traverse city beer week

Typically, November in Northern Michigan means dark skies before 6:00 p.m., shorter business hours, and an exodus of summer and fall visitors. However, Traverse City Beer Week keeps the area energized with a wide array of special events meant to highlight the creativity and successes of the Traverse City beer scene. This year’s Traverse City Beer Week took place from November 11-17, and contained over 50 events.


And while Traverse City Beer Week might attract some outside visitors, it is also a great opportunity for locals to enjoy their hometown before winter settles in. With special tastings, exclusive tappings, and unique pairings, it is easy to find a quick stop after work or enjoy an evening out with friends.

This year, The Little Fleet held a different themed event each night of the week. Monday was Founders Bingo. It was free to play, and various Founders brews were on tap, including some exclusive free samples. The Founders rep was also on site to call numbers and give away prizes.  

On Tuesday, The Little Fleet hosted a rare release from Lagunitas, a world premiere of Slow Tako from Brewery Vivant on Wednesday, a sour beer night on Thursday, and a Seafood Dinner on Friday.

Most of these events were casual, making it easy to stop in after work for something special. For instance, Sour Beer Night featured sour beers on tap from various breweries, including Jolly Pumpkin, Short’s, and various cellar exclusives. The weather was warm enough to sit outside, which made an exclusive beer after work even more enjoyable.

Other breweries and taprooms throughout downtown held similar style events. Rare Bird Brewpub hosted a Founders and Dark Horse Tap Jam. Upon walking into Rare Bird, it appeared to be an average evening. However, with a closer look, brewery reps were giving away swag and taps featured an equal selection of Founders and Dark Horse brews. Founders KBS was on tap, as well as Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse. This was only the second time that the barrel aged version of Plead The 5th Imperial Stout had been on tap in Traverse City.

7 Monks Taproom has become known for its unique pairings and themed events during Traverse City Beer Week. This year, the taproom dedicated an evening to Traverse City’s brewing history. The Filling Station brewed a historically inspired Kratochvil Bohemian Pilsner to be a featured tap for the evening, and a large beer history timeline was on display. So, with a pilsner in hand, many visited with friends during happy hour while also examining the timeline. The timeline featured artifacts, maps, and interesting information regarding some of Traverse City’s first breweries.

Traverse City, Mich – The Filling Station Microbrewery and the TC Cycle Pub are thrilled to offer TC Cycle Pub™ Pale Ale, which released May 6th.

With hints of citrus and fruits, this medium-bodied pale ale is an easy-drinking 5.4% ABV, the perfect craft beer for summer days on the TC Cycle Pub. This beer is available exclusively at The Filling Station Microbrewery.

the filling station

Starting immediately, all TC Cycle Pub tours will include one (1) free growler (empty), which The Filling Station will fill most of their beers at a discounted rate of only $10 ($2 off, 1 fill only) for TC Cycle Pub riders. Additional growlers can be purchased and filled for $15.

“We’ve been hoping for this collaboration to happen for a few years,” says Kevin Farron, co-owner of the TC Cycle Pub, “and with the new law that allows riders to drink beer and wine onboard our bike tours, the time was right to make it a reality.”

The new law gives quadricycle tour goers – like the TC Cycle Pub riders – the ability to drink beer, wine or cider on board their bikes, while the group is driven by an employee. TC Cycle Pub still maintains restrictions on hard liquor and glass bottles aboard their bikes, and limits tours to 2 hours.

Both the TC Cycle Pub and The Filling Station Microbrewery are family owned and operated business. Located just off the TART Trail in the historic railroad district, The Filling Station Microbrewery specializes in wood-fired flatbread pizzas, fresh salads, and a rotating list of at least 10 beers. They also now house both TC Cycle Pub bikes: The Big Bike, built for 8-14 riders, and the sleeker Circle Cycle, built for 4-6 riders. Booking both vehicles together can accommodate groups of 15-20 riders.

The cost for the Big Bike (8-14 riders) is $300, and the Circle Cycle (4-6 riders) is $175. Both are for 2-hour tours.

The cost for the new TC Cycle Pub™ Pale Ale is $4.50 for a 16oz pint, or $12 for a 64oz growler fill.

Offering a creative way to try new craft brews, the Traverse City Ale Trail officially launched Friday evening at the Ales by the Rails Summer Music Festival, a new Porterhouse Productions event.

The Traverse City Ale Trail is an exciting new way for tourists and locals alike to experience the growing craft brew scene in the area. Those traveling the trail visit eight local breweries and get a stamp on their passports.

Once all eight breweries have been stamped, the passport can then be turned in at The Filling Station Microbrewery for a commemorative Silipint. There is even a chance to earn extra credit and receive a bonus prize by visiting the Grand Traverse Distillery.

Creator and organizer Troy Daily believes the Ale Trail “will bring the beer community together and will enhance the TC Cycle Pub experience.”

The TC Cycle Pub, another one of Daily’s creations, started offering tours this spring in downtown Traverse City. The two concepts combined provide people in the Traverse City area a great opportunity to experience the expansive craft beer scene.

Daily coordinated with the Filling Station and Porterhouse Productions to launch the Ale Trail during the Ales by the Rails Summer Music Festival, a family-friendly music festival held throughout the weekend. Those who attended were able to enjoy a variety of music and locally handcrafted food and beverages.

Filling Station brews and pizzas were offered at the event, accompanied by musical entertainment at the old railroad depot.

Blake Elliot got things started on Friday, followed by local favorites Seth Bernard & May Erlewine. Greg Brown was the headliner that night and attracted many locals to enjoy his folk music.

Festivities continued on Saturday with a Silent Disco featuring DJ Dominate. Sunday’s musical acts featured Mike Moran and Luke Winslow-King.

Children were also encouraged to attend the festival. Shetler Dairy ice cream and Northwoods root beer floats were available for kids to enjoy. They were also able to partake in many activities in the Children’s Garden, located next to The Filling Station.

A portion of the proceeds of the festival was given back to the development of the Grand Traverse Area Children’s Garden. Other proceeds from the festival went to other developments in the area, including TART Trails and Habitat for Humanity.

The Ales by the Rails Summer Festival was a great way to spend a Friday night. There was entertainment for all ages to enjoy, and it celebrated many great things the Traverse City area has to offer.

Visit to get details on how to complete the Ale Trail, and stay up to date on Porterhouse Production events by visiting

7.1% ABV, Draft

Appearance: Dark Amber, medium head.
Aroma: Somewhat sweet and hoppy.
Taste: Initially smooth and malty. A distinct hop aftertaste. “Really yummy” according to a delightful Filling Station bartender.
Mouthfeel: Filling, slightly creamy, satisfying.

This much loved brew contains six different malts, which provide a nice balance with the Magnum, Phoenix and Columbus hop bitterness. Huntington IPA is the perfect companion for almost any of the tasty flat breads available at The Filling Station.

5% ABV, Draft

Appearance: Light brown with some red hues. Medium head.
Aroma: Slight toffee smell.
Taste: Caramel and nut; a bit hoppy towards the end. Very balanced.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a slight creaminess.

The Filling Station’s Durham Brown Ale is a light, flavorful brown. Balanced flavors of caramel, nut, toffee and vanilla make this brew very easy-drinking. With a bit of a malty and hoppy feel to it, this brew goes down smooth despite its sweet flavors.

9% ABV, Draft

Appearance: Clear orange with a small head.
Aroma: Slight caramel notes.
Taste: Sweet, fruity, caramel and some malt. A slight bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied.

Despite the 9% ABV, The Filling Station’s Einbeck Doppelbock goes down surprisingly smooth. With a balance of sweet and luxurious flavors, this doppelbock is a perfect example of the style. It’s not too much over the top, but it’s definitely a beer I’ll remember for a long time.