7 of the Best Breweries in the Midwest

Besides sports and snow, the Midwest is king in beer. With new breweries popping up every day, the Midwest has claim on some of the best beers in the nation. As a brewer’s wife, I have had my fair share of hoppy, malty, delicious beverages, and I’ve gathered for you a few of my favorite must-see breweries.

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The great thing about the breweries listed here is that they all can and distribute, and you should be able to find most of these at your local liquor store…but nothing quite beats getting a fresh beer at the tap room!

You could easily hit up all of these on an epic beer-cation (we did 3 Floyds, Founders, New Glarus, and New Holland in one trip), or make a short weekend of it and visit a couple breweries in a given region. Ale Asylum and New Glarus are somewhat close to each other, as are Revolution and Half Acre. Founders and New Holland are a short drive from each other and 3 Floyds is easily reached in a few hours from Chicago.

And if you decide to travel to any of these breweries, do yourself a favor and take a tour! The New Glarus Hard Hat Tour is well worth the $30…and the tour at Revolution will excite beer nerds of all kinds. Most also offer food, so gather up your friends, jump in the car, and enjoy a beautiful summer day at one of these fine Midwest brewpubs!

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Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids, MI
Popular Brews: All Day IPA, Dirty Bastard, Kentucky Breakfast Stout
Tours: Brewery Tours are offered Saturdays, Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Founders also offers a dinner series, beer tastings, and classes in beer making and evaluating.
Food Served: Yes.
Website: www.foundersbrewing.com

If you’re making a trip out to the Founders Brewery, do yourself a favor and go on a guided tour. See how the beer is made, packaged, and promoted in their amazing state-of-the-art facility. There’s also stunning artwork that decorates their workspace, including beer bottle chandeliers and living wall art made of hops. After your tour, stop into the Founders taproom (it’s beautiful!) and have a snack and a tasty libation.

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Revolution Brewing, Chicago, IL
Popular Brews: Anti-Hero IPA, Eugene Porter, Bottom Up Wit, A Little Crazy
Tours: Brewery Tours are offered Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays. You can also organize private tours for groups up to 30 people.
Food Served: Yes.
Website: www.revbrew.com

A Chicago favorite, Revolution Brewing is a popular hang out for locals. A huge taproom make this a great place for parties and gatherings, and beer is almost on a constant rotation so there’s new stuff quite often. It was also the filming location for the 2013 movie, Drinking Buddies. With several award-winning brews and an awesome location to boot, Revolution Brewing is a must-see brewery for hop heads.

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New Glarus Brewing, New Glarus, WI
Popular Brews: Spotted Cow, Moon Man, Serendipity, Fat Squirrel, Totally Naked
Tours: New Glarus offers free self-guided tours during operation hours. For the real deal though, sign up for the Hard Hat Tour, a near 3-hour behind-the-scenes tour of this amazing world-class brewery. The Hard Hat Tour fills up fast though, since it’s only offered on Fridays…so plan ahead. If you can get tickets, believe me, it’s well worth it!
Food Served: No. But you can take your beer out to the hop garden and enjoy a lovely view of New Glarus.
Website: www.newglarusbrewing.com

I have been to this brewery several times and it still amazes me every time we visit. Besides the fact that the beer is probably some of the best in the country, the brewery itself looks like it was dropped into Wisconsin straight out of Germany. With lovely scenic views and a facility that is sure to impress, a visit to New Glarus Brewing is well worth the trip this summer!

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3 Floyds Brewing Co., Munster, IN
Popular Brews: Zombie Dust, Alpha King, Gumballhead, Robert the Bruce
Tours: Brewery Tours are offered on Saturdays.
Food Served: Yes. (and it’s AMAZING!)
Website: www.3floyds.com

A true treasure in Munster, 3 Floyds is, in a word, eclectic. Their brewpub is tiny and they don’t accept reservations, so plan ahead if you’re on a tight schedule. However, their food is some of the best I’ve had in a while and well worth the wait. If you need to grab and go, you can visit the Beer To Go station and grab your favorite brews that may be hard to find at liquor stores. 3 Floyds also hosts the infamous Dark Lord Day, a one-day festival that is the golden ticket for many beer enthusiasts.

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Half Acre Beer, Chicago, IL
Popular Brews: Daisy Cutter, Gone Away IPA, Space (taproom only)
Tours: Brewery Tours are offered every Saturday. A small fee gets you in the tour, three beer samples, and a pint glass.
Food Served: Yes.
Website: www.halfacrebeer.com

With two facilities in Chicago, Half Acre is quickly expanding and growing into a popular location for beer fans. A recent decision to offer food at the brewery has helped increase foot traffic, especially in the summer months. Not unlike other breweries, Half Acre also offers beers you can only get at the taproom, including Space, one of the best IPA’s I’ve ever had.

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Ale Asylum, Madison, WI
Popular Brews: Hopalicious, Bedlam!, Ambergeddon, Madtown Nutbrown
Tours: Brewery Tours are offered every Sunday. Includes a special sampling and a free pint of your choice.
Food Served: Yes.
Website: www.aleasylum.com

One of many breweries in Madison, Ale Asylum is a favorite for hop heads and chips and salsa fans. Strong and bold IPA’s and tasty late-night snacks make this a favorite hang out for visitors and locals alike. When you’re done there, head on down the street to Karben4 Brewing, another great brew pub pumping out tasty Wisconsin brews.

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New Holland Brewing, Holland, MI
Popular Brews: Dragon’s Milk, the Hatter series
Tours: Joint tours of the brewery and distillery are offered every Saturday.
Food Served: Yes.
Website: www.newhollandbrew.com

A nice brewpub in a sweet little town, New Holland Brewing offers good drinks and good food. Located in the sweet and quaint town of Holland, MI, this large-scale brewery produces beers that are big in flavor. With seasonal offerings and beers to appeal to more refined tastes (session beers, high gravity beers, barrel aged, and funky and sour beers, for example), this brewpub aims to challenge the pallet and present new and unique flavors on an ever-growing beer list.

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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