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Read about our Makers

Stay up to date on expansions, unique experiences, special releases and the people running your favorite Makers Trail locations with our blogs below.

Top 14 Breweries In Southwest Michigan

“Good people drink good beer,” journalist Hunter S. Thompson famously opined. We couldn’t agree more. Fortunately, here in Southwest Michigan, there is no shortage of phenomenal craft beer.

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The owner and brewer at Seedz Brewery holding beers.

Master the Makers Trail Fest with these tips

Do you like trying new craft beers, wines, ciders and spirits? Are you a fan of beach parties? Then you won’t want to miss out on Southwest Michigan’s biggest beach party — the Makers Trail Festival!

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A group of friends at the Makers Trail Festival

21 of the best wineries in Southwest Michigan

So you love wine.

Red, white, blush. Sweet, dry, sparkling. You enjoy it all. Chances are you'd be a sommelier if you didn't have to go back to school. You're also a huge fan of the winery experience. From tastings to tours to simply kicking back with a glass of your favorite vino, wineries are your happy place.

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A glass of Tabor Hill cranberry wine

Mt. Tabor Trails: Hike and sip on this tasting adventure

Two Men hiking the Mt Tabor Trail

Two Makers Trail destinations, Round Barn Estate in Baroda and Tabor Hill Winery & Restaurant in Buchanan, have hit upon a fun tasting experience that you won’t find anywhere else in Southwest Michigan! These Moersch Hospitality Group sister wineries have created Mt. Tabor Trails — four trails that wind through the picturesque vineyards, fields and woods between them.

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Two Men hiking the Mt Tabor Trail

Celebrate International Whiskey Day

Man drinking whiskey in front of the whiskey flag at Journeyman Distillery

International Whiskey Day is just around the corner! We have good news and better news for you whiskey lovers.

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Man drinking whiskey in front of the whiskey flag at Journeyman Distillery

St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

A Group of People Enjoying St Patricks Day at North Pier Brewing Company

Looking to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? We may not have a green river, but we do have a Makers Trail full of Irish spirit! Whether you are looking to go out or grab something to take home, you can pay a visit to these local wineries and breweries for some St. Paddy’s-themed grub.

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Dablon Vineyards & Winery: Snowshoes, Igloos & Fireside Fun

Dablon Snowshoeing

Have the winter doldrums? Then we have just the place to lift your spirits.

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Gravity Vineyards and Winery: Cheers to a new decade of escaping the everyday

Gravity Winery Exterior

Everyday life is a juggling act — your family, job, sports, volunteer commitments. For 10 years, Gravity Vineyards and Winery has focused on creating a place for you to escape your everyday routines and truly relax. We asked owners Allison and Rockie Rick to share more about their winery, its first decade and plans for the coming year. Here’s what they had to say:

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Niles Brewing Company celebrates first anniversary

Craft Flight Club photo by @craftflightclub

In December 2020, Niles native Brandon Townsley took his homebrewing expertise and opened a brewery with his wife, Alyssa, during a pandemic. On Dec. 12, Niles Brewing Company celebrates their first anniversary after a year of navigating business ownership, partnership, creating community and setting new goals. 

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Craft Flight Club photo by @craftflightclub

Makers Trail Gift Guide: Presents for wine lovers, beer lovers and more

Gift Shopping at White Pine Winery

Looking for gift ideas for the cider, spirit, beer and wine lovers on your holiday shopping list? Travel the Southwest Michigan’s Makers Trail. What makes this shopping trip extra fun is that each craft winery, brewery, cidery and distillery lets you taste most of the gifts before you buy them. This is an easy way to find sure-to-please presents to bring to parties or deliver on your gift-giving holiday AND pick up your favorite craft beverages to bring home to enjoy, too.

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Gift Shopping at White Pine Winery

Southwest Michigan Staycation Guide: How to vacation at home in winter

Winter in Downtown St Joseph

Oftentimes, we all need a breather. It can take many forms — a wine tasting with friends, meal out with family, solo walk along the beach and so on. These little breaks allow us to return to our daily lives refreshed after some self-care. Why should that time only last a few hours?

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Winter in Downtown St. Joseph

Southwest Michigan Fall Color Report

Southwest Michigan Fall Color Report

Our fall color show continues in Southwest Michigan! If you haven’t made your fall color tour yet, come this weekend. Bright gold, red, orange and deep brown leaves create a camera-clicking canopy of color along our roads and trails. Falling leaves are creating a quilt of autumn hues on the ground and as they float in our rivers, streams and lakes, too.

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Southwest Michigan fall leaves on a boardwalk

Celebrating 10 Years of local craft spirit heaven: Journeyman Distillery

Journeyman Distillery

Over the past decade, from refurbishing the breathtaking 1883 EK Warren Featherbone Factory building to handcrafting a wide selection of sought-after liquors, Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks has become a renowned staple of Southwest Michigan’s craft spirit experience.

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Double your fall color tour fun: Nature + Makers Trail

Wine And Leaves

Many places in Michigan focus their fall color experiences on the dramatic changes in leaf colors. But in Southwest Michigan, you can also see and taste another autumn color show on our Makers Trail — glasses filled with amber, russet, garnet, deep purple, straw yellow and rosé wines, beers, ciders and cocktails. Stay for one or more of our Lake Michigan fiery red, orange, yellow and lavender sunsets and you will see why this is an extraordinary fall color destination. 

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Makers Trail tips from a 2021 Passport grand prize winner

Michael Miller of Hazel Crest, Illinois, was thrilled when he learned he was one of five winners in the 2021 Makers Trail Flight Crew Passport Grand Prize Drawing. His reward was a two-night, all-inclusive stay at a Southwest Michigan hotel. He immediately offered to share his story with others so they could discover how much fun they would have participating in the 2021/2022 program that ends May 31. We called Michael, and here are some of his tips:

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Makers Trail Grand Prize Winners

Celebrate a centennial of winemaking with St. Julian Wine Co.

St. Julian Winery

When people stop by one of St. Julian Wine Co.’s six locations to taste and purchase their creations while on their Michigan wine tours, what they may not know is that their pours are part of Michigan history and a family’s heritage.

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An “Incider’s” look at Peat’s Cider Social

Peat's Cider Social

Peat’s Cider Social is a family-friendly taproom in a retro bowling alley in Stevensville, Mich., specializing in unique hard ciders and seltzers. How did this interesting combination of family fun and craft beverages come to be? We got the inside scoop from Co-Founder and CMO Leah Peat.

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Spend a day around the Galien River Marsh at this spooky-good brewery

Ghost Isle Brewery

Ghost Isle Brewery opened at 17684 US Hwy 12, New Buffalo in April 2019, bringing together locals, visitors, an onsite brewery and Ghost Island’s hauntings. When its one-year anniversary rolled around, the brewery was closed due to Michigan's COVID-19 lockdown and was unable to celebrate its first milestone together. After everything they’ve been through in the last year, owner Elizabeth Sima says the Ghost Isle staff and customers both deserve a great party. Here’s what she had to share about the brewery’s story and the impact COVID had on it.

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Gather with good spirits at this Niles distillery

Iron Shoe Distillery

Did you know that there’s a business in Niles that brings together people, good food, great cocktails and the legend of St. Dunstan? If not, you must visit Iron Shoe Distillery.

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Dine indoors in Southwest Michigan again

Indoor Dining at Staymaker

If it’s getting old viewing your favorite Southwest Michigan restaurants from the curbside pick-up spot, hop out of your car and dine inside! Michigan restaurants reopened indoor dining to 50% capacity on March 5. Be sure to check their hours and offerings — many are new. There’s no need to eat up your time searching online. You can catch up on who is open when below.

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Sip the rarest of treats on the Makers Trail Liquid Gold Tour

It’s rare to find … even rarer to make it … but along Southwest Michigan’s Makers Trail you can discover wines that some describe as liquid gold, others dessert in a glass and vintners call “ice wine.”

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Five Ways to Get Out This Winter

RiverRocks0941

Winter is here in Southwest Michigan, and it’s time to get outside, get fresh air, and take in some frosty fun. Here are five ideas for getting out this winter:

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Outdoor Tasting Experiences to Try This Winter

Winter on the Makers Trail will be even cooler this year! Many of our wineries, breweries and distilleries are creating unique seasonal outdoor experiences. With firepits, heated patios, private greenhouses or domes you can rent, rewards programs and more your winter tasting tour will be unlike any other. Read on for a list of all of the fun new things you’ll find on the trail this winter that will allow you to enjoy it safely.

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Makers Trail Gift Guide

Find fun and unique holiday gift ideas for the beer, wine, cider or spirits lover in your life. Shop small and support local businesses and makers in Southwest Michigan by purchasing the items below.

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Pet-friendly Makers Trail Stops

Pet Friendly Makers Trail - Livery

There’s nothing your dog loves more than spending time with you. So, next time you go out for a drink, bring them along! The Makers Trail has many wineries, breweries and distilleries that will welcome you and your pet so you can enjoy a drink and spend time with your best friend. 

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UNIQUE WINTER WINE EXPERIENCES IN SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN

Dablon Wine

Did you know Southwest Michigan is one of five American Viticulture Areas in Michigan? The sloping terrain along the lakeshore, mild temperatures and variety of soils make it the perfect location for growing grapes and other fruits that serve as the inspiration for a vast array of award winning wines. In fact, our growing season has been compared to noteworthy destinations such as Bordeaux, France and Piedmont, Italy.

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Most Romantic Stops Along the Makers Trail

Dablon Vineyards

The Makers Trail offers scenic views, rich wines, delicious meals and cozy tasting rooms perfect for visiting with your valentine. If you’re searching for romantic places to spend time this Valentine’s Day weekend here are a few romantic stops to consider.

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Your Guide to Enjoying the St. Joseph Winter Beer Fest

BeerFest3

With the St. Joseph Winter Beer Fest happening soon, I thought I would share some tips on how to have the most fun at the event.

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Fall Festivals Along the Makers Trail

Firkin at the Livery

With so many festivals, parties, special releases and live music, fall is the perfect time to tour the Makers Trail! Here are some of the top upcoming parties of the season at our wineries, breweries and distilleries.

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Josh’s Fall Favorites

Fall in St. Joseph, MI

Summer is definitely the most popular time to visit southwest Michigan, however, I feel that there is even more to enjoy in the fall. Here are some of my fall favorites:

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Makers Trail: Not Just for Beer, Wine & Spirits Lovers

Silver Harbor Root Beer

If you’re not a fan of beer, wine or hand-crafted cocktails you might think that the Makers Trail isn’t for you. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are over 30 locations to choose from and each one brings something different to the table. Here’s why each one is worth a try.

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Find Out What's "Tappenin" at Red Top

Red Top

Red Top is a Southwest Michigan winery offering a new and innovative wine tasting experience. With enticing wines on tap, instead of in the bottle, owners Rockie & Allison have opened their doors to a completely different style of winery. A delightful ten-minute country cruise south of downtown Baroda, MI will place you at Snow Road, where the beacon of a truly wonderful wine tasting journey begins.

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Experience the Makers Trail

As a photographer and videographer for the Makers Trail, I have had the privilege of getting to speak with a variety makers and visit many of the trail locations. What really strikes me from this experience is how unique each location is. The diversity of locations, architecture, products, and overall experiences is remarkable. From quiet tasting rooms to bustling full-sensory experiences and from classic flavors to experimental concoctions there are amazing options in Berrien County.

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Meet one of our Makers Trail brewmasters

Haymarket Logo

The craft brewery scene is blazing in Southwest Michigan. New breweries are opening along our Makers Trail each year. One of the newest is Haymarket Taproom, 9301 Red Arrow Highway, Bridgman. It is the Michigan location for the much-acclaimed Haymarket Pub & Brewery, arguably the best brewpub in Chicago. We talked with award-winning Brewmaster Peter Crowley while he was on this side of the lake. Here’s what he shared:

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The Livery - Beer, Food, Music & Makers Trail

The Livery - Firkin Friday

I recently sat down with Simon Rusk, owner of The Livery, to talk about Berrien County’s oldest operating craft brewery. The building, located in the Benton Harbor Arts District, is over 100 years old and was the site of the Palace Livery, a former horse livery. In the early 2000’s a group looking to help revive the downtown area embarked to restore the building and create a microbrewery. Simon, a former lawyer, held several positions at The Livery from bartending, to brewing and management before becoming the owner about one year ago. Under his leadership, and those before him, The Livery has become a staple in downtown Benton Harbor for great beer, delicious pizza and music. Find out what Simon had to say about this local craft brewery and why Southwest Michigan is becoming a popular brewery scene, below.

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What you should know before you follow the Makers Trail

Makers Trail

Your road to craft beers, wines and spirits in Southwest Michigan.

When is the best time to tour the Makers Trail? Fall, winter, spring and summer! The Makers Trail is enjoyable year round, offering a different experience each season. With more than 30 members scattered across Southwest Michigan, you’ll have fun tasting new and long-time favorite handcrafted brews, wines and spirits. Come on your own or bring family and friends. The makers and their staffs look forward to your coming.

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