As I mentioned in my previous post, I spent the holidays in Michigan with my extended family. Michigan is soooo different from San Francisco. The pace is about half that of San Francisco which was a welcome change to the hustle and bustle of the big city. One of the most surprising things I discovered this trip was how big the beer culture is in Michigan. It seemed like there was a brewery every couple miles or in some places on the same block. I was super excited about this because I actually really like beer. I usually gravitate towards really light beers such as pilsners, but I will occasionally drink dark beers. Keyword….occasionally. I was so excited about all the beer that I asked my cousin to take me on a brewery tour in Lansing and Grand Rapids. Check out my favorites below.
Midtown Brewing Company
The first location went to was Midtown Brewing Company in Lansing. It was a cute cozy place with a wide beer selection. We got overly ambitious so we decided to get 11 flights of beer between the 3 of us. We were definitely a tad tipsy after this place. My favorite hands down was the Strawberry Hibiscus Cream Ale. It was sweet and light which is everything I like in a beer. Solid seconds were the Pumpkin Cream Ale and Irish Red Ale.
Price Points: $5-7 for 16 oz; $1-2.50 per flight
Best Beers: Strawberry Hibiscus Cream Ale, Pumpkin Cream Ale, Irish Red Ale
Lansing Brewing Company
Next up was a favorite of my cousin’s – Lansing Brewing Company. The interior is bright, modern, and spacious. We ordered a flight of 10 beers. The flights come in 5 (as seen above). I really loved the Saiko beer which is a rice lager that had an interesting flavor. They also have killer food. We had the nachos with pulled pork and wonton chips instead of tortilla chips. They were amazing and gave me serious food inspiration to use wonton chips in future nacho recipes.
Price Points: $5-$16 for 12oz to 64 oz; $2-3 per flight
Best Beers: Saiko Hitmitsu Rice Lager
A popular chain in the Midwest. They are famous for their beers as well as their crack fries. And trust me they are definitely crack. I went one in Lansing and one in Grand Rapids. I had a great time both times I came to this place. They have a great atmosphere with great beer and food. The beers were great but none that stood out too much to me. The best one I had was the Soft Parade which is one of their light beers. The main reason to come to this place is the crack fries!!! and the atmosphere.
Location: Lansing and Grand Rapids
Price Points: $5-15
Best Beers: Soft Parade
This was first brewery I went to in Grand Rapids. GR has loads of great breweries and unfortunately, I only got to go to 3 places before I started to feel bloated. This was perhaps the most unique brewery in terms of decor. The brewery is housed in an old church which gives it a different vibe from the others. I was really impressed with our waiter who just seemed to know everything about every beer and was really helpful in helping us choose one. I decided to go with the Vivant flight so I could try out a variety of beers. The Vivant flight includes 4 beers: Farmhand, Hop Field, Big Red Coq, and Undertaker. Out of the 4, I would say the Big Red Coq was my favorite. It was a nice red color and had a bit of sweetness to it. Overall, I had the best experience here out of all the breweries I visited on my trip.
Location: Grand Rapids
Price Points: $10-15 for food; $2-8 for beer
Best Beers: Farmhand, Big Red Coq
This is probably the most popular brewery in Grand Rapids and it’s reputation is well deserved. It has loads of space and an open patio for the summer months. My friend told me that it gets crazy here on the weekends. We came on a Wednesday during the day and there were tons of people there of all ages. Parents event brought their kids. I had one beer here – the Nitro Rubaeus. It has a yummy raspberry flavor that I just loved. I’ve never thought about putting raspberries in beer but it works apparently.
Location: Grand Rapids
Price Points: $6-15 for food; $5-10 for beer
Best Beers: Nitro Rubaeus