The Midwest is a major destination for beer enthusiasts. The heartland has created world-famous beers such as Miller High Life and Budweiser, but recently, it’s been manufacturing and serving craft beer like no one’s business. Check out one of our brewery bike tours, like the Hops and Hard Cider Tour or a Motor City Brew Tour to experience the best beers in the region while on a fun bike tour. Showcasing our love for Midwestern beer and breweries, we compiled a list of the best breweries in the Midwest/Great Lakes Area:
Virtue Cider in Fennville, Michigan
Featured on our Hops and Hard Cider Tour, Virtue Cider is a picturesque cidery in Fennville, Michigan. Gregory Hall, a brew-master with a 20-year tenure at Goose Island Beer Company (where he won 14 consecutive Great American Beer Festival medals) founded Virtue Cider in Chicago in 2011 and started the Michigan location in 2013. After leaving Goose Island, Hall embarked on a pilgrimage to study cider with top cider-makers in England and France; he then brought this knowledge to one of the biggest apple-growing states in America, Michigan. Check out this beautiful cidery and its delicious, refreshing variety of ciders with Bike Tour Vacations today.
Summit Brewing Company in St. Paul, Minnesota
With humble beginnings during the origins of the craft beer movement in America (i.e. the 1980s) Summit has evolved into a 240,000 barrel-a-year behemoth. Its been over 30 years since owner and founder Mark Stutrud brewed Summit’s flagship Extra Pale Ale. The brewery has an organic, home-grown feel, arguably due to the fact that they’re independently owned and operated. So next time you’re in the midwest, try one of their popular offerings such as the Sága IPA or the Fest Bier, a fine rendition of a Märzen.
New Glaurus Brewing Company in New Glaurus, Wisconsin
New Glaurus has inspired in-state pandemonium for years, but their rising popularity is drawing outside visitors. Fruit beers like Raspberry Tart and Serendipity have traditionally drawn the most fanfare, especially in terms of craft beer enthusiasts; but then New Glaurus went and dropped Scream (a double IPA) in 2015 and that has since been among their most popular selections. Run by a charismatic couple, Daniel and Deb Carey, New Glaurus offers such attractions as free self-guided tours, a spacious tasting room and their famous Hard-Hat Tours. The Hard Hat Tour comes complete with a brewery ambassador, who takes visitors on a complete behind the scenes tour of both of New Glaurus’ brewery locations: the original Riverside Brewery and their new, state-of-the-art location, Hilltop Brewery.
Goose Island Beer Company in Chicago, Illinois
After Goose Island’s acquisition by AB InBev, many beer purists have complained of the company losing their craft cred. But however you feel on the topic, it’s undeniable that their beers are damn good. Their Chicago brewery was originally built in 1995 and has more than doubled in size since originally built. Their pints are created using 32 fermenters, 15 different yeasts, state-of-the-art filters, centrifuges and a 50 barrel JV Northwest five vessel system. If that was a lot of information to take in, cool off with one of Goose Island’s sought-after stouts or one of their sours like the blackberry-infused Juliet.