Draft Magazine named Traverse City one of three emerging beer towns, and we wholeheartedly agree. The bayside town, also popular for its local wines and ciders, boasts 12 breweries serving a range of suds from seasonal sours to traditional ales. Get a taste for the Northern Michigan beer scene with this guide to Traverse City breweries.
2959 Hartman Rd. | Traverse City | 231.929.1600
Brewery Terra Firma was one of Northern Michigan’s first microbreweries and is known as the region’s first farm-to-table brewery. Located on 10 acres just outside of downtown, the production brewery, taproom and MAEAP certified farm is renowned for good beer and as an example of smart environmental brewing stewardship. An innovative water capture system allows the brewery to reclaim more than 230,000 gallons of water from the manufacturing process for reuse as irrigation and fertilization on farm crops, including hops. The taproom sits 60 inside, and there are picnic tables out on the patio. Local snacks and sodas also available, and visitors are welcome to bring their own food.
1371 Gray Dr., Suite 200 | Traverse City | 231.252.4270
This Traverse City brewery and taproom is located “under the water tower” at the historic Village at Grand Traverse Commons. Husband-and-wife brewing team, Jamie and Andrew Kidwell-Brix, serve up innovative and well-balanced beers with a sense of place. Snacks are available or get a bite to eat from one of the neighboring restaurants. Year-round and seasonal brews available, plus grab a bite from Archie’s food truck parked out back.
642 Railroad Pl. | Traverse City | 231.946.8168
Located just off the TART Trail, with a view of Boardman Lake and outdoor seating, this family-friendly brewery is a popular pitstop for bikers and runners. You’ll find a rotating list of 10+ craft beers along with sensational wood-fired flatbread pizzas and fresh salads. The Filling Station is also a stop on the popular Kayak, Bike & Brew tour and the start/finish for TC Cycle Pub tours.
439 E. Eighth St. | Traverse City | 231.252.3552
Opening in November 2018, Silver Spruce Brewing specializes in lagers and traditional styles. Indoor seating and an outdoor patio with a firepit.
161 E. Front St. | Traverse City | 231.933.1100
Mackinaw Brewing was the first brewpub to open in downtown Traverse City in 1997. Lunch and dinner favorites include the oatmeal stout French onion soup, whitefish sandwich and smoked BBQ ribs.
400 W. Front St. | Traverse City | 231.941.7325
Housed in a historic brick building (previously a candy factory), North Peak has a warm, inviting atmosphere. The brewery/restaurant is known for its English-style ales, great burgers and a must-try white cheddar ale soup. Enjoy live music on the deck during the summer.
229 Lake Ave. | Traverse City | 231.943.2053
In addition to a dozen creative Rare Bird beers, the brewpub has 35 taps with brews from around the world along with a selection of bottles, wine, cider, liquor and non-alcoholic beverages. The food menu (sandwiches, burgers, tacos, salads) features Michigan purveyors. Rare Bird is a destination for trivia, live music, community parties and more.
225 E. 16th St. | Traverse City | 231.944.1239
Owner Russell Springsteen’s mission is to “keep beer curious,” so the eclectic beer selection at Right Brain is constantly rotating, with 30+ on tap at all times. The team experiments brewing with ingredients like asparagus and whole cherry pies—there are never any extracts in Right Brain beers. Food is served daily until 9 p.m.—poutine with your choice of gravy, a delish black bean burger, sausages served on a pretzel bun and more.
221 Garland St. | Traverse City | 231.421.8977
Craft beer newcomers appreciate approachable offerings like TenPenny, an American Blonde Ale, and Twenty-Pound Sledge, an American IPA, Midwest style. Aficionados love the barrel-aged beers and seasonal sours. The food menu emphasizes fresh, seasonal ingredients and each item is designed to complement a specific beer, noted on the menu, and many items even include beer in the recipe.
13512 Peninsula Dr. | Traverse City | 231.223.4333
Jolly Pumpkin (restaurant, brewery, distillery) is tucked up on Old Mission Peninsula in a warm, rustic venue. Jolly Pumpkin’s beers are crafted with French and Belgian yeasts in open fermentation vessels, then conditioned for months in oak casks. You’ll also find an ever-changing menu of seasonal brews. The food menu…good luck deciding what to order.
3054 Cass Rd. Suite F | Traverse City | 231.943.2016
Here’s a unique idea: a brewery for home brewers and non-brewers alike. Fresh Coast will give you its beer recipes and you can grab the ingredients at UBrew Homebrew Supply (on-site). Or, you can just try the brewery’s ever-changing beer list. Order in food and have it delivered, or bring your own.