Leelanau County brings beer back with new brewery

No longer is Northport just a quiet village at the tip of the pinky. Northport Brewing, the only microbrewery in Leelanau County, opened its doors on June 25. And, with Lake Michigan in the background, community members filling the outdoor patio and excitement pouring into the streets, Northport Brewing held its Grand Opening Celebration on Saturday.

Scott and Pamela Cain, along with Brewmaster Collin Gaudard founded Northport Brewing. “We are so lucky to have an incredible and talented team, an amazing location and the overwhelming support of the community,” explained Pamela Cain.

The team put in a lot of time and effort to get their business off the ground. Before they could open their doors, however, the team needed additional funding. And so, earlier this year, they launched a Kickstarter campaign.

“We would like to thank all our backers that donated through Kickstarter so we could expand our fermentation space to meet the demand for beer at the taproom so far,” expressed Cain.

“We also want to thank all the local contractors who helped us build our new brew house, taproom and patio,” Cain continued.

With such support, the first few months of business have been more successful than expected.

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Northport Brewing’s Grand Opening commemorated all of this hard work and support. The celebration featured six Northport taps, live music and a barbecue. Many local community members and fellow brewers came out to support the new brewery. Chris Contreras and John Kilgren, who formed the Northport Brewing Sailing Team earlier in the summer, were among those in attendance.

Kilgren was drinking the Walk in the Water Enkle, which he hopes becomes a staple of the brewery. The Enkle is light and crisp, with a balance of malt and bitterness. “I’m not a microbrew drinker, so when I find one I like, I hold onto it,” he stated.

I found myself enjoying the Metamora Cherry Saison, a specialty dark farmhand style beer brewed with tart Leelanau cherries. This particular brew won Specialty Brewer Scott Cain the Best Saison award in Right Brain Brewery’s 2013 Homebrew Competiton. While dark in color, it is light in taste with refreshing notes of cherry. Other favorites of the night included the Rising Sun Raspberry Wit and Odessa Double IPA.

Having grown up in Leelanau County, amidst the farms, sand dunes and cherry orchards, it is uplifting to see the region continue to evolve. It remains my favorite area to escape to for its breathtaking views and the supportive nature of the people. And now, the area has much more to share.

Cain said it perfectly when she stated, “Northport is back open for business! Come on up and check it out!”

Kaitlyn Rickman

Kaitlyn Rickman

A Northern Michigan native, Kaitlyn is passionate about all the region has to offer: food, festivals, untouched lakeshore and craft beer. With homebrews continuously rotating through her household and new small town breweries opening regularly, she loves to discover new twists on old favorites. In addition to writing for MittenBrew, Kaitlyn also recently became part of a beer podcast, Behind the Hops, and lives a separate life as a teacher.

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