For a sip of history that’s downright delicious, stop by Michigan’s oldest brewery, Frankenmuth Brewing Company. Its six mainstay beers – American Blond, Batch 69, Hefeweizen, Pilsner and Red Sky – are produced using the traditional Reinheitsgebot, or German Beer Purity Law. A selection of exciting and popular specialty and seasonal beers are also offered. “Our Christmastown brew is now available,” said Ryan Buchinger, General Manager. “With hints of cinnamon and ginger, it tastes like Christmas in a bottle!” FBC also produces ten unique wines under its 1862 Cellars label, the name derived from the year the brewery was founded. Located on Main Street, a gorgeous riverfront ambiance and high-value, classic meals make the Frankenmuth Brewing Company a special lunch or dinner destination.
Grand Traverse Distillery’s Frankenmuth location offers a tasty tasting room experience. There, visitors can sample the Michigan-based micro-distillery’s unique spirits – four vodkas, four whiskeys and one gin – and a variety of wines made by Black Star Farms Winery of Suttons Bay. “Many people purchase bottles for holiday gifts, and we’re happy to giftwrap them on-site,”said Chad Saha, Manager. The folks at Grand Traverse Distillery are proud to be one of the many made-in-Michigan businesses that make up the Frankenmuth experience. Chad invites everyone to stop in and experience spirits made from world-class, Michigan-grown rye and pure glacial waters. The tasting room is located in Frankenmuth River Place Shops.
Looking for the perfect craft brew to suit you and your unique tastes? Head over to the Lager Mill Beer Store and Brewing Museum on Mill Street. The business specializes in hand-crafted beers, wines, ciders and meads from a wide variety of Michigan companies and all over the world. “A lot of people sell beer,” said Tom Taylor, Manager, “but this is our specialty. Whatever you’re looking for, we’ll help you find it.” In addition to the many brands of beers, meads and wines, the Lager Mill is also a museum that chronicles Frankenmuth’s brewing history and traditions. The store also sells home brewing supplies, and Tom can offer advice based upon his many years of experience in the hobby. “It’s good to see so many people appreciating the level of taste and sophistication that handcrafted beers provide!” he added.
In the heart of Michigan’s Little Bavaria, St. Julian Winery offers an exquisite Italian wine-tasting experience. Visitors are invited to enjoy samples of the winery’s many wines, spirits (vodka and brandy distilled from grapes) and hard cider. “We age our own award-winning Solera Cream Sherry right here in Frankenmuth,” said Felice Tansley, Hospitality Manager. “We also have a Braganini reserve line of dry reds and whites, and late harvest varieties that are only available in our tasting rooms.” Each sip of St. Julian’s products offers a taste of Michigan wine-making history: the winery was founded in 1921 by Italian immigrant Mariano Meconi, making it the oldest in the state.
If you’re a lover of brews, then Frankenmuth is the place for you. Prost! ♦
Photography by Mike Naddeo