It was 2019. Some local visionaries agreed that, for all its splendor, Mackinac Island was missing something. The answer quickly became obvious. A brewery and distillery experience that captures the true character of the island itself. And so the journey began…
Early on, it was realized that brewing and distilling would not be possible on-site due to the island’s unique infrastructure. Not to worry. Necessity, being the mother of invention, led to two great brewing and distilling partners; both Michigan companies. Right Brain Brewery, an award-winning craft brewery in Traverse City, was “tapped” to provide signature beers. Les Cheneaux Distillery, located in the heart of the Eastern Upper Peninsula, was “hand-selected” to create private label spirits—perfect for crafting “all-Michigan” cocktails. Then there are the dining menus…destined to be local favorites. Executive Chef, Jason Meade, has created a unique selection of sociables, lunch and dinner options with something for every taste.
So fast forward to June 2020. Great Turtle Brewery & Distillery opened its doors and ushered in a whole new chapter in the island’s dining and beverage scene. Our goal here is simple…welcome every guest to slow down (hey, it’s named Great Turtle, right?). Savor the moment, surrounded by family and friends.
Great Turtle means great times…welcome!
Where are you located?
Great Turtle Brewery and Distillery is located on Mackinac Island – right downtown, across from Shepler’s Ferry Dock.
Do you allow pets?
Pets are welcome on the Great Turtle Brewery and Distillery Outdoor Patio on Hoban street.
Do you offer any gluten free options?
We have several menu items that are gluten free. Just ask your server about the options.
Is Great Turtle Brewery and Distillery open all year?
We are open from May through October every year.
How do I get to the Island?
There are two ferry lines that can get you to Mackinac Island. We recommend Shepler’s Ferry, located directly across Main Street from our restaurant.
Do I need reservations?
No reservations are needed for Great Turtle Brewery and Distillery.
Do you brew right on-site?
Due to the unique infrastructure of Mackinac Island, Great Turtle Brewery and Distillery is unable to brew on-site. We have partnered with award winning Right Brain Brewery out of Traverse City to provide our Northern Michigan made beers.
Can we bring a group to the restaurant for a meal?
Groups are welcome at Great Turtle Brewery and Distillery. Please contact us here to get more information on group bookings.
What beers do you have on tap?
Great Turtle Brewery and Distillery offers 5 custom beers (some are seasonal). We also have a rotating tap of popular domestics and imports. Ask your server for what on tap the day of your visit.
What spirits do you offer?
We have our own private label Great Turtle Gin, Vodka, and Whiskey distilled by Les Cheneaux Distillery in Cedarville, MI in the Upper Peninsula, along with a full selection of premium and well liquors.
Is your restaurant family friendly?
Great Turtle Brewery and Distillery loves families! We offer a great kid’s menu and cater to family members of all ages. Bring your whole family and have a fantastic time!
Mackinac Island, located at the north end of Lake Huron between Michigan’s Upper and Lower peninsulas is the Jewel of the Great Lakes. The island is a popular vacation destination, annually drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors to its beautiful shores. For centuries, the island played an integral role in the lives of local Native Americans. In fact, the word “Michilimackinac” means “Great Turtle”, and comes from the story of the island’s creation. Today, we celebrate our great island home and welcome you to enjoy all it has to offer.