A Coupon Card for Craft Breweries in SW Michigan
Southwest Michigan Breweries – Pints, Flights, Food & Fun!
If you like craft beer, or are just curious about it, Southwest Michigan is for you! If you like fantastic food, low prices, games, and live music, along with great beer, then SW Michigan needs to be on your radar.
Michigan is already well-known for beautiful beaches and beach towns, great golf courses, incredible fruit orchards and lots of wineries. Well, it’s time to now add fantastic beer/breweries to that list.
My wife, Rozy, and I have started exploring SW Michigan breweries, and boy are we glad we did. These beers are great! All breweries are open year-round, and there is plenty to do besides drink there. I think it’s time for a “Brewcation.”
Breweries Right in Our Back Yard
Many people already know that Grand Rapids is considered “Beer Town USA” and that Kalamazoo is also widely known as a great beer town. Although Grand Rapids hosts at least 37 breweries/brewpubs, and Kalamazoo is home to 17 breweries (and counting), there are tons of awesome breweries between there and South Bend. In fact, there are 35 craft breweries just in the Southwest Michigan area, starting at US 131 and the Indiana state line. This region stretches all the way West to Lake Michigan, then North to Saugatuck, and everywhere in-between.
List of SW Michigan Breweries:
- Arclight, Watervliet
- Barn Brewers, Lawton
- Beer Church, New Buffalo
- Cognito Brewing, Bangor
- Cravings, Benton Harbor
- Distant Whistle, Vicksburg
- Final Gravity, Decatur
- Ghost Isle Brewery, New Buffalo (NEW)
- Great Mead Hall & Brewing, Bangor
- Greenbush, Sawyer
- Guardian, Saugatuck (NEW)
- Harbor Light, South Haven (NEW)
- Haymarket, Bridgman
- Kelsey Block Brewing, Three Rivers
- Lehman’s Brewery, Buchanan
- The Livery Microbrewery, Benton Harbor
- Lucky Girl Brewing, Paw Paw
- McIntosh , South Haven
- The Mitten, Saugatuck
- North Pier Brewing, Benton Harbor
- Paw Paw Brewing, Paw Paw
- Round Barn, Baroda
- Saugatuck Brewing, Douglas
- Schaendorf, Allegan
- Silver Harbor, St. Joseph
- Sister Lakes Brewing, Sister Lakes/Dowagiac
- South Haven Brew Pub, South Haven
- The Strand Brewery & Grill, Dowagiac/Sister Lakes
- Tantrick, Allegan
- Tapistry Brewing, Bridgman
- Texas Corners Brewing, Texas Corners
- Three Blondes, South Haven
- Transient, Bridgman
- Watermark, Stevensville
- Waypost, Fennville
- Constantine (recently closed their doors)
My “job” requires me to visit each and every one of those! It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.
If you don’t already have a Designated Driver, consider using SWMI Brew Tours – a fun and safe way to visit the breweries of your choice. You and your friend(s) can either hop on an already-scheduled brew bus tour, or you can arrange for your own private brew tour. Renting an affordable brew bus would be great for:
- Craft Beer Enthusiasts
- Corporate Groups
- Bachelor/ette Parties
- Birthday or Private Parties
- Adult Sports Teams
It’s Really about the Beer
Due to the explosion of the very creative craft brew industry in the United States, there are more choices of beer brands (more than 7,000) and styles than in any other market worldwide. Now is really the perfect time in our history to be a craft beer lover. Find out why these brews are as popular as they are, what makes this industry so very hot today.
Rozy and I are not beer snobs. We’re not beer connoisseurs. We’re not beer experts in any sense of the word. I think I’ve tried most every beer made since the 70’s. If I hadn’t discovered craft beers a few years ago, I would still probably be drinking Miller, Coors, and Bud products.
Now that we’ve tasted so many flavors and styles of beer, it’s really hard to even drink a Bud or Coors Light anymore. I now prefer IPA’s, and Rosie likes porters and stouts. I’m sure that may change over time as we discover the incredible number of types and styles of beers. We’ve tried ales and lagers. We’ve had pilsners, bocks, pale ales, stouts, saisons, porters and meads. We’ve tried beers with names like Hustle Bob, Northern Trippin, Jelly Cake, McGilligans, Jamie Loses a Bet, and even Uranus on Fire.
There are so many variations of styles and types of craft beer that you just have to start trying them out for yourself. Even the most die-hard Budweiser fans will be surprised to find craft beers that they like even better.
How Do You Know Which Beers To Order?
The best way to start out at each brewery is to order a tasting flight. You may want one for each person. What actually is a tasting flight? It’s typically 4-6 small (4 or 5 oz) beer pours of your choice. The cost of a flight varies due to different amounts of beers and differently sized pours, but is usually between $6-$12 per flight. Once you find one you like, it’s time to order a pint, grab some food and order a take-home Growler or Crowler. A Growler is often a 64-ounce glass jug of beer, and Crowlers are smaller and usually served in cans. You’ll find yourself some favorites for sure.
Great Food, Games, Trivia Nights, Events, Party Time
Many of the breweries are family-friendly. Of course, TV sporting events are on, but you can often engage in your choice of board games, as well as team trivia events and live music.
The quality of live music at breweries is really amazing, and most breweries become primo venues for great entertainment. So cool to find that most breweries provide an outdoor party space, complete with fire tables, special lighting, heater lamps, and comfortable seating. The energy at these SW Michigan breweries is vibrant, buzzing, fun, and friendly.
Team Trivia, a nationwide trivia company, provides exciting nights of trivia competition (with prizes awarded) at several of these breweries.
Besides great-tasting beers, we found that the food was consistently excellent and delicious; many of the breweries are even staffed with executive chefs. Most breweries offer fantastic appetizers (at the very least), but it’s pretty easy to find great sandwiches, meals, and pizzas.The Foodie in all of us can have full appreciation for the remarkable cuisine being provided by these breweries, enhancing the whole wonderful experience of excellent craft beer and a ton of fun.
Take a Brewcation
Southwest Michigan is an amazing destination. It now boasts lots of breweries that you really need to consider visiting. A nice weekend — or weekdays — exploring breweries, wineries, golf courses, and beach towns can be a blast.
The breweries are close enough that you can leave in the early evening and still be home before dark.
Here are a few good reasons why Southwest Michigan craft breweries should be on your “Must-Try List.”Brewcation”.
- They’re a short drive
- They’re cool to see
- They have great food
- They’re reasonably priced
- They’re fun
- They’re friendly
- And they make damn good beer!
Take a look around you, over in the SW Michigan corner of our own back yard, and you’ll discover with us some of the coolest places to be and some of the best craft beer around.
Move over, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. There’s a new beer destination in town: Southwest Michigan.
Time for a “Brewcation.”
–Barry Coker, Summers Promotions