The Ultimate List of Upper Peninsula Breweries
Every day is beer day in Michigan, where a boom in microbreweries and hops farms has brought craft beer to every corner of the state.
From the tip of the Keweenaw on Lake Superior to the southern beaches of Lake Michigan, breweries have been opening up (and sticking around) regularly over the past few years. Here are some not to miss on a tour through the Upper Peninsula.
Breweries in the Keweenaw Peninsula
Funded in part by a successful Kickstarter campaign, Brickside opened its doors in 2012, and it makes a notably great addition to Michigan’s northernmost town. Off-season, the vibe's a bit like hanging in a good friend's basement, but look for a lively scene come summer.
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.
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 – Houghton
The U.P.’s largest brewer by far, “KBC” beer is distributed across Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. But it's still worth a trip to the cozy tap room in downtown Houghton which features two bars, a lounge area, a fireplace, free wifi and outdoor seating.
The Fitzgerald is a restaurant, first, but with more than 100 different beers available, many from other Michigan microbreweries, The Fitz should be on any beer lover’s radar. These guys know their beer.
Breweries in the Western UP, Marquette and Pictured Rocks
Pick up an Iron IPA or Cold Snap Dunkelweiss in this brewery with a sense of humor with a warm ambience but appropriately hearty interior ambience with its concrete, wood and metal accents. Here, they say they brew beer on site for those who want to experience true North Woods culture.
Jasper Ridge is a sports-friendly brewpub and restaurant. The lounge area is definitely a good spot to have a burger and a craft beer while watching “the game” or just hanging with friends. Favorites include their Ropes Golden Wheat and Blueberry Wheat, both on tap year-round.
Cognition Brewing Company – Ishpeming
This newer addition to Marquette County's beer scene is a small-batch brewing operation located inside the historic Mather Inn.
This true fixture of the city of Marquette is known as much for its excellent food and cool, historic atmosphere as it is for is beer. It’s just two blocks away from the equally historic Landmark Inn, but it features its own old-world touches like an antique oak bar; it boasts a view of Marquette's lower harbor too.
Barrel + Beam - Marquette
Barrel + Beam opened in January 2018, focusing on farmhouse ales brewed with locally-sourced ingredients, including seasonal brews featuring Michigan-grown apples, peaches, cherries, blueberries, raspberries, among others.
Blackrocks Brewery – Marquette
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 Company – Marquette
A newer brewery on the lively microbrew scene in Marquette, Ore Dock gained a loyal following of locals and tourists alike with its sharp focus on sustainable building materials, local community, and Belgian beers, Ore Dock is loved by locals and tourists alike and is within easy walking distance of both Blackrocks and The Vierling.
Shooters is an established restaurant and bar in Munising that now makes and serves several types of beer, on tap, with its décor and theme paying homage to the local volunteer fire department.
East Channel Brewing Company – Munising
This relative newcomer offers 10 taps, live music and a relaxed vibe near the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
Lake Superior Brewing in Grand Marais is an idyllic little place in an idyllic little town. With much talk about pizza and favorites like their garlic parmesan popcorn or scotch eggs, this establishment could get by just fine without its own beer. But add a nice selection of craft brews to the mix and this definitely becomes a must-try brewery.
Breweries in the Eastern UP
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.
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.
1668 Winery and Lockside Brewing – Sault Ste. Marie
Try the John Johnston Ultra Pale Ale, with extra points if you know something about this key historic figure in the Soo, or maybe an Adjunct Professor Cream ale, all sipped to an open-air view of the river. There's also a full-service menu and gallery as well as special first Friday art openings.
Breweries in the Southern UP
This “grill your own steak” type restaurant and brewery features a variety of beers on taps and several seasonal favorites.
Upper Hand Brewery – Escanaba
Think fun, and you'll get the vibe at this relatively new brewery that holds outdoor release parties even in mid-winter, creates brews like the “UPA” and “906 Ale” and offers beer dinners that pairs their brews with food often infused with them.
Located on the Manistique harbor and sharing space with a winery tasting room, the Mackinaw Trail Winery and Brewery offers 14 taps with a rotation of fresh beers.