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Posted on Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 7 a.m.

Nominate your Ann Arbor-area favorite as Michigan's Best Brewery

By Jessica Webster

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MLive entertainment reporter John Gonzalez is on the hunt for Michigan's Best Brewery, and we here at think that Washtenaw County has some pretty strong contenders for the title.

We're looking for your suggestions for the best brewery in the area. Nominate your favorite brewery in the comments below.

Whose IPA gets you hopping? Whose porter fills you with longing? Where do you go for a great lager? Whether it's bottled or on draft, we want to know.

We'll take your responses here and create a poll on Thursday. Make sure to come back and vote. Gonzo will be visiting our top reader favorites and will weigh them against the best beer from across the state to determine the winner of Michigan's Best Brewery.

Have a favorite brewer outside of Washtenaw County? We're looking for those too. Make sure to include the brewery name and Michigan city, and we'll pass your suggestions along to Gonzo.

Jessica Webster leads the Food & Grocery section for, a part of the MLive Media Group. Reach her at You also can follow her on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Mon, Sep 9, 2013 : 10:06 p.m.

I just had the IPA at Biercamp and it is fantastic. We took a growler home and some duck bacon What a perfect pairing. All of their beers and ales are made in small batches so they are like homemade

E. Manuel Goldstein

Sun, Sep 8, 2013 : 4:17 a.m.

As a homebrewer who actually lives in Ann Arbor, I prefer Jolly Pumpkin - where I have a mug club membership, and ABC, where I will likely get a mug club membership. Its great to live in a town with such superb choices, all the brewpubs here are good in their own way, and as you can see, there is still room for more brew options all across the state. These businesses provide necessary jobs too, as well as contributing taxes that help support our community.

Frustrated in A2

Thu, Sep 5, 2013 : 4:18 a.m.

Locally I would have to go with Grizzly Peak and Wolverine State Brewing as my two favorites. There are some good breweries in Michigan. I taste a lot of them at the summer Beerfest however I can't seem to remember the name of a lot of them by the end of the day Lol!!!


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 2:07 p.m.

Arbor Brewing Co. has to get serious consideration in any discussion of best breweries in the state. They offer a nice variety of styles, including some of the less common ones such as their alt, and their winter offerings of strong beers such as Terminator and Jackhammer are simply outstanding. They're also one of the few places you can get cask-conditioned ale drawn by a hand pump in the traditional British manner. And everything they do is well-done and distinctive - no middling beers here. The food could be better, but hey, it's all about the beer, right?


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 1:42 a.m.

Original Gravity in Milan is a great place and it has great beer too!


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 9:30 p.m.

Local - Jolly Pumpkin would probably rank first. Grizzly Peak, Blue Tractor, ABC are average IMHO. I do love the beer selections at Ashley's overall. I haven't had a chance to try Wolverine yet. Chelsea Alehouse has a few good selections...there's a 402 East Porter they serve there...check it out! Michigan - my top two faves are Dragonmead Microbrewery (Warren, MI) and New Holland Brewing (Holland, MI)! However, we have sooo many great craft beers across the state of Michigan!


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 8:04 p.m.

Original Gravity in Milan. In a former auto parts store the OG lives the spirit of what a micro-brewery should be....not some commercial entity like those faux pubs in Ann Arbor. Family, friends, and good beer that's the OG!


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 6:56 p.m.

Can't nominate any since I stopped drinking craft beers a while back. Too many empty calories and couldn't find a lite beer from a local brewer. I suspect Shorts will be the winner for the whole state though.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 5:09 p.m.

the Grizz ... Peak that is A2

Sandy Castle

Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 4:30 p.m.

Original Gravity in Milan.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 4:21 p.m.

Local -- Jolly Pumpkin Outside the county -- the Redwood in Flint.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 4:06 p.m.

OG's amber ale and Arbor Brewing Co Strawberry blonde... 2 best local brews in the area...


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 3:47 p.m.

Local: Original Gravity Outstate: The Livery in Benton Harbor and Dark Horse in Marshall.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 3:46 p.m.

Original Gravity in Milan


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 3:30 p.m.

Don't forget: Founders -- Grand Rapids New Holland -- Holland and my favorite Dark Horse -- Marshall.

Jessica Webster

Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 3:41 p.m.

Dave is correct - we're looking to put together a poll of area favorites, but we're also interested in hearing about your favorite beers across the state. We'll be sending those suggestions on to Gonzo as he puts together his statewide beer-tasting itinerary. Man ... what a great job.

David Bardallis

Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 3:34 p.m.

Don't forget: We're asking for your favorite Ann Arbor-area breweries.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 3:15 p.m.

Wolverine State Brewing Co for the win!


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 1:58 p.m.

Wolverine does some interesting things, most notably their IPA-style lager, but they have a long ways to go before they can be counted among the state's best.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 2 p.m.

Original Gravity - Milan Short's - Bellaire Atwater - Detroit Cheboygan Brewing Company - Cheboygan Tasty tasty!!


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 1:33 p.m.

For in-county, I'm partial to Jolly Pumpkin. Outside, I've been a big fan of Brewery Vivant since they opened a few years ago in Grand Rapids. Their Farmhouse Ale is amazingly good.

Jessica Webster

Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 3:41 p.m.

I've only tried Biercamp's IPA, but I am a big fan.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 1:38 p.m.

Ah, and while I'm at it, I finally tried one of Biercamp's brews a week or so ago, and it was right up there with the other two I mentioned, so I'll give them a nod as well.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 1:29 p.m.

I nominate Corner Brewery in Ypsi. They have a nice standard IPA (Sacred Cow), a stronger IPA (Buzzsaw) and a killer Old Ale (Jackhammer). The ambiance is nice, plenty of space, including a beer garden and some pretty good grub, too. Since they're the production facility for Arbor, though don't have the selection you'll find at their place in Ann Arbor, but they do a great job.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 1:51 p.m.

Since the competition is for best brewery, this ought to be a nomination for Arbor Brewing Company, which is the brewery. Corner Brewery is one of their outlets and distribution center, and serves the same beers. This is one of the problems with throwing brewpubs in with breweries in this competition - are you voting just based on the beer, or on the total brewpub experience, and how do you separate the two?

Top Cat

Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 3:47 p.m.

Agreed. Corner Brewery is close to perfect. I just wish they would get some newer and more comfortable chairs inside.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 1:25 p.m.



Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 12:43 p.m.

I'll second Michael Armitage, with a vote for Original Gravity in Milan- possibly the best in the state. For mainstream categories, such as pilsner, brown, porter, amber, and Belgian, Original Gravity is consistently at or near the top.

Michael Armitage

Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 12:34 p.m.

Original Gravity, Milan


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 12:32 p.m.

Looking for a local brew that can compete with Founder Breakfast Stout? Our local breweries don't seem to do as good a job with these. I think overall, Grizzly Peaks puts out a tastier product than ABC, never been to the Wolverine. Tried once, but I got there too early and they weren't open yet. Maybe I need to check that out and fill out my ballot.


Thu, Sep 5, 2013 : 12:21 p.m.

Thanks Zeeba; I'll try those.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 2:22 p.m.

David - by what measure is GP #1? Are they talking about total beer sales? It seems to me that GP's success is driven more by their restaurant offerings than their beer alone - they're one of the few brewpubs that puts a lot of emphasis on their menu. I go to GP if I want to have dinner, but if I'm looking for a beer, I'll pick ABC every time. And EyeHeart - you need to try ABC's Blackheath Sweet Stout when it's available in the spring. Their Millstone Porter and Irish stout regular offerings are also very good. They also make an Expresso Love Breakfast Stout (coffee and oatmeal) that's a seasonal offering, though I haven't tried that one yet.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 3:33 p.m.

Every time I get a flight from Grizzly Peak I am disappointed. Corner Brewery is far superior. But, GP does have the Cheddar Ale soup, and for that I will always love them.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 2:53 p.m.

Number 1 seller certainly doesn't translate into best beer. What's the number one seller nationwide? Probably bud lite!

David Bardallis

Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 2:40 p.m.

Grizzly Peak has been the No. 1 selling brewpub in the state for the past five or so years, so there are a few people who would disagree with the assessment of "worst." The No. 3 selling brewpub? Arbor.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 1:08 p.m.

Wolverine and ABC are both very good in my opinion. Grizzly Peak is average at best. I have no idea if they bottle and sell their beer, but I would never seek out a 6-pack. Definitely give Wolverine a try. Grizzly Peak is probably one of the worst Michigan breweries...