Where to get a fresh craft beer in Saugatuck

craft beer in saugatuck

Michigan is known for its abundance of craft breweries throughout the state, and Saugatuck is no exception. Demand for new styles, flavors, and spaces in which to enjoy them is up, and our town is rising to the occasion. In the last year, we’ve welcomed three great new spaces to enjoy fresh craft beer in Saugatuck. Here are the pubs and breweries at which you can find house made craft beer in town.

Where to get a delicious, locally made craft beer in Saugatuck

Saugatuck Brewing Company

The original Saugatuck craft brewery. This brewery boasts a spacious pub with a great food menu to pair with its stellar tap list. Wander over to the barrel room to find another bar and play cool arcade games. Saugatuck Brewing also offers you the opportunity to brew your own beer on premise, using their equipment.

Guardian Brewing Company

Opening in December 2018, this brewery promises to be a great new place to hang out. It will boast a restaurant featuring snacks, lunch, dinner and brunch, as well as a tap list formulated by founder and head brewer Kim Collins.

The Mitten Brewing Company

The Mitten Brewing Company is based in Grand Rapids. In 2018, the brewery opened a pub in downtown Saugatuck with the great beer, delicious pizza and baseball theme that have made them so popular up and down Michigan’s west coast. Grab a pint and watch the game at this cozy bar.

Waypost Brewing Company

Waypost is a farm brewery that opened in Fennville in 2018. With classic and experimental offerings, this brewery is a great place to stop while you’re traveling around the area.

6 classic fall snacks paired with West Michigan craft drinks

fall snacks paired with west michigan craft drinks

Fall is here, and there are some snacks that just taste better in this season than they do in any other. These foods have a tendency to evoke Proustian “la madeleine” moments, rooted in nostalgia for childhood autumn fun. But we aren’t all children anymore, and while that does mean there’s more space between us and our carefree pasts, it also means we are legally able to consume alcoholic craft beverages. Revel in the glory of your favorite fall snacks by pairing them with these signature West Michigan ciders, wines, beers, and spirits.

6 classic fall snacks paired with West Michigan craft drinks

Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

Hot cider and cinnamon sugar donuts is a classic combo and well worth revisiting every year when the temperature starts to drop. But if you’re looking for something a little more mature, swap out hot cider for hard cider! We recommend Virtue Cider’s “The Mitten.” The Mitten is a smooth, bourbon barrel aged hard apple cider that tastes delicious and imparts its own kind of warmth.

Baked Apples

Apples are synonymous with autumn. A day of apple picking is an essential fall activity, and you get to come home with bushels of sweet, fresh fruit. Put that fruit to use in the form of a beloved dessert. The baked apple is a simple, but delicious delicacy whose warm, gooey bites beg to be followed by a sip of smooth bourbon. May we suggest Coppercraft Distillery’s Straight Bourbon?

S’mores

Okay, s’mores are good at all times of year. But there’s something about a fall bonfire that you just don’t get in summer–a crisp breeze seasoned with crackling leaves. We think that makes the s’mores taste better. You know what makes them taste even better? Being followed with a swig of a tasty stout. We recommend Saugatuck Brewing Company’sDarker Than Your Soul.”

Roasted Autumn Squash

Roasted autumn squashes like butternut squash and acorn squash are a great way to add a touch of the harvest to your diet. We suggest pairing autumn squash dishes with Fenn Valley’s Riesling. This crisp, semi-dry white wine will bring out the sweetness in your favorite autumn squashes, however you choose to prepare them.

Hot Chocolate

For the cold, late fall days, hot chocolate warms the soul unlike any other beverage. A splash of Coppercraft Distillery’s Vodka puts a tasty adult spin on the classic drink. Top with marshmallows, whipped cream, and/or sprinkles if the child in you feels so inclined.

Popcorn

Pop some kernels over the stove in your well-seasoned popcorn maker (or just microwave a bag, if that suits you). Then sink into your comfy, fireside couch for a cozy fall night filled with movies and snuggles. We recommend picking up a growler of The Mitten Brewing Company’s West Coast Swing Red Ale to pair with this harvest-time snack. A hoppy amber is a great fall brew, and this one is one of the tastiest.

The best restaurants in Saugatuck

best restaurants in saugatuck

Saugatuck is generally known for its cultural attractions and gorgeous natural features. You’ve seen Oval Beach—it’s no wonder why that put us on the map. But lesser known is Saugatuck’s stellar, and growing, culinary scene. You could call it our best kept secret. But we can’t keep the best restaurants in Saugatuck from you. Innovative chefs and restaurateurs have blessed our town with their creations, and it’s only fair that we share them. These Saugatuck restaurants are some of the most loved in town.

best restaurants in saugatuck
The Southerner. Image: Ashley Wierenga
best restaurants in saugatuck
Image: GROW
best restaurants in saugatuck
Image: Hercules

The best restaurant in Saugatuck for breakfast

GROW

302 Culver Street, Saugatuck, MI

Grow serves from-scratch, healthful breakfast and lunch from 8am-4pm. Their small space on the corner of Culver and Griffith is bright and tastefully decorated, and their menu is brimming with delicious dishes. We recommend the Breakfast Panzanella and the Carrots + Lentils salad.

The best restaurants in Saugatuck for lunch and dinner

The Southerner

880 Holland Street, Saugatuck, MI

The Southerner makes the best southern food you’ll find for miles. Their menu is steeped in delicious southern tradition. With classic Nashville hot chicken, biscuit sandwiches, delicious barbecue and more, you’ll have a hard time deciding what to order. The Southerner also boasts a diverse drink menu to wet your whistle.

Phil’s Bar & Grille

215 Butler Street, Saugatuck, MI

Phil’s Bar & Grille may look like your typical, run-of-the mill American pub, but its menu pushes the limits of the genre. Order anything from a classic fried perch sandwich to pad thai and pho. Phil’s is a spot that does a lot and does it all well, and it’s a local favorite.

The best restaurants in Saugatuck for dinner

Bowdie’s Chophouse

230 Culver Street, Saugatuck, MI

When the owners of Bowdie’s moved to Saugatuck, they lamented the town’s lack of a good steakhouse. So they took it upon themselves to open one, and it’s become one of the classiest, most sought-after dining experiences in town. Bowdie’s Chophouse small space fosters an intimate environment to enjoy a culinary innovation. Their expertise is reflected in the price, but a meal at Bowdie’s is well worth the splurge.

Hercules

236 Culver Street, Saugatuck, MI

Serving artisanal meals with American, Greek and Mediterranean influences, Hercules has also been rumored to have the best cocktails in Saugatuck. Enjoy steaks, seafood and chops in their elegant dining space or in the garden. For a quiet dinner and a top tier beverage, Hercules is a great choice.

Marro’s Italian Restaurant

147 Water St, Saugatuck, MI

This Italian restaurant has been a long-standing member of the Saugatuck culinary community. Frank and Lyn Marro have owned and operated the establishment since 1971, and they still play an active role in running the restaurant today. Casual and fine family dining with a side of live jazz piano make for a one-of-a-kind culinary experience. Their pizza is some of the best in town.

Featured Image: Ashley Wierenga 

We all scream for ice cream in Saugatuck

ice cream in saugatuck

We’d argue that any time is good for an ice cream cone, but they taste especially good on summer vacation. This frosty treat is beloved around the world, and it’s a perfect way to cap a day full of fun in the sun. Whether you like sundaes or waffle cones, you’ll find delicious treats at each of these favorite Saugatuck stops. Here’s where to find ice cream in Saugatuck.

Our favorite spots for ice cream in Saugatuck

Saugatuck Drugstore Soda Fountain

Walk into this classic soda fountain and you’ll feel like you stepped back in time. The Saugatuck Drugstore Soda Fountain is an authentic 1950s style soda fountain offering a variety of sodas and ice creams. Kids and adults alike will love a visit to this classic place.

Charlie’s Round the Corner Ice Cream

This classic ice cream parlor is located right in downtown Saugatuck. Here you’ll find sugar cones, waffle cones, sundaes and waffle bowls. If you’re looking for a healthy scoop of Michigan favorites Blue Moon or Superman ice cream, this is a great spot.

Dairy Dayz

Stop at Dairy Dayz after a go on the Saugatuck Dune Rides–this shop is right next door on Blue Star Highway. Serving a variety of ice cream treats, you can also find dole whip and a selection of decadent ice cream cakes.

Blue Star Cafe

This retro diner is brimming with personality–and great ice cream. Stop by for a meal and follow it up with a delicious hot fudge sundae.

Boardwalk Ice Cream

Find a variety of Hudsonville and Ashby’s Sterling ice cream flavors at Boardwalk Deli located on Water Street in Saugatuck.

Nottie’s Frozen Yogurt & Gelato

If you’re looking for something a little on the healthier side, stop at Nottie’s Frozen Yogurt for a light treat. Serving a variety of flavors of frozen yogurt, sorbet and gelato, you’ll find something sweet and guilt free.

Kilwin’s Chocolate

This well known confectioner started in Petoskey, Michigan and is now found around the country. In addition to their delicious original recipe ice cream, you’ll find handmade chocolates, Mackinac Island-style fudge, and other decadent treats.

Get to know Saugatuck through its food with Hungry Village Tours

hungry village tours

Michigan is the second most diverse agriculture state in the United States, known for its cherries, apples, blueberries, Christmas trees, and more. Allegan County, home to Saugatuck, holds several titles for its many farms including blue ribbons in crop production, number of farms, and average farm size in Michigan. So it’s no wonder Saugatuck and its surrounding area are brimming with delicious, locally made produce and goods. Delight your taste buds and experience it all with Hungry Village Tours.

Explore the lakeshore’s plate with Hungry Village Tours

Hungry Village Tours gives you the opportunity to explore West Michigan’s farms, organic fruits and vegetables, artisan cheese producers, wineries, orchards, and handmade goods. Offering two styles of tours, you have your choice of exploring the area on foot or in an air conditioned coach.

Your tour guide is David Geen, who started giving culinary tours in Europe in 1995. After years of showing people Italian, French, Spanish and Irish cuisine, Geen decided it was time to offer tours of his hometown in 2010. Ever since, his guests have enjoyed tastes of the lakeshore’s eclectic plate.

Tours to try

Hungry Village’s “Culinary Walk” is a 3-hour tour on foot through the restaurants and shops of Saugatuck and Douglas. Small groups of participants take part in demonstrations and free tastings, getting a crash course in the food and drink scene in Saugatuck. The cost for this tour is $30 per person, or $15 for those under the age of 18.

The “Delicious Drive” is a 6-hour tour of farms, wineries, restaurants and artisans along the lakeshore in an air conditioned coach. It changes seasonally to highlight the area’s freshest offerings. Taste blueberries, wine, ice cream and enjoy an included lunch at Fennville’s Salt of the Earth, a popular farm-to-table restaurant with delicious offerings. The cost of this tour is $90 per person, $75 per person for groups of 8 or more, or $50 for those under the age of 18.

All tours depart from the Saugatuck Center for the Arts. Learn more about Hungry Village Tours on their website, and book your own tour for your next trip to Saugatuck!

Best dive bars in Saugatuck

dive bars in saugatuck

Every town needs a good dive bar – a place you can count on having a familiar, cozy atmosphere, characteristic dim lighting, neon beer signs, and the promise of a pool table. For the traveler, the dive bar can offer a taste of home.  If you’re in Saugatuck, Michigan and you’re looking to have a good time, surround yourself with down-to-earth people, or just drown your sorrows, these are the spots to visit. Here are the best dive bars in Saugatuck:

Best Dive Bars in Saugatuck

Sand Bar Saloon

141 Butler St, Saugatuck, MI 49453

Located right in downtown Saugatuck, the Sand Bar has all the hallmarks of the classic dive bar. Order a locally brewed craft beer or your favorite standard and then pick up a game of pool. This bar is cash only, but there’s an ATM on premises.

The Cove

41 Blue Star Hwy, Douglas, MI 49406

This little bar hidden in plain sight on the Blue Star Highway. If you’re looking for an affordable meal and drink, The Cove can’t be beat. Play pool on one of their tables or catch Euchre on Sundays. 

Spectators Sports Bar & Grill

6432 Bluestar Hwy Saugatuck, MI 49453

If the sports bar atmosphere is more your style, Spectators is the obvious choice. Located right on Blue Star Highway, it’s the place to go to watch the game with a side of beer and wings. 

Corner Bar

220 Water St, Saugatuck, MI 49453

Catch live music at the Corner Bar in Saugatuck, attached to Coral Gables. This friendly bar is a favorite for its great menu and entertainment. Stop by for karaoke on Saturdays.

How to master vacation rental cooking

vacation rental cooking

Cooking for friends and family is a joy. Good food is a force of connection, and the conversations had over preparing and eating meals become some of the most memorable. For many, vacation often means eating at a lot of restaurants. But when you stay in a vacation rental with a gorgeous kitchen, you can bring those good meal making feelings with you. Vacation rental cooking requires a little planning, but it can be remarkably rewarding.

We’ve got some tips that will help you make the most out of your vacation rental cooking experience.

Vacation rental cooking tips and tricks

vacation rental cookingPack the essentials

Vacation rental kitchens often have a basic selection of tools and equipment, but if you have some holy grail tools you can’t live without, pack them! And if you have a favorite seasoning or condiment that you aren’t sure you’ll be able to find at your destination, make sure you bring it along. Plan on purchasing fresh ingredients when you arrive.

When you arrive: Take stock of your rental’s offerings

Before you go grocery shopping, explore your vacation rental’s cupboards. Find out what seasonings, condiments, and tools are at the ready. Plan your meals around what you have, and make a list of what you’ll need. This way you can avoid purchasing a surplus of groceries, and your menu is kind of shaped by the space you’re spending vacation in.

vacation rental cookingKeep it simple

When it comes to vacation rental cooking, simplicity is key. You’re on vacation—don’t stress over a complex meal! Plan on using fewer ingredients so grocery shopping is quick and easy. You want to avoid ending up with too many leftover, unused groceries. And plan meals that don’t require a lot of tools. You won’t want to be bogged down with a lot of dishes to clean up.

Plan ahead

Plan all of the meals you’re going to make during your stay in advance so you can limit the amount of time spent in a grocery store. When it’s time to shop, get the essentials at a local supermarket or take advantage of a grocery delivery service like Shipt (now available in both Saugatuck and Douglas!).

vacation rental cookingWelcome serendipity

Add local flare to your meals with things you find in your travels. Visit the local farmers market, buy supplies for your own artisanal cheese platter at a local shop, and forage for herbs in the wild or in your vacation rental’s garden. Spend the day at a U-Pick orchard and make a dessert from what you gathered. These are the kind of things that will make your meals unique to your vacation and totally unforgettable.

Enjoy the process

Cooking is fun. Take your time when you’re putting together your meals and relish in the process. Get everyone involved by assigning different people to chop vegetables, cut bread, or prepare appetizers. Make an event out of cooking your meals, and you’ll make loads of delicious memories while you’re at it.

5 farm to table Saugatuck restaurants to inspire your palate

Choosing to eat locally produced food has a bevy of benefits. The most obvious being that your food is guaranteed to be fresh–none of it will have spent days traveling cross country in a truck. For that reason, eating locally is also ecofriendly, because it reduces emissions from shipping. You can experience the difference yourself at a variety of farm to table Saugatuck restaurants.

Farm to table restaurants strive to source their ingredients locally. They develop personal relationships with the people who produce them and are invested in the freshness and quality of the products they use. That means you don’t have to wonder where your food is coming from, and you get to enjoy a fresh, delicious meal you can feel good about. These are our favorite farm to table Saugatuck restaurants to support.

Experience farm to table Saugatuck

Growfarm to table saugatuck

Grow is a great spot for breakfast or brunch. Their menu is filled with inspired plates made with locally sourced ingredients, making it an obvious choice for a farm to table meal.

Everyday People Cafe

This Douglas restaurant is a long-time favorite. Its diverse menu features farm-sourced ingredients where possible. It’s a great spot for brunch or dinner, and their diverse selection of fine wines and craft beers make this cafe a must visit during your stay in the area.

farm to table saugatuckSalt of the Earth

Salt of the Earth is located in Fennville, a rich farming community. The restaurant invites visitors to “savor the bounty of the Michigan farm, beverage, and roots music communities.” If a taste of the local terroir is what you seek, Salt of the Earth is the place to go.

The Southerner

Located right on the river, The Southerner serves up great views, warm hospitality, and spicy southern inspired dishes. They source ingredients from a variety of local producers, which you can read more about on their website.

the southerner farm to table saugatuckKismet Farm Bakery

For ethically produced breads to pair with your home cooked meals or desserts to follow them up with, Kismet Farm Bakery is a must visit.  They pride themselves on using all organic dairy and fruit, sourcing them locally whenever possible. Their website proclaims: “ecovore and locavore customers can rest assured that we have made the best choices for each ingredient, in each amazing product.”

 

Why You Need to Visit Saugatuck Brewing Company

saugatuck brewing company

Michigan is well-known for its abundance of great craft beer. The Great Lakes state gets a lot of things right, and one of those is beer. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to find a quality brewery, and craft beer is celebrated at dozens of festivals throughout the year. In Saugatuck, you can end your pursuit for the perfect pint without ever having to leave town! At Saugatuck Brewing Company, you’ll find a selection of palate-pleasing beers, brewed locally. Grab a six pack or growler to go, or sit down and pair a burger with an SBC beer–your taste buds deserve it.

Exceptional Michigan Craft Beer at Saugatuck Brewing Company

For over a decade, Saugatuck Brewing Company (SBC) has been providing the Saugatuck-Douglas area with excellent beer, great food, and an inviting atmosphere. Whether you’re a beer connoisseur or just want to try one of Saugatuck’s finest establishments, a trip to SBC is right for you.

Beer

The brewery’s pub features 15 beers on tap! From light to dark, hoppy to malty, bitter to bold, there’s brew that you’ll love. Do you want something light and refreshing? Try Paled It!  If you’re looking for a sweet pour, try the Blueberry Maple Stout or the Neapolitan Milk Stout! Hops enthusiasts will love the Singapore IPA and Backyard IPA.  Visit SBC online for a full list of beers on tap and in stores.

Food

Beer’s best friend is good grub, and the SBC Pub serves a lot of it. Enjoy appetizers including Twice Baked Potato Bites and Black Bean Hummus, and if you’re still hungry, chow down on Fish and Chips, a Beer Cheese and Bacon burger, or any of the other mouthwatering menu items. Pair it with one of their freshly brewed beers for an amazing meal!

Events

Live music on Saturdays and Team Bingo on Thursdays is just a sample of the fun at Saugatuck Brewing Company! Brewery tours are offered, too. Check out the events calendar for more details.

If you’ve always wanted to brew your own beer, then you’ll love the Brew On Premise option offered by SBC! For a fee, you’ll be provided with all the necessary ingredients and access to equipment to brew an original batch of beer. More details and pricing can be found online.

Visiting

The brewery is open seven days a week with extended hours on Saturdays. For more information about the beer, Pub, and events, visit the brewery online, or call (269) 857-7222.

Saugatuck Brewing Company is located at 2948 Blue Star Hwy., Douglas, MI 49406.

Uncommon Coffee Roasters Will Energize Your Day

uncommon coffee roasters

Whether you need a morning pick-me-up or a warm place to spend an afternoon of work, you definitely want to stop by one of Saugatuck’s best cafes:  Uncommon Coffee Roasters. Making great coffee since 1994 in Saugatuck, owners Guy Darienzo and Stephen Keye produce coffee with a purpose. Their excellent coffee also provides a place for conversation and the exchanging of ideas. You’ll love the vibe, and we bet you’ll love the coffee, too.

Uncommon Grounds at Uncommon Coffee Roasters

Uncommon Coffee Roasters roast, in small batches, high-quality coffee from around the world. You can find this coffee for sale in any of their coffee shops as well as featured in any of their coffee and espresso drinks. Due to popular demand, they opened a wholesale coffee business in 2010 in neighboring Douglas, shipping their fresh roasted coffee all over the country.

Equally unique as their coffee roasting ventures, Uncommon Coffee Roasters create uncommon grounds as an NGLCC Certified LGBT Business Enterprise. That means they fully support diversity and inclusion when it comes to people from all walks of life. They strive to create a safe space for everyone, but especially the LGBT community of West Michigan. After all, everyone should be able to comfortably enjoy quality coffee from Uncommon Coffee Roasters.

Sustainable Quality for Coffee Lovers

The company also works with coffee producers from all over the world to better understand their beans and culture, sourcing coffee only from producers to whom they’ve traveled. Uncommon Coffee Roasters prides themselves in their diverse partnerships and seeks to promote fellow companies that share the same values. The end result is sustainable, high-quality, and delicious coffee responsibly sourced from incredible producers.

You’ll find sustainability in the way they do everything. From 100% compostable single serve coffee pods to cold brew in recyclable paper cartons to 100% compostable coffee cups, UCR strives to be ecologically responsible for minimizing their carbon footprint as a company. You can find their fully compostable products at their wholesale store. That’s because they don’t just seek to reduce their own carbon footprint, but that of everyone who enjoys their coffee!