Wineries & Breweries
Seasons of the North & Burt Lake Brewery
Located: 9090 W. M-68 Hwy., 3 miles west of the National Shrine of the Cross in the Woods
Phone: 231-548-1280 *On Facebook
Seasons of the North Winery and Burt Lake Brewery is a small, premium winery offering distinctive, quality wine and beer, with an emphasis on local production. The Tasting Room offers wines, beer and hard ciders (to those over 21). Summer and fall special events have included Classic Car Shows, live music, outdoor games and contests. Check ONLINE for upcoming events, and seasonal hours.
Seasons of the North Winery & Burt Lake Brewery is part of the Bay View Wine Trail, which has nine other wineries in Petoskey, Harbor Springs, and Charlevoix. Maps and descriptions of the trail are available at Seasons of the North.
Northland Brewing Company
Matt Whitener began brewing beer at home about ten years ago. He would brew five to ten gallons at a time for himself and friends. Later, to test the quality of the different beers that he was brewing he would send five gallons to his friend’s music festival.
He enjoyed brewing the beer and people enjoyed drinking it. That led Whitener to establish Northland Brewing Co., which opened July 2021 in Indian River at the corner of S. Straits Highway and South Avenue.Whitener said he started working on the brewing company project about two years ago. “I had always wanted to redevelop this property into something nice for the town,” he said. “I want this place to be known as a community gathering place.”
Although Northland Brewing Co. is a small microbrewery, the brewing set up Whitener has assembled is modern, shiny and very impressive. And the end result is good beer. Whitener said he currently has eight taps, with seven different beers and a hard seltzer. He said he only recently released the hard seltzer and it’s been very popular.
Northland Brewing has indoor seating, but it also has a large outdoor area that includes seating and outdoor games such as corn hole and a small stage. Whitener says there’s over an acre of fenced-in beer garden area. A food truck sells gourmet hot dogs and Whitener plans on having at least one more food truck. He said the response to the music has been phenomenal and he plans to have music once or twice a week into September.
The beers that Northland Brewery has are mostly ales at this point. Whitener said he tries to have a little something for everybody. One of the advantages of brewing in small batches is that it allows for flexibility and experimenting. Whitener says he enjoys that and will certainly continue to branch out.
Whitener notes that other breweries have played a key role in creating active, growing downtown areas and he wants Northland Brewing Co. to be part of that in Indian River. He says people don’t have to buy beer to come and enjoy the atmosphere at Northland Brewing. “I want people to feel welcome.”