Story By: Max White | Photos By: Emily Berger, Handlebar Detroit, and Brew Line Tours
Metro Detroit is one of the best areas in the country for beer, and a variety of breweries in Detroit and the surrounding counties make a great stop for beer fans and fans of fun everywhere.
If you have 48 hours to spend in metro Detroit trying beer and enjoying the sights, here’s how you can spend it.
Day 1 – Downtown Detroit & Wayne County
Before you begin your custom brew adventures, sign up to get your free Detroit Brew Trail pass to see all the participating breweries, collect check-ins and win prizes. Now that the important stuff is out of the way, let’s get to the trail. Starting in Detroit, make sure to spend some time exploring the Downtown area seeing the beautiful architecture in the city and walking the Detroit Riverwalk. On that walk, start from Hart Plaza and make your way about a mile to Atwater Brewery, right off of the Riverfront near Robert C. Valade Park.
The brewery was founded in 1997 in the Rivertown district, and they have a beer for everyone. Their most famous beers are the Dirty Blonde and the Vanilla Java Porter. Dirty Blonde is a wheat ale at 4.5%.while Vanilla Java Porter is an English-style porter. Both are available year-round.
After your stop Downtown and at Atwater, head to Midtown for some shopping and a stop at the Detroit Historical Museum to see some of Detroit’s iconic history.
After, a stop at Founders Brewing Company is a must. One of the more iconic Michigan beer companies with locations in Grand Rapids and Detroit, you can get Detroit-only varieties of their beer. Their Detroit-specific taps can change, so we don’t want to suggest something that might be gone. You can never go wrong with their All Day IPA. For those looking for something lighter, they have Mas Agave, their hard seltzer, or the Solid Gold.
Wayne County is next as the Saturday continues. If you have time, The Henry Ford Museum is one of the most iconic museums in all of the country, with some major historical items from America – including the chair Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when he was shot, several presidential limos, a full-size train and so much more.
Right down the street from The Henry Ford is Dearborn Brewing, a small microbrewery that was the first in the city. Dearborn Brewing offers a variety of different beers and even hard selzters. Some of their beers are themed, including the “Model IP’A’” named after one of Henry Ford’s first vehicles, and the “10w40 Imperial Oatmeal Stout,” named after a motor oil weight.
Finally, head a few miles away to Downey Brewing, a great place to end the night. Located in an industrial district in Dearborn, Downey has great beers and a huge area to have some fun. On top of board games, you can find darts, foosball and much more.
Day 2 – Oakland & Macomb Counties
After a great day in Wayne County, it’s time to head north and west to Oakland and Macomb counties.
Start the day around Lake St. Clair in St. Clair Shores at the Ford House, the former home of Edsel and Eleanor Ford. There are things to see inside the house and beautiful grounds surrounding the house. After, head over to Copper Hop Brewing Co., which often has food trucks for some food and a great rotating selection of beers.
On your way toward Oakland County, stop at Kuhnhenn Brewing Co. for a flight. They offer beer, cider and wine. They’ve been brewing 186 gallons a day and have been around for more than 20 years.
Not far from Kuhnhenn is Cadillac Straits Brewing Company, the first brewery in Madison Heights. They have a variety of beers, cider, meads and seltzer, and is a great stop between lunch and dinner.
Next, head just a couple miles south toward Ferndale and do some shopping with local sellers at the Rust Belt Market, which has more than a dozen different shops. Follow it up with a stop for a cocktail down the street at Valentine Distilling Co. and finish it at Ferndale Project for dinner. They have a variety of New England IPAs and a great patio to take in a warm metro Detroit night.
There are so many options for drinks and fun in metro Detroit, but if you only have 48 hours, this is the best way to spend it on the Detroit Brew Trail!