It’s an undisputed fact that Michigan is home to some of the best breweries in the world. Founder’s in Grand Rapids, Bell’s in Kalamazoo and Short’s up north in Bellaire were some of the first to put Michigan’s beer scene on the map, but there are three local Saugatuck breweries that stand right up there in terms of quality, variety and, in this sailor’s opinion, deliciousness! Whether you’re looking to cozy up in a tap room with a flight of beers or you want to pick up a 6-pack to enjoy on our BYOB Sunset Sail, you won’t go wrong if you find yourself at any of these local gems.
Photos from Waypost’s Instagram
The Beer: Waypost is a total breath of fresh air. Their beers are elegant but approachable. They’ll reel you in with the most crisp and clean lager you’ve ever had and then before you know it you’re ordering their Tiki IPA that’s brewed with pineapple and… lactose? I’m here for it. I would recommend my favorites here but honestly if they’re brewing it, it’s going to be a beautiful beer.
The Taproom: Excellent taste is on display everywhere you look — from the super cool pegboard menu down to the handsome beer labels. You’ll want to drive (or bike) here since they’re about 9 miles outside of Saugatuck but that does come with it’s perks. You’ll find plenty of outdoor space and vast views of wide open Michigan fields. Again, breath in that fresh air.
Bonus Points: Waypost is just down the street from Virtue Cider, which means we usually hit both in one trip. Two breweries, one stone if you will.
1630 Blue Star Hwy, Fennville, MI 49408
Guardian Brewing Company
Photos from Guardian’s Instagram
The Beer: They make a beer aged in JAMAICAN RUM BARRELS which is basically catnip to sailors like us. I could probably stop writing right now but then I wouldn’t also be able to tell you about their Imperial Milk stout that’s aged with 80 POUNDS OF OREO COOKIES. Okay, I’ll stop yelling now but the point is that these folks are making beer that you can’t try anywhere else. Of course they also brew delicious IPAs, ales and sours if you’re looking for something a little more familiar — but I vote that you get a flight and try a little bit of everything… just as long as it includes the rum and cookie beers.
The Taproom: What an evolution this space has gone through! It was once a horse barn, then a community theater and now it’s one of the coolest breweries around. The folks who work here are always so friendly and have great recommendations for both food and drink. There’s something for everyone here with plenty of gluten free and vegan options too– not always easy to find at a brewery.
Bonus Points: Check out their beer school events for an insider’s look into their process.
3657 63rd St, Saugatuck, MI 49453
Saugatuck Brewing Company
Photos from Saugatuck Brewing Company’s Instagram
The Beer: You’ve probably seen their beers in many of the restaurants in the area, and for good reason. My favorite for a sunny summer day is the light and refreshing Oval Beach Blonde, but once the sun goes down you might find me tucking into something a little darker and moodier like the malty smoky Bonfire Brown Ale.
The Taproom: This place is so fun! They have a full food menu with all of your favorite American eats and plenty of room for the whole family. And after you have a couple beers why not browse through the massive antique mall literally next door — what could go wrong?
Bonus points: I once hid out in the taproom during a very rare Michigan tornado. The beer + french fries combo was the perfect way to calm the nerves. Thanks for the shelter, guys!
2948 Blue Star Hwy, Douglas, MI 49406