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WESt Michigan

Let us help plan your next beer tour. We’ve compiled a list of West Michigan (and then some) micro- breweries with descriptions of their beers, taprooms and even some of our beer recommendations.


Brewing Company, there are two ends of the spectrum: stronger and strongest. Gunslinger IPA, the least alcoholic of its four homebrews, checks in at a respectable 6.5% ABV. Bourbon Stout, on the other hand, boasts an inebriating 10% ABV.

Bravo Cafe 5402 Portage Rd., Kalamazoo (269) 344-7700 This restaurant is for the beer drinker who enjoys something a little more upscale. Bravo perfectly mixes fine- dining with its own beer for a unique drinking and dining experience.

Arcadia Brewing Company

103 West Michigan Ave., Battle Creek (269) 963-9690 Arcadia may be located in America’s cereal capital, but this brewery focuses on British-inspired, handcrafted ales. That’s not to say it plays off its breakfast-centric location. One of Arcadia’s most popular brews is called Cereal Killer. At 10% ABV, this English barleywine ale is no Froot Loops.

B.O.B.’s Brewery 20 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids (616) 356-2000 / The best part of this brewery (located inside The B.O.B.) is trying the latest chef collaboration brew. This past summer, we saw a Mango Chipotle Ale that sounds crazy, but has just the right amount of sweet and spicy. On tap, there are three standards (Amber Ales, IPA, Hopsun) and three seasonal brews.

Bell’s Brewery 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo (269)382-2332 / One of Michigan’s most recognizable breweries. With 22 seasonal and mainstay beers, you’ll have to make multiple visits. Known for Oberon, its summer wheat ale, Bell’s features other standout brews such as Amber Ale, Two Hearted Ale, Christmas Ale and the intense Hopslam Ale.

Big Buck Brewery & Steakhouse 550 S. Wisconsin, Gaylord (989) 732-5781 / Big Buck doesn’t mess around when it comes to brew and beef. The dining experience is casual to make way for steaks and beer. Handcrafted offerings including light beer, American style and Raspberry wheat.

Big Rapids Brewing Company

119 N. Michigan Ave., Big Rapids (231) 796-0100 / When it comes to the alcohol content of the microbrews at Big Rapids


Dark Horse Brewing Company 511 S. Kalamazoo Ave., Marshall (269) 781-9440 Time your visit to Dark Horse perfectly if you want to find a seat in this intimate brewery. Enjoy standard ales plus unique “part- timers” including Scotty Karate Scotch ale, barley wine and specialty stouts.

Founders Brewing Company 235 Grandville Ave., Grand Rapids (616) 776-1195 If you want your beer on the bold side, head to Founders, where all the beers reflect the motto:

“Ignore mainstream and brew the beer we want to drink.” The motto has served this brewery well, as it has had to expand multiple times to accommodate increased beer production and more patrons. Make sure to order one of the brewery’s signature sandwiches.

Green Bush Brewing 5885 Sawyer Rd., Sawyer (269) 405-1076 Although the birth of Greenbush’s copper-hued Red Bud Ale (28 IBUs, 6.1% ABV) was a mistake (the brewers accidentally went

overboard on the hops), it doesn’t make it any less of a beer. This type of experimental tinkering has led to the creation of some of Greenbush’s finest beers.

Harpers Restaurant & Brewpub

131 Albert Ave., East Lansing (517) 333-4040 Harper’s has a big bragging right and, as it should, it lets you know that it is the only microbrewery in East Lansing. Its taps house everything from pale ales and wheat brews to IPAs and stouts. Its most popular brew is the aptly named Spartan Wheat.

The Hideout Brewing Company 3113 Plaza Dr. NE, Grand Rapids (616) 361-9658 It takes a bit of navigating to find this hidden brewery. Once found, patrons are rewarded with specialty and menu beers, wines, cider and mead. The taproom is intimate and cozy, the staff is friendly and knowledgeable and the hidden location makes for a great way to impress friends.

HopCat 25 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids (616) 451-4677 / What started out as one of the most thorough beer bars in the world became a beer bar and brewery within the past two years. HopCat specializes in any and all beers. If it’s not on one of the 48 taps or the handpull, it’s probably on the giant list of bottles (now nearing 300).

Jaden James Brewery 4665 Broadmoor Ave. SE #135, Kentwood (616) 656-4655 The owners of the Cascade Winery proved they can ferment hops as

MicrobrEWEriES: The Who, Where and Why

well as grapes when they opened The Jaden James Brewery. Their four beers on tap — Honey Blonde Ale, Cream Ale, I.P.A and Oatmeal Porter

— pair with an extensive wine list to make this the ideal retreat for the wine connoisseur/beer snob.

Jamesport Brewing Company 410 S. James St., Ludington (231) 845-2522 This 120-year-old Victorian storefront has seen many tenants. Its current (and best, in our opinion) is Jamesport Brewing. The brewpub has a full menu, but most importantly, it features an extensive offering of altbiers, ales, ESB, stout, porters and cider.

The Livery 190 5th St., Benton Harbor (269) 925-8760 / Just as unique as its brews, The Livery is a former horse stable, which makes for not only a great sipping experience, but for a great atmosphere to listen to one of the many bands that stops by each month. Beer styles range from ales to lagers, ciders and specialties.

Local Pub & Brewery 6020 Ann Arbor Rd., Jackson (517) 395-4156 Jackson’s Local Pub and Brewery specializes in “session” beers – those that are purposely brewed with less alcohol and often served in smaller glasses so you can have a good number of beers and keep your wits about you. Beers like Lightning Kölsch (4.46% ABV), Cork County Irish Stout (4.33% ABV) and Mulligan Wheat (4.34% ABV) are tasty and can still get the job done when swigged from a LP&B growler.

Michigan Beer Cellar 500 E Division St., Sparta (616) 883-0777

With 12 of its craft beers always on tap, the Michigan Beer Cellar can make the snobbiest of palates feel right at home. Of course, the leather sofas and trendy, hardwood interior don’t hurt. Try the Beer Cellar’s take on a dark IPA, their Black Magic RyPA. At 7.2% ABV, it’s the most potent craft brew in the lineup.

Michigan Brewing Company

1093 Highview Dr., Webberville (517) 521-3600 This pub has 16 of its beers on tap, including German, Belgian and American style ales; lagers, wheats and specialty brews. It’s also home to Kid Rock’s Badass American Lager.

Middle Villa Inn 4611 N. Arlington, Middleville (269) 795-3640 This ingenious combination of bowling alley and brewery pours four varieties from it taps: Thievin’ Rabbit Czech Pilsner, Tazzman (an Australian-style golden brown lager brewed with Tasmanian hops), Dig It Dark German dunkelweizen and Beatle Bug Light (their take on a classic Canadian light pilsner).

Mt. Pleasant Brewing Company 614 W. Pickard St., Mt. Pleasant (989) 400-4666 The comfortable tap room serves up 10 handcrafted beers in a variety of ale and lager styles. Watch out for the Trainwreck Ale, though. This 8.2% ABV beer can be enjoyed any time of the year, but is brewed for the winter. The syrup and honey flavors make it hard to have one.

New Holland Brewing Company 66 East 8th St., Holland (616) 355-6422 Though all the brews have their


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