Frankenmuth, Michigan is nicknamed Little Bavaria.

Hey beer fans!

I am finally back from Michigan, and like I promised before, I bring back tales of my awesome journey.

This trip was for my cousin's wedding, who was getting married in one of the coolest little towns I have ever had the privilege of stepping foot in, Frankenmuth, Mich. If you have never heard of Frankenmuth (and let’s face it, you probably haven’t), it is an old German town about an hour and a half north of Detroit.

Nicknamed “Little Bavaria,” Frankenmuth was settled in 1845 by German Lutheran missionaries, and is the location for the “World’s Largest Christmas Store,” Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, and home to the Frankenmuth Brewery.

I arrived in Frankenmuth late Thursday evening. The chilly weather reminded me of my college days in Iowa and the early dusk kind of camouflaged the city's attractions. I was pretty tired from my day long flights and was excited to dive into my hotel bed that night.

Friday rolled around and after a much needed night of sleep I was ready to go explore the town. I made my way to downtown Frankenmuth and began to see the sights the little city had to offer.

I was quite surprised that a town with a population under 5,000 could have such a great mix of historical buildings to go along with many new and recently renovated ones as well.

My first stop was Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, the self-described “Largest Christmas Store in the World.” Pulling into the packed parking lot it is pretty clear to see that this title is warranted and deserved. I entered from the West entrance and was astounded by the number of ornaments and elderly people I saw. I wandered around for a little over an hour, making my way through each of the store's 16 sections. I became a little parched and decided the brewery would be my next pit stop.   

I found the Frankenmuth Brewery, and along with my family, made myself right at home. Housed in a four-story, 28,000-square-foot building, here beer lovers can enjoy a tour, rent out space for a gathering or party (more on that later). On the second floor, patrons can sit down and eat at the large sports-bar-esque restaurant.

We grabbed a table, ordered two pizzas and searched through the beer menu. Each of us ordered a different pint to sample. I decided on the Batch 69 American-style India pale ale and discovered this was definitely my favorite out of the eight varieties they were brewing at the time.

We drank and ate and decided to kind of just kick back at the brewery. We didn't take the official tour, but decided to walk around the premises ourselves and see the place. I was very impressed with everything, their beer, and even the food at the restaurant. All in all, I kind of fell in love with the brewery, the awesome atmosphere and its location right on the banks of the river.

To be continued ....

Erik Papke is a tall, handsome, son of a gun who enjoys his weather hot and his beer cold. Growing up in Texas, Erik decided to venture to the North for his education, graduating from the University of Iowa in 2012.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.