Traverse City’s craft brewing scene continues to expand at a dizzying rate. Since midsummer, three new craft brew operations have opened their doors, bringing the total number of microbreweries and brewpubs to 11.
Brewery Terra Firma, Traverse City’s first farm-to-mug brewery, opened in July on the historic ten-acre Dracka Farm just south of the Grand Traverse Mall, offering a variety of well balanced styles including a blonde ale, amber ale, American pale ale, India pale ale, black IPA, extra special bitter and a porter. Brewmaster John Niedermaier, formerly of Right Brain Brewery, hopes to grow most of the hops, herbs, fruits, vegetables and honey that will flavor his beers and ales.
Pete Kirkwood had already started a successful craft brewery in Pennsylvania before moving to Traverse City and opening his new Workshop Brewing Company in the Warehouse District storefront where Right Brain Brewery got its start. Workshop’s lineup includes seven “journeyman beers” regularly on tap along with seasonal and specialty brews, and a menu of deli-style sandwiches and snacks.
Beggars Brewery is a family-owned production microbrewery and tap room located near Wuerfel Park, south of Traverse City, specializing in hand-crafted ales made from local ingredients. Head brewer Michael B. Rizik studied brewing at Chicago’s Siebel Institute of Technology and the World brewing Academy in Munich, Germany before returning to Traverse City. Though most of the brewery’s clients will be restaurants and taverns, Beggar’s does have a small tasting room for walk-in customers.
Two more microbreweries, Bravo Zulu in Acme and Rare Bird in the River’s Edge District, are scheduled to open before winter.
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