While this year’s patio season looks a little different than usual, one thing remains the same: opting outside is always a great choice when it comes to dining and drinking.
Luckily, there are plenty of local restaurants and breweries with outdoor patios for you to enjoy—and to give you a few ideas of where to go, we rounded some of them up! So if you’re looking for a place to sip on a nice cold beer outside and 6 feet away from other people, we’ve got you covered. Read on for eight brewery patios in Ann Arbor to check out this season, accompanied by a seasonal beer recommendation.
Please note, due to the pandemic, things are constantly changing. We recommend calling these breweries or checking them out on social media before visiting to see what their current hours and policies regarding the virus are.
Ypsi born and Ypsi brewed, 734 Brewing Company is a Ypsilanti staple. Home to a spectacular taproom and even more spectacular, unpretentious beers, it’s a must-visit on every craft beer tour. Their patio is unsurprisingly popular in the summer, featuring lots of long, covered picnic tables and a fantastic view of Depot Town.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DRINK: YPSI HIGH PA
This sippable IPA is as approachable as it is refreshing—not to mention a local favorite! Strong citrus and grapefruit characters make this a beer you’ll be coming back again and again for throughout the season.
When the Greffs opened the doors to Arbor Brewing Company in 1995, it was the first brewpub to open in Ann Arbor and only the fifth brewpub to open in the entire state of Michigan. On a trip to Belgium, the couple was further inspired to innovate and they brought the first sour program of its kind to the state of Michigan. Today, you can stop in their Plymouth location for a pint or two in their spacious taproom that opens up onto an adorable patio.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DRINK: STRAWBERRY BLONDE
We don’t know about you, but we love a good, wheaty, fruity beer on a hot summer day—and Arbor Brewing’s Strawberry Blonde definitely hits the spot. Enjoy the perfect harmony of smooth malt and fresh fruit, brewed with fresh strawberries and pale malts.
A landmark in downtown Ann Arbor, Grizzly Peak began serving craft beer in August of 1995 from their century-old building with wood floors, tin ceilings and exposed brick walls. But while the inside of their taproom is pretty spectacular, today we’re highlighting their wonderful patio, nestled on the edge of West Washington Street, that is the perfect place for people-watching—and beer drinking, of course!
WHAT YOU SHOULD DRINK: CRIME OF PASSION 2020 WOMEN’S BREW
This wheat beer, made with passionfruit and mint, was conceived and brewed by the ladies of Grizzly Peak for International Women’s Day! Delicious and approachable, this brew is not only the perfect accompaniment to a summer day but also a delicious reminder of the power of women.
At HOMES, they take the brewery experience to a whole new level because they pair their brews with a food menu full of modern and inventive Korean food. Because it’s perfect for sharing, we recommend an order of Kimchi Fries, Pork Belly Bao Buns and maybe even a flavor-packed rice bowl—all enjoyed on their amazing covered patio!
WHAT YOU SHOULD DRINK: GUAVA SHERBET
This kettle sour was brewed with milk, sugar and aged on guava, provides a sweet aroma, a smooth body and an incredibly crisp finish. The taste alone is enough for us to keep coming back to get our growler filled, but it’s the bright melon color that makes this Instagram-worthy brew something truly special.
Founded by Ron Jeffries in 2004, Jolly Pumpkin began in Dexter and now operates pubs and tap houses in Dexter, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Traverse City, Royal Oak, Grand Rapids and Chicago. While each of their locations offers its own character and delicious menu, today we’re specifically highlighting their Ann Arbor location’s fabulous rooftop patio. Hidden and complete with a plethora of shaded tables, this outdoor gem is a must-visit during summer.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DRINK: CITRUS COMMANDER
Created using Texas citrus and Michigan chestnuts, this wild fruit saison is a spectacular summer drink. Citrus Commander, created using as much citrus as they could possibly find including grapefruit, sweet orange, bitter orange, Texas blood oranges, Valley lemons, sour oranges and tangerines, is a great accompaniment to any summer brunch, relaxing lunch or twilight dinner.
Named for Saline’s ancient, historic salt springs, this hometown brewery is housed in a beautiful, 116-year-old former church. Undoubtedly one of the most impressive settings in Southeast Michigan, you can enjoy ales, wine and cider alongside locally sourced food with stunning stained glass as the backdrop or outside on their impressive patio.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DRINK: HEAVENLY HEFEWEIZEN
We can’t think of a better beer to drink in an old church than Salt Spring’s Heavenly Hefeweizen, an easy-to-drink beer with bubblegum notes and a beautiful pale color.
Located on Ann Arbor’s west side, Townies Brewery opened in 2018 in the old home of Glasshouse Brewing. Owners Dan and Patty Arban have completely reimagined the space and the building with new additions to the decor and to the lovely patio. Swing by for a beer flight and enjoy one of our city’s best breweries this summer!
WHAT YOU SHOULD DRINK: THREE DOG NIGHT
Townies’ most popular brew, Three Dog Night is a hefty IPA with 7% ABV, 32 IBU and an abundance of bright flavors. This golden brew is packed so full of pineapple, peaches and oranges that it feels like you’re biting into a fresh piece of fruit.
Wolverine State Brewing’s flagship beer, Wolverine Premium Lager, was born out of a desire for an outstanding, approachable beer that was true to Michigan character. Today, this Ann Arbor craft brewery is still operating as the first and only all-lager microbrewery in the state of Michigan. Stop by and see everything a beautiful lager can do—from the solid, approachable flagship to innovative, ingredient-driven and aged creations—on their beautiful, partially covered patio.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DRINK: VERANO LAGER
Due to Wolverine State Brewing’s vast amount of delicious lagers to choose from, it was definitely hard to choose just one beer for you to try this season. But if you only have time to sip on one, we recommend their Verano Lager, a Mexican-style amber lager that tastes fantastic with a lime.
We hope you have a great (and safe) summer! Where are you planning to drink this season? Let us know in the comments!