Kingsford and Marquette are now home to two more Upper Peninsula breweries. As Michigan's craft beer scene booms, the U.P. is definitely not falling behind.
Some of the most well-known craft beers from across the state are made here, like those from Keweenaw Brewing Company and Upper Hand Brewing, or Marquette's well-supported favorites, Black Rocks and Ore Dock.
Now, Barrel and Beam in Marquette and the 51st State Brewing Company in Kingsford are aiming to add their names to the ranks this year.
Barrel & Beam
Barrel and Beam is located outside of Marquette in the old Northwoods Supper Club. The big property closed in 2007 and had been rumored for several creative development projects, with the successful one being a craft brewery. Founder and head brewer Nick VanCourt, formerly at the Ore Dock, is focusing on niche brews to start, offering up three varieties.
Barrel-aged ales help give the place its name, in fact, along with the heavy rustic beams that feature in the building's design and construction. Farmhouse ales are also on the Barrel and Beam menu. Retail distribution and an expanded menu, of course, are on the way.
The official opening of Barrel and Beam will be on January 27 from noon to 8 p.m., and the location is at 260 Northwoods Road in Marquette.
51st State Brewing Co.
Located at 115 Harding Avenue in Kingsford, the 51st State Brewing Co. is planning to be open for business this month.
A family-owned and operated microbrewery, 51st State Brewing is also accompanying their on-site-brewed craft beers with hand-tossed, wood-fired pizzas.
They describe their establishment as a "community microbrewery with awesome craft beer, great wood-fired pizzas, and good times."
51st State celebrated its first brewing in late December, with an American light lager called 3 Vagabonds. They added an IPA called Ski Jump and a blueberry wheat ale, Batty Millie, this month, and currently are training in cooks and other staff for a January opening.