You can’t get Short’s Brewing innovations such as Pumpkincrusha on Nitro or Hot Loins aphrodisiac beer in the store. And you won’t find the Bellaire brewer’s Pistachio Cream Ale or S’more Stout at your local bar.

But you can come to taste them all this fall during Traverse City Beer Week. The annual celebration of northern Michigan brews returns Nov. 10-17 with drink specials – and special, experimental beers – at craft breweries all over the Traverse City area. 

At Short’s Bellaire pub and its Elk Rapids pull barn, for example, you’ll be able to get flagship beers such as Soft Parade and Huma Lupa Licious. You can also get an early taste of Summer Heat, a raspberry/jalapeno concoction set to be distributed in cans next year, and Bloody Beer that tastes just like a Bloody Mary cocktail.

“We’re going to really do some crazy stuff, so it will definitely be worth the trip,” said Christa Brenner, marketing director for Short’s. “We’re always trying to push the envelope with flavor. We always want to keep things interesting.

“People always ask, ‘How can I try Short’s new stuff?’ The answer is always, ‘at the brewery.’ We love for folks to come into the brewery, try new stuff, and share their feedback with us.”

Short’s is one of many craft brewers participating in TC Beer Week, which offers discounts to visitors who check in with their Beer Week digital passport. Here’s a glimpse of just some of the deals to be had:

Toasting to Beer Week at 7 Monks Taproom

How Traverse City Beer Week Works

  • Once you get your TC Beer Week digital passport, you’ll gain access to all of the special deals available Nov. 10-17. Sign up here and get a passport sent right to your email inbox.
  • Just show up and explore the ingenuity and creativity of Traverse City’s distinctive craft beverage scene, showing your passport to get discounts. There are more than 20 breweries and pubs to discover on a self-guided tour. Please participate responsibly.
  • The Traverse City area has lots of transportation options for traveling safely from one brewery to the next during TC Beer Week. In addition to a variety of chauffeured van and bus tours, the public transit agency offers an on-demand ride-hailing service.
  • If you check in at five or more participating businesses during TC Beer Week, you win a prize! Just stop by the Visitors Bureau at 101 W. Grandview Pkwy. in Traverse City between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to pick up your Beer Week T-shirt.
  • One lucky beer drinker will get the Traverse City Beer Week grand prize. Anyone who spends the night at a participating place to stay can enter to win $400 in gift certificates for Traverse City lodging, $100 in gift certificates for downtown Traverse City, and a pair of tickets to Suds & Snow, a music and beer festival in March at Timber Ridge RV & Recreation Resort. Aside from the grand prize, people who spend the night will be eligible for 10 more prizes including $50 gift certificates to several participating breweries.

Beer at Rare Bird

Grand prize or not, everyone who participates in Traverse City Beer Week will reap the reward of sampling the latest and greatest northern Michigan brews. For example, it’s been a few years since Right Brain Brewery in Traverse City produced its CEO Stout Boardroom Series. Now, it’s returning for Beer Week with a few twists in advance of a Black Friday limited release around the state.

Right Brain is bringing back its Imperial CEO and its Peanut Butter CEO and adding the all-new Chocolate Covered Strawberry CEO and Mexican Hot Chocolate CEO. Also on tap for Beer Week will be Brain Boozled, an experimental IPA with 9.5% ABV that the brewery hopes to release next spring.

You can try them all with a discounted sample tray during Beer Week.

“We’ll be offering special beers that don’t go heavily into the market,” owner Russell Springsteen said. “Visitors will get a sneak preview and an opportunity to purchase those. It’s a good chance to stock up on beer for all your holiday needs.”

So, why not come up and give Traverse City Beer Week a taste? You can’t lose by spending a few days enjoying old favorites and exploring exciting new flavors that just might become your go-to pint.

Plus, fall is a great time to come up north. And a nice thing about the Traverse City area in November is that’s quieter and more laid back than in the summer.

“It’s a beautiful drive in the fall. That alone is a great reason to come up,” Brenner said. “And during Beer Week there’s definitely a prize at the end of the rainbow.”

Here's how you can participate!