The State of Michigan is known for its significant contribution to the beer industry, and Traverse City is one of the ideal places to find brewpubs, taprooms, and state-of-the-art brewing facilities. As a matter of fact, it was tagged as the “hotbed of the craft beer scene,” and you should know that brewers from this region are highly reputed. So, if you are going for an adventure up to northern Michigan, make sure that you try out these 11 best breweries and have a drink or two of their best craft brews.
1. North Peak Brewing Company
Our top pick for this list of best breweries in Traverse City, MI, is the North Peak Brewing Company. It is one of the first brewpubs in the historical Traverse City, where they serve good food, highly coveted craft beers, and a very laid-back ambiance.
NPBC specializes in authentic American fare with refreshing hand-crafted microbrews. It is located in a historical building once operated by the Big Daylight Candy Factory, which explains the industrial factory interior that complements the hip and relaxed vibe inside the pub.
Today, North Peak continues to reach beyond the people’s demands as it moved its headquarters to Dexter, Michigan, to support its production.
- Crowd Favorite: Diabolical. An unfiltered American IPA with 6.66% ABV, dry-hopped with Cascade and Chinook hops with a distinct citrus pine aroma and smooth malt character.
- Highly Recommended: Siren
- Hop-py Note: Accepts reservation. Private lot parking. Accepts delivery and takeout orders. Various vegetarian options. TV. Great for children. Outdoor seating. Free WiFi. Wheelchair accessible. Covered patio, Bike parking.
Hours: Open Mon – Thur 12pm – 10pm, Fri & Sat 12pm – 11pm, Sun Closed.
2. Right Brain Brewery
Right Brain Brewery is one of the unique brewpubs that Traverse City has to offer. It is notoriously known as a place for getting great haircuts and refreshing pints of beer. This unconventional combination is credited to the founder, who is fond of craft beers and makes a living out of creating impeccable hairstyles.
Right Brain is nestled in a large warehouse in downtown Traverse City with a contemporary, industrial-themed interior packed with a family-friendly atmosphere. After being known for its uniqueness, RBR is now focused on producing clean and environmentally sustainable beers that go beyond a regular craft brew.
- Crowd Favorite: CEO Stout. A light-bodied American stout brewed using locally produced espresso beans with 5.5% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: Northern Hawk Owl
- Hop-py Note: Offers many vegan options. Bicycle parking. Outdoor seating. Dog-friendly. TV. Good for children. Covered patio. Wheelchair accessible. Offers military discounts. Street parking and private lot parking are available.
Hours: Open Sun & Mon 11am – 8pm, Tues & Wed 11am – 9pm, Thur – Sat 11am – 10pm.
3. The Filling Station Microbrewery
The Filling Station Microbrewery is a family-owned brewery-restaurant known for its high-quality craft beers and wood-fired flatbreads that are hand-crafted and made with the freshest local produce.
It is located in an old railroad station right off the Traverse Area Recreation Trail putting itself on top of the list of those who seek a pint of a refreshing beer after a long walk through Traverse City’s landscape. Visiting the Filling Station will give you a reminiscent atmosphere with its old structure and cozy indoor space. Today, FSM operates with a 3 bbl and a 10 bbl brewing system that gives them the freedom to make craft beers in small batches with various styles.
- Crowd Favorite: Walla Walla IPA. A crisp, light-bodied American IPA brewed with a proprietary blend of base malts and Irish ale malt. 7% ABV with hints of resin and white grapefruit flavor.
- Highly Recommended: Huntington IPA
- Hop-py Note: Accepts takeout and delivery orders. Offers many vegan options. Outdoor seating. Offers lunch and dinner. TV. Outdoor seating. Dog friendly. Great for kids. Bicycle parking.
Hours: Open Thur – Mon 11am – 10pm, Tue & Wed Closed.
4. Workshop Brewing Company
Workshop Brewing Company may not have a unique selection of beer on tap, but people love the refreshingly good craft beers it offers its customers. It started in Pennsylvania and has become one of Traverse City’s beer staples. It is located in the Warehouse District of the city, where it has a breathtaking view of the Grand Traverse Bay.
The WBC brewpub has an inviting space with a great friendly vibe, an array of seasonal beers, and great live music to top off your total experience. Now, Workshop continues with its mission to sustain the natural environment in Northern Michigan and, at the same time, continues the long tradition of craft brewing while paying tribute to the local community that has kept the business alive since its founding.
- Crowd Favorite: 20 Pound Sledge. A midwest-style American IPA with 7.1% ABV, perfectly brewed to have the right hoppy bitterness and distinct citrus aroma.
- Highly Recommended: 10 Pound Sledge
- Hop-py Note: Offers various vegan options. Outdoor seating. Street parking is available. Good for children. Free WiFi. TV. Live music. Wheelchair accessible. Bicycle parking.
Hours: Open Sun – Thur 12pm – 10pm, Fri & Sat 12pm – 11pm.
5. Rare Bird Brewpub
The Rare Bird Rewpub is an exciting spot to eat out and try some of the world-class beers it offers. It pours an impressive menu of snacks and drinks and sticks to its mission to provide unparalleled drinking and dining experience.
Its brewpub is located in downtown Traverse City which has a brick exterior with an elegantly cozy industrial-themed interior. It seeks to copy a German beer hall with all the accents and the sustainably sourced timber used for the chair and table. In terms of the beer it serves, you could not ask for more. Aside from beer, it also serves wines, spirits, and ciders, which are perfect if you are not fond of craft brews.
- Crowd Favorite: Blood Orange You Witty? A unique and light Belgian wheat beer with 5.2% ABV, brewed with real blood oranges. Citrusy and refreshing, perfect for the hot days of summer.
- Highly Recommended: Kushy Punch
- Hop-py Note: Accepts takeout orders. Street and private lot parking. Offers pescetarian and vegan options. Free WiFi. Dog-friendly Good for children. Heated outdoor seating. Covered patio. TV. Bicycle parking. Designated smoking area. Wheelchair accessible.
Hours: Open Daily 12pm-10pm.
6. Silver Spruce Brewing Company
Silver Spruce Brewing Company was established in 2018, making it one of the new breweries in Traverse City that opened its doors to the public. However, despite being the youngest among others, Silver Spruce never fails to impress visitors and regular goers with its high-quality ales and lagers.
Its brewpub sits inside a warehouse with high ceilings and aesthetically pleasing light arrangements that add to the cozy and rustic atmosphere that this brewpub offers. Aside from great brews, you can order good grubs and enjoy quality time with friends and family while playing board games.
- Crowd Favorite: MIPA. An American-style IPA with 6.6% ABV and a clean, dry finish. Brewed with locally grown malt and hops with notes of pine resin and bitter citrus.
- Highly Recommended: German Pilsner
- Hop-py Note: Offers plenty of vegan choices. Bike parking. Accepts takeout orders. Dogs are allowed. Covered outdoor seating. Handicapped accessible. Street and private lot parking are available.
Hours: Open Mon – Thur 12pm – 10pm, Fri & Sat 12pm – 11pm, Sun 12pm – 9pm.
7. Earthen Ales
Earthen Ales is famous for creating inspirational beers that are unique and have many stories to tell, but before going full-scale, it started as a hobby-turned passion of a married couple which paved the way to its impressive range of craft beers today.
Its brewpub has a homey and warm ambiance. It is located in the Grand Traverse Commons, just off the State hospital hiking grounds, making it a perfect spot to chill and make friends after a tiring hike to see the botanical gardens.
Today, Earthen Ales continues to expand as they collaborate with other local restaurants and breweries to make unique brews that everyone would love.
- Crowd Favorite: Juniper Rye. A balanced Indian Pala Ale with 6.3% ABV, inspired by the traditional Finnish Sahti with distinct hints of pine and juniper berries.
- Highly Recommended: A2 IPA
- Hop-py Note: Street and private lot parking are available. Accepts takeout orders. Heated outdoor seating. Wheelchair accessible. Dog-friendly. Bicycle parking. Offers vegan choices.
Hours: Open Mon 4pm – 7pm, Tue – Thur 3pm – 9pm, Fri & Sat 1pm – 9pm, Sun 1pm – 8pm.
8. Brewery Terra Firma
Brewery Terra Firma is located in a rural area on the south end of Traverse City. It is the first “farm-to-mug” brewery in all f Traverse City, MI, and is known for its dedication to producing craft beer in a sustainable, responsible, and environmentally friendly way.
Its pub is located within a 10-acre farm with a pretty basic exterior and a spacious indoor area. It has large windows and industrial ceilings that add up to the overall vibe of the place. Today, BTF redefines the way of sustainable brewing and sets a great example for other breweries to follow.
- Crowd Favorite: Manitou Amber. A rich unfiltered American Amber ale with a beautiful deep amber color and soft malt body with 5.7% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: Soul Butter Triple IPA
- Hop-py Note: Private lot parking spaces available. Offers plenty of vegetarian options. Accepts takeout orders. Bicycle parking. Outdoor seating.
- Fun fact: Brewery Terra Firma reclaims over 230,000 gallons of water from the brewing process and reuses it as irrigation for the farm crops.
Hours: Open Tue – Sat 12pm – 10pm, Sun & Mon 12pm-8pm.
9. Mackinaw Brewing Company
Mackinaw Brewing Company is one of the original brewpubs that started in Traverse City and is a certified local favorite for its great hand-crafted beers and hearty foods like smoked meats, salads, soups, and sandwiches.
MBC has been up and running since 1997, and it is located in an old brick building giving more character and history to the brewpub, itself. Aside from its malty brews, people are hooked up to its delicious range of IPA, lagers, and Belgian wheat ales.
- Crowd Favorite: West Bay IPA. A bold American style IPA with 6.5% ABV, served with a rich copper color and skillfully hopped to have distinct aromas for floral hops and grapefruit.
- Highly Recommended: Belgian Whitecap
- Hop-py Note: Accepts takeout orders. Offer a variety of vegan options. Bicycle parking. Outdoor Seating. Great for children. TV. Free WiFi. Wheelchair accessible. Street and private lot parking are available.
Hours: Open Mon & Tue 12pm – 9pm, Wed Closed, Thur – Sat 12pm – 9pm, Sun Closed.
10. Farm Club
Farm Club is more than just your typical brewery. It is a marketplace, farm, bakery, and restaurant that gives great importance to the community and values the food it serves to its customers. It takes pride in the farm-to-table experience that it offers to visitors and patrons.
It is located on the edge of the Leelanau Peninsula. To its left is lake Leelanau and to the other direction is Traverse Bay. Although relatively new to the local beer scene in Traverse City, Farm Club remains unfazed, for it knows that what it offers to the people is genuine and unique.
- Crowd Favorite: East Coast Pale Ale. A New England hazy IPA with 6.2% ABV hopped with Citra and Strata to have the distinct citrus and tropical fruit flavor.
- Highly Recommended: Pilsner
- Hop-py Note: Private lot parking is available. Wheelchair accessible. It provides reusable tableware. Bicycle parking. Outdoor seating.
Hours: Open Thur – Sat 12pm – 10pm, Sun & Mon Closed.
11. Fresh Coast Beer Works
Last but definitely not least on the list is the Fresh Coast Beer Works. It was formerly known as the UBrew NanoBrewery before it changed its name in 2019. It started small, with a ½ barrel brewing system, and it later progressed to become one of Traverse City’s all-time favorites.
Its taproom is filled with nothing but a great relaxing atmosphere and a uniquely diverse selection of fresh craft brews. Aside from its fancy interior, this fantastic micro-brewery is also built around its vision to be a place for non-brewers and homebrewers to interact and make great networks. If you’re planning to visit, ask about their beer recipes just in case you want to make your own brew.
- Crowd Favorite: Cash Drop IPA. A refreshing American-style IPA with 6% ABV, generously hopped with Cashmere, Lemon Drop, and Amarillo.
- Highly Recommended: Shadey JedIPA
- Hop-py Note: Offers military discount. Bicycle parking is available. Heated outdoor seating. Wheelchair accessible. Covered patio.
Hours: Open Mon – Sat 11am – 11pm, Sun 12pm-11pm.
Address: 120 Park St, Traverse City, MI 49684