Explore Leelanau’s Buzzing Craft Beverage Scene
From Suttons Bay to Glen Arbor, we explore every winery, brewery, cidery and distillery town-by-town on the Leelanau Peninsula. Or head below to explore our favorite ways and spots to enjoy this region’s buzzing craft beverage scene.
Head to Wineries in Cedar
Recently renovated, the tasting room offers panoramic views of Lake Leelanau. Lots of lawn and patio seating, too.
FRENCH VALLEY VINEYARD
A barn-inspired tasting room with custom saddle bar stools, thick hand-hewn posts and intricate chandeliers. Outdoors, kids romp on the playground while adults unwind in the four-season pavilion.
Photo by Bel Lago
Bel Lago in Cedar.
Wineries in Glen Arbor
CHERRY PUBLIC HOUSE
Cherry wines, ciders and beers (and sodas for kids!). Plus, visit Cherry Republic’s iconic Great Hall brimming with cherry goodies.
GLEN ARBOR WINES
Relaxed, vintage-style tasting room with a stocked cooler (think deli items, snacks), an outdoor bocce court and lawn games.
M22 GLEN ARBOR
Rent kayaks and paddle the Crystal River, ending your trip conveniently downtown—right across the street from this outdoor wine patio.
Glen Arbor Wines in Glen Arbor.
Lake Leelanau’s Wineries & Distilleries
45 NORTH VINEYARD & WINERY
Rustic but elevated post-and-beam barn with gorgeous wood interior. Explore the all-season, three-mile Vineyard Trail.
Grab a seat on the charming covered porch with a charcuterie tray and flight.
European-style estate with a patio overlooking the vineyard and a lavender-lined walkway. Take a self-guided vineyard tour; follow the signage and scan QR codes for fun videos with Head Winemaker Drew Perry.
Modern tasting room with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the vineyard and a firepit outdoors.
Relax out back and watch boats pass by on “The Narrows,” a scenic waterway connecting North and South Lake Leelanau.
CHATEAU FONTAINE VINEYARD & WINERY
Intimate and homey, with a vine-covered patio and woodsy, rural setting.
GOOD HARBOR VINEYARDS
We love the colorful Leelanau-inspired mural inside the renovated tasting room, but on sunny days you can’t beat the lawn and patio that feel like a friend’s (fabulously landscaped) backyard.
Settle in at a picnic table with vineyard views. Private vineyard tours and small-plate pairings available by reservation.
NORTHERN LATITUDES DISTILLERY
Complimentary spirit tastings, extensive cocktail menu (recipes online to try at home!), always a good time.
SOUL SQUEEZE CELLARS
A portion of proceeds are donated to charitable children’s organizations each year so you can feel extra good about those boutique wines and ciders.
Photo by Aurora Cellars
Aurora Cellars in Lake Leelanau.
Leland’s Winery & Distillery
GRAND TRAVERSE DISTILLERY – LELAND OUTPOST
Seasonal tasting room in downtown Leland next to historic Fishtown. Venture into Traverse City for a tour at the production facility.
VERTERRA WINERY – LELAND TASTING ROOM
Downtown hangout in a 1927 brick building that was once a barber shop/pool hall.
Photo by Carly Simpson
Verterra Winery in Leland.
Explore Omena & Northport’s Wineries and Brewery
DUNE BIRD WINERY
Kid-friendly destination (play sets, toys, books) with legit espresso, wine and small plates. Lots of outdoor seating, too.
GREEN BIRD ORGANIC CELLARS
Set on a lush 15-acre farm, Green Bird offers guests pasture-raised eggs and organic veggies after wine tastings. Private farm tours available by reservation.
THE MITTEN BREWING CO.
Covered patio, stone fireplace and backyard bier garden in Northport’s downtown. Outside food welcome; food truck eats on occasion.
THE RIDGE AT VERTERRA
A seasonal tasting experience. Huge patio and terrace overlooking vineyards and Grand Traverse Bay.
The view of aquamarine Omena Bay is absolutely stellar, both inside and on the patio.
Photo by Allison Jarrell
Dune Bird Winery in Northport.
Suttons Bay’s Wineries, Cideries & Breweries
BIG LITTLE WINES
A big and little brother making balanced, complex wines together. Located right next door to Mawby, so plan to stop at both.
BLACK STAR FARMS
The 160-acre estate is home to a tasting room, luxury inn, seasonal farm-to-table café, hiking trails and more.
CICCONE VINEYARD & WINERY
Yes, this is the winery Madonna’s dad owns. No, the staff can’t get you an autograph. The tasting room is warm and welcoming, and you’ll cherish the property’s true-blue bay views.
HOP LOT BREWING CO.
Massive four-season beer garden with firepits and picnic tables in summer and igloos in winter. Good food menu for lunch and dinner.
Sparkling wines only at this long-respected win- ery, best known for its popular, and provocative, “Sex” rosé.
NORTHERN LATITUDES DISTILLERY – SUTTONS BAY SATELLITE
Now open: NLD has a second satellite location in Suttons Bay with a full coffee bar, baked goods and cocktails.
SHADY LANE CELLARS
Committed to sustainable agriculture, Shady Lane was SIP Certified in 2020—a process that looks at people, planet and prosperity to ensure natural and human resources are protected.
SILVER LEAF VINEYARD & WINERY
Make it a wine weekend and book a stay at Silver Leaf’s two-person log cottage.
SUTTONS BAY CIDERS
The Grand Traverse Bay views will knock your socks off. Great deck and fire pit area.
A barn-like tasting room with the vibe of a British pub tucked away in orchard country.
TWO K FARMS CIDERY & WINERY
Another A+ for views of Grand Traverse Bay and rolling orchards. Large deck, patio and tent to soak it all in, often with live music.
Spectacular views of the bay and vineyards from a hillside perch. Grab a seat under the umbrellas and stay awhile.
Photo by Allison Jarrell
Two K Farms in Suttons Bay.
Wineries & Breweries in Traverse City
White farmhouse-style tasting room with a generous patio located 10 minutes outside of downtown Traverse City.
A brewery/restaurant/market/farm focused on subtle, lower-alcohol beers. Lots of seating indoors and out; very family friendly.
Perched at the highest point on the Leelanau Peninsula (and just minutes from downtown TC) with lots of indoor and outdoor seating.
Rove Estate Winery in Traverse City.
Our Favorite Ways to Explore Leelanau’s Wineries, Breweries, Cideries & Distilleries
Grab Dinner, a Brew & Market Goodies from Farm Club
New to the peninsula, Farm Club opened in July 2020. The farm/market/restaurant/brewery is a collaboration between Allison and Gary Jonas of Traverse City’s Little Fleet and Sara and Nic Thiesen of Leelanau’s Loma Farm. With a farm-fresh menu, nuanced, lower-ABV beers and easy access to the Leelanau Trail, it’s become a destination for all ages.
For the 21-plus club, it’s only fitting when visiting Leelanau, set as it is on the 45th Parallel (the same parallel as France’s Bordeaux and Côtes du Rhône regions and the Piedmont region of Italy), that your trip includes a stop at one of this peninsula’s 32 wineries and tasting rooms with their watery views and gorgeous settings. But this American Viticultural Area (AVA) is more than just a pretty face. Grapes thrive in this microclimate buffered from frosts and debilitating heat by Lake Michigan and inland lakes. The complex soil—a tapestry of clay, sand and glacial till—creates complex flavors that a handful of talented winemakers are turning into national and international award-winning wines. From the light, stone fruit sweetness of a riesling to the elegant notes of a pinot noir, Leelanau’s wines are world-class.
The Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail (the marketing organization for the wineries) makes it simple to plot your route by mapping the wineries into three loops: Sleeping Bear, Northern and Grand Traverse Bay. The organization’s website, lpwines.com, keeps you up to date on fun events happening in wine country and has extensive information about chauffeured tours (DDs being so important!), weddings and other group events at the wineries.
Where grapes flourish, so do apples, and Leelanau is lucky to have three rustic cideries, all located in Suttons Bay, where you can sip hard cider surrounded by orchards. Nikki and Dan Rothwell opened Tandem Ciders a decade ago after having a cider epiphany on a bicycle tour of Southern England. Since then, two more cideries, Suttons Bay Ciders and Two K Farms, have grown up on the peninsula, using both heritage apple varieties and agricultural newcomers like the Honeycrisp to produce a range of bone dry to satisfyingly sweet beverages. Many of the wineries also produce cider, so it’s easy to get your apple fix.
Photo by Taylor Brown
And there’s not a town on the Leelanau Peninsula that doesn’t have at least one Up North-style tavern with an array of taps and an ice-cold glass waiting for you. The past decade has also brought a handful of breweries, including Hop Lot Brewing Co. in Suttons Bay, The Mitten Brewing Co. in Northport and Cherry Republic Brewing Co. in Glen Arbor. At Hop Lot, the Lutke family has created a welcoming hangout inside the taproom and out—but the four-season beer garden really takes the cake with fire pits, a stage for live music and plenty of room to spread out. And Cherry Republic Brewing Co. has the very cherry bonus of being located at the original Cherry Republic campus with its cheerful gardens, pit-spitting arena and lots of goodies for not-yet-21 visitors.
When you’re in need of good spirits, you’ll find them aplenty at Northern Latitudes Distillery in Lake Leelanau, where the vibe is always relaxed, and glasses are full. Founders and owners Mark and Mandy Moseler craft vodkas, gins, rums, liqueurs and bourbon whiskey with Leelanau water, cherries and saskatoon berries, and you bet the corn, malt, barley and sugar beets are Michigan-grown, too. In nearby Leland, you’ll also want to check out the Traverse City-based spirits at Grand Traverse Distillery’s intimate tasting room with its old-timey bar ambiance (open seasonally; find hours online).