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East Lansing, MI

Posted: Sun Apr 03, 2022 11:52 am
by Cass
I've got a little beer & concert road trip coming up this weekend which I'm looking forward to. Doing a night in East Lansing and then back to Detroit.

It's tricky nowadays to ask for reco's as nobody's been anywhere for quite a while! If anyone has any memories of good stuff in East Lansing please share! I will post what I find when I get there!

Re: East Lansing, MI

Posted: Fri Apr 15, 2022 11:19 am
by Cass
Report from East Lansing for those who may be interested in a road trip!

East Lansing is definitely a fun little city, only about 1h40m from Sarnia. It's home to Michigan State University, a large and very attractive campus with lots of classic buildings. And since it's home to a large university, there's a dense cluster of bars and restaurants literally across the street from the campus. It makes for a very walkable town to check out the nightlife.

East Lansing lacks the breweries of a place like Grand Rapids, but there's lots of good beer to be had. There's a Jolly Pumpkin there, with a wide range of their sour stuff and North Peak. Right across the street from JP is a HopCat with their usual lineup of dozens and dozens of beers. Another fun place was Barrio, a taco joint with good eats and beer lineup. What I really liked about Barrio was you ordered your food by ticking boxes on a paper menu, allowing to mix-and-match all the topping options. There's even more bars in the zone, most of the others which looked like traditional university haunts.

While I was there I took the bus from East Lansing to downtown Lansing, which is the capital of Michigan. It was probably only about 15 mins and got to see a bit more of the town. There I checked out Lansing Brewing, which is your traditional large brewery taproom and a very fun spot. I also stopped in at Stober's which claims to be Lansing's oldest bar and it definitely seems like it - lots of vintage decor which is the real thing.

I was only there for one night but very enjoyable. Worth a stop on a road trip to Grand Rapids or other destinations westward, or a combo with Detroit, which is what I did. I found other beer-y spots while searching on Google Maps (Midtown Brewing, Ozone's Brewhouse) which I wasn't able to get to.

Bonus: for art fans there's a modern art gallery on the MSU campus called the Broad Museum which is free to go to and has lots of interesting pieces.

Re: East Lansing, MI

Posted: Fri Apr 15, 2022 1:52 pm
by seangm
One thing that still strikes me about the US craft beer scene, is how many breweries even the smaller to midsize cities tend to support. And not just the volume, but the density and fact that they're often within the more traditional urban boundaries of the city. Here it seems that outside of Toronto and the largest cities, our breweries are often stuck out in industrial areas that require a car to access.

Re: East Lansing, MI

Posted: Fri Apr 15, 2022 4:05 pm
by S. St. Jeb
seangm wrote: Fri Apr 15, 2022 1:52 pm One thing that still strikes me about the US craft beer scene, is how many breweries even the smaller to midsize cities tend to support. And not just the volume, but the density and fact that they're often within the more traditional urban boundaries of the city. Here it seems that outside of Toronto and the largest cities, our breweries are often stuck out in industrial areas that require a car to access.
Pretty sure the history of that lies in zoning laws that treated small breweries as industrial entities, not commercial. Have no idea if anything has changed on that front.

Re: East Lansing, MI

Posted: Fri Apr 15, 2022 6:29 pm
by Craig
I dunno, while there certainly are plenty of breweries in industrial areas, most towns of any size in Ontario I can think of include at least a brewery or two downtown.

Re: East Lansing, MI

Posted: Sat Apr 16, 2022 8:01 am
by Cass
It's possible zoning had something to do with history, which has left older, brewery-appropriate buildings in the downtown cores of U.S. cities, and similar buildings are rarer in Canadian city centres.

I looked up the population of Lansing and it's comparable to Kingston & Moncton which have breweries downtown. I'd say the beer scene in Lansing/East Lansing was about what I expected for a city that size.