Beer and Breweries

Craft breweries bring attention to small Northern Michigan towns

Craft breweries bring attention to small Northern Michigan towns

Petoskey, Mich. – Recently MLive, a Michigan newspaper and media organization, went on a quest to find the best brewery in Michigan. They took the most popular breweries from nominations and polls in deciding which breweries to visit.

But they weren’t just looking for the best beer out there. They wanted to find the whole experience. Breweries were judged on the quality and variety of beer, food menu (if offered), ambiance and how knowledgeable the staff was about their beer and craft beer overall.

Only 38 craft beer breweries were chosen to visit. On that list was Short’s Brewing Company in Bellaire, Beards Brewery in Petoskey, Dark Horse Brewing Company in Marshall and Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, to name just a few.

Being that there are about 140 breweries in the state it is a prize in itself to have made the list of 38 to be visited. Petoskey’s Beards Brewery, beginning only its second year of business, was certainly honored and excited to have made the cut. They were also very pleased to be ranked No. 5 on the top newcomers list as well as ranked No. 3 in their regional polling.

“We feel really fortunate to have great customers,” said Peter Manthei, co-owner of Beards Brewery, when discussing gaining this recognition after only their first year of business. “It’s essentially thanks to them that we were nominated and placed third in our region. Through our beer, atmosphere and staff we’ve created something that people really want to be a part of. We wanted our brewery to be a place where locals could form community and tourists would see an added draw to downtown Petoskey. ”

The No. 1 spot of the best brewery in Michigan went to Short’s Brewing Company in Bellaire. Their wide selection of traditional and creative beers, warm and inviting atmosphere, and delicious food menu put them to the top of the list. Short’s prides itself on being in a small Northern Michigan town. In fact, Short’s will not distribute their beer outside of Michigan, putting all of their profit right back into the Great Beer State, a nice aid to the Michigan economy.

“It’s an incredible honor to be ranked #1 in the state,” said Jon Wojtowicz, Head of Beer Liberation, their field representation department, at Short’s Brewing Company. “We wanted to make an amazing craft product for the people of Michigan, here in this state, to benefit this state’s economy.”

Michigan craft breweries are spread all across the state, in big cities like Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor and Detroit, and in very small towns like Bellaire, Petoskey and Sawyer. Breweries draw locals and tourists, help support the economy of their town, and bring an energy and greater sense of community to wherever they’re located.

There are lots of places on the map that are worth visiting, but many are simply not very well-known. Craft beer brings people to small towns they’ve never heard of, where they get to see the charm that so many Michigan towns have to offer. It’s good recognition for craft beer and it’s good recognition for some great small towns in Northern Michigan like Petoskey and Bellaire.


About Beards Brewery

Beards Brewery opened in the summer of 2012 and has always been committed to making great craft beer. They work to foster a relational environment where locals can come and enjoy each other’s company over a delicious brew.

About Short’s Brewing Company

In April of 2004, Short’s Brewing Company opened its doors in the quaint village of Bellaire, MI. Beer was the mission, liberation was the movement. The philosophy was (and continues to be) to bring an appreciation of craft beer to Michigan with product education and creativity. Over nine years later, Short’s is the fourth largest craft beer producer in the state of Michigan with bottle and keg distribution throughout the Great Lakes State. Believing in the power of the smallness, Short’s plans to continue focusing its energies close to home and supporting what it calls the “SBC Michigan Stimulus Package”.  


Media Contacts:

Peter Manthei

Co-Owner at Beards Brewery



Matt Gacioch

PR Coordinator at Short’s Brewing Co.

231-498-2300 x109


Monica Harrison

B2B Copywriter


Contact Info

Company: Short's Brewing Company
Contact: Matt Gacioch