Traverse City offers up a great selection of breweries that are all pretty close to each other, giving those of you who like to beer hop a great outing when downtown. Of the many places to drink in town, the following are the five best breweries worth visiting and sampling their fine creations.
North Peak Brewing Company
400 W Front St
Traverse City, MI 49684
The North Peak Brewing Company can be found in an historic building that once housed a candy factory and offers up a cool, rustic interior that really makes the place feel special. Now, to be clear, it’s not the great atmosphere that makes this brewery one of the best in Traverse City, it’s the great collection of brews to choose from. During any given visit to North Peak, you are bound to find a beverage that suits your palate.
They carry sweet IPAs made with a lot of hops, dark porters, pilsner malted Belgian ales and quite a few more tasty drinks they brew in house, including a popular cider. For food, they offer lunch, dinner, kids and party menus. Their menu options include a variety of dishes, including seafood, steaks, sandwiches, burgers, pizza and more.
If you are looking for a good time to go, the happy hour at North Peak Brewing Company runs from 3 to 6pm, Sunday through Friday. The happy hour itself is $1 off any alcohol beverages and $1 off any appetizer or pizza.
The Workshop Brewing Company
221 Garland St
Traverse City, MI 49684
The Workshop Brewing Company is a down-to-Earth location that takes pride in a few different and interesting things you wouldn’t think about when breweries come to mind. The first is that they do what they can to “preserve Northern Michigan’s spectacular natural environment”. The second is that the brewery stands as a place where the community can come to relax and enjoy themselves whether or not they drink. Finally, and the one thing that’s not really a surprise, is they take a lot of pride in their beer.
But when it comes to that beer, the Workshop Brewing Company departs from what many microbreweries around the country have done by not trying to create elaborate or off-the-wall drinks, even if the names are a little goofy at times. They are all about mastering the classics, and that is something they have surely done with their nitro porter Pry Bar and their English IPA Ten-Pound Sledge.
Their menu is mostly made up of pizzas and “handheld” dishes like sandwiches, burgers and tacos.
The happy hour at The Workshop goes from 3 to 6pm, Sunday through Friday
Rare Bird Brew Pub
229 Lake Ave
Traverse City, MI 49684
Much more so than the other breweries on this list, Rare Bird Brew Pub is a great location to hit up when you want to watch a live show or take part in an event. Their schedule is pretty packed with live music and other things to check out and do, with their schedule broken down as such:
Mondays – Open Mic Night
Tuesdays – Trivia
Wednesdays – Live Music
Friday through Sunday – All manner of live shows you can check out on their calendar
They get a little experimental with their half dozen house-brewed beers, but if you instead enjoy more classic brews, they have 35 taps ready to pour something you’ll love.
The food offered there is a collection of favorites alongside a few new flavors (like the Spicy Green Curry Bowl or the Kimchi Burger) and is pretty good eating even if the selection feels a little small.
Happy hour at Rare Bird Brew Pub goes from 3 to 6pm, Monday through Friday where you can get Rare Bird Beers poured for $3.50.
Right Brain Brewery
225 E 16th St
Traverse City, MI 94684
Right Brain Brewery is a great place to visit for a variety of reasons. The artwork there is constantly changing and offers visitors an interesting collection of pieces to think on (if they’re so inclined) and the location itself is full of vibrancy and fun. They brew over twenty different drinks for you to partake in and offer a lot more if none of their house-brewed offerings catch your attention.
The only real downside to Right Brain Brewery is a food menu that seems to lack much imagination, especially when you compare it to everything else the spot offers.
As for happy hour there, they hold it from 3 to 6pm, Monday through Friday. During happy hour, you can get pints for $4.25 and members can get their mugs filled for $3.75. If you’re wondering, membership is a one-time $225 fee, offers a number of discounts, gives access to members-only events and comes with quite a bit.
The Filling Station Microbrewery
642 Railroad Pl
Traverse City, MI 49686
Located in an old railroad depot, The Filling Station Microbrewery brings Traverse City yet another cool take on the brewery scene. The Filling Station also serves as the Hub for TC Pedal Pub.When dining or drinking outside, it really feels as though the place is a lively train station, which says a lot about their decorative efforts. They offer about a dozen great beers, though the Rolling Stock IPL is absolutely a standout amongst the selection.
When it comes to food at The Filling Station, they are all about the wood-fired pizza. Other than a few salads and some snacks, the entire menu is flatbread pizza (unless you count the kids menu, which consists of mac n cheese and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich).
No happy hour to report.
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