Lots of things about being grown really suck: bills, jobs, no nap time. But the worst part for me has been realizing that dreams I had as a younger person simply are not going to happen. (I mean, they may happen in the sense that climate change may eradicate winter in Michigan…possible but seriously unlikely). My goal of being a best selling author? Probably not in the cards. The big house set up to look like the Clue mansion? Unlikely. Even stupid things like wanting to be a top lawyer or a beloved 20 years in the same school teacher (where everyone comes to your funeral) are really not terribly promising.

So when someone says, “I want to open a brewpub one day!”, I sort of cringe inside. I try not to dissuade people from their goals/dreams (I have a friend who immediately shoots down every single idea on the basis of “helping you”…that’s so not cool) but I also know that–let’s just be honest here–most dreams don’t come true.

Nevertheless, I applaud anyone who is willing to take the leap and open their own brewpub. There has been lots of talk about the “bubble” and “oversaturation”…I do think we are there and have been for some time. I think in five years the landscape of breweries will look very different. But who cares what I think? And maybe we really can sustain all of these pubs…who knows? It would be great if beer saved our state!

So while I was busy being a big ol’ buzz kill, a bunch of breweries opened up in Michigan! Here are the top five that I want to visit (not because I think they will close…indeed, I think these are great examples of pubs that will survive for the long haul).

Grand Rapids Brewing Company — The first certified organic brewpub in the state carries the fine tradition of brewing in Grand Rapids. I would like to try their English bitter.

57 Brewpub — I have never been to Greenview and so I should visit. And while I’m there, I’d like to try 57’s Mayan Midnight Stout because it sounds delicious.

Beards Brewery — The pictures on the website make it look like a cozy place that I could hang out in! And I want some of that Blueberry Muffin ale to see how it compares to Atwater’s Blueberry Ale.

Boatyard Brewing Company — Mega props to folks who are broadening the scene in Kalamazoo. Hopefully I will make it there around the holidays to get some of the Christmas Eve Porter.

Tapistry Brewing — Now this would be an awesome summer trip! Head out to the west coast of Michigan and try the RYEm or Reason rye ale. Oh, summer!

Again, I salute these fine folks who are making their dreams come true. It gives me hope and reminds me that good things do happen. Now then…who wants to go brew pubbing with me?????

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