Savor summer right on through September with these refreshing Northern Michigan seltzers in hand.
Traverse City’s MiddleCoast Brewing Company—located inside State Street Market and formerly named Monkey Fist Brewing—is riding that sweet summer seltzer wave and loving every bubbly minute of it.
Jeff Chesterson, director of operations for MiddleCoast, first took notice of the hard seltzer craze last summer. “We had to jump on it,” he says. And so, the brewery did, with three gluten-free, all-natural flavors crafted with Michigan-sourced ingredients: TartSweet Cherry (made with Traverse City tart cherries), Cucumber Lime and Cranberry Grapefruit. MiddleCoast doesn’t batch sweeten its seltzers like some major brands, so the flavors have a cleaner, crisper finish.
Chesterson says it took about six months to get their seltzers just right, and he’s glad they took that time. With the pandemic impacting draft sales, seltzer is going strong, with bars and restaurants going through 10 or 20 MiddleCoast cases a night.
A small, family-owned operation, MiddleCoast brewed just 2,000 barrels of beer last year—but Chesterson says they’re now looking to expand brewing capacity in light of how well hard seltzer is selling.
The brewery is especially proud of its Pure Michigan designation. More than 95 percent of its ingredients come from the Great Lakes state—from the water and beet sugar to local cherries.
“We really want to keep everything in-state and show the rest of the U.S. what Michigan breweries can offer,” Chesterson says.
To order online or find a local retailer, visit middlecoastbrewingco.com.
More Northern Michigan Seltzers to Sip …
Beaches Hard Seltzer // Short’s Brewing Company
Beaches Hard Seltzer, a separate division of Short’s Brewing Company, makes its bubbly gluten-free drinks with real fruit juice, like mango and citrus in its Tropical Seltzer. Beaches also released four new cocktail-themed seltzers this summer: Margarita, Mojito, Paloma and Piña Colada.
Michigan Cherry & Cucumber Lime Hard Seltzer // Petoskey Brewing
Drop into Petoskey Brewing’s taproom to try a pint or crowler of their low-calorie, all-natural hard seltzers—Cucumber Lime or Michigan Cherry, made with Traverse City cherry juice, of course. Both are brewed with pure artesian spring water.
Breakwater Hard Seltzer // Ore Dock Brewing Company
Billed as the U.P.’s first Superior-sourced handcrafted hard seltzer, Ore Dock Brewing’s Breakwater is made with no added colors, sugars or artificial flavors. Pick up a six-pack of white peach, black cherry, lemon-lime or blackberry.
Empathy Cherry Hard Seltzer // The Filling Station Microbrewery
To create this effervescent tart cherry seltzer, The Filling Station in Traverse City took its first batch of seltzer and cycled it through a hop back (a vessel used for brewing) filled with local tart cherries from King Orchards. The result? A subtle and truly satisfying seltzer.