March 24, 2017

These are the 15 best craft beer bars in metro Detroit

When it comes to places to do craft beer crawls, you could do much worse than the Detroit area. The Michigan craft beer scene is still growing, and metro Detroit sports dozens of quality craft brewers. Even some far-flung tastemakers say Michigan is beginning to be seen as a "great beer state." One thing you can say with confidence is that we do enjoy a cold one. It makes sense, given the city's working-class heritage. And we're not overly fussy about loyalties to our state's dynamic beer scene. We have great craft brewers, and we have fabulous beer palaces, where you can get beer from Oregon to Vermont to Belgium. But craft breweries and brewpubs abound. Three of the finest spots in metro Detroit are in Warren, the massive, blue-collar Macomb County suburb north of the city. Technically, it's Michigan's "third-largest city" — after Detroit and Grand Rapids — but, with three craft beer operations that punch above their weight, it could be the No. 1 beer city in the state.

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Detroit Beer Co.
It has a solid selection, from hoppy favorite Detroit Dwarf to maltier mugs, such as Grand River Red or Willie’s Kilt Scotch Ale. It’s comfy without being pretentious, with a gut-pleasing menu of bar fare that’s given upscale inflections.
1529 Broadway, Detroit; 313-962-1529; www.detroitbeerco.com
(Photo via Facebook)
Detroit Beer Co.
It has a solid selection, from hoppy favorite Detroit Dwarf to maltier mugs, such as Grand River Red or Willie’s Kilt Scotch Ale. It’s comfy without being pretentious, with a gut-pleasing menu of bar fare that’s given upscale inflections.
1529 Broadway, Detroit; 313-962-1529; www.detroitbeerco.com
(Photo via Facebook)
Dragonmead Brewery
Hidden away off the service drive for I-696, it's worth the search. Inside, it's a commodious, comfortable beer hall sporting more than 50 taps, the walls lined with impressive awards. They do almost everything, and they do it all well. A given weekly beer menu might include all sorts of American and European styles of brew, Scottish-style ales, Czech-style lagers, even barley wines. Meads, cysers, fruit ales, and wines round out the choices. They'll happily mix ales, and even sport a few nitro taps. Founded in 1997 by a few guys who used to work for the auto companies, Dragonmead focuses on its specialty, delivering a broad variety of quality pours. Don't miss Dragonmead's Belgian-style ales, including the Final Absolution Trippel.
14600 E. 11 Mile Rd., Warren; 586-776-9428; www.dragonmead.com
(Photo via Instagram)
Dragonmead Brewery
Hidden away off the service drive for I-696, it's worth the search. Inside, it's a commodious, comfortable beer hall sporting more than 50 taps, the walls lined with impressive awards. They do almost everything, and they do it all well. A given weekly beer menu might include all sorts of American and European styles of brew, Scottish-style ales, Czech-style lagers, even barley wines. Meads, cysers, fruit ales, and wines round out the choices. They'll happily mix ales, and even sport a few nitro taps. Founded in 1997 by a few guys who used to work for the auto companies, Dragonmead focuses on its specialty, delivering a broad variety of quality pours. Don't miss Dragonmead's Belgian-style ales, including the Final Absolution Trippel.
14600 E. 11 Mile Rd., Warren; 586-776-9428; www.dragonmead.com
(Photo via Instagram)
Falling Down Beer Co.
This brewery offers good beer with unusual names. For instance, their red ale is called Give Two Fox, their cream ale is called the Mother Cluster, and the American pale ale is called Ninja Chicken. Forget the names, though: The beers are sessionable and smooth. Don’t miss the small but fortifying menu, which includes Reuben egg rolls, beer-battered pickles with ranch, and pulled pork poutine.
2270 E 10 Mile Rd., Warren; 586-799-2739; www.fallingdownbeer.com
(Photo via Facebook)
Falling Down Beer Co.
This brewery offers good beer with unusual names. For instance, their red ale is called Give Two Fox, their cream ale is called the Mother Cluster, and the American pale ale is called Ninja Chicken. Forget the names, though: The beers are sessionable and smooth. Don’t miss the small but fortifying menu, which includes Reuben egg rolls, beer-battered pickles with ranch, and pulled pork poutine.
2270 E 10 Mile Rd., Warren; 586-799-2739; www.fallingdownbeer.com
(Photo via Facebook)
Grand Trunk Pub
A historic, high-ceilinged room that used to be a railroad’s ticketing office. The Grand Trunk crew manages to combine Detroit history, scrumptious sandwiches, and a killer beer list, and it’s probably all enjoyed best at one of their popular weekend brunches.
612 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-961-3043; www.grandtrunk.pub
(Photo via Facebook)
Grand Trunk Pub
A historic, high-ceilinged room that used to be a railroad’s ticketing office. The Grand Trunk crew manages to combine Detroit history, scrumptious sandwiches, and a killer beer list, and it’s probably all enjoyed best at one of their popular weekend brunches.
612 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-961-3043; www.grandtrunk.pub
(Photo via Facebook)
HopCat Detroit
Not a locally based craft brewery, but still is a temple dedicated to the art of craft beer, with 130 taps flowing with beer, cider, mead, even sours, mostly from Michigan.
4265 Woodward Ave, Detroit; 313-769-8828; www.hopcat.com/detroit
(Photo via Facebook)
HopCat Detroit
Not a locally based craft brewery, but still is a temple dedicated to the art of craft beer, with 130 taps flowing with beer, cider, mead, even sours, mostly from Michigan.
4265 Woodward Ave, Detroit; 313-769-8828; www.hopcat.com/detroit
(Photo via Facebook)
Jolly Pumpkin Brewery
Their Belgian-style brews are so good, they’ve even beaten the real thing in international competitions. Grounded in the open-fermentation tradition, they finish the beer in oak for added character. It’s so real, you can almost smell the wort boiling. Also, the nifty menu doesn’t hurt, with such items as truffle fries, a fried chicken sandwich, and a Korean short rib pizza.
441 W. Canfield St., Detroit; 313-262-6115; www.jollypumpkin.com
(Photo via Facebook)
Jolly Pumpkin Brewery
Their Belgian-style brews are so good, they’ve even beaten the real thing in international competitions. Grounded in the open-fermentation tradition, they finish the beer in oak for added character. It’s so real, you can almost smell the wort boiling. Also, the nifty menu doesn’t hurt, with such items as truffle fries, a fried chicken sandwich, and a Korean short rib pizza.
441 W. Canfield St., Detroit; 313-262-6115; www.jollypumpkin.com
(Photo via Facebook)
Kuhnhenn Brewing Co.
Enter the open, airy space and one look at the crowded chalkboard and the steady stream of smiling dudes bringing empty growlers for a refill will tell you this is serious beer. While there's no food other than popcorn, who cares? Kuhnhenn is like a beer geek's candy store, where flavors might include a double Russian imperial stout, a malty, German-lager style beer, a wild blueberry pancake ale, a coffee-crème-brulee concoction, or a raspberry eisbock. All that flavor — sweet, sour, hoppy, and malty — is hard-earned, thanks to labor-intensive processes. If that weren't geeky enough, there are coveted bottle release events and a home brew shop right across the parking lot.
5919 Chicago Rd., Warren; 586-979-8361; www.kbrewery.com/
(Photo via Instagram)
Kuhnhenn Brewing Co.
Enter the open, airy space and one look at the crowded chalkboard and the steady stream of smiling dudes bringing empty growlers for a refill will tell you this is serious beer. While there's no food other than popcorn, who cares? Kuhnhenn is like a beer geek's candy store, where flavors might include a double Russian imperial stout, a malty, German-lager style beer, a wild blueberry pancake ale, a coffee-crème-brulee concoction, or a raspberry eisbock. All that flavor — sweet, sour, hoppy, and malty — is hard-earned, thanks to labor-intensive processes. If that weren't geeky enough, there are coveted bottle release events and a home brew shop right across the parking lot.
5919 Chicago Rd., Warren; 586-979-8361; www.kbrewery.com/
(Photo via Instagram)
Motor City Brewing Works
Another craft trailblazer dating back to the 1990s. Chances are you may already be familiar with some of its popular beers — such as Ghettoblaster, Nut Brown Ale, or Summer Brew — sold by the bottle or on draft at local bars and events. But what keeps us coming back are the seasonal surprises, the sour brews, cysers, or barley wines, as well as the locally sourced pizza pies.
470 W. Canfield St.; 313-832-2700; www.motorcitybeer.com
(Photo via Facebook)
Motor City Brewing Works
Another craft trailblazer dating back to the 1990s. Chances are you may already be familiar with some of its popular beers — such as Ghettoblaster, Nut Brown Ale, or Summer Brew — sold by the bottle or on draft at local bars and events. But what keeps us coming back are the seasonal surprises, the sour brews, cysers, or barley wines, as well as the locally sourced pizza pies.
470 W. Canfield St.; 313-832-2700; www.motorcitybeer.com
(Photo via Facebook)
Roast
Even an upscale place like Roast shines when it comes to beer. The bar is as stylish as they come, with floor-to-ceiling windows. And their beer selection is composed more like a wine list, an international smorgasbord of sours, porters, stouts, trappist ales, pales, IPAs, Belgians, and beyond.
1128 Washington Blvd., Detroit; 313-961-2500; www.roastdetroit.com
(Photo via Facebook)
Roast
Even an upscale place like Roast shines when it comes to beer. The bar is as stylish as they come, with floor-to-ceiling windows. And their beer selection is composed more like a wine list, an international smorgasbord of sours, porters, stouts, trappist ales, pales, IPAs, Belgians, and beyond.
1128 Washington Blvd., Detroit; 313-961-2500; www.roastdetroit.com
(Photo via Facebook)
One-Eyed Betty’s
One-Eyed Betty's has the hands-down most outrageous beer selection in Ferdale with 47 beers on tap and more than the proverbial 100 bottles. But it’s not just about quantity: It’s a darn good selection, constantly rotating, and seemingly churning up offbeat picks, such as German Hobo, a malt liquor brewed out near Lansing, or Hidden Effect, a barley wine from Plymouth. Then there’s the food menu, with choices rich enough to become almost a caricature of bar food — given such dishes as “beer cheese soup” and “bacon with a side of bacon.”
175 W. Troy St., Ferndale; 248-808-6633; www.oneeyedbettys.com
(Photo via Facebook)
One-Eyed Betty’s
One-Eyed Betty's has the hands-down most outrageous beer selection in Ferdale with 47 beers on tap and more than the proverbial 100 bottles. But it’s not just about quantity: It’s a darn good selection, constantly rotating, and seemingly churning up offbeat picks, such as German Hobo, a malt liquor brewed out near Lansing, or Hidden Effect, a barley wine from Plymouth. Then there’s the food menu, with choices rich enough to become almost a caricature of bar food — given such dishes as “beer cheese soup” and “bacon with a side of bacon.”
175 W. Troy St., Ferndale; 248-808-6633; www.oneeyedbettys.com
(Photo via Facebook)