Summer, fall, winter, or spring — no matter the time of year in the Mitten State, many West Michigan breweries have outdoor spaces to let you enjoy al fresco ambiance while sipping on the craft brews that keep Beer City USA on the map.

Here are just a few local breweries that boast great patios, decks, beer gardens and other outdoor areas. Note, this is not a complete list. Discover even more breweries with patios on the Experience Grand Rapids Craft Brewery page – just click the box for “Outdoor Dining?” under “Narrow Your Search.”

Many breweries have expanded and upgraded their outdoor spaces and cleaning protocols in response to COVID-19, making it possible to drink and dine comfortably and safely in all four seasons – yes, even the dead of winter. Keep in mind that COVID-19 may still impact capacity limits and operating hours, so always check individual brewery websites or call ahead to confirm. And be sure to check Experience Grand Rapids’ travel updates for the latest visitor tips and safety guidelines.

Third Nature Brewing Company - Outdoor Patio

Third Nature's outdoor space includes a customized trail that leads to White Pine Trail.

Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids


Third Nature Brewing

Craft beer meets nature at Third Nature Brewing Company, which is nestled within more than seven acres of land between the Rogue River and the White Pine Trail just west of downtown Rockford.

Third Nature features an expansive outdoor biergarten filled with picnic tables, calming patio lights, cozy fire pits and, in cool weather, heated “igbrews” with picnic tables. It’s so impressive that Third Nature finished second in an MLive reader poll of best outdoor dining destinations in Grand Rapids.

Your leashed pups can join you outside as you take some refreshing sips of Third Nature’s diverse tap selection, including IPAs, lagers, ales, stouts, sours, wheats and seasonal offerings. 

Unique to Third Nature, the outdoor space includes a customized trail that leads from the brewery the White Pine Trail and nearby House Street.

Elk Brewing's Outdoor Patio in the Uptown Neighborhood

Elk Brewing's Outdoor Patio in the Uptown Neighborhood.

Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids


Elk Brewing

With locations in Grand Rapids’ Wealthy Street area in the Uptown neighborhood and Comstock Park, Elk Brewing offers two patios to hang out on while sipping an always-rotating lineup of handcrafted beer on tap.

The patio at Elk Brewing Grand Rapids includes picnic tables, a fireplace and heated tents in cold weather. (Dogs are allowed on the patio but not in tents.) Elk offers a small snack menu and you can have food delivered to the patio from nearby Donkey Taqueria, Royals and The Winchester restaurants.

The heated patio at Elk Brewing Comstock Park includes three garage doors to create an indoor-outdoor feel. This space makes for a great pre-game beverage before watching a West Michigan Whitecaps game across the street at LCMU Ballpark during the summer and fall months.

Pike 51 Brewing Co. boasts 10-15 beers on tap at any given time.

Pike 51 Brewing Co. boasts 10-15 beers on tap at any given time.

Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids


Pike 51

Pike 51 Brewing in nearby Hudsonville offers a great small-town setting to enjoy beer, wine and food.

The brewery shares its space with Hudsonville Winery, so guests can enjoy their choice of beverage at tables in the wood-chipped outdoor space.

You can also take advantage of additional seating under the brewery’s large, outdoor tent area. This past winter, Pike 51 installed outdoor tents and dining cabins to safely accommodate even more patrons.

Perrin Brewing Co - Dark Beer - Outside Patio

Perrin offers a spacious covered patio, as well as a completely outdoor deck.

Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids


Perrin Brewing

Essentially an extension of its taproom, Perrin Brewing’s patio also opens to the outdoors with garage doors. In addition to the spacious patio, the Perrin pub has a complete outdoor deck to relax under the sun. When the sun all but disappeared this past winter, Perrin added heated private domes to its patio..

Both the patio and outdoor deck are full-service and the food menu is available to enjoy with some artfully crafted beers. The Perrin Pub tap list features a variety of styles including flagship beers like the Perrin Black Ale and 59-10 IPA as well as seasonal favorites like the Blackberry IPA and Passion Fruit Gose. 

Greyline Brewing Co. - Exterior at Night

You can bring your own food to Greyline Brewing Co.'s recently expanded outdoor patio space.

Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids


Greyline Brewing

Greyline Brewing is home to a recently expanded outdoor patio space complete with a spacious tent and whiskey barrels, large tables and picnic tables to accommodate groups. Winter additions included a fire pit and standing heaters.

Greyline offers a limited snack menu, but you’re welcome to bring and order in your own food. The tap list is subject to change at any time, but current favorites include Fade Nitro Oat Stout, Kona Brown Coffee Ale and Solshine American Wheat.

Railtown Brewing Company - Pint and Patio

Railtown Brewing's large patio space surrounds nearly two sides of the brewpub.

Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids


Railtown Brewing

Railtown Brewing, located in Gaines Township, offers a large patio space that surrounds nearly two sides of the industrial exterior of the brewpub. 

Railtown pours an array of beers well worth the eight-mile trip southeast of Grand Rapids. Some favorites include Railtown’s Citra Warrior Imperial India Pale Ale and the award-winning Good Mooed Milk Stout.

Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery & Supply Store

Located in Ada and established in 2013, Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery & Supply Store offers ample outdoor seating at picnic tables equipped with heaters in cold weather and umbrellas when it gets sunny and warm.

Gravel Bottom’s tap list includes everything from IPAs and light Pilsners to ciders. The food menu focuses on items that complement the beer selections, with a focus on flatbreads, sandwiches and wings with a variety of homemade sauces.

New Union Brewery

A 15-minute drive from downtown Grand Rapids, New Union Brewery offers a relaxed outdoor patio equipped with picnic tables for beer, wine and cider lovers. Like many of its beer peers, New Union added outdoor tents this past winter to serve more guests in accordance with COVID-19 safety guidelines.

The beverage list includes wines, hard ciders and spritzers in addition to offering typically 10-15 craft beers on tap.

The brewery is part of Lowell’s Showboat City Social District, which enables patrons to buy drinks from New Union and nearby Big Boiler Brewing, and walk outside within the Social District to drink them.

Fact: Founders Brewing Co., home to "Hills and Stairs," is one of the largest craft breweries in the nation.

Fact: Founders Brewing Co., home to "Hills and Stairs," is one of the largest craft breweries in the nation.

Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids


More Outdoor Options

This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the outdoor options at some of Grand Rapids’ largest and most frequented breweries:

Founders Brewing Company has a patio that will give almost any brewery in the country a run for its money, and fire pits and heaters make it practically a year-round destination.

Brewery Vivant developed an “Open Air Service Model” in response to COVID-19, which includes an extended patio, covered beer garden and the brewery’s Walloon Room.

New Holland Brewing Co.’s The Knickerbocker offers a beautiful outdoor patio space with plenty of seating – and fire pits to keep guests warm in chilly weather.

The Mitten Brewing Co. has augmented its outdoor streetside seating with a roomy exterior space configured as a “Base Camp” in winter and “The Outfield” in summer.

City Built Brewing Co. - Outdoor Parklet for Dining

City Built Brewing Company's outdoor dining space in a social zone.

Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids


Social Districts and Refreshment Areas

You can also sip and stroll outdoors within specific boundaries of downtown Rockford, Muskegon and Grand Rapids. Three distinct “Refreshment Areas” in downtown GR encompass Atwater Brewery, B.O.B.’s Brewery, City Built Brewing Co., Founders Brewing Company, Grand Rapids Brewing Company  in the heart of downtown as well as Harmony Hall, Jolly Pumpkin Pizzeria and Brewery, and New Holland Brewing – The Knickerbocker on Bridge Street (across the river from downtown).

There’s also Alebird Taphouse and BreweryBrass Ring Brewing, Brick Haus Brews, Broad Leaf Local BeerCedar Springs Brewing Company Harmony Brewing, Jaden James Brewery, Lost Art Brewhouse, Pink Barrel Cellars, Speciation Artisan Ales and … well, we could go on an on. For a comprehensive list of local breweries (and other dining establishments) with outdoor spaces, check our constantly updated outdoor dining story.

One more thing: many local breweries expanded their carryout and delivery service when COVID-19 hit, so you can get food and drink to go – and enjoy it out in your backyard or favorite picnic spot.

For more information on the award-winning Grand Rapids beer scene, browse the list of local craft breweries and learn what it takes to become a Beer City Brewsader®.

Note: This story was originally written in 2018 by Matthew Makowski. The Experience GR team has updated it to include new information.

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