Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Northern Michigan Has A New Brewery - The Ridge Microbrewery & Restaurant

Written by  Jennifer Hamilton
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Northern Michigan has quietly opened another brewery. The Ridge Microbrewery & Restaurant has opened in the former Eagles Ridge Conference Center, which is located directly behind the Leelanau Sands Casino. The first notable aspect of this new brewery is the view.
Beautiful, expansive views of Suttons Bay and Lake Michigan can be seen from the restaurant windows and the outdoor balcony that spans the entire back of the restaurant. This microbrewery undoubtedly has some of the best sights in Leelanau County.

Although the Ridge is a Microbrewery, they cannot yet sell thirsty customers their own beer due to a hold up with licensing. In the meantime, however, the Ridge is serving up some of Elk Brewing’s and Vander Mill’s finest pours. When things get cleared up, the Ridge intends to start off with serving four of their own beers in addition to keeping Elk’s and Vander Mill’s beverages on tap. This microbrewery also serves many of Leelanau County’s finest wines, with a plan to open a tasting room in the near future.

Executive Chef James Broome heads up the kitchen with some delectable creations. Upon first browsing the menu, you’ll notice something called “The $100 Burger.” No joke, this gold flake dusted burger is actually $100. Certainly this is for the individuals who have done well at the adjacent casino. The other menu items are regularly priced and without gold flakes. There is a large variety of items, including freshly caught fish, steaks, salads, onion rings, and truffle fries. The bison sliders are huge and may secretly not qualify as a ‘slider,’ but rather, a full burger of their own. Broome is making the most of cooking in Leelanau County and utilizing as much of the local goodness as possible. The local difference is noticeable; everything is fresh and full of exquisite flavor. Broome also makes everything in house, including the ketchup, mustard, and pickles.

Presently, the Ridge Microbrewery and Restaurant is open 11am-8pm seven days a week, with intentions of expanding their hours in the future. In addition to their restaurant and bar seating, they have space for private events. It’s a very peaceful brewery tucked neatly into Leelanau County’s landscape; perfect for drinking a calming brew to unwind.

Jennifer Hamilton

Jennifer Hamilton

Jennifer Hamilton has lived in various cities around the great state of Michigan and presently resides in Traverse City. When not drinking, examining, and researching the great craft beers offered in this region, Jennifer can be found trying to balance her marathon training schedule, day job, MSW course load, and three rambunctious dogs.  In Jennifer's professional opinion, beer is the glue that holds a busy schedule together; she spends a lot of time testing said theory.