to brew up something all your own.
Arbor Brewing Company, Ann Arbor
Arcadia Brewing Company, Battle Creek
Bardic Wells Meadery, Montague
Founders Brewing Company, Grand Rapids
HopCat, Grand Rapids
Jolly Pumpkin, Ann Arbor and Traverse City
Mackinaw Brewing Company, Traverse City
New Holland Brewing Company, Holland
Short’s Brewing Company, Bellaire
When walking the exhibit halls in Henry Ford Museum, don’t miss the bus where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, the chair in which Abraham Lincoln was assassinated and a camp bed slept on by George Washington.
Book a dinner cruise or go for a late-night moonlight party aboard the Detroit Princess. The five-story riverboat is back in action for the season.
Fall is in full swing and that means Detroit Red Wings hockey at The Joe. No ticket? Cobo Joe's is a surefire hot spot on game days.
Watch Discover the D TV to learn all about the hidden gems and history that our city has to offer.