“It takes a lot of beer to make good wine.” Perhaps that’s the reason the craft beer industry has quietly, but steadily strengthened, following in the footsteps of their vintner cousins.
In 1996 the Mackinaw Brewing Company opened the first brewpub in downtown Traverse City. It wasn’t long before the successful restauranteurs and savvy entrepreneurs join the fray. Right Brain Brewery opened in 2004 along with the Salon Saloon, where guests can get a haircut while enjoying a beer from next door. Soon Traverse City’s west end was the place where creativity flourished in the form of beer. Today breweries, brew pubs and tap rooms are popping up all over town and in villages throughout the region.
Imagine beers made from asparagus, roasted sweet corn, or coffee, and stouts stored in bourbon barrels. It’s places like Right Brain Brewery, and Short’s Brewing in Bellaire that put this area on the map. So much so that Draft Magazine listed Traverse City as one of Americas’ three newest Emerging Beer Towns.
Just as winemakers strive to produce wines that represent the “terroir” or land where they were grown. Craft beer makers have joined this sustainable approach which has lead to an increase in local hops production. Brewers include local fruits, grains and even meats in their creative small batch blends.
It seems our love for spirits of all kinds is flourishing in northern Michigan. If beer and wine aren’t up your alley you can also find distilleries producing award-winning vodka, whiskey, rum and gin, and even an estate meadery in our neck of the woods. So where do you start? Download our app and explore the Beer & Spirits category for details about distilled spirits in Traverse City.
Discover Traverse City Breweries
Download the Traverse Traveler app and experience the best in Traverse City craft beer.
– Does the brewery serve food? We’ll let you know.
– Beer near me? Find the breweries closest to you with listings based on your GPS location.
– What/where to drink? Check out our beer tasting tips and recommendations.