Posted by: Kath Usitalo | July 8, 2011

It’s A Great Season For…Michigan Craft Beer

Sample specialties of the house at Royal Oak Brewery, Royal Oak

If you’re looking for a hobby and are at least 21 years of age, consider exploring the wonderful world of craft beer.

A window at Keweenaw Brewing Company, Houghton

Since Michigan legislators have designated July as Craft Beer Month, now is the ideal time to start sipping and studying the beverages concocted for sale by more than 100 small brewers across the state.

If I had to choose between Michigan beer and Michigan wine, I’d go for the mug of brew every time.

I especially like visiting the brewpubs where you can try the beer made on site; each joint is unique and usually very inviting.

I’m not a big fan of standing at a tasting bar sipping a tablespoon of a variety of wines, trying to act as though I know what I should be discerning from each. Beer just seems so much more approachable: sit back, relax, sip, enjoy.

Tips (no, I did not mean tipsy) to get you started in your new Craft Beer hobby:

– Get up to speed on American Brewing History at the Brewers Association website

The beer is made in a back room of the Dunes Saloon, Grand Marais

– Michigan ranks among the top craft brew states in the nation with Oregon, Washington and Colorado

– Larry Bell founded Michigan’s new wave of independent craft breweries when he opened Kalamazoo Brewing Company in 1985. The company, now Bell’s Brewery, Inc., is a Kalamazoo landmark and still a leader in the industry.

The seasonal Cherry Stout at Bell's Eccentric Cafe, Kalamazoo

– Check out the Motor City Bike & Brew Tour of downtown Detroit (B.Y.O.Bicycle) offered by Motor City Tour Company and the Tour De Brew: Paddling Micro-Brew Tour, a kayak outing at Old Mission Point by Uncommon Adventures in Beulah (includes equipment)

– Visit the Michigan Brewers Guild for info on its member breweries, the craft brew industry in Michigan, and events, and download The Great Beer State magazine

– Get your ticket while you can for theMichigan Brewers Guild
14th Summer Beer Festival, July 22-23 at Riverside Park in Ypsilanti. There’s a reason—or 300—why it usually sells out: the ticket ($30-$35) includes 15 sips of your choice of over 300 beers from 50 Michigan Breweries. You can buy additional drink and food tickets. Designated Driver tickets are $5.

– Plan ahead for the U.P. Fall Beer Festival, 09.10.11 in Marquette and the Detroit Fall Beer Festival, October 22, also sponsored by the Michigan Brewers Guild

– Pick up a copy of the Michigan Beer Guide and learn more about the state’s brewers

– Find a list of many of the breweries and more at the Pure Michigan Travel website

Oatmeal Stout, Founders Brewing, Grand Rapids


Visitor Info Clicks:




Pure Michigan

Related Post: On Tap: Founders Keepers, September 23, 2010



  1. Nice post! Just for good measure, here’s a handy infographic on Michigan beer:

    • Thanks for the link, and for checking in at Great Lakes Gazette.

  2. The Motor City Tour Company holds events and tours year-round. There is a Motor City Brew Tour coming up in January for anyone who is interested.

    • Looks like fun. Have been meaning to check out your tours; thanks for the reminder—and for checking in at Great Lakes Gazette. Cheers!

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