Suds on the Shore Craft Beer & Wine Festival is coming up on Saturday, August 18 in Downtown Ludington, featuring over 60 breweries showcasing their signature craft beer, wine, mead and cider. Now in its 10th year, the festival will include an afternoon of live entertainment, food and tasting. This event is a summer highlight and welcomes beer, wine, cider and mead drinkers to come together to celebrate the craft beverage scene. While here for the festival, there are plenty of other great stops for beer enthusiasts to check out.
Away from Ludington’s award-winning shoreline awaits a beer enthusiast’s next big adventure. In less than three years, the Ludington area has blossomed into a year-round, craft beer destination that marries bold and balanced flavors, old and new styles, and exceptional experiences that are sure to excite and satisfy the palate. Visitors won’t be disappointed with either heading east to Starving Artist Brewing Company or staying close to downtown, which offers an eclectic selection of breweries and craft beer bars. No matter the location, a tour with the brewer or an engaging conversation with a friendly local will have you hooked and wishing you could stay.
Jamesport Brewing Company
Jamesport Brewing Company, or JBC, has been a local staple since 2000. The Pub, as locals lovingly refer to it, lit a fire and led the way in introducing the West Michigan area to stouts, IPAs, Scottish ales, and many more craft beer styles. JBC features 12 of its house-crafted beers on tap, including eight mainstays and four rotating seasonals. Fan favorites include JBC’s Scottish strong, blueberry wheat, ESB, and Hefeweizen. In addition to great beer, JBC offers great views of the lake plus a full bar of wine and spirits, as well as a tremendous menu, including its to-die-for cheese ale soup.
Check with the staff to get a quick, behind-the-scenes brewery tour between pints.
Ludington Bay Brewing Company
Ludington Bay Brewing Company is the newest brewery to open its doors and leave an impression on Ludington’s beer scene. Located on South James Street, it is one of the first must-see locations when you arrive in Ludington. Moments after you enter its tasting room and restaurant, your attention will be drawn to the glass wall separating you from the working brewery. As you sit inside its stunning tap room or outside on the patio, you will be dazzled by its carefully curated menu meant to pair perfectly with its artisan ales and lagers. Opened in May 2017, it has quickly earned recognition for serving balanced, delicious beers. If you’re waffling between choosing one or more of its beers, order a flight and try them all!
Starving Artist Brewing Company
Word is spreading like wildfire about the beer brewing in the Starving Artist barn. Owner and brewer Andy Thomas is extremely passionate about being true to himself by producing the best quality of beer that he can. Unlike other local breweries, his born-in-the-barn brewery is a production facility located between Ludington and Scottville. Although there isn’t a beer garden or pub to check out, the barn doors are open every Friday and Saturday, welcoming everyone in to meet with the mad scientist himself, see the facility, and sample his dynamic beers. If you’re not able to visit during public hours, Starving Artist brews can be found in cans or on tap throughout Mason County. Visitors can always find Moon Shadow Milk Stout at the Blu Moon Bistro and Slim’s Cream Ale at the Chuck Wagon in Ludington.
The Mitten Bar: A Michigan Ideology
The Mitten Bar captured the attention of craft beer fans near and far shortly after it opened in 2011. The small, quaint bar quickly became recognized as one of the best craft beer bars in the country for its atmosphere and commitment to Michigan-made products and live music. The bar features 12 beers on tap from Michigan breweries, plus a selection of bottles and cans. Locals and visitors can join in engaging conversation over a flight, pint, or snifter of their choice while enjoying fresh, casual fare from its sister bar, Barley & Rye. Not hungry? The Mitten also features live music by up-and-coming artists from our great Mitten state and beyond. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a pint solo, or to meet old and new friends, the Mitten is worth a stop.
Biercamp Market, Featuring Big Hart Brewing Company
Biercamp in downtown Ludington offers visitors the best grocery-shopping experience under the sun. Immediately after grabbing a cart, shoppers are invited to saddle up to the bar to grab a pint of beer, made by Big Hart Brewing Company, to sip on while they shop. The downtown market features six rotating Big Hart Brewing beers. If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to grab a beer while you shop, you can purchase packaged beer to go from its outstanding craft beer inventory.
The Bottle and Can
In the heart of downtown Scottville, outdoor enthusiasts will find the Bottle and Can. The store opened in 2014 and has been pleasing palates ever since. Being so close to the amazing Pere Marquette River, it has found a niche specializing in craft beers, wine, liquor, and fishing supplies.
Located on south Pere Marquette Highway, P.M. Expeditions is the first and last stop in and out of Ludington for many. This small convenience store offers an extensive library of craft beers for your next game of disc golf or your hike through Ludington State Park.
Whether you are a long-time beer enthusiast, or just dipping your toes in the craft-beer scene, Ludington offers a great variety. Be sure to also save the date for the summer's hottest beer festival, Suds on the Shore, happening on August 18, and don’t forget to share your photos with us on Instagram and Facebook using #PureLudington. For more travel information, visit PureLudington.com