Craft Beer and Breweries

Along the Lake Michigan Shoreline


The Brewers Association defines a craft brewer as being small, independent and traditional:

Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less. Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beer for purposes of this definition.

Independent: Less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer.

Traditional: A brewer who has either an all malt flagship (the beer which represents the greatest volume among that brewers brands) or has at least 50% of its volume in either all malt beers or in beers which use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor.


With the growing popularity of craft beer, the number of US breweries has increased significantly since the low point of only 89 in the late 1970s. By 2010 the number of breweries had exceeded the number operating in 1887 when beer production was almost strictly local. This means a much greater variety of beer styles and unique flavors are available for the thirsty beer fan to explore.

graph: Brewers Association

Here are the Michigan craft breweries listed from south to north along Lake Michigan:

Pleasant House Brewing Company - Three Oaks, Michigan
Pleasant House Brewing Company
9 North Elm Street
Three Oaks, MI 49128
(Thu-Fri 4-9pm -Thu limited food menu- Sat: noon to 9pm; Sun noon to 8pm)
Microbrewery offering true-to-style and traditional UK styles. Current list.

Greenbush Brewing Company
5885 Sawyer Road
Sawyer, MI 49125
(Sun-Thu: 12-10pm; Fri-Sat: 12-11pm)
Microbrewery offering 23 different craft beers. Soups, sandwiches and pizza available.

Tapistry Brewing Company
4236 Lake Street
Bridgman, MI 49106
(Open 11am - 11pm daily.)
Microbrewery offering 19 different craft beers.

Round Barn Brewery & Public House
9151 First Street
Baroda, MI 49101
(Mo -Thu: 3pm-10:30pm; Fri-Sat: 12pm-11pm; Sun: 12:30pm-10pm)
21 year-round and seasonal brews.


Brewpub, Microbrewery or Brewery - What does it all mean?

In Michigan, a brewpub can manufacture a maximum of 5000 barrels of beer per year and may only sell it in their pub. The pub must have a full-service restaurant with at least 25% of sales coming from non-alcoholic foodstuffs.

A microbrewery can manufacture a maximum of 30,000 barrels of beer per year, but may sell it in an unlimited number of their taverns or through retailers.

A brewery has no production limit and can sell its beer through an unlimited number of retailers in the state, but can only sell it directly in a single tavern.

The Livery
190 5th Street
Benton Harbor, MI 49023
(Mon-Thu: 4-midnight; Fri-Sat: 11:30am-1am; Sun: 12-midnight)
Microbrewery offering beer, ale, seasonal, specialty, hard cider and mead. Curently on tap.

Saugatuck Brewing Company sign - Douglas, Michigan
Saugatuck Brewing Company
2948 Blue Star Highway
Douglas, MI 49406
(Fall/Winter Hours - Sun-Thu: 11:30-9pm (kitchen open until 9); Fri: 11:30-10pm (kitchen open until 10); Sat: 11:30-11pm)
Thirteen ale, wheat, stout, bitter and IPAs on tap. Current list.

New Holland Brewing Co. exterior - Holland, Michigan
New Holland Brewing Company
66 East 8th Street
Holland, MI 49423
(Mon-Thu: 11am-12am; Fri – Sat: 11am-1am; Sun: 11am-10pm)
Seven year-round ales & stouts plus current list.

Pint of British Ale

Beer is divided into two major types depending on the type of fermenting yeasts:

The majority of beer produced is lager which uses a bottom-fermenting yeast that begins fermentation between 45-54° F and is then cold stored, or lagered, between 32-39° F to mellow and clear up cloudiness. Bottom-fermented beers include pale lager, Pilsner, Dunkel, Bock, Baltic porter and Schwarzbier types.

Top-fermenting yeast works at a much higher temperature, between 60-75° F, and thus produces faster fermentation in 7-8 days. Though top-fermented beers are generally termed ale, they also include Stout, Wheat beer, Old Ale, Brown Ale, Mild Ale and Pale Ale. Ales can have a fruity aroma due to the higher production of esters by the top-fermenting species of yeast.

Our Brewing Company exterior - Holland, Michigan
Our Brewing Company
76 East 8th Street
Holland, MI 49423
(Open Every Day at 2pm; Closes Sun-Wed: 10pm; Thu-Sat: Midnight)
Ten brews on tap each weekend. Current list.

Big Lake Brewing exterior - Holland, Michigan
Big Lake Brewing
997 Butternut Drive, Suite #4
Holland, MI 49424
(Wed-Thu: 5pm-10pm; Fri: 5pm-11pm; Sat: 12pm-11pm; Sunday: 12pm-8pm; Mon-Tue: Closed)
Beer, hard cider, wine and mead. Current list and Facebook page.

Pike 51 Brewing Company
3768 Chicago Drive
Hudsonville, MI 49426
(Mon-Thu: 3pm-11pm; Fri-Sat: 12pm-11pm; Sun: 12pm-8pm)
15 beers on tap. Current list is available once you get through age verification on the site.

White Flame Brewing Company
5234 36th Avenue
Hudsonville, MI
(Mon-Thu: 4-10ish; Friday 4-12ish; Sat 12-12ish; Sunday 1-10ish)
Description of brews with current tap list on Facebook.

Dark Rich Bock Beer

Traditional Bock style beers were brewed in early spring by monks to provide extra calories during fasting for Lent. Traditional German Bock is dark brown to very dark and high in malt sweetness. Its hop flavor should be low, hop aroma very low and contain 6.3-7.5% Alcohol by Volume (ABV). Doppelbock (double bock) is copper to dark brown and the malty sweetness is dominant. Hop flavor should be low and its aroma should be absent. Doppelbock should contain 6.5-8% ABV. Eisbock is created by freezing Doppelbock and removing some of the ice to concentrate the alcohol and flavoring. The color is very dark brown to black and the sweet malt character is very high with hop flavor and aroma absent. Eisbock should contain 8.6-14.4% ABV.

Odd Side Ales
41 Washington Avenue - Suite 160
Grand Haven, MI 49417
(Mon-Thu: 2pm-10:30pm; Fri-Sat: noon-midnight; Sun: 1pm-8pm)
20 brews including Root Beer and on tap list.

Old Boys' Brewhouse sign - Spring Lake, Michigan
Old Boys' Brewhouse
971 West Savidge Road
Spring Lake, MI 49417
(Mon-Tue: 3pm-10pm; Wed-Thu: 11:30am-10pm; Fri-Sat: 11:30am-midnight; Sun: noon-8pm)
13 brews plus Root Beer sodas. Pizza, Burgers, Steak and Burritos

Unruly Brewing Company window logo - Muskegon, Michgian
Unruly Brewing Company
360 W Western Avenue
Muskegon, MI 48440
(Wed-Thu: 3pm-10pm; Fri-Sat: noon-midnight; Sun: noon-7pm)
Current list.

Pigeon Hill Brewing Company window logo - Muskegon, Michigan
Pigeon Hill Brewing Company
500 W Western Avenue, Suite #1
Muskegon, MI 49440
(Mon: closed; Tue-Thu: 4pm-10pm; Fri-Sat: noon-11pm; Sun: noon-5pm)
Tap list

Fetch Brewing Company
100 West Colby Street
Whitehall, MI 49461
(Mon: noon-10pm; Tue-Wed: closed; Thu: noon-10pm; Fri-Sat: noon-midnight; Sunday: noon-8pm)
Tap list


All photos on this page are in the public domain.