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Toast to LaPorte County Breweries & Wineries Tour

Toast to Vacation Celebrations
In LaPorte County Breweries and Wineries

Hoist those beer mugs high in a lively brewpub or clink your glass of vino at an elegant winery. When you visit Northern Indiana’s LaPorte County, you’ll find plenty of reasons to say “Salut!” to the inventive wines and brews created here and the enjoyment that goes along with them. After all, this welcoming county along the shores of Lake Michigan is known as a getaway destination whether visitors are warming up in winter or celebrating the summer.

This year more than ever, breweries and wineries in the communities of Michigan City and LaPorte are busy concocting bubbly new libations, often pairing wine and beer with delicious culinary creations, and updating and adding on to their facilities. Brew and wine fests draw out-of-towners and local residents alike to live it up with tastings, food, music, and much merrymaking. Come join in the fun.

Breweries Bring Best Times

Burn ‘Em Brewing, Michigan City – There’s exciting news ahead for this popular pub as it makes plans to move to a new and bigger location along Dunes Highway. The $1.6 million plan will move the business closer to downtown Michigan City. Everything spells FUN in this funky brewery, right down to their slogan – “Comforting the Disturbed, Disturbing the Comfortable.” The in-house specialty beers and seasonal brews draw raves and the wacky labels are as innovative as delicious beer choices such as Snake Jazz, Electric Apricot, or Kreamed Korn. Munch on some tasty snacks while you imbibe.

Bare Bones Gastropub, LaPorte – The menu tells diners that gastropub means “a hybrid restaurant and bar notable for serving high quality food and beverage.” Bare Bones delivers on that promise. One glance at the imaginative food on the menu and you’ll want to return again and again to try it all. Think cornmeal-crusted red snapper, goat cheese polenta, white bean cassoulet, or strawberry shortcake snickerdoodle French toast. Then add in a host of unique beer and wine selections, with a heavy emphasis on those from local microbreweries and others across Indiana.

Zorn Brew Works, Michigan City – This brewpub has it all – an array of handcrafted brews and hard seltzers, delicious food, plus a beautiful brick-walled building that exudes warmth. The microbrewery opened just a few years ago, but its name pays tribute to an 1871 neighborhood Brewmeister named Philip Zorn. Today, the brewery offers such specialties as Elston Grove Oatmeal Stout, Modern Kicks IPA, and Proof of Concept Pilsner. Pair your brew with some delicious food. The menu ranges from appetizers to their in-house Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwiches to Zorn Beer Cheese Mac to succulent steaks. Top it off with a Beer Float.

Shoreline Brewery and Restaurant, Michigan City – Don’t be surprised if you see people walking around this Lake Michigan community wearing a Shoreline Brewery hat or one of the brewpub’s t-shirts that says, “Don’t Drink the Water, Drink the Beer.” It’s that popular. An award-winner for both its beer and food, Shoreline has become a long-timer in the Michigan City brewing scene, now heading into its 17th year. Many of the unique beers brewed on the premises feature names that reflect its location just a few blocks from the big lake, such as IPA Shoddy Dock and Lost Sailor, a strong stout. The brews pair deliciously with the global menu where you’ll find such entrees as Fish & Chips, Grecian Lamb Burger, and Woodland Mushroom Pizza.

Winning Wineries

Brix Tasting Room, Michigan City – There’s even more to love in Michigan City’s festive Uptown Arts District with the opening of this trendy new spot. The owners want to provide a wine tasting experience where visitors don’t feel shy about asking questions about the wines – some 50 from around the world served on a rotating menu. Wine is served by the glass, too, along with ciders and beer – perfect matches for the mouthwatering food. Choose from a host of appetizers, sandwiches such as Caprese Grilled Cheese, and Artisan Pizzas (try the apple, bacon and gouda cheese)!

Shady Creek Winery, Michigan City – The owners hoped to bring a Napa Valley vibe to the Midwest when they bought this sprawling 20-acre winery, and they obviously have succeeded. Graced with patios, porches, and fireplaces, Shady Creek makes sipping supreme. They offer 28 different wines, including several award-winners, many with names that reflect the region such as Lighthouse, Beach Glass, Sandy Feet, and Midnight Dunes. Enjoy tastings and then combine your favorite with amazing pizza or other options such as Artisan Charcuterie, Chicken Cuban, or Spinach Salad. Expansions this year will include a rooftop patio, events center, private tastings and additional outdoor seating.

Sip, Sup, and Stay

The Brewery Lodge & Supper Club, Michigan City – Take advantage of an all-in-one experience at this elegant boutique hotel in a lovely, wooded setting. Dine in the upscale restaurant on fare such as olive-crusted salmon, succulent steaks, and Cavatappi Alfredo, accompanied by fine wines and specialty drinks, plus locally brewed Zorn Brew Works beer on tap. Book one of the 12 distinctive lodge rooms with views of the grounds. The Brewery offers great nights out for your group with four- to five-hour Brew Bus Tours that take you to eight different breweries in the region, including three Michigan City favorites. Other custom bus tours include a winery-distillery outing and a Michigan City pub crawl. Plans for an Events Center at the Brewery are in the works.

Fantastic Brew Festivals

Shelf Ice Brew Fest, Michigan City (Feb. 2023) – What a way to blow off the winter blues! Head for 7th and Franklin in the Uptown Arts District for an afternoon of quaffing down some delicious brews from local and regional breweries, filling up on tempting food from vendors, watching artists create ice sculptures with chain saws, and rocking out to live music. The Michigan City Mainstreet Association, which sponsors the event, recommends that attendees dress warmly. NOTE: This event is for ages 21 and older only.

Red Wine and Brew, LaPorte (3-9 pm, Friday, July 1) – Who doesn’t love the three “Bs” of summer – Beer, Bands, and BBQ? Add in some extra surprises (the Budweiser Clydesdales appeared last year) and you’re in for a full day of fun with beer and wine tasting for the adults, a kid zone for the youngsters, and plenty of great food. Live performances include country stars Aaron Tippin, Sammy Kershaw, and Colin Ray. The festivities take place at the Summit, a huge grassy area located at Johnson Road and 500 West. All proceeds benefit local First Responders. The annual event is sponsored by Bethany Church in LaPorte.

LaPour Brew & Wine Fest, LaPorte (Noon-4pm, Saturday, Nov. 12) – Even though the festival is months away, mark your calendars now for this terrific party, a leadup to the busy holiday season. It all takes place at the historic LaPorte Civic Auditorium and includes live music, loads of tasty food, and brews from our popular Northern Indiana microbreweries, as well as from other Midwest and national Brewmeisters.

Insider Tip: Everyone wants to take a bit of their vacation to Northern Indiana home with them, along with gifts for their friends and loved ones. Look no further than LaPorte County’s microbreweries and wineries. Many of the outstanding bottled wines and brews for sale come in attractive bottles or cans with each facility’s unique labeling. They make perfect presents, and many have names that reflect the Lake Michigan shore.

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