U.P. Breweries: The Quest to Find Your Favorite Craft Beers

Keweenaw Brewing Company Photo credit: @2ndsandbar

Michigan is renowned for its diversity of award-winning craft beers. Some of the best hail from the Upper Peninsula. Utilizing local ingredients and focusing on small batches, these makers serve up some delicious, rich new flavors along with traditional favorites. Moreover, many of our breweries also specialize in meals carefully crafted to pair with the brews. The quest to find your U.P. favorites will take you to micro-breweries in our cities, college towns, rural countryside and even one within walking distance of a waterfall. A visit to an Upper Peninsula brewpub is the perfect way to relax after a day of outdoor adventure.

There are many reasons to make breweries part of your trip. One of the most significant is the wonderful variety of beer styles and the richer distinctive tastes that each brewery creates. Our brewers love to help each other and collaborate but they are also passionately competitive about making their beers the best. This friendly competitive spirit really shines in the abundance of seasonal beers. Different seasons match different beers. Some of the most popular varieties are barrel-aged, sours, spiced and those that include fruit. The amount of time and energy put into both maintaining a high standard of quality and creating new flavors shines in the consistency and innovation of their beers. When possible, our brewers source many of their fresh high-quality ingredients locally so that our beers truly reflect the taste of the U.P. One of the benefits of making the best possible beers is that they not only taste amazing, but they also contain a wealth of antioxidants, protein and vitamin B complex. 

Ore Dock Brewing Company Photo credit: @earleb03

Beer has a wide range of complex flavors that are the result of different water, yeast strains, grains, hops and other ingredients. Matching food with the right beer can enhance both a dish and beer showcasing their flavors. Many of our breweries strive to craft not only amazing beer but satisfying and memorable meals. When you visit one of our brewpubs be sure to ask your server if there are any recommended pairings. 

With more than two dozen breweries to choose from no matter where you are in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, there is a brewery not far away. A few of the most popular breweries to check out are: 

  • Blackrocks Brewery, Marquette — Located in a Victorian-style residential home, this location is a never-ending house party and features craft beer, live music, outdoor seating and much much more. The brewery takes its name from the rocks in the nearby Presque Isle Park.
  • Cognition Brewing Company, Ishpeming — Located in the historic Mather Inn hotel in downtown Ishpeming, this brewery has a retro/English pub vibe. Try their unique and flavorful brews.  
  • Keweenaw Brewing Company, Houghton — Named after the Keweenaw Peninsula, this brewery is one of the largest brewers in the Upper Peninsula. Enjoy a drink while on the deck that looks out over the Keweenaw Waterway.
  • Ore Dock Brewing Company, Marquette — This brewery takes its name from the nearby ore docks used to load iron ore onto lake freighters. This brewery is an extremely popular destination for tourists and focuses on Belgian and American styles of beer.

    Photo credit: @keweenawphd
  • Tahquamenon Falls Brewery & Pub At Camp 33, Newberry — Enjoy beer and food within walking distance of Tahquamenon Falls; what more could you ask for?
  • Upper Hand Brewery, Escanaba — Located in beautiful downtown Escanaba, this brewery was founded by Larry Bell, who also founded the very well-known Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo. 

Whether you try them by flights or by the glass, you will find a wealth of handcrafted ales, lagers, sours, porters, stouts and more in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Be sure to bring some home with you to share with family and friends.

Plan your U.P. trip today!