Check out these 5 Michigan Breweries to find the perfect pour.
By Allison Jacobs
Can’t get enough of craft beer these days? With new breweries popping up all over the U.S., it can be a challenge to keep up with this growing craze. From hoppy IPAs to refreshing German wheat ales, there are no shortages of funky brews to sip on nowadays.There is quite a bit of hype around craft beer right now — and for a good reason.
The American Brewers Association notes craft beer grew out of the pastime of homebrewing, which caught on in the late 1970s to create more eclectic styles of beer than your average American lager. Unlike mass-produced counterparts like Budweiser, craft beer comes in smaller batches with unique ingredients. The craft beer movement now contributes more than $55.7 billion to the U.S. economy and has created thousands of jobs.
With craft breweries spreading quickly across the country, Michigan, in particular, is a rapidly growing craft beer hub. Popular companies like Bell’s Brewery in Comstock and Kalamazoo and Founders Brewing in Grand Rapids are paving the way for Michigan brewers. While these big-name companies are holding their own, Detroit and its suburbs have become a major destination for craft brewers eager to make a name for themselves in this fast-growing industry.
One of the leaders in the local brewing movement is none other than Atwater Brewery. Founded in 1997, this brewery expanded from a single storefront to three successful German-style biergartens in Detroit, Grosse Pointe and Grand Rapids. Atwater specializes in German lagers, which owner Mark Rieth became especially fond of as a homebrewer back in the day. In 2005, the Michigan State University grad purchased the company and has been brewing his heart out since. Rieth made certain Atwater encompassed Detroit’s overall vibe. As Rieth describes, Atwater is all about “hard-working beer for hard-working people.”
Between the beer, food offerings and fun merchandise, Atwater is a tribute to the city and its people. Since Rieth took over the business, Atwater’s popularity soared with the creation of the crisp, yet subtly sweet Dirty Blonde Wheat Ale, which Rieth calls “a true gateway for all consumers.” Hop-a-Peel and Vanilla Java Porter follow right behind, but there are even more seasonal beers on the rise. This fall, Atwater fans can get a taste of the Voodoo Vator Triple Bock and the Blocktoberfest Marzen Lager. Both were tapped this year in celebration of Atwater’s 20th anniversary on Sept. 16.
Detroit Tap House
237 Jos Campau
Detroit, MI 48207
Atwater in the Park
1175 Lakepointe Street
Grosse Pointe Park MI 48230
Atwater Grand Rapids
201 Michigan Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Also raising a glass is Griffin Claw Brewing Company. Yet another local favorite among craft beer fans, this Birmingham establishment is producing mass amounts of beer these days. While the brewhouse is just 4 years old, Griffin Claw beer has existed for 12 years, thanks to master brewer Dan Rogers, who brewed for Big Rock Chophouse in early 2000. Eventually, the demand grew high enough that Griffin Claw was able to open its own taproom.
Now, Griffin Claw boasts plenty of beers in a communal atmosphere. Visitors can select any of the 18 beers on tap, which range from nose-tickling IPAs to both sweet and sour ales. Its most popular beer to date is Norm’s Raggedy Ass IPA, which amounts to 75 percent of overall sales. Another top-seller is Mr. Blue Sky — a light, delicious beer that goes down easy. With soaring amounts of growth, this brewing company is gearing up for a second Rochester Hills location scheduled to open next year.
575 S Eton St.
Birmingham, MI 48009
Sherwood Brewing Company
“We strived to create a much more personable experience for our customers than what is available elsewhere,” Sherwood says. “We want everyone to feel like they’re a regular and Sherwood Brewing is their place,” he adds.
Batch Brewing Company
While beer has always been his priority, Roginson is eager to launch a line of ciders at a second taproom in Detroit’s North End/Milwaukee Junction area. “We love the neighborhood and can’t wait to open up a tasting room in the space someday,” he says. “We’re still working out what it might be, but it will definitely be different than our Corktown tasting room.”
Axle Brewing Company
And while not technically a brewery one of our favorite spots for a cold Michigan Beer is M-Brew. Featuring “The Mitten’s” world renowned craft beers, M-Brew also brings custom roast coffees, wines from one of the most heralded grape growing regions and indigenous food flavors from Bruce Crossing Pasties to Pinconning Pizza. With a rotating draft system of 30 of Michigan’s finest brewery selections, they fill growlers of all sizes for you to enjoy at home or at their Ferndale ‘urban cottage’. Enjoy a cold brew on their wrap-around Petoskey porch, a cup of maple-bacon coffee by the fire place or a pizza party in the family friendly “Brew-Cade” they have something for everyone.
177 Vester St.
Ferndale, MI 48220
What’s your favorite Michigan brewery? Comment below or tag us on Instagram @seenmagazine.