Traverse City Breweries: Top Destinations You Shouldn’t Miss
Taking an adventure around the Traverse City breweries is worth it as this beautiful Michigan city offers a lot when it comes to great brews.
Diverse beer experiences come to life in this city, especially when it comes to craft breweries and microbreweries.
Whether you want farm-fresh beers from Farm Club, a community feel from Workshop Brewing, or a unique place like the Filling Station Microbrewery, there’s a place for you in Traverse City. Continue reading our complete guide to know everything about these breweries and more.
|Traverse City Breweries||Number of Active Beers||ABV Range|
|Farm Club||7||4.1 – 6.2 percent|
|Short’s Brewing Company||142||4.2 – 14.2 percent|
|Brewery Terra Firma||20||4.6 – 13 percent|
|Workshop Brewing Company||7||4.1 – 7.1 percent|
|Earthen Ales||10||4.5 -7.4 percent|
|Stormcloud Brewery||22||4.8 – 9 percent|
|Right Brain Brewery||16||3.8 – 7.9 percent|
|Hop Lot Brewing Company||11||4.7 – 10 percent|
|Silver Spruce Brewing Company||12||4.5 – 8.5 percent|
|The Rare Bird Brewpub||13||4.5 – 8 percent|
|Lake Ann Brewing Company||12||4.8 – 8.6 percent|
|Jolly Pumpkin||44||4.3 – 13.1 percent|
|The Filling Station Microbrewery||16||4.6 – 9.5 percent|
|North Peak Brewing Company||26||4.2 – 8.2 percent|
|Mackinaw Brewing Company||6||–|
|Fresh Coast Beer Works||18||4.2 – 9.9 percent|
Best Breweries in Traverse
Traverse City is an exciting and growing beer city, and you can expect diverse options when going on your tour. We’ve compiled the best breweries in Traverse City to make things easier for you. Keep on reading to know more.
Farm Club is at the top of our list, an impressive Traverse City brewery boasting a farm-to-table experience. Everything is made with farm fresh ingredients from the beers they make in the brewery to the restaurant’s food. The taproom and restaurant also reflect their nature concept, where you can enjoy beers at their outdoor tables or under huts.
Farm Club is a relatively new addition to the Traverse City brewing scene, but its head brewer has extensive experience in craft brewing. It’s no wonder it has delicious brews like the Lemon Verbena Farmhouse Ale or East Coast Pale Ale.
Short’s Brewing Company
Our next recommendation for enthusiasts in Traverse City is Short’s Brewing Company, known as one of the first breweries in the area. Joe Short founded it in 2002 after gaining experience in North Michigan breweries. Since then, Short’s Brewing Company has become an important element in this city’s beer culture, and you can visit any of their two locations.
You can enjoy a wide range of beer styles when you visit this brewing company, and they have also opened a cider brand. Try out Local’s Light for a summer-friendly beer, A Tribe Called Zest or Imperial Ginger in the Rye.
Brewery Terra Firma
Brewery Terra Firma has an inspiring back story that will make you enjoy their beers even more. It was founded by John Naidermaier, who gained over two decades of brewing experience in Michigan commercial breweries. With this experience and after experimenting with over a thousand recipes, Brewery Terra Firma was born.
Today, you can enjoy these experiments-turned-beers when you visit their taproom in Traverse City. It has a welcoming and creative vibe and is pretty popular, so expect to see many people. Their top brews include the SnowBound Mint Chocolate Stout and Fuzzier Farmer Imperial IPA.
Workshop Brewing Company
Workshop Brewing Company offers a relaxing community of beer enthusiasts in Traverse City and a chance to enjoy everyday beers. While they don’t always make new types of beers, their brews are highly impressive and delicious; when combined with their inviting environment, you’ll be glad you visited.
Its year-round and seasonal beers are made with Head Brewmaster Michael Wooster at the helm of operations. You can enjoy their beers indoors or in the outdoor seating space and pair them with delicious foods. Their seasonal favorites include the Bastard Rasp, a raspberry wit, and the Hop Vac, a wet/dry harvest brut pale beer.
Earthen Ales is an impressive brewery in Traverse City that started as a hobby between a married couple. Today, it’s a full-scale brewery with an impressive range of inspirational and unique beers. Earthen Ales is known for making beers that have stories to tell, giving you a warm and homey ambiance when you visit.
The brewery is located close to hiking grounds, which means you can also enjoy taking a hike and viewing the botanical gardens. It also collaborates with local breweries and restaurants to create unique beers for all enthusiasts. Whenever you’re planning to visit or want to order online, we recommend their selection of IPAs.
Another top brewhouse is Stormcloud Brewery, and it’s only a few miles from Traverse City. Located in Frankfort, it’s a good idea to add this brewpub to your list when you visit Traverse City for your beer experience. It has been named the best brewery in Traverse City by magazines.
When you visit Stormcloud, you can choose your brew from one of their 16 taps with a choice of porters, IPAs or stouts. They also offer flight beers with flatbread pizza, a great way to enjoy a wide range of their brews without ordering too many. The taproom is only open to visitors during the summer months.
Right Brain Brewery
Next on our list is Right Brain Brewery, which Russel Springsteen opened in Traverse City. It was first located in a warehouse with a hair salon, which gave it an interesting community vibe. Today, you can get this same vibe in their brewpub located at Boardman Lake.
Right Brain Brewery focuses on creating beers with environmentally-conscious processes. You can easily find their beers distributed in hundreds of stores and restaurants around Michigan, like the Hawk Owl.
Hop Lot Brewing Company
If you’re looking for breweries in Traverse City Michigan where you can visit any time, check out Hop Lot Brewing Company. This company has strong North Michigan vibes, which you can enjoy as you take in their beer and food. The brewpub allows visitors to roast marshmallows over the fire, connect with enthusiasts on picnic tables, and offers live music.
During the winter, Hop Lot Brewing Company even allows you to rent an igloo and enjoy your beer and food with friends. Check out Highway Robbery blonde ale or Not Soury ‘Bout That, with mango, strawberry, and pomegranate flavors when you visit.
Silver Spruce Brewing Company
Silver Spruce is a fun brewpub to visit with light aesthetics and craft brewery vibes. The warehouse and high ceilings make you feel like you’re enjoying your beer in an open space. It is also well-known for its unique craft beers in the city.
You can easily find a beer that you’ll enjoy at Silver Spruce Brewing Company, as their taproom has an extensive range for all enthusiasts. If you visit, it’s advisable to check out The Stout, Little Spruce IPA, Farmhouse Ale, and Cider. You can also enjoy their pizzas and other foods and snacks while playing board games.
The Rare Bird Brewpub
You can visit The Rare Bird Brewpub for an exciting experience with delicious craft beers and food. The pub will impress you with its special menu, where it pairs three beer samples with corresponding foods so you can easily enjoy your beer. Some of these dishes include scallops, diverse cheeses, and brownies for dessert.
Some of their top beers that stand out include the Imperial Stout, an award-winning brew they offer with many of their desserts, Homeschool Dropout, a gluten-reduced American red ale, and Nuts to Butter, a delicious peanut butter flavored brown ale. You can also enjoy the ambiance and vibes at this brewpub.
Lake Ann Brewing Company
This is another one of the breweries near Traverse City, located twenty minutes away from the city. It is set in a picturesque location in the Village of Lake Ann, between a community park and some shops, which gives you the vibe of a neighborhood backyard party.
Lake Ann brewpub also comes with a patio, so you can enjoy your beers outdoors while watching live music and the outdoor bar. Their craft beers are delicious as they are known for having unique flavor combinations. Some of these include Coffee Vanilla Blonde, Platte River Porter, Lake Ann Amber, and Auggie’s Garden Glo Summer Wheat.
One of our recommended breweries downtown Traverse City is Jolly Pumpkin, with a wide range of interesting beers for you to sample. It is part of a chain of breweries in Michigan, with the head company in Dexter, and the beers are brought from there to the Traverse City location.
Jolly Pumpkin combines its brewpub with a restaurant where you can enjoy delicious food like wood-fired pizza. The restaurant also has a lot of history, mysteries and tales that past residents have experienced, adding more character to the entire place. Jolly Pumpkin is well-known for its artisanal ales, so you should check that out when you visit.
The Filling Station Microbrewery
A unique brewery on our list is The Filling Station Microbrewery, which is located along a former railroad station of the TART trail. The family-owned brewery and restaurant offers a wide range of top-quality craft beers paired with pizzas.
The microbrewery usually has up to 10 beers to order at a time, giving you a wide range of options to choose from. You can order the beers with handmade wood-fired flatbreads, pizzas, and fresh salads. It’s a great place to visit regardless of the weather, as you can enjoy the beers indoors or outdoors.
North Peak Brewing Company
One of the oldest brewing companies in Traverse City is North Peak Brewing Company. It was founded in 1997 and is situated in a building with a lot of history as it used to house a candy company. The brewery retains its factory-like design and focuses on making uncommon and different beers.
The company has now expanded to include the headquarters in Dexter, Michigan. You can enjoy their delicious beers along with dishes on their menu such as soups, sandwiches, appetizers, salads and desserts. If you visit, check out the Festivus Ale and Spruce Tip IPA.
Mackinaw Brewing Company
The Mackinaw Brewing Company is among the first and long-lasting brewpubs in Traverse City and has been running since 1997. It’s located in a brick building that has been standing since the 19th century, giving it more history and character, and it’s a very popular destination among locals.
Although they are well-known for their malty brews, Mackinaw also has a delicious range of fine pale ales, Belgian wheat ales, and a cherry-flavored lager. You can pair these beers with the food on their menu, and they also offer a kid’s menu.
Fresh Coast Beer Works
The last item on our list is Fresh Coast Beer Works, and it offers a delicious list of beers on its tap list. The brewery was previously known as UBrew NanoBrewery before changing its name in 2019, so you might be familiar with the previous name.
The on-site Traverse City microbrewery features different Michigan-centric beers. You can also request their recipes at Fresh Coast Beer Works if you want to make your own brew. We recommend you try out the Star Gate Pilz or Old Red Rye Ale whenever you visit, although the tap list is regularly changing. You can enjoy the beers with live music and a relaxing environment.
A Fun Beer City
Traverse City is a fast-growing city known for being the best place for food lovers and craft beer enthusiasts. The city has a section that tourists usually visit for beer and wine tours because they have so many breweries and brewpubs for visitors to check out.
You can also find many farmer’s markets with hand-crafted food and fresh produce, wineries, gourmet food trucks, and fantastic restaurants. These are combined with their wide selection of breweries, offering diverse beers regardless of what you enjoy drinking.
Traverse City is also well-known for being ideal for outdoor lovers, which is why many of their pubs come with a patio or outdoor area. Depending on the weather, you can go on hikes, enjoy gardens, check out biking trails, go skiing, and more. So if you’re looking to fully enjoy your beer tour, Traverse City is a good choice.
What is the oldest brewery in Traverse?
The oldest brewery in Traverse, Michigan is Mackinaw Brewing Company, which was established in 1997.
Is barley grown in Traverse?
Yes, barley is grown in Traverse and other parts of Michigan. Michigan is one of the top barley-producing states in the US, with a significant portion of the crop grown in the northern regions of the state, including Traverse City.
Are there microbreweries in Traverse?
Yes, there are microbreweries in Traverse. Traverse City has a thriving craft beer scene, with several microbreweries offering a variety of beer styles and flavors. Some of the microbreweries in Traverse include Right Brain Brewery, Rare Bird Brewpub, and Workshop Brewing Company.
Traverse City in Michigan has a long list of craft breweries and microbreweries for its visitors and locals to check out, allowing you to enjoy a full touring experience.
- The best brewery in Traverse City is Farm Club, as everything from the beers to the restaurant’s food is made with farm fresh ingredients.
- North Peak and Mackinaw Brewing Company are two of the oldest breweries in the city, so make sure to pay them a visit!
- Next, head on over to Short’s Brewing Company, which is known as one of the first breweries in the area.
- Don’t forget to check out Brewery Terra Firma and order a SnowBound Mint Chocolate Stout and Fuzzier Farmer Imperial IPA.
Check out any of these 16 Traverse City breweries whenever you’re in the city!