The Ultimate List of Upper Peninsula Breweries

National Beer Day is Sunday, April 7! In celebration, we asked Jesse Land of the travel site “Things to do in the U.P.” to share a roundup of Upper Peninsula-based breweries. Let us know in the comments section below if you have a favorite U.P. brewery!

Did you know that the Upper Peninsula has thirteen breweries? From Brickside Brewery at the tip of the Keweenaw to Soo Brewing in the eastern U.P., breweries have been opening up (and sticking around) regularly over the past few years.

Following is a full list of all the fully operational breweries in the U.P., as well as one bonus location I don’t want you to miss.

Brickside Brewery
64 Gratiot St.
Copper Harbor, MI 49918
(906) 289-4772

Funded in part by a successful Kickstarter campaign, Brickside opened its doors in 2012 and makes a terrific addition to Michigan’s northernmost town.

Red Jacket Brewing Co.
300 Sixth St.
Calumet, MI 49913
(906) 337-1910

Part of the Michigan House Café, Red Jacket Brewing serves several beers at the Michigan House as well as a wide variety of other beer. Historic charm and excellent food make this a great stop for lunch or dinner.

The Library Brew Pub
62 Isle Royale St.
Houghton, MI 49931
(906) 487-5882

Known for their killer pizza, the Library Brew Pub also boasts a nice selection of excellent beer and a great view of the Portage Canal waterway.

Keweenaw Brewing Company
408 Shelden Ave.
Houghton, MI 49931
(906) 482-5596

The U.P.’s largest brewer by far, “KBC” beer is distributed across Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The KCBC tap room in downtown Houghton features two bars, a lounge area, fireplace, free wifi and outdoor seating.

Jasper Ridge Brewery
1075 Country Lane
Ishpeming, MI 49849
(906) 485-6017

Jasper Ridge in Ishpeming is a sports friendly brewpub and restaurant. I wouldn’t call it a sports bar, but their lounge area is definitely a good spot to have a burger and a craft beer while watching “the game.”

The Vierling
No. 119 South Front
Marquette, MI 49855
(906) 228-3533

The Veirling is a fixture in Marquette. It’s known as much for its excellent food and cool, historic atmosphere as it is for is beer. And it’s also just two blocks away from the equally historic Landmark Inn.

Blackrocks Brewery
424 N 3rd St.
Marquette, MI 49855
(906) 273-1333

Just a short walk away from The Vierling, Blackrocks is located in a converted house. The owners have done an excellent job with the space and it’s become one of Marquette’s most popular watering holes for good reason. Blackrocks also features live music Sunday through Thursday.

Ore Dock Brewing Co.
114 Spring St.
Marquette, MI 49855
(906) 228-8888

Marquette’s newest brewery is another wonderful addition to the town. With a sharp focus on sustainable building materials, local community, and Belgian beers, Ore Dock is loved by locals and tourists alike. The Ore Dock is within easy walking distance of both Blackrocks and The Vierling.

Hereford & Hops
624 Ludington St.
Escanaba, MI 49829
(906) 789-1945

Hereford and Hops is “grill your own steak” type restaurant and brewery in Escanaba. They always have a variety of beer on tap and feature seasonal favorites throughout the year.

Shooters Firehouse Restaurant & Lounge
408 Mill St.
Munising, MI 49862
(906) 387-3540

Shooters is an established restaurant and bar in Munising that just started serving their own craft beer a few weeks ago.  They have five different types of beer on tap and many more varieties ready to serve. 

Lake Superior Brewing Co.
N14283 Lake Ave.
Grand Marais, MI 49839
(906) 494-2337

Lake Superior Brewing in Grand Marais is an idyllic little place in an idyllic little town. With much talked about pizza and favorites like their garlic parmesan popcorn or scotch eggs, this establishment could get by just fine without it’s own beer. But add a nice selection of craft brews to the mix and this definitely becomes a must try brewery.

Tahquamenon Falls Brewery
Upper Tahquamenon Falls
Newberry, MI 49868
(906) 492-3300

Built to resemble an old logging camp, the food here is widely accepted as being better than average and the beer is some of the best I’ve had in the U.P. I’ve yet to hear anything other than great things about this brewery from anyone, and I’ve asked a lot of people! It’s located just off the parking area for upper Tahquamenon Falls.

Soo Brewing
223 W Portage Ave
Sault, MI 49783
(906) 632-4400

Another fairly recent addition to the list of Upper Peninsula breweries, Soo Brewing brought craft beer back to the Soo. I haven’t been here yet myself, but the feedback I’ve heard is that the beer is good and the space is comfortable.

The Fitz
5033 Front St.
Eagle River, MI 49950
(906) 337-0666

I’m giving The Fitz in Eagle River an honorable mention here, and if you visit the place I’m sure you’ll agree with me. With over 100 different beers available, most only found in bigger cities, The Fitz should be on any beer lover’s radar. These guys know their beer.

That’s it for now, folks. I hope to see an Upper Peninsula beer tour in your future!

A native Yooper, Jesse Land lives in Iron Mountain and enjoys hiking, biking, skiing, and camping with his family. He runs the U.P. travel site “Things to do in the U.P.” (www.thingstodointheup.com).

An Introduction to Indianhead Mountain

Jesse Land of the travel site “Things to do in the U.P.” is a native Yooper who’s always willing to jump at the chance to explore Michigan’s great outdoors. Today, he fills us in on a recent ski trip he took to Indianhead Mountain Resort.  

No, it’s Not Powderhorn

As a good friend of mine observed last year before our annual western U.P. ski trip, when you mention you’re going skiing in the Western U.P., most people assume you’re heading to Big Powderhorn.

While Big Powderhorn may be the most well-known ski resort of the area, there are two others right nearby that deserve much more than an honorable mention. Namely, Indianhead and Blackjack. For this post we’ll take a look at Indianhead.

You Start Out On Top

One cool thing about Indianhead is that the lodge and parking area are at the top of the mountain, so your first trip of the day is down the mountain, not uphill on a ski lift. It’s a nice way to start things off!

As you might expect, the lodge at Indianhead is equipped with plenty of space for those who want to pack their own lunch, but it’s also got a pretty sweet restaurant / bar called “The Sky Bar Mountaintop Grill.” And the name is well deserved. The view from most tables in the place is fantastic. (They also make a great Bloody Mary.)

And it’s a Long Way Down

Indianhead’s 638 foot vertical drop is one of the largest in the Midwest, and whoever planned the hill did a great job carving out some nice long runs. My wife and I actually stuck to the same two runs all day long.

She’s a beginning skier and I’m an intermediate, but we both had a blast skiing Voyager’s Highway (a beginner run) and Chippewa (an intermediate run) repeatedly. Each run was easy enough for her to practice her skiing, but long enough (and with enough ups and downs) for me to really enjoy them too.

As a side note, I have skied every run at Indianhead and while these two are a couple of my favorites, every run is well worth exploring.

Then There’s the Tough Stuff

Of course, if double black diamonds and moguls are your thing, check out “Hiawatha” and “Crazy Horse” on the east side of the mountain. These steep runs are a challenge for even experienced skiers and snowboarders.

“Some Folks Just Make One Run Each Day… to the Red Dog”

And then, there’s “The Red Dog.”

My first time at Indianhead, I was talking to the elderly lady at the ticket counter as she chuckled “some people only make one run of the day… to the Red Dog.”

You see, in addition to the Sky Bar at the top of the hill, there’s a pretty substantial outpost called “The Red Dog Saloon” at the bottom of the mountain. Apparently some people like to ski, and then some people just like to ski their way to the bar.

My wife and stopped in the Red Dog for a Bloody Mary and a coffee late the first morning of our trip, and by Noon we were heading back to the hill and the place was packed, much more so than the Sky Bar. And it didn’t seem like any of the patrons planned to leave anytime soon.

In Closing…

All in all, everyone in our group of around fifteen people was pleasantly surprised by how much we all enjoyed Indianhead.

There were definitely plenty of families on the hill, but I got the impression that this hill tends to cater toward a slightly more adult crowd (compared to Powderhorn). That could also be because I wasn’t there on a family excursion, but suffice to say if you head to Indianhead with a group of friends you’re bound to have a great time, both on and off the hill.

A native Yooper, Jesse Land lives in Iron Mountain and enjoys hiking, biking, skiing, and camping with his family. He runs the U.P. travel site “Things to do in the U.P.” (www.thingstodointheup.com).

A Picture Perfect Fall Color Tour

Jesse Land, founder of Things to do in the U.P., is back to take us on another fall color tour around the Upper Peninsula. If you missed his last two posts, be sure to check out his recommendations on tours around the Keweenaw Peninsula and the central area of the U.P. 

For more ideas on fall color tours around Michigan, see this week’s Pure Michigan fall color report on michigan.org.

So far, I’ve taken you on one fall color tour through the rugged Keweenaw Peninsula, and on another “off the beaten path” through the central U.P. Today, I’m going to lead you from Marquette to Grand Marais, via the one of the Upper Peninsula’s crown jewels, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. You’ll definitely want to bring your camera along for this one!

Before we get started, Marquette has oodles of great places to stay. A couple of my favorite are the historic Landmark Inn and newly constructed Hampton Inn, both of which are within walking distance from Marquette’s many excellent eating and drinking establishments. (The Vierling is one of my favorites.)

Breakfast in Marquette

Both of the aforementioned hotels have good breakfast options. That said, the Sweetwater Café has been woven into the fabric of the Marquette breakfast scene for as long as I can recall, and is well worth a look. According to their website, they serve “both old fashioned favorites and unique dishes inspired by flavors from around the world.” Having eaten there more than a few times, I’d say that’s a very accurate description. Drink some coffee. Eat breakfast. Leave with a smile on your face.

The Morning Drive

Now that you’ve got a full belly and some caffeine in your system, lets’ hit the road! M-28 east stretches about forty five miles east from Marquette to Munising. It’s a pretty drive full of fall color. It also hugs the Lake Superior shoreline most of the way so you’ll see “the big lake” appear through gaps in the vibrant hardwoods every now and again.

Pictured Rocks – Via Boat Tour!

To make the most of your day, get to Munising in time to catch the 10:00 AM Pictured Rocks boat tour. The “regular cruise” lasts about two hours and forty minutes, and will show you some of the most popular Pictured Rocks sites, including Miners Castle, Lovers Leap, Grand Portal, and many others! It’s the best way to see much of what Pictured Rocks has to offer in a relatively short period of time. (2012 tours run through October 21st)

The Famous Highway H-58

Highway H-58, stretching from Munising to Grand Marais, is a wonderfully curvy drive. You’ll pass by the White Birch Forest (brilliant in fall) and wind through an endless stand of hardwoods as you drive east toward Grand Marais.

If you’re up for a hike, I’d recommend the venturing off on the three mile (round trip) hike to Chapel Falls. It’s roughly midway between Munising and Grand Marais, and leads down an easy trail through a forest of hardwoods that are always full of color in autumn.

H-58 boasts several scenic turnouts, but I’d highly recommend stopping at the Logslide Overlook. Once literally used to slide huge logs down the 300 foot drop to Lake Superior, Logslide is now a gorgeous scenic overlook that offers wonderful views of the Au Sable lighthouse to the west and the expansive Grand Sable Dunes to the east.

Destination Grand Marais

A little further east lies Grand Marais, a wonderful little harbor village that fills up in the summer but offers travelers some elbow room in the fall. As far as places to stay here, I’ve heard great things about the Hill Top Cabins, though they’ve always had no vacancy when I’ve called! (I’m thinking that’s a good thing.)

I recommend checking out the one of a kind Lake Superior Brewing Company for great pizza, fresh fish and locally brewed beer. And if you end up staying the night, the West Bay Diner is a standout breakfast spot!

If you do even some of what I’ve recommended, at the end of the day you should have a good handle on what Pictured Rocks is all about, and you’ll hopefully also have filled up your camera with picture perfect memories!

Jesse Land is the founder of Things to do in the U.P., a website dedicated to helping people discover the best of the Upper Peninsula. For regular Upper Peninsula travel tips, follow Things to do in the U.P. on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/thingstodointheup.