You can find over 20 craft beer, artisan distilleries and boutique wineries included in Greater Lansing's Makers and Shakers Trail. Each producer takes their craft seriously and comes up with their own signature creations with creativity, passion and the desire to bring something unique and tasty to the masses. You may, like me, delight in the tongue-in-cheek puns and naming of their products. Most offer flights or tastings to sample some of their product before purchasing.

 

Wineries

You don’t need to travel hours to find fine wine or have a wonderful wine-tasting experience. Greater Lansing is home to several boutique wineries for tasting, exploring and purchasing.
 

Deb and Dave Burgdorf have been making wine for over 40 years ago. With credentials in microbiology, fermentation and agronomy, these two bring great educational pedigrees to the table. Located in Haslett, Burgdorf's Winery uses fruit that’s grown on the premises and from Michigan farmers.
Enjoy their tasting room and gift shop while tasting specialty wines that are produced and bottled onsite. In cold months, find igloos out back and in the warm months enjoy the patio and garden with the vineyard and production barn as a backdrop.

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Located in St. Johns, you may be familiar with Uncle Johns Cider Mill, but tucked in a 85-year-old restored fruit packing house, you can find a taproom and tasting room to sample from their over 20 award winning fruit, grape and dessert wines. They also have delicious hard ciders and perries, apple brandy and even vodka made from apples.

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Breweries

Love craft beer? Then Lansing is the perfect place to enjoy it. Whether you love a great patio or beer garden, or like to drink a cold one inside a repurposed church or warehouse, you can indulge your taste buds with so many options. Cheers to great beer!

Located on the east side of Lansing on Michigan Avenue, this brewery and smokehouse has terrific food options and is open on the weekends for brunches at 10 a.m. with mimosas and Bloody Marys. Arcadia is known for their seasonal brews like the ever popular Whitsun, the brand’s flagship Wheat Ale brewed with coriander, orange peel, and honey, and it’s available through the summer.

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This popular brewery in Mason opened in 2012 and hasn’t looked back. Their tap list includes 17 beers, 2 ciders, 1 seltzer, and 3 seltzer slushies… all brewed in-house. Find outdoor events like comedy nights and live music, with shaded seating and firepit tables.

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This is one of a few local breweries that’s housed in a former church, and opened in 2017. Find craft beers on tap, wines and sparkling ciders and meads available as well. Food offerings include sandwiches and paninis, appetizers and scratch-made soup.

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Dimes is located in the village of Dimondale and owned by people who are self-described chemistry nerds. This is a warm and inviting taproom with both a front and back patio. If you’re looking for a bite to eat, they offer some great options like reubens, wraps and build-your-own grilled cheese sandwiches.
Image: James Lenon

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With nine beers on tap ranging from Easy Blonde, Irish Red and Michigan White to Dan's signature Red Eye Rye, as well as a variety of IPA’s, Delta Porter and Marcy Street Stout. The Red Eye Rye is a hoppy pale ale that is easy drinking and well-balanced. They also have wines, ciders and sodas. The food menu includes pizza with house-made dough and sauce, appetizers, Panini, salads, and desserts. The outdoor beer garden has entertainment through the warm weather months.

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You can find Ellison products at over 700 different locations across Michigan. But you'll want to go to the source. Located in an industrial area of East Lansing Ellison boasts spirits, sours and the best hand crafted beer. Look for the best pizza, wings and mac around at the onsite food truck! If you like a Manhattan, you want to order one here.

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Located in the heart of East Lansing, this brewpub was one of the first craft breweries in the region when it opened in 1991. Harper’s products include Spartan Wheat, Kombucha Beer and Grove Street Pale Ale. Note that they have organic and reduced gluten offerings. By adding a special enzyme that is a proline-specific protease, it chops up the gluten proteins so that people with sensitivities to gluten may not react adversely. Harper’s offers a full menu with pizzas, wraps, burgers, pasta and other entrees, appetizers and soups and salads.

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Jolly Pumpkin Cafe & Brewery is housed in downtown East Lansing’s new Center City District on Albert Street. Find 10 North Peak beers on tap and plenty to take home (cans or growlers.) Also available are Nomad Ciders and Jolly Pumpkin's gluten-free Golden Manatee Belipago. Food is plentiful and delicious with appetizers like candied brussel sprouts, salads, sandwiches, bowls, pizzas and a great kids menu.

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LBC was Lansing’s original brewery, once located in the early 1900’s in Old Town Lansing and shuttered during prohibition. It’s back and booming in downtown Lansing's Stadium District and is also within one of Lansing's Social Districts. Their signature beers are Amber Cream Ale, Angry Mayor IPA, Peninsula Pils, Union Golden Lager, Joe in Black and Velvet Villain. This summer's rotational beers include Hammocks and Half Days, Rally Cap, Verano del Lago, Kolsch and some stouts and porters.
Their menu is extensive with vegan options, wonton nachos, beer battered fish and chips and more. Enjoy patio parties with musical entertainment or just sitting out on their patio for most of the year with summer games like corn hole and a fireplace for when the temperatures dip.

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Located in downtown DeWitt, Looking Glass Brewing Company offers 10-16 craft beers that run the gamut of sours, ales, saisons, pale/IPAs, ciders, seltzers, wine and handcrafted food. Find a great menu that include wings, burgers, flatbreads and a nice kids menu. Look for weekly entertainment and a great front patio!

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Located in downtown Lansing and part of the popular Social Districts, look to Midtown for a delicious Sunday brunch that comes with Mimosa flights (5 x 5oz mimosas in a variety of flavors) that are very popular. But the best seller is definitely the fish, whether it’s the fish tacos or the fish and chips. Discover delicious craft beers, ciders and meads.

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Old Nation is located on Grand River Avenue in Williamston and it’s owners have been brewing for 17 years. Signature beers include the popular M-43 (New England IPA) Hazy IPA, Boss Tweed Imperial/Double New England,) B-43 (IPA brut with lower carbs,) Fritts Lager, Electro Brown Nitro, 70+ IPA and Night Farmer porter. You can find their beer sold and served throughout Michigan and beyond. Their menu includes burgers, sandwiches, fish tacos, a beef pasty and more. Don't miss ordering their infamous Old Nation Pickle Chips. Check out their huge kids menu for children 10 and under.

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Ozone’s is located in Old Town Lansing (in the Old Town Social District) with 16 beers on tap: Sage of Ale (Cream Ale with Sage,) Totally Awesome #4 (American IPA,) Master Of Shadows (American Porter,) Tyranosaurus Razz (Raspberry Saison,) and high gravity and barrel aged specialties. If you're hungry, Ozone’s Fire Food Truck offers appetizers, pizzas, soups, salads, sandwiches and pastas. Vegan offerings.

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This unique microbrewery/pizzeria proudly serves craft beer brewed in small batches and other house fermented products including craft seltzer, wine, and hard cider. Food includes the wildly popular pizzas like Jagged Little Dill, Pear and Gorgonzola, El Chupacabra and more.

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This is the latest brewery to open in the area and is located north of Lansing in St. Johns. Trainwreck is their flagship beer and you can find 16 of the regular craft beers on tap, 2 nitro beers, a cider, and a seltzer on rotation. The majority of the selection currently comes from their parent brewery, Mountain Town Brewing Co, but they are working on some local fan-favorites and St. Johns exclusives. Come for the beer but stay for the delicious food like their brisket (even burnt ends.)

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Distilleries

You won't want to go home without a bottle or two after trying some of the best cocktails here in Lansing. Made with the freshest and inhouse made ingredients, if you like certain cocktails, then you'll love a distilleries take on them.

American Fifth is located in downtown Lansing’s Stadium District and opened their Tasting Room and Distillery in 2015. This was Lansing’s first distillery. They use world class local grains, gently mash, painstakingly ferment, precisely cut, appropriately age and hand bottle their own product. This is a beautiful tasting room where they prepare the best cocktails for you. You can then purchase the bottles you want and go back home and make them yourself and impress your friends. Recipes can also be found on their website.

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Michigrain is also located in the Stadium District on Shiawassee Street. They partner with farmers in and around the community to produce neutral grain spirits for the increased demands of the rapidly growing craft spirits industry. Their cocktail lounge is cozy with couches and a fireplace but also has a cool bar where they’ll serve you specialty drinks like the Michigrain Float (with Michigrain root beer vodka and Faygo Crème Soda) the Capital City Cosmo, the Michigrain apple pie and even more creations.

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Red Cedar Spirits gets rave reviews for its vodka, gin, whiskey, bourbon and brandy. Attention to detail and scientific expertise results in smooth, consistent, well designed products. Red Cedar Spirits has high standards in their production of high quality spirits. Cocktails served include a Berry Mojito, Manhattans, Cucumber Coolers, their Thyme Collins and something called a Flamango with vodka distilled from apples, habanero-infused vodka, mango syrup, honey and lime. If you call ahead, distillery tours are available!

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Sanctuary Spirits opened in 2013, starting as a small tasting room in a renovated church. They are the first and only licensed distillery in Grand Ledge. With 10 rotating beers on tap, various wines and ciders, rum, gin, vodka and whiskey. They also have some delicious cordials like Koffee Likker, Root Beer, Peach, Peppermint, Cinnamon, Spearrmint, and Butterscotch.

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Won’t you join me in supporting our local attractions and businesses this summer? Why not plan a #LoveLansing-focused outing and get to know all the fun and entertaining places that the Lansing area has to offer?

Photo credits: 
Tom Gennara and the fine establishments listed

ENTER TO WIN!

The Greater Lansing CVB has partnered with our friends at WLNS-TV 6 to offer a whole summer of fabulous giveaways! Enter for a chance to win tickets to top attractions and activities. Drawings will be held weekly from early June through August. Click here to enter and see a complete list of rules and details.