Breweries Of Michigan That Never Disappoints

Pint glass of Craft Beer, backlit on black

In today’s blog article about breweries in Michigan that never disappoints we are going to share with you our top 12 best Michigan brewing companies.

But before we do we’d like to invite you to visit our website for more information about our unique line of Blake’s Hard Cider products.

This list is comprised weighing in factors such as performances on RateBeer and Beer Advocate, beer competition medals, and other worthy accolades.


Number #12

Right Brain Brewery – Traverse City, MI

Making a name for themselves based on taste alone, Right Brain’s unique, colorful, eclectic and energetic approach brings an artistically creative force into an industry that can feel a bit ‘stuffy’ sometimes. With bizarre labeling and even MORE bizarre canning, Right Brain took a ‘left field’ approach to craft brewing.

It makes us all ‘warm n’ fuzzy inside’ when creative expression can be tasted in every can they produce. We’re all to familiar with the feeling founder Russell Springsteen enjoys. What an honor to be in good company with one of Michigan’s best.

Craft beers we recommend you try (in no chronological order) from Right Brain are CEO Stout and Willpower Pale Ale.


Number #11

Arcadia Ales – Battle Creek, MI

Located in downtown Battle Creek, their pub is a fun mix of pizza, barbeque, and of course, beer. Lots and LOTS of handcrafted British-style beer. Tim Surprise “surprised” Michiganders with his cool twist with English Ales taking the Michigan craft brew mentality and turning it on it’s head for medium-bodied, delicious extra special bitters, and a whole lot of beers to pair with their tasty fish and chips.

A few beers we recommend you try (in no chronological order) from Arcadia are Anglers Ale, Cereal Killer Barleywine, Nut Brown Ale, Shipwreck Porter and Thunder Trail ESB.


Number #10

B. Nektar Meadery – Ferndale, MI

B. Nektar’s claim to fame is their speciality with honey as their not-so-secret ingredient. Featured in Detroit’s Hour Magazine, the Detroit News and CNN, B. Nektar derives it’s honey locally for the optimum drinking experience.

You may say, “That’s all fine and dandy, buddy, but Meade isn’t beer!” Well, it’s so unique that it truly deserves a class on it’s own. Sadly, it’ll be all by its lonesome.

Beer sites rate it so we included it. And we believe rightfully so. Don’t knock it till’ you try it. Soon you’ll be searching every excuse in the book to call it ‘craft beer’, too (smiles).

A few craft beers we recommend you try (in no chronological order) from B. Nektar are Cherry Chipotle Mead, Episode 13 and Vanilla Cinnamon Mead.

Click here to visit our website for more of Blake’s products.


Number #9

Detroit Beer Company – Detroit, MI

Founded in 2003 smack dab in the middle of Downtown Detroit, the Detroit Beer Company (D.B.C) drink offerings are sure to put a smile on the face of the most critical craft beer snobs leaving them in “awe”!

A few beers we recommend you try (in no chronological order) from D.B.C are Detroit Dwarf, Detroit Lager and People Mover Porter.



Number #8

Short’s Brewing Company – Bellaire, MI

Founded in 2002 by Joe Short with a drive to make beers on his own terms breaking all conventional standards, Short’s Brewing set out to cultivate a small, tight knit community with a passion for exploring Michigan’s wildlife.

Noteworthy creative beers we recommend you try (in no chronological order) from Short’s include Bellaire Brown, Huma Lupa Licious, Bloody Beer, Soft Parade, Funkin’ Punkin, Key Lime Pie, Black Cherry Porter and Strawberry Short’s Cake.


Number #7

Dragonmead Microbrewery – Warren, MI

Founded in 1997 by Bill Wrobel, Earl Scherbarth and Larry Channel, Dragonmead is in a league of it’s own having earned the reputation for having the largest draft list in Michigan.

Frankly, we don’t care which of the beers you decide to try, you make it your life’s sole mission to have a glass of Final Absolution. It is ‘absolutely’ fantastic, and for good reason. It’s a gold medal winner at the World Beer Cup. And they’re a picky bunch. So that says a lot.

A few beers we recommend you try (in no chronological order) from Dragonmead are Crusader Dark Mild Ale, Erik the Red, Final Absolution and Russian Imperial Stout.


Number #6

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales – Dexter, MI

Founded in 2004, Jolly Pumpkin creates handcrafted artisan-style ales. With the help of a carefully thought out refining process Jolly’s specializes in unfiltered and unpasteurized rustic country sour beers.

Not a fan of sour beers? Neither were we until we had a glass…and two…and three…and four…and…

You get the idea (smiles).

A few beers we recommend giving a shot (in no chronological order) from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales are Bam Bière and Oro de Calabaza, Luciernaga.


Number #5

New Holland Brewing – Holland, MI

We’ve always considered ourselves more than hard cider producers but also taste bud artisans. So when New Holland, founded in 1996, comes around believing the same philosophy, it’s not hard to believe when you try stouts like The Poet or El Mole Ocho. It’s as if you’re drinking the genius of a Picasso or Andy Warhol masterpiece.

New Holland is one of the few companies that believe craft beer is more than a novelty act or gimmick. It’s a way of life unique to Western Michigan.

Noteworthy beers we recommend (in no chronological order) from New Holland include Cabin Fever, Dragon’s Milk, Mad Hatter and The Poet (Oatmeal Stout).


Number #4

Dark Horse Brewing Company – Marshall, MI

Dark Horse has been kicking butt and taking names since 1997. In fact, legend goes that a famous rock group, Nickelback, made a sizeable financial offer to have them featured in one of their music videos. This was at the height of their popularity and virtually ANY brewery would have clamored at the opportunity or pay THEM to do it.

So what did Dark Horse do?

They told them to kick rocks.

No employee were fans of their music and although the national recognition could very well have catapulted them further ahead of their competitors, they stuck to their guns (and principles).

Noteworthy beers we recommend you try (in no chronological order) from Dark Horse include Crooked Tree IPA, Raspberry Ale, Reserve Special Black Ale, Scotty Karate, Plead The 5th Imperial Stout.


Number #3

Kuhnhenn Brewing Company – Warren, MI

Founded in 1998 Kuhnhenn is committed to not being the best in Michigan, but the best craft brewer in the world. Ambitious, yes, but not far fetched for this lot.

Imagine a group of guys playing football in their backyard one day, going against a major league football team, making it to the championship game and winning against all odds, not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES for the gold at the World Beer Cup and Great American Beer Festival.

Apparently demand is catching up to them and they’re opening new facilities as we werite.

Notable beers we recommend (in no chronological order) from Kuhnhenn are Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine, Bourbon Barrel Fourth Dementia, Double Rice IPA (DRIPA), Michigan Mud, Raspberry Eisbock and Simcoe Silly.


Number #2

Bell’s Brewery, Inc. – Kalamazoo, MI

Found in 1985 by Larry Bell this list just wouldn’t be complete without Bell’s Brewery.

It all began in the 80’s with a homebrew kit. It has now become a national distributor to over 15 states nationwide and growing. Although it’s the largest craft beer producer in Michigan, Larry Bell, never one to forget his humble roots, sells the same homebrewing kit he started with in his young age to inspire others to take their hobby and turn it into a profitable enterprise – the American way.

Notable beers we recommend (in no chronological order) from Bell’s are Brown Porter, Hopslam, Oberon, Two Hearted Ale and Black Note Stout.


Number #1

Founders Brewing Company – Grand Rapids, MI

Taking home the grand prize in the number #1 spot is none other than the Founder’s Brewing Company.

Their philosophy is, “We don’t brew beer for the masses. Instead our beers are crafted for a chosen few, a small cadre of renegades and rebels who enjoy a beer that pushes the limits of what is commonly accepted as taste. In short, we make beer for people like us.”

No statement could be more true. On the brink of bankruptcy in its early years, Founders decided to take a gamble and ‘go all in, or nothing’. And why not? There was nothing left to lose. Instead of catering to the masses, they began brewing “complex, in-your-face ales, with big aromatics, with a larger body, and bold flavors”. If folks didn’t like it, tough luck.

Turns out the gamble paid off. Handsomely if we may add. Business is flourishing instead of ‘floundering’ (pun intended), national recognition is the standard along with their numerous accolades, awards and innovative accomplishments.

Founders didn’t just take the top spot…they earned it by a WIDE margin.

Notable beers we recommend (in no chronological order) from Founders are All Day IPA, Backwoods Bastard, Harvest Ale, Porter and Kentucky Breakfast Stout



If you’re around our neck of the woods stop on buy and say “Howdy” at 17985 Armada Center Rd. Armada, MI 48005, give us a call at 586-784-9463 or shoot us an email at for questions or inquiries.

You can also visit us at Blake’s Hard Cider  to learn more about our latest products and exciting upcoming events.

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