Author Topic: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND  (Read 6002 times)

Offline gmac

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Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
« on: September 01, 2011, 09:02:56 AM »
Next week I start my yearly travel cycle through the North Central US.  I always like to try local beers when I can but I'm sure that most of the place I go to don't have the real micro/nano brews available.  So, I'm asking for your help.

If you live in one of the states listed above (ND, SD - just the East part) and you have a good recommendation for a beer that I should seek out while I'm out there, please let me know.  I'll probably be in each state for at least a week so I don't mind driving a few miles out of my way to find a good beer.  There are some definitely obvious ones (MI - Bell's) but are there really tiny but great breweries that don't distribute very broadly?  That's what I'm looking to find.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2011, 09:07:18 AM »
You didn't say your route, but in MI you should try Shorts.  In Wisconsin New Glarus.  In MN try Surly.

There are many other good ones in MI that have limited distribution.
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Offline gmac

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Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2011, 09:10:17 AM »
Thanks for moving Drew.  I wasn't sure where to put this (forgot about Beer Travel).

Please let me know what towns to look in.
Thanks

Offline bonjour

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Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2011, 09:15:37 AM »
I'll start,
 Michigan

Jolly Pumpkin, Ann Arbor-brewpub /Dexter-brewery
You said Bell's
Big Rock, Birmingham, Dan is one of the best brewers in the state
Brewery Vivant, Grand Rapids
Short's, Bellaire
Hopcat, Grand Rapids, they have many MI brewpubs beers on tap.
check out http://michiganbeerguide.com/
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2011, 09:16:27 AM »
I'll be near Eau Claire in WI this weekend and am planning to check out Lazy Monk Brewing which is a local brewery in those parts.

He's also active on the forum.  Their website lists the places you can get their beer.

I also hope to get to New Glarus, but that's been on the list for a loooong time.

Sounds like you're probably going over the UP from Michigan to Wisconsin, but if you're down near Indiana/Illinois Three Floyds is right there in Munster.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2011, 10:36:00 AM »
MI has the Upper and the Lower Peninsulas.  The Lower has many more brweries, and those are the ones I am most familiar with.

Recommendations will differ if you are crossing at Detroit, Port Huron, or at Sault St. Marie.
Jeff Rankert
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Offline gmac

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Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2011, 10:48:02 AM »
For MI, crossing at Detroit, swinging along the bottom 1/2 of the state in a rough loop back to Port Huron.  Later in the year I'll be going across at Port Huron, swinging North of Lansing upto Shepherd, back along I-75 through Saginaw and back to Port Huron. 

For MN, I'll cover most of the state, for WI, the lower half.  Basically, if you can grow corn there, I'll be there. 

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2011, 11:04:21 AM »
OK - you are in that line of work, so here goes.  Fred linked you to the Michigan Beer Guide, which is something to bookmark.

Kuhnhenn and Dragonmead in Warren, Big Rock in Birmingham.  Ann Arbor has 5 brewpubs + the Corner Brewery in Ypsi.  OG in Milan is making some really clean and balanced beers - the 440 pepper smoker is one that is a little out of the box.

I-94 has breweries from Ann Arbor to the State line.   Local Pub and Brewery in Jackson, Arcadia in Battle Creek, Bells, Paw Paw in Paw Paw, Livery in Benton Harbor and Greenbush in Sawyer (exit 12).

If you are heading up along Lake MI, there is Saugatuck in Douglas and Odd Side in Grand Haven.  

In Sparta, there is Michgan Beer Cellar, making some really tasty IPA's.  The British IPA is based on the owners NHC gold medal winner from a few years back.

Fred covered Grand Rapids, but I hear good things about Hideout Brewery.

Michigan Brewing is in Weberville, they make the Celis line up these days.

Redwood Lodge on the south side of Flint has won many GABF medals and has been Small Brewpub of the year.  The brewer that won those is no longer there of late, so I can't say if the beers are still as good.

Edit - you should be able to find some Shorts in a good beer bar or at a party store (as liquor stores are called here).

Edit #2 - Dark Horse in Marshall.  Great taproom with an "up North feel to it".
« Last Edit: September 01, 2011, 11:23:47 AM by hopfenundmalz »
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Offline BrewingRover

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Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2011, 11:46:01 AM »
Wisconsin has a bunch of small breweries that are putting out some great stuff. I've had good beers from Ale Asylum, Central Waters, and O'so, to name a few. Lakefront in Milwaukee has a great coffee stout and their brewery tour is a lot of fun.
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Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2011, 01:25:48 PM »
Short's makes great beers - thanks Jeff for turning me on to them.
Dan Chisholm

Offline beerhaus

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Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2011, 02:10:54 PM »
In Minnesota

there are a lot of options - all of the following have websites

Schell's - Especially the Stag series
Brau Brothers - anything
Mantorville Brewing company - pick up a growler of one of the fruit infused beers
Flat Earth Brewing - pick up a growler  of Black Hilicopter

Also check out several brew pubs

Fitger's - Duluth 
Town Hall - Minneapolis
Great Waters- St. Paul

Beer stores

Four Firkins - St. Louis Park
The Ale Jail - St. Paul
Pairings - Eden Prairie

Offline Kit B

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Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2011, 02:57:31 PM »
Breweries:

Minneapolis:
Town Hall Brewery
Surly
Fulton

St. Paul:
Summit

New Ulm, MN:
Schell's

Bar/Pub/Restaurant:
St. Paul:
Happy Gnome
Muddy Pig
The Knook

Mpls:
Rock Bottom
The Local
Triple Rock Social Club (if you enjoy the company of punks)


(IMHO skip Flat Earth)
« Last Edit: September 02, 2011, 06:47:59 AM by Kit B »
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2011, 03:41:28 PM »
Most of the MInnesota breweries/brewpubs have already been mentioned, but I'll also throw Harriet Brewing out there.  I love their West Side IPA (Belgian-style IPA) and Wodan Weizen.  They don't seem to have the marketing prowess of Surly and Fulton, but they've got some very solid brews.
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Offline chezteth

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Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2011, 04:02:32 PM »
Wisconsin has a bunch of small breweries that are putting out some great stuff. I've had good beers from Ale Asylum, Central Waters, and O'so, to name a few. Lakefront in Milwaukee has a great coffee stout and their brewery tour is a lot of fun.

+1 to all of these.  I would also add Red Eye and Bull Falls in Wausau.

Offline Mark G

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Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2011, 04:14:45 PM »
If you end up getting to New Glarus, try to stop by the Grumpy Troll brewpub in Mt. Horeb, WI. From what I recall, they're about 15 minutes away from each other.
Mark Gres