It’s not hard to find a fun bar in West Michigan, where beer is king. But there’s great stuff to be sampled in less obvious spots. In warehouse breweries tucked into industrial areas and wineries off secluded rural roads, local brewers, winemakers and distillers are busy year-round creating small-batch beverages.
It’s time to explore, we say!
Maybe you’ll stumble upon the rare opportunity to drink in class (at Guardian Brewing’s “Beer School” nights in Saugatuck) or to assess how very different soils produce very different grapes in vineyards just a few miles apart (at Modales winery in Fennville). Perhaps you’ll groove on the fruit wines at Warner Vineyards’ downtown tasting room in Holland — or in the town’s outskirts, blueberry wine at Tanglewood Winery, right down the road from what may be your favorite U-pick farm (who knew?). Fans of blended whiskey, is a field trip to Muskegon’s Wonderland Distilling in order?
As autumn and winter unfold, venture out for a taste of lakeshore beverages in all their glory. Then do it again. Here’s a “starter list” — enjoy poking around and finding more for yourself. When visiting smaller producers, it’s wise to call ahead for fall and winter hours.
Wineries with tasting rooms
12 Corners Vineyards Tasting Room 41 Washington Ave., #114, Grand Haven
Crane’s Pie Pantry Restaurant and Winery 6054 124th Ave., Fennville
Fenn Valley Vineyards 6130 122nd Ave., Fennville
Lemon Creek Winery Tasting Room 327 N. Beacon Blvd., Grand Haven
Michigan Wine Company 6781 124th Ave., Fennville
Modales 2128 62nd St., Fennville
Tanglewood Winery 5811 Riley St., Holland
Warner Vineyards Tasting Room 26 E. 8th St., Holland
Craft beer, cider and hard seltzer brewpubs
Big Lake Brewing 13 W. 7th St., Holland
Brewery 4 Two 4 321 Douglas Ave., #120, Holland
Burzurk Brewing Co. 1442 Washington Ave., Grand Haven
Grand Armory Brewing Taproom 17 South Second St., Grand Haven
Guardian Brewing 3657 63rd St., Saugatuck
Hopland Brewstillery 977 Butternut Drive, Suite 4, Holland
The Mitten Brewing Company 329 Water St., Saugatuck
New Holland Brewing 66 E. 8th St., Holland
Odd Side Ales 41 Washington Ave., Grand Haven
Old Boys’ Brewhouse 971 West Savidge St., Spring Lake