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5 Michigan Breweries to Try

October 12, 2017

Check out these 5 Michigan Breweries to find the perfect pour.

By Allison Jacobs

Can’t get enough of craft beer these days? With new breweries popping up all over the U.S., it can be a challenge to keep up with this growing craze. From hoppy IPAs to refreshing German wheat ales, there are no shortages of funky brews to sip on nowadays.There is quite a bit of hype around craft beer right now — and for a good reason.

The American Brewers Association notes craft beer grew out of the pastime of homebrewing, which caught on in the late 1970s to create more eclectic styles of beer than your average American lager. Unlike mass-produced counterparts like Budweiser, craft beer comes in smaller batches with unique ingredients. The craft beer movement now contributes more than $55.7 billion to the U.S. economy and has created thousands of jobs.

With craft breweries spreading quickly across the country, Michigan, in particular, is a rapidly growing craft beer hub. Popular companies like Bell’s Brewery in Comstock and Kalamazoo and Founders Brewing in Grand Rapids are paving the way for Michigan brewers. While these big-name companies are holding their own, Detroit and its suburbs have become a major destination for craft brewers eager to make a name for themselves in this fast-growing industry.

Atwater Brewery

Atwater Brewery

One of the leaders in the local brewing movement is none other than Atwater Brewery. Founded in 1997, this brewery expanded from a single storefront to three successful German-style biergartens in Detroit, Grosse Pointe and Grand Rapids. Atwater specializes in German lagers, which owner Mark Rieth became especially fond of as a homebrewer back in the day. In 2005, the Michigan State University grad purchased the company and has been brewing his heart out since. Rieth made certain Atwater encompassed Detroit’s overall vibe. As Rieth describes, Atwater is all about “hard-working beer for hard-working people.”
Between the beer, food offerings and fun merchandise, Atwater is a tribute to the city and its people. Since Rieth took over the business, Atwater’s popularity soared with the creation of the crisp, yet subtly sweet Dirty Blonde Wheat Ale, which Rieth calls “a true gateway for all consumers.” Hop-a-Peel and Vanilla Java Porter follow right behind, but there are even more seasonal beers on the rise. This fall, Atwater fans can get a taste of the Voodoo Vator Triple Bock and the Blocktoberfest Marzen Lager. Both were tapped this year in celebration of Atwater’s 20th anniversary on Sept. 16.

Detroit Tap House
237 Jos Campau
Detroit, MI 48207

Atwater in the Park
1175 Lakepointe Street
Grosse Pointe Park MI 48230
(313) 344-5104

Atwater Grand Rapids
201 Michigan Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 649-3020

Griffin Claw

Michigan Breweries

Also raising a glass is Griffin Claw Brewing Company. Yet another local favorite among craft beer fans, this Birmingham establishment is producing mass amounts of beer these days. While the brewhouse is just 4 years old, Griffin Claw beer has existed for 12 years, thanks to master brewer Dan Rogers, who brewed for Big Rock Chophouse in early 2000. Eventually, the demand grew high enough that Griffin Claw was able to open its own taproom.
Now, Griffin Claw boasts plenty of beers in a communal atmosphere. Visitors can select any of the 18 beers on tap, which range from nose-tickling IPAs to both sweet and sour ales. Its most popular beer to date is Norm’s Raggedy Ass IPA, which amounts to 75 percent of overall sales. Another top-seller is Mr. Blue Sky — a light, delicious beer that goes down easy. With soaring amounts of growth, this brewing company is gearing up for a second Rochester Hills location scheduled to open next year.

Griffin Claw
575 S Eton St.
Birmingham, MI 48009

Sherwood Brewing Company

Michigan Breweries

Since 2006, Sherwood Brewing Company has made quite an impact in Macomb County. Owners Ray Sherwood and his wife, Lisa, are all about keeping things local.
“We strived to create a much more personable experience for our customers than what is available elsewhere,” Sherwood says. “We want everyone to feel like they’re a regular and Sherwood Brewing is their place,” he adds.
Fondly nicknamed, the “Wood,” locals love gathering at this unpretentious establishment for a tall beer after a long day. Visitors take advantage of their drink and food specials, and often stop in for live music and trivia nights each week.“We’ve built our own little community here at the brewery and have become a part of the community around us as well,” Sherwood says. While the taproom always comes first, the Sherwoods are happily serving Disco Lemonade, Lawnmower IPA and more at Jimmy John’s Field in Utica.
45689 Hayes Rd
Utica, MI 48315

(586) 532-9669

Batch Brewing Company

Michigan Breweries

Similarly focused on brewing for the locals is Batch Brewing Company, located in the heart of Corktown. After realizing more space was required for his homebrewing hobby, co-founder Stephen Roginson opened Batch brewery — a lively spot with communal seating and tasty eats.
Batch started out as a nano brewery with a mere 10 gallons of craft beer in 2015. As of this year, Roginson and his crew have upped the ante, producing up to 1,000 barrels.
While beer has always been his priority, Roginson is eager to launch a line of ciders at a second taproom in Detroit’s North End/Milwaukee Junction area. “We love the neighborhood and can’t wait to open up a tasting room in the space someday,” he says. “We’re still working out what it might be, but it will definitely be different than our Corktown tasting room.”
The Feelgood Tap (pictured above) raises funds to support local and regional nonprofits throughout Michigan with a focus on community, culture, and wellness. The funds raised will further the work these nonprofits do within communities throughout the state.
1400 Porter St
Detroit, MI 48216

(313) 338-8008

Axle Brewing Company

Michigan Breweries

A new taproom hit the streets of Ferndale this past summer. Inside the expansive Livernois Taproom, guests can sample beers from Axle Brewing Company, founded by Dan Riley. a new taproom hit the streets of Ferndale this past summer. Inside the expansive Livernois Taproom, guests can sample beers from Axle Brewing Company, founded by Dan Riley. Formerly in the media industry, Riley found himself eager to bring a friendly, neighborhood taproom and biergarten to the Metro Detroit area with a focus on beer and high-end pub fare.He credits Head Brewer Adam Beratta for his ability to create unique flavor profiles with a “clean” taste. Craft beer novices don’t have to worry — the Noble Ghost Blonde Ale or the Dual Citizen Cream Ale are especially smooth.Thrilled with the community’s positive reception to Axel Brewing, Riley will continue playing to its strengths. With extensive knowledge of the beer industry, he identifies an overall increase in competition for shelf space in the retail market. He also notices an unsettling number of smaller breweries disappearing as larger companies take over.“Many small brewers will reconsider packaged distribution in favor of multiple taprooms and self-distribution,” says Riley, indicating a more positive prediction for the future of craft beer.
567 Livernois St
Ferndale, MI 48220

Bonus: M-Brew

Michigan Breweries

And while not technically a brewery one of our favorite spots for a cold Michigan Beer is M-Brew. Featuring “The Mitten’s” world renowned craft beers, M-Brew also brings custom roast coffees, wines from one of the most heralded grape growing regions and indigenous food flavors from Bruce Crossing Pasties to Pinconning Pizza. With a rotating draft system of 30 of Michigan’s finest brewery selections, they fill growlers of all sizes for you to enjoy at home or at their Ferndale ‘urban cottage’. Enjoy a cold brew on their wrap-around Petoskey porch, a cup of maple-bacon coffee by the fire place or a pizza party in the family friendly “Brew-Cade” they have something for everyone.

177 Vester St.
Ferndale, MI 48220


What’s your favorite Michigan brewery? Comment below or tag us on Instagram @seenmagazine.

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