Vote for Michigan Beer and Breweries in Latest 10Best Polls
It’s that wonderful time of year again when USA Today’s 10 Best Reader’s Choice Polls focus on the craft beer scene and Michigan gets some time in the spotlight. The Great Lakes State is usually well-represented in these polls, and this year is no exception. The 2021 polls are looking for the Best Beer Bar, Best Beer City, Best Beer Garden, Best Beer Label, Best Brewpub, Best Cidery, Best New Brewery, and Best Small Town Beer Scene. There are 20 finalists from across the country in each poll, and Michigan landed at least one finalist in every category except Best Beer Garden and Best New Brewery (and an impressive three finalists in the Best Brewpub poll). Below we will take a look at our Mitten State finalists in each category, and provide some links to help you vote. These contests run through March 26, and you can vote once per day in each poll. Be sure to vote and show that Michigan beer and breweries are among the best in the country!
Best Beer Bar – Hopcat, Grand Rapids – It’s become almost an annual tradition that Hopcat ends up on this list, and for good reason. “Some of the best local, regional and global craft beers are on 49 taps, and more than 250 bottles expands the offerings. It could be their famous beer-battered Cosmik Fries, but more likely it’s the wide range of beers, passionate bartenders, a fun atmosphere and a year-round patio that make HopCat a top destination for beer aficionados.” Currently in 5th place as of this writing, vote for Hopcat here: https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-beer-bar-2021/hopcat-grand-rapids-michigan/
Best Beer Bar – Slows Bar BQ, Detroit – “This popular Detroit beer bar combines two things we love, good beer and good barbecue. Beer lovers will find 56 beers on tap, served alongside a menu of pulled pork, smoked ribs, chicken and other ‘cue classics.” We couldn’t agree more! Currently 13th out of 20 finalists, you can vote for Slows here: https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-beer-bar-2021/slows-bar-bq-detroit/
Best Beer City – Grand Rapids – A two-time champion in this category, Grand Rapids will be looking to bring back the Beer City USA title in 2021. “Michigan’s second-largest city sports the state’s strongest beer scene, thanks largely to the presence of the world-renowned Founders Brewing Co. Not to be outdone, there are several other brewing operations around town, most notably the Belgian-inspired Brewery Vivant. The city’s official “Beer City Ale Trail” lists more than 80 breweries in the surrounding area, and the local calendar is constantly filled with beer festivals, events, and promotions.” Out to an early lead and holding down the top spot as of this writing, you can vote for Grand Rapids here: https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-beer-city/grand-rapids-michigan/.
Best Small Town Beer Scene – Traverse City – When I saw this was a category this year, my first though was that if a Michigan city was up for it then it had to be Traverse City. USA Today seems to agree: “Traverse City has become a hotbed of craft beer action in the already beer-centric state of Michigan. The town features a sizable collection of breweries, taprooms and brewpubs, including Jolly Pumpkin, Brewery Terra Firma, Earthen Ales and Right Brain Brewery.” Sitting in 3rd place currently, you can vote for Traverse City here: https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-small-town-beer-scene/traverse-city-michigan/
Best Cidery – Virtue Cider, Fennville – “Virtue Cider makes traditional farmhouse ciders using sustainable methods. Each cider starts with hand-picked apples from the orchards of Michigan. These apples are pressed, fermented and barrel-aged onsite.” We enjoyed a visit to Virtue in 2019 with favorites being The Mitten and Michigan Honey. As of this writing Virtue is off to an impressive start in 5th place, you can cast a vote for them here: https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-cidery/virtue-cider-fennville-michigan/
Best Beer Label – Prague Underground, City Built Brewing (Grand Rapids) – “We love the bold color and intricate patterns of this label from City Built Brewing Company in Grand Rapids. Pilsners originated in the Czech Republic, and this one features a herbal spicy note from the Saaz hops.” City Built has had an impressive run of colorful and well done artwork on their cans this year, including No Save Point, Cyber Punk, and Believe in Dinosaurs in addition to Prague Underground. This might just be Grand Rapids’ most buzzworthy brewery right now, and for good reason. Currently in 3rd place, you can vote for City Built’s label here: https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-beer-label-2021/prague-underground-citybuilt-brewing/
Best Brewpub – City Built Brewing, Grand Rapids – It’s a second nomination in a second category for City Built, which drew high praise from 10 Best: “The people behind City Built Brewing believe that beer can bring people together. Especially when the beer list has something for everyone – everything from Mexican lagers and Czech pilsners to sours and pastry stouts. The food menu features Puerto Rican flavors with options like tostones, chicken chili, tacos and yuca fries.” You can vote for City Built, currently second in this category, at https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-brewpub-2021/city-built-brewing-company-grand-rapids-michigan/.
Best Brewpub – HOMES Brewery, Ann Arbor – Hands-down our favorite brewery in the beer-rich Ann Arbor area, the inclusion of HOMES on this list is no shock to anyone who’s been to a Michigan Brewers Guild festival in the past three years. Long lines and consistently high-praised beers were common for HOMES at every festival I ever went to, and the brewery itself has a great atmosphere as well. “Beer lovers can sample HOMES beers in the Ann Arbor brewpub or in limited release cans. Hungry beer lovers will find a menu of Korean and Thai-infused pub grub, like bulgogi fries, Korean barbecue wings and green coconut curry burritos.” Vote for HOMES, currently 9th, at https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-brewpub-2021/homes-brewery-ann-arbor-michigan/.
Best Brewpub, Salt Springs Brewery, Saline – I’ve enjoyed a few beers from Salt Springs at festivals but have yet to check out the brewery itself (though it’s now at the top of this year’s to-do list). USA Today says: “Salt Springs occupies a 122-year-old former church near a natural salt springs that has been sustaining communities for centuries. Diners will find a menu of ales, wine and cider, with beers made from locally malted grains and Michigan hops. The food menu focuses on seasonal, local ingredients.” Vote for Salt Springs, currently 7th, at https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-brewpub-2021/salt-springs-brewery-saline-michigan/.