The last few years have seen substantial growth in the number of distilleries in the area producing craft spirits. Most offer
Traverse City Whiskey Co.
On Cass Street, a few blocks south of downtown, Traverse City Whiskey Co. is a bit of a sleeper, but boasts one of the better bars among the distilleries. The staff is friendly, makes good cocktails, and is more than willing to discuss their art with you and show you the sculpture-like distilling aparati.
Iron Fish Distillery
This new distillery a few miles south of Crystal Mountain is hard to find, but worth the effort. We stumbled upon it while exploring some two tracks off in Benzie County. With a state of the art distilling set up and a great secluded location (literally in a farm field), Iron Fish Distillery offers some interesting spirits (just cranking up the production there). They have a nice bar and tasting room, a very cool barn venue for weddings and other events, and a nice patio area where they frequently have weekend fun with live music and a food truck from over in TC. We spent a delightful afternoon on the patio back in September listening to music and eating BBQ with the locals.
Located at the Lake Leelenau narrows between Leland and Suttons Bay, Northern Latitudes Distillery consists of a combination tasting room and bar offering a wide variety of traditional and craft cocktails, along with some compelling comraderie among the owners and regulars. They also offer a gift shop with a bewildering array of amusing diversions.