Michigan’s Most Festive Fall Beers

While every season is the right season for a Michigan craft beer, the fall is a particularly special time. Brilliant waves of color flood the forests and those last warm evenings are spent huddled under blankets at the campfire roasting marshmallows and sipping the hearty flavors of Michigan’s craft beers. All over the state there are plenty of breweries to choose from and more popping up constantly. Here are some of the best Michigan fall beers and ciders from around the state, from our friends at Awesome Mitten.

Michigan Beers via Bernt Rostad .jpg
Photo Courtesy of Bernt Rostad

Weathered and Hard Cider 
Stormcloud Brewing Company - Frankfort
Stormcloud Brewing Company is just two blocks from the beautiful Lake Michigan, and they offer Belgian inspired beers crafted in Michigan and served up alongside delicious dishes. The Weathered and Hard Cider is created from a variety of 14 apples grown right in Michigan. Left Foot Charley in Traverse City makes and bottles this cider just for Stormcloud Brewing Company. It is exactly what you need on a warm fall day.

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Photo Courtesy of Pure Michigan

Upper Hand Brewery - Escanaba
The Upper Hand Brewery was founded by Larry Bell from Bell’s Brewery, and it aims to capture the essence and beauty that is northern Michigan. Their Christmastime beer is available starting in mid-October, and is a creamy, dark oatmeal stout that is just as delicious in the fall as it is at Christmastime. Its deep, flavorful body has a warm taste that pairs perfectly with a crisp fall afternoon. 

upper hand taproom
Photo Courtesy of Upper Hand Brewery

Pumpkin Spice Latte
Atwater BreweryDetroit, Grosse Pointe Park, and Grand Rapids  
Based in Detroit, Atwater has always had a German brewing style, and when it was purchased by Mark Rieth in 2005, he committed to German lager and has been creating flavorful beers ever since. It isn’t really fall until you’ve had a pumpkin spice latte, and why not enjoy it in the form of a beer? The Pumpkin Spice Latte is designed locally and combines the delicious pumpkin spice with coffee extracts to make an amazingly tasty Michigan fall beer that is more than appropriate for the season.

Atwater Brewery via Jolon Hull.jpg
Photo Courtesy of Jolon Hull

North Peak - Traverse City
Based in the Cherry Capital, North Peak creates hand-made craft beers using only the best ingredients from northern Michigan. Their Hooligan beer is a mouthful that leaves you wanting more. It is an IPA chocked full of hops, and it has a deep spice that dances with notes of pumpkin deliciousness. 
Jaw Jacker
Arcadia Ales - Kalamazoo and Battle Creek
Known for their pubs and kitchens in southwestern Michigan, Arcadia Ales have worked to perfect their “British Inspired - American brewed stable of beers”. The Jaw Jacker might not have pumpkin in its recipe, but it has a whole lot of warm, delicious festive spice. Packed with nutmeg, all-spice and cinnamon, it is also paired with caramel and crystal malt that will give you the warm fuzzy glow of Autumn. This orange, amber has a crisp warm bite with a silky drinkability.

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Photo Courtesy of Arcadia Ales

Milk Route Stout
Austin Brothers Beer Company - Alpena
The owners are originally from southern California, but fell in love with the Alpena area on a cross country road trip. They decided to set up shop and finally start their lifelong dream of having their own microbrewery. Serving up lunch, dinner, and late night bar food, the Austin Brothers also have a variety of unique beers on tap. Their Milk Route Stout is a creamy, full beer great for a chilly fall day. It has chocolate and roasted caramel flavors that pair perfectly with its coffee undertones. Milk is also added to this brew to give it a little sweetness for a dynamic, well rounded taste.  
Oktoberfest Lager
Frankenmuth Brewery - Frankenmuth
Operating under a variety of different names, Frankenmuth Brewery has been around since 1862, and claims to be the oldest microbrewery in Michigan and the state’s original craft brewery. In the fall, they offer up a rich lager that many find especially perfect during Autumn. German noble hops and four different kinds of malts are used to create the Bavarian style Oktoberfest lager. It has a full, yeasty flavor with whispers of caramel and maybe even a slight hint of fruit. 

Frankenmuth Brewery Photo Courtesy of Josh Tremper.jpg
Photo Courtesy of Josh Tremper

Screamin’ Pumpkin
Griffin Claw Brewery - Birmingham
Located just outside of Detroit, the Griffin Claw Brewing Company comes with over twenty years of brewing experience from the brewmaster Dan Rogers. Their Screamin’ Pumpkin beer captures the essence of a Michigan Fall. It is made with cinnamon, clove, sweet pumpkin, and even a touch of molasses. It has a smooth, comforting taste with rich, festive tones that make it perfect to enjoy from Halloween all the way to Christmas. If you want a beer that is truly a “Michigan fall beer”, you have to try Screamin’ Pumpkin.  
Sweet, Hard Apple Cider
Odd Side Ales - Grand Haven
Odd Side Ales prides itself on its 15 barrel brew house which runs 24 hours a day to create only the best, unique craft beers. Aside from their refreshing beers, they have an incredible hard cider. There is nothing like a great hard cider in the fall, and this one has a wonderfully, crisp taste. It is made from apples grown right in northern Michigan.
Lift Bridge Brown Ale
Keweenaw Brewing Company - Houghton
This taproom has a rustic, cabin feel that is right at home in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Their seasonal Lift Bridge Brown Ale is a namesake of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge which connects Houghton and Hancock and is reportedly the widest and heaviest double-decked lift bridge in the world. In honor of its namesake, this beer is a heavy American Brown Ale that has a deep flavor accompanied by a gorgeous brown color. It has an intricate body woven with notes of chocolate and caramel for a sweet hint of deliciousness in every sip.

Keweenaw Brewing Company
Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Sandrik

Explore the sights and breweries of Michigan this Autumn and find your own favorite Michigan fall beer.
About the Author: Kaitlin Ryan is a travel blogger that lives for new adventures. When she isn't exploring new destinations and cultures, she is searching out the very best of her native Michigan.