Top 5 Breweries …In The Mitten

Michigan has become somewhat famous over the last 5-10 years as being a destination for great breweries. Grand Rapids was even named Beer City USA by several organizations! But did you know that Michigan is fifth in the entire nation for number of breweries? While we could go on for days about all 350+ of the amazing local spots, here’s our picks for the top 5 breweries in the state, with special emphasis on those that have multiple locations, or that attract national attention and fame!

Bell’s Brewery, Inc.
Located in Comstock, MI and Kalamazoo, MI this brewery has a little something for everyone. Offering over 30 beers throughout the year, you can find light session ales, or dark and robust stouts just about any time. Combine that with a great food menu, and you have a perfect evening. Of course, we have to mention that Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, a year-round IPA, has won Best Beer in American 3 years in a row!

Founder’s Brewing Co
Started in downtown Grand Rapids in 1997, Founder’s is one of America’s fastest growing breweries, and now distributes to the entire continental US and Alaska. Whether you enjoy a classic like All Day IPA, or one of their oldest beers, the barrel aged KBS, Founder’s has something for every beer lover. We also especially love their focus on the environment, sustainability, and philanthropic efforts through their Big Pitcher initiative.

Short’s Brewing
When in Northern MI, a visit to Bellaire is a must to see this unique brewpub and “brewtique”. Offering over 20 beers on rotation, you can find some of the most popular, like Soft Parade or Bellaire Brown, or try one of the newer ciders offered by Shorts, the Starcut brand! You can find fun events just about every weekend at Short’s, which makes for a great evening or daytime visit.

New Holland Brewing Co
New Holland is a great brewery to visit for variety, especially for those who may prefer liquor over beer. Offering 7 year-round brews, 12 liquors and 4 ready to drink cocktail blends, there is something for everyone! With three locations, a brewpub in Holland, MI and a brewpub on the west side of downtown Grand Rapids, MI and a tasting room in Saugatuck, MI, you can enjoy an eclectic environment and remarkable service.

Atwater Brewing Co
Founded in Detroit in 1997, Atwater has stayed close to its roots of brewing traditional German style lagers, but also offers a variety of boutique ales, and we like the Vanilla Java Porter as well. You can check out one of the company’s three locations – the original Tap House in Detroit, MI, a park location in Grosse Point, and a tap house in Grand Rapids.


Shark Free …In the Mitten

We’re right in the middle of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, and while we love a good (fictional) thriller story about deadly shark attacks, we also have a healthy level of fear for our ocean dwelling friends! Which is why we love this week’s In the Mitten topic – Michigan beaches! Take a look at some of our favorite fresh water beaches – and get ready to enjoy your day salt and shark free 😉

 

LAKE MICHIGAN BEACHES

  • Silver Lake Sand Dunes – if you have a taste for adventure, this beach is for you! Visitors can cruise along the area’s dunes and enjoy the slower paced beaches, all within walking distance.
  • Pere Marquette Park – just south of the Muskegon Channel, Pere Marquette Park offers beautifully maintained beaches, playground, volleyball, and a number of restaurants and attractions nearby.
  • Saugatuck Dunes State Park – this State Park has a little something for everyone. Walk along the well-kept paths to the dunes and lakeshore or trek off-path to create your own adventure.
  • Warren Dunes State Park – home to 3 miles of shoreline and 6 miles of hiking, Warren Dunes is open year-round and can provide tons of beach and nature fun.
  • Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – we love this area for all of the hiking opportunities! We’ll admit, the beach isn’t the best Michigan has to offer, but the views are spectacular

LAKE HURON BEACHES

  • Tawas Point State Park – Situated on the end of a sand spit that forms Tawas Bay, and is often called the Cape Cod of the Midwest. Enjoy the shallow sandy beach, or walk along the beach toward the Tawas Point Lighthouse
  • Hoeft State Park Beach – Located in a wooded stretch of Lake Huron, you’ll find moderate temperatures year round – which makes this beach great for those hot summer months, and wonderful for winter beach fun.
  • Bay City State Park – this area features amazing coastal wetlands and over 1,000 feet of sandy beach right along Lake Huron, making this park a great place for beach goers and wildlife enthusiasts

LAKE SUPERIOR BEACHES

  • 12 Mile Beach – in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore near Munising
  • Black Rocks in Presque Isle Park – not exactly a beach, but we had to include this stunning area! Jump off of the unique rock formation or wade in from the small rocky beach.

LAKE ERIE BEACHES

  • Luna Pier Public Beach – one of Michigan’s southernmost beaches, Luna Pier Beach offers a quaint beach and pier area, as well as some great cafés nearby.

INLAND LAKES

These inland lakes have a lot of fun swimming and recreation to offer as well! Be sure to check these out as you tour the beautiful coastline.

  • Torch Lake – The famous sandbar at the lake’s southern end draws impressive crowds each year.
  • Lake Michigamme – located in the U.P., this lake has three beaches and 16 islands so you can explore to your heart’s content!
  • Gull Lake – Ross Township Park has an adorable wooded picnic and beach area, perfect for those days at the lake when you want some shade with your sun.
  • Lake Charlevoix – Ferry Beach is our favorite for this inland lake – offering sandy swimming areas, picnic areas, paddle board rentals and pavilions.
  • Higgins Lake – South Higgins Lake State Park is often voted one of Michigan’s best places for beach and lake goers.
  • Kent Lake – Located in Kensington Metropark in Milford Kent Lake features Martindale Beach, a great family-friendly beach with a splash pad and water slides!