CIDER, BEER & SPIRITS
The Ultimate Craft Beer Tour
With more than 350 breweries located throughout the state, it’s no secret that Michigan is a top-tier destination for beer enthusiasts. And those familiar with the Art Coast know that it’s home to an impressive craft beer scene that’s heavily influenced by the regional crops found here. Plan a beercation weekend in Saugatuck/Douglas and taste your way through the delicious flavor profiles offered by our award-winning craft breweries.
Start your tour at Guardian Brewing Company, Michigan’s first 100% LGBTQ+ and women-owned craft brewery. Their craft beers range from classic to modern styles, with 22 beer taps comprised of year-round, seasonal, one-off, and barreled-aged taps. Guardian also hosts a number of engaging events, including live music, trivia nights, Maker’s Markets, and their renowned Certified Cicerone-led Beer School classes.
If you’re wondering what to try out first, we highly recommend their Rabbittown English Golden Ale. Brewed initially to be everyone's beer, it’s a light, easy-drinking ale—not too hoppy, but also not too sweet—made with English Ale yeast to add a slightly fruity character to the aroma. Another must-try is their Pegacorn Porter, an English Brown Porter style beer that is available year-round but is especially satisfying during the colder winter months. Featuring roasted coffee and milk chocolate notes, this light-bodied and low-hopped beer is smooth and refreshing with no bitterness. And be sure to try their Authentic Self Kettle Sour beer, a fruited sour that varies each time they brew. The base beer is tart and lemony with a medium effervescence. Batches have been brewed with early mulberries, local blueberries, and even kiwis.
Next, kick back with a pint (oh, who are we kidding) or more at the Saugatuck Brewing Company, the Art Coast’s oldest craft brew pub. Established in 2005, this local hangout features 31 combined rotating taps, plus hard cider and a variety of wines to please the most discerning beverage connoisseur. Featuring live music on the weekends, this large family-friendly pub with a dog-friendly outdoor patio welcomes you to enjoy unique beers throughout the year. It’s also Michigan’s only brewery with a Brew On Premise Program, where you can try your hand at brewing your own beer.
One of our favorite brews is the Blueberry Lemonade Shandy for summer, which satisfies any cravings for something light-bodied, refreshing, and unique. This tasty version of a Radler stands out from the rest with the tart citrus of lemonade and tangy freshness of blueberry for a perfectly delightful beer. Or try their tropical pale ale, Paled It!, available year-round on tap. A light-bodied ale with an appealing color and nose of pineapple, mango, and grapefruit, it explodes with the flavors of citrus and ripe melon from being dry hopped with copious amounts of Mosaic, Hallertau Melon, and Citra Hops. Try their Neapolitan Milk Stout during the colder months, which garners high demand worldwide. Taste the rich flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry in a creamy milk stout that provides all the brilliant flavors of Neapolitan Ice Cream in one glass.
Then head over to The Mitten Brewing Co., a vintage baseball-themed microbrewery that expertly pairs handcrafted beers with gourmet pizzas. Enjoy a cold craft brew and gentle breezes from the lakeshore in their welcoming, dog-friendly outdoor seating area.
We love their Mango Gold, which starts with two types of malted wheat, aromatic barley, a touch of caramel malt, and finishes with heaps of real mangoes. Along the way, live-culture lactic fermentation brings forth a bouquet of tart and tangy flavors, making this beer a great thirst-quencher without being too sour. Another recommendation is their delicious Peanuts and Crackerjack Porter. Made with loads of real peanuts and peanut butter and a kiss of sweet caramel malt, this robust Porter brings the ballpark directly to you. And if you can't make up your mind, mix things up with a beer-tasting flight combined with their famous Pizza Flight, a sampling of any six of their specialty pizzas served on a wooden paddle.
And to finish out your Art Coast craft beer tour, stop at Waypost Brewing Co, a small farmhouse brewery that has been called out as a must-visit Southwest Michigan destination in Condé Nast Traveler’s “20 Best Places to Go in 2020.” Focusing on traditional farmhouse styles and craft lagers, this brewery is situated on a 58-acre tender fruit farm that provides both the ingredients and the inspiration for their beers. Enjoy a draft beer in their tasting room or beer garden and sample food from an ever-changing array of food trucks.
Our can’t-miss recommendations include their Italian Pils, a bright German Pilsner dry hopped with classic noble hops for lots of citrus and floral aroma. It has a super crisp, dry finish with a slight minerality that makes it ideal for summer. Another favorite is their Farmhouse IPA, a Franco-Belgian IPA that calls to mind peach, nectarine, tangerine, and cantaloupe from every angle. Although “juicy,” this beer is grounded by yeast-derived spiciness. White pepper and an assertive hop presence accent its crisp finish. Also, be sure to try their Sea Salt Stout, which features deep notes of roasted coffee and dark chocolate that give way to a smooth, creamy texture perfect for the colder months. The addition of the sea salt provides depth and coaxes out the dark fruit, hazelnut, and cacao, underscoring a slightly sweeter finish.
As you plan for your craft beer tour, we remind you to drink responsibly and don’t forget to assign a designated driver. Or let everyone in your group in on the fun by chartering a beverage tour through Coastal Tours, Untapped Sights & Tours, or Singapore Shuttles for worry-free transportation between breweries.