I recently read an article Beer Tourism and actually contacted the authors about some of their thoughts. So while recently traveling to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan I decided to take this thought into practice. I would be spending four days in Marquette, a beautiful town on the banks of Lake Superior.
So doing a some pre-trip recon I learning there were three local breweries within walking distance of my hotel. Score!
My first day in Marquette I was very pleasantly surprised by how far the good local folk go to support the Michigan brewing establishments. A group of us had lunch at one of the main street restaurants and they had a great selection of local brews - and they made the announcement that they support Michigan beers. And many of the other restaurants did the same.
That evening the main group wanted to have dinner at an Irish restaurant but having too Irish lately (yes, it is possible) I decided a walk was in order and exploration of the first brewery on the list - Blackrocks Brewery.
First, Marquette is a college town, Northern Michigan University, and Blackrocks is the closest of the three breweries to the campus. The patronage was a healthy mix of students and locals. I opted for a short version of the flight, they only had five beers on tap and the flight offered four - all were light colored beers. I liked them and shortly had a full measure of their IPA.
After sharing a wonderful conversation with a local surveyor and sailing enthusiast I was ready for my walk back to the hotel. It was just after 10pm and I was surprised by how bright it still was outside. Marquette is still in the Eastern Time Zone, near the western extreme and of a northern latitude.
The next evening the group decided to walk down near Lake Superior to the Vierling Brewery and restaurant. The beer was good, make no mistake but most people come for the excellent food. A must stop if in Marquette.
With one more evening in Marquette and one more brewery to go - Ore Dock Brewing Company. They had quite a collect of Belgian and American-style ales. Again I had to test the flight and enjoyed everyone. The OD IPA was a standout for me (tis, hoppy season you know) but tested the Dream Weaver Belgian amber ale recommended by a neighboring colleague.
We were told to take a look at the upstairs by the barmaid (obvious very proud). It was a large room with a series of taps (not working, we checked) ready for guests. If you are in Marquette and looking for a banquet room to house a function, this would make an excellent choice.
So, my trip to the UP and Marquette was memorable and a success on many levels. I hope some day to be able to make it back to this beautiful region and town.