Without a doubt, the very best part of moving to Michigan has been the unlimited exposure to its Craft Beer industry.
With more than 150 breweries in communities throughout Michigan, you don’t have to look far for a freshly brewed beer. Michigan beers are made of locally sourced ingredients and the breweries create tourism opportunities for the small towns they operate in–especially as travelers like myself visit towns we’ve never heard of in search of excellent beer.
Greenbush Brewing Company is a local favorite. The brewery opened for business in 2011 by a guy named Scott Sullivan, and two of his friends. He opened the brewery in the very small town of Sawyer, Michigan, his hometown, population 2,600.
Sawyer, Michigan, by the way (since I had never heard of it before I saw all the locals wearing “Greenbush beer” t-shirts) is located off I-94, near the Michigan/Indiana border. The city has a quaint downtown area, which features an old-fashioned hardware store, a few restaurants, the Greenbush Brewing Company and a happening home and garden store.
The difference between Greenbush beer (in my non-professional opinion) and other beers is its pronounced taste. The team at Greenbush brews flavorful, outstanding beer and because this has a cult following.
In fact, this is one of those slightly under-the-radar places–though they do sell their beer at Meijer (which has a comprehensive, almost curated Michigan beer selection), at various stores throughout Michigan, Illinois and Northern Indiana.
For those traveling the famous Red Arrow highway, this brewery is worth a visit.
The Greenbush brand has grassroots beginnings. Its founders handed out more than 9,000 bottles of home-brewed beer to everyone they could think of–mass sampling started the Greenbush Brewing Company. Today, the company continues to brew flavorful beer taking pride in the fact that none of its brews are less than 6% ABV.
The brewery has a taproom in downtown Sawyer, where it serves beer seven days a week. On the weekends it’s shoulder to shoulder. With a long bar, small “gift shop” (which is mostly a bookcase behind the hostess stand where you can buy a shirt), and a small side patio a lot is packed into an industrially designed space. Inside the restaurant are high top tables, low top tables and a Lego table for smaller children. Above the bar, beautiful Edison bulbs hang giving a minimalist decor to the space, while cementing a hone-town feeling.
The menu itself is very diverse. Our favorite items include the Pulled Chicken or Pulled Pork sandwich on buns from Southwest Michigan bakery, Bit of Swiss, the shrimp gumbo, and the BBQ sampler platter. Last week, the restaurant also added new menu items including: zucchini straws, a pork belly entrée, a new smoked asparagus sandwich, and an entirely new dessert menu.Click here for the Foodspotting shots.
With these breweries, it’s all about the events and the Mug Club with me. Greenbush participates in a lot of Beer Festivals in the Chicago area. All of its events are listed on the website.
The Greenbush Brewing Mug Club costs a one-time fee of $40 and you receive its perks for life:
A 20-ounce, numbered mug that hangs above the bar for your use only
50 cents off imperial pints
Half off pints all day Monday
$2 off growler fills all day Wednesday
Invitations to members-only events (exclusive barrel-aged beer tastings, for example)
address + phone.
5885 Sawyer Road
Sawyer, MI 49125
Sunday-Thursday: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. EST
Friday and Saturday: 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. EST
Kitchen closes ½ hour before close.