I’m amused by the fact that my specialty beer list contains a couple of father/son teams. It seems that regardless of whether the dad or the son got into it first, craft beer is being shared amongst families and becoming part of their traditions. Father’s Day is right around the corner, and I can bet that many beers will be shared that day. Maybe there will be a few Coors or Miller High Lifes, but I can just hear the steaks and burgers hitting the grill as some excited sons or daughters say, “Hey Dad! You gotta try this new beer I bought!” Moreover, summer is in full swing, and the amount of breweries open to the public is growing day by day. Wherever you travel in our great state this year, there is always fantastic beer nearby. Here are my recommendations of breweries that are worth the trip:
Located on Saint Clair Shores’ Nautical Mile, Baffin is so new, it’s not even on the Craft Brewery Map! Small and industrial-looking inside, its feeling is warm and inviting. Starring in every parent’s nightmare, the owners met in college and decided they would pursue their passion by opening a brewery near their hometown. The beers at Baffin are easy-drinking, mildly flavored beers brewed with top-quality ingredients. I recommend the Mango Unchained and Rye Me a River. Too small to distribute, Baffin is looking forward to offering growlers and expanding to have a sour brewing facility.
I love being surprised, and the last time I went up north to Traverse City was not a disappointment! Used to the regular favorite spots like Right Brain and 7 Monks, we were very excited to find new breweries all over town. The “Best in Show” was Rare Bird. Collaboration between two of a feather, Tina Scheutt, a biologist, and Nate Crane, an avid bird watcher and businessman, Rare Bird has a cool, locals’ vibe and great bar food. The beer showed fantastically well. We went for light-but-flavorful beers like La Toronja, a citrusy IPA with grapefruit, and Orange You Witty, a Belgian wheat brewed with blood oranges.
If you’re a metro Detroiter like me, then Greenbush is way out of the way for you in the tiny southwest Michigan town of Sawyer. However, it is a bright spot in the boring drive to Chicago. Cheerful and energetic, the staff is attentive and educated. The food is spot-on elevated bar food, and though it may seem weird to say, it is kid-friendly. The most refreshing thing is that it’s $2 for six-ounce pours, so you can try a bunch of their unique beers without breaking the bank!
These are only three of the many, many breweries around the state. Come rain or shine this summer, there will always be a brewery open for tasting. Go out and enjoy!