As any beer drinker knows, Michigan has long been ahead of the curve when it comes to craft beer. But what you may not know is that Motor City is having its own craft-beer moment.
In addition to the following 10 breweries—all of which have taprooms where you can sample their beer and make purchases, and many offer food menus, too—two Michigan breweries have opened taprooms in Detroit. Jolly Pumpkin—based out of Ann Arbor—taps its beer in Midtown, also serving pizza, while Founders Brewing Co. (a Grand Rapids brewery) operates a Midtown taproom, with beers exclusive to that location, including its Detroit IPA.
Eastern Market Brewing Co.
Located in the year-round Eastern Market, this brewery is in perfect pitch with the country’s largest historic public-market district. When co-founder Dayne Bartscht moved back to Michigan from England, he lured in some beer-loving friends to open the brewery in 2017. Many beers fold in local ingredients, including Final Harvest, which has 100 pounds of squash from a local farm, and a beer called Dees Bees Knees, including Detroit City Distillery spirits.
Detroit Beer Co.
One of Detroit’s first craft breweries, Detroit Beer Co., opened in 2003 and brews on-site at its downtown Detroit taproom where, at any given time, between seven and nine different beers are poured. Ranging from an American light lager (Broadway Light) to a hearty amber ale (Rye Barrel Aged Dwarf), it’s all brewed with food pairings in mind, whether it’s the chorizo-avocado pizza or Hair of the Dog—a burger topped with a fried egg, cheese, and bacon). Saturday and Sunday brunch mean unique eats like smoked-salmon pizza or French toast rolled in Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
Granite City Food & Brewery
With locations throughout 13 Midwestern states, Granite City Food & Brewery’s Detroit presence (one of three Michigan locations) is within the Renaissance Center, a block north of the Detroit River and the Riverwalk. Food is crafted in an open kitchen (cue amazing smells!) and the beer (a mix of signature and seasonal options, including Hustle, a coffee cream ale) brewed on site. Locals love the Lawless Brunch with a donut-creation station, build-your-own breakfast sandwiches, and Bloody Mary just to your liking. Still, the dinner specials, which range from meatloaf to jambalaya, are also wildly popular.
Batch Brewing Company
Batch Brewing Company’s taproom Corktown taproom serves not only beer but also Michigan pub-style food with a global twist—like jerk-chicken pasties or fried German-style potatoes—with some Vietnamese, Mexican, Greek, and Thai dishes thrown in. Co-founders Jason Williams and Stephen Roginson left corporate jobs to follow their dream, opening the brewery in 2015 after a successful crowdfunding campaign. Around 18 beers are on tap, from a farmhouse ale to the Dicksmasher Stout.
Brewing out of Corktown since 2014, Brew Detroit—with its “true to the beer” slogan—operates in a 68,000 square-foot facility. Visit the taproom, which is also home to Michigan’s largest contract brewery, allowing a place for budding brewers to get their start, and you can sample from 30 different taps, indulging in your preference for sours, lagers, ales or stouts. There’s even a nitro-stout option (Cold Brew Detroit). Tours take place every Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m. and include a pint of beer in a take-home glass.
Detroit’s newest brewery and taproom debuted in October of this year, in the Islandview neighborhood, just north of the Detroit River. Brewery Faisan’s thrust, in the hands of founders (and former homebrewers) Paul and Rachel Szlaga, is all about brewing Belgian-style beers. This includes a wheat beer, tripel, and raspberry Saison, plus a coffee stout and two IPAs. At any time, seven beers from Brewery Faisan are on tap. Curious about the brewery’s name? It’s a reference to the pheasants that live nearby. (In French, faisan means pheasant.)
Motor City Brewing Works
Since 1994—yes, way before many of Detroit’s breweries debuted—Motor City Brewing Works’ has been in the heart of downtown Detroit. Beer riffs on Detroit neighborhoods and references, such as the Corktown Stout. One of the food menu’s highlights is brick-oven pizza, with 10 specialty pies, like Roasted Pear & Fig or Maui Wowie. On warm days, outdoor seating is available at communal-style picnic tables as well as on the deck.
Woodward Avenue Brewers
Technically in the Detroit suburb of Ferndale, and not the city proper, Woodward Avenue Brewers—which wants you to call it WAB—has been brewing beer since 1997. About 10 beers are on tap at its taproom, or you can opt not to decide which pint to order by going for the Five Beer Sampler (flight of five four-ounce beers). Whether you crave bananas and clove (hallmarks of the Wiezengeist-Hefeweizen) or a Caribbean-inspired stout (what the Aggrovator-Tropical Stout seeks to emulate), this brewery’s got you covered. A food menu of pizza, sandwiches, and pub grub is also served.
Liberty Street Brewing Company
Specializing in small-batch brewing, from light (clementine with lemon thyme) to Starkweather Stout, Liberty Street Brewing Company is in the Detroit suburb of Plymouth. The brewery’s been in business since 2008, and you can sip the beers inside its taproom, tucked into a building dating back to the 1890s. While the food menu is limited, the owners encourage you to support other local restaurants by having your order delivered to the taproom.
Atwater Brewery & Tap House
With three Michigan locations—Grand Rapids, the Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe Park, and a 1919 factory warehouse in Detroit’s Rivertown neighborhood—Atwater Brewery’s roots are in Detroit. Beer offerings are diverse, from grapefruit flavors in the Going Steady IPA to Pumpkin Spice Latte Ale. You can even take a tour of the Detroit location on Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Like most breweries, the taproom cuisine skews German and pub-style (like brats, wings, and chili), but there are also signature pizzas and tacos. Try a “dessert beer,” like the Decadent Chocolate Stout or Vanilla Java Porter.