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Brewvine: Mackinaw Brewing Company

For 23 years, in downtown Traverse City has been filling steins and pint glasses with their time-tested beers.

“I find the challenge in making true, authentic ales and lagers,” said brew master Mike Dwyer.

has been brewing traditional ales, lagers and stouts for their customers since they first opened in ’97.

They have a St. Patrick’s Day staple that has been on the menu every year since the beginning: “O’Dwyers Irish Stout”.

“That’s a dry Irish stout,” said Mike. “We have an oatmeal stout on now which finishes with a little more mouth feel to it. An Irish stout is more roasty, dry and then its carbonated and dispensed with nitrogen so you have this really creamy texture to the mouth feel, big cascading head. It’s a wonderful beer.”

While you’re waiting for March 17th to arrive, you can belly up to the bar and enjoy an authentic German beer that is a sure sign of spring.

“A German bock, it’s a lager,” he said. “Lagers are cold fermented, it takes longer, they have to age cold, it’s authentically brewed. All German malt, hops and yeast. It takes many weeks to ferment out and many weeks of aging and in Germany it’s a sign of spring when the bock beers come out. So this is going to be a really nice malty, amber to reddish color but it’s going to finish really clean.”

One new brew that they are hoping to have in production soon is literally out of this world.

“We kind of partnered up with ‘higher orbits’. They do nonprofit for stem program for high school kids and what not and they send scientific experiments up into space. We did a benefit with them last fall and we struck up a relationship and got talking to them and they told us they had a rocket going up and some space and wondered if we wanted to put some yeast on it so we sent it out to them,” said Mike. “The idea is the rocket is going to go up, open up its bay doors, expose all of the projects to space, and of course the yeast that I sent out to them, and then return it and go from there.”