Keweenaw Brewing Company

Keweenaw Brewing CompanyKeweenaw Brewing Company
Keweenaw Brewing CompanyKeweenaw Brewing Company
Brewery, Bar, Beer-to-go

408 Shelden Avenue
Houghton, Michigan, 49931
United States

(906) 482-5596 | map

View: Beers | Place Reviews
Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 30 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of NorthwoodsStrider
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Quaint small college town atmosphere, where you will find professors drinking fine local brews next to their students.
Limited hours eliminate the late nite debouchery of most college town pubs.
They only serve KBC beers, no food or snacks, but you are welcome to order food out and dine in, and pizza from next door should satisfy any hunger.
Casual atmosphere with over-stuffed couches and coffee tables make for a warm, friendly environment.
Prices are decent, service friendly, & views from inside and from the deck make for an all-around enjoyable experience.

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Photo of labisch
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

This brewery is a Keweenaw gem located in downtown Houghton. It's a staple for college students and locals alike. They have a good selection of beers on tap, and a nice amount of seasonal beers. I've never had an amazing KBC, but I've definitely never had a bad one. I wouldn't trade this brewery for anything else, especially because of its wonderful vibe.

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Photo of stevoj
3.39/5  rDev -17.7%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.25

Small friendly place on main drag. Cozy wood, industrial interior. Shame their beer isn’t better. This place may get busier on weekend nights when college is in session. Still lots of locals hanging out.

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Photo of hardysf
4.61/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Lots of beer on tap and super cheap beer prices. Beer is decent, maybe a tad on the watery side for me. Different philosophy than most places I frequent as I don't think there was even a single IPA on tap. Lots of Browns, Porters, Stouts.

Would return.

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Photo of MarcatGSB
4.04/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

The KBC is a blessing for the Keweenaw. It's a great place that brings people from all walks of life. At any point in the afternoon you can see the local carpenter, professor, doctor, basketball coach, Michigan Tech student, and even the gypsy on his/her way to Isle Royale.
I love the fact that they can their brews. They are great when you want to bring them on a canoeing trip, to the beach, or out on your boat.
Their beer is above average micro-brew. The line that they can, they have down to a pretty good science, and is consistent. The Red Jacket Amber has a great flavor profile, and very enjoyable. I'd say the Widowmaker Black is the best offering in a can. A nice light bodied black ale. Good flavor.
Please stop and support our local brewery, they have worked hard, and are great for the community.

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Photo of nflmvp
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Just checked out Keweenaw Brewing company for the first time. I'll preface my review by saying that I'm not their biggest fan but I appreciate what they do, in an area that's mostly devoid of craft beer.

Just a couple of blocks up the street from Red Jacket Brewing company, this place is easy to find. It's well marked from the street and parking wasn't a problem at 2:00 on a Saturday afternoon.

Upon entering, the first thing you notice about the place is the decor...all rough cut lumber with a north woods feel to it. There are two bars and I assume the back bar is their "tasting room". It was the bar that had customers sitting there and also the only bar that had a bartender so we ventured in.

We were greeted as soon as we sat down and the bartender (a cute, outgoing and knowledgeable Michigan Tech Student) had us served in no time. She was more than willing to talk beer and she knew her stuff, especially when it came to talking about Keweenaw Brewing Company beers. This was highly refreshing since so many places you go to are being tended by people who know how to pull a tap.

The quality of the Keweenaw beers can be a little suspect but their testing grounds are perfect for what they are trying to accomplish. I had the Urban IPA, which was described as a West Coast IPA, but it fell drastically short of that description for my tastes. Their Oatmeal Stout was another surprise. It's not the one that's listed on their list of beers, on their website, nor is it listed on BA but I want to say they called it Buzzsaw or something along those lines. I ordered it, expecting it to be a typical oatmeal stout, only to discover it was more of a dry Irish Stout and served on Nitro to boot. It was not described as a nitro stout so I was perplexed by the creamy head. Once I drank it, I figured out what it was and I was happy with just should have been more accurately described. Not a big deal though.

They had a Belgian Dubbel that was pretty tasty. It also isn't listed on their list of what's on tap today and I don't see it on BA, either. The 36 Shilling Scottish Ale was a nice effort

Overall, I still haven't found any Keweenaw beers that have blown me away but the taps I had on Saturday were all pretty solid. I didn't bother trying any of their canned offerings because I've had them all in the past.

Overall, I'd have to say they are doing a pretty good job at Keweenaw. I'd like to see a little more emphasis on the beers but considering the area, they are not catering to beer geeks. The locals and college students are likely their bread and butter so they probably don't have any desire to push the limits.

IMO, if they keep doing what they are doing, we might find a couple of canned offerings that are worth seeking out for that day at the beach, the day out on the boat, or the weekend camping trip.


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Photo of Georgejt
4.64/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

We visited this local brewery while on a trip to Isle Royale this past weekend. We were very impressed with the selection of beers and the atmosphere. We sat at the bar and talked with several of the locals who frequented the bar. We noticed that the bar had very few people from out of town, and the bar tender knew many of the people by name. Even though we were certainly the "out of towners" at the bar with out South Carolina accent, the locals and the bar tender made us feel right at home and shared a lot of useful information about both the brewery and the area. The bar didn't serve food, but it had a very down to earth and rustic feel. We tried the sampler of beers and enjoyed the beers so much we decided to stock up and bring some home with us. We particularly enjoyed the demolition ale. The prices of growlers ($10-12?) and pints ($2.5-3) were very inexpensive for the quality of beer. I would recommend visiting here if in the area!!

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Photo of association330
3.54/5  rDev -14.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

The inside has a rustic feel with an old wooden floor, brick walls, wooden tables/chairs, etc. Overall, a lot of the 'old mining town bar' vibe you'd expect given the area's history. Typical visitors are a mix of Michigan Tech students, locals, and when there's some big event going on, out-of-towners.

Most of the beers are pretty average, as far as craft brews are concerned. What this establishment sells is certainly better than drinking a macro, but nothing in their lineup is going to blow any beer geek out of the water. Given the price of a pint (just $2.50) and the small college town clientele, you pretty much just accept it for what it is. If it's your first visit, try a pint of the Red Jacket Amber first, as it's easily their most consistent effort. Also decent when in rotation are the R.A.M. Stout, Mogiana Malt, 36 Shilling, and Empress Hefeweizen.

The service is usually good. Even when it's packed, I've never waited more than five minutes to order a beer. Most of the staff are knowledgeable enough to make recommendations for first-time visitors.

They don't serve food (other than bags of roasted peanuts), but allow you to bring in virtually any takeout, and some places in downtown Houghton will even deliver to their door.

I'll be graduating from Tech in the spring and I will definitely miss this place. Their beers may not be the greatest, but the KBC has become a Houghton institution, and you really can't beat the prices.

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Photo of gmfessen
3.59/5  rDev -12.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

Located in downtown Houghton, this is a local favorite. The inside has a rustic feel, coming from the mining days of old in the area. This heritage finds its way into the beer as well, with their primary ale being the "Pickaxe Blonde". The service is so-so, depending on what time of day you arrive. The staff seems to be fairly knowledgeable but not overly friendly and to get information can take some coaxing. The selection is pretty good, they usually have at least a half dozen beers on tap, the Blonde, a Brown, a Red, and a Pale are always available with others on rotation. The Brown is my favorite, closely followed by the Red. All the beers are pretty good and share a malt consistency. They don't really have any food available in house... unless you count peanuts. However there are many local restaurants and at least one pizza place that will deliver to the bar. Pints are only $2, which I consider to be a great value... most bars charge at least two bucks for a macro and this is a quality micro - you do the math. I'm a local student and will be graduating soon; this is one place I am going to miss.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.19/5  rDev -22.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3

A very cozy and rustic bar, with the whole brewing operation visible. Always bustling with college students and friendly locals. The RAM Stout is the beer to drink, but occasionally other good things pop up. Growlers are available (sometimes I can even ship some out).

It's also very affordable. Unfortunately the entire regular line isn't really drinkable. You have to hope you hit one of the decent rotating beers. Otherwise, I feel that this beers are poorly constructed with cheap ingredients and misrepresent craft beer.

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Photo of tallar
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

A great little brewery up in the Keweenaw! Currently they only distribute Pick Axe Blond in cans, but they're supposed to start canning their other selections soon. As far as the taste room goes, it's very rustic looking, which definitely fits the area. Selection is pretty good, with them offering most of their regulars (They alternate R.A.M. Stout and Coal Porter) and some experimental stuff from time to time. Very cheap, as all pints are $2.

No food to speak of but the place is supposed to be a taste room, although its become more of a bar for the students and professors from Michigan Tech, but a lot of local restaurants do deliver to there. The staff is very friendly, and its rather easy to setup a tour of their modest facilities if you ask in advance. I frequently visited when I lived up there while attending Tech, since good, cheap beer was just a block away from from my apartment. Highly recommended if you're in the area.

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Photo of sopor
4.36/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

This is a great and quickly growing brewery/bar. KBC brews 5 beers and a birch-beer (I think they brew that, no guarantee). The beers are; Pickaxe Blond Ale (available in six-packs at the bar and locally distributed), Red Jacket Amber Ale, Magnum Pale Ale (I loved this one!), HIlde's Brown Ale (another spectacular brew!), Tower Black Ale, and Coal Porter. Somewhat of a barebones establishment, I loved this palce for its simplicity though. They are expanding the bar area, should at least double, and they have plans to open a production facility and strat distributing more beer. YEAH!

The beer here was very good, and if I lived in the area I would be stopping regularly to keep my growlers full and ahave a pint or two. A must try!

Edit: 8/17/07 New bar addition is spectacular. Along with a fireplace and couches and a second bar is an outside deck. Th production facility is rockin' away. They're not brewing to capacity yet, but Tom (the brewer in South Range) brews one batch most days. Can's of the Amber and Blonde are now available south of the Bridge!

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Keweenaw Brewing Company in Houghton, MI
Brewery rating: 3.45 out of 5 with 1102 ratings