On the west side of Michigan is “Beer City USA”, Grand Rapids is honored with the title in dozens of national polls and was named “The Best Beer Town” and “Best Beer Scene” by USA TODAY readers.
Now, tourists are starting to add Saginaw County onto their Michigan beer tours.
“I think it’s great. I think every community should have their own local brewery,” said The Maple Grille brewer, Len Shaeding.
Our community has a lot more than just one. We have five breweries in a 13-mile radius just from our TV5 location on Franklin Street in downtown Saginaw.
So, we took the TV5 truck on an exclusive behind the scenes look at the three breweries that have opened most recently.
First on our stop, is The Maple Grille in Hemlock. The Maple Grille opened in 2011 and after much anticipation, they started brewing their very own craft beer three years later.
Their unique spin on wood fire brewing has become a must try for beer fans.
“It’s a really old-world type of brewing and all of our beers pick up just a little hint of smoke from the process,” Schaeding said.
The Maple Grille is known for their “farm to table” food menu but they also bring the farm to your pint glass too.
“Cran-apple, rhubarb ales, Moscato ale, blueberry ale, they are like fruit summer beers. Those go over really well, and they are gluten free,” Schaeding said.
Next on our trip, just east of The Maple Grille is Loggers Brewing Company in Shields.
Loggers opened their authentic knotty pine doors in spring of 2017. Their brews cater to the more streamlined beer drinker with hopes of getting customers from a Pilsner to an IPA in no time.
“We have something for everybody. We want to be the ones to try and get more people into the craft and get excited about craft beer,” said Tyler Michael, head brewer.
Loggers offers a “mug club” with perks like your very own customized glass mug to keep at the bar, to hefty discounts, and secret beer tastings.
“I believe we have over 300 something mugs right now as it stands and it’s always growing. We always have people asking about it,” Michael said.
Last, but certainly not least on our beer tour is Oracle Brewing. It’s nestled in the heart of Old Town Saginaw.
Oracle opened in July 2017 after restoring and renovating the more than 100-year-old space.
Despite their older building, they are known for their modern vibe with hoppy but light flavors.
“I don’t want people to have one and then be like ‘I’m done with it’. It needs to be something where you take a sip and it finishes and then you can have another one. Beer should be refreshing and not too sweet,” said Cody Smith, the owner.
In addition to their clean style of brewing, they made a splash in the headlines for being a gratuity-free brewery.
“It takes the responsibility off the customer and puts it back on to us to pay our employees and make sure that we’re doing the right thing,” Smith said.
With all their unique styles, taps, and pours, there’s one thing they all agree on: there’s always room for more beer.
“I mean there are still breweries popping up all the time and I would just like to see it continue and hopefully it does,” Michael said.
For a full list of breweries in our state, head over to Michigan Brewery Guide's website.