Voted the #1 brewery north of the Mackinac Bridge in 2022. It all began in the summer of 2019 with the creation of Mackinac Island’s only brewery and distillery. From our exclusive craft beers and hand crafted cocktails to the playful menu and daily live music, The Great Turtle offers something for everyone. Some of our greatest hits include our Big Aft Double IPA, Mackinac Summer Sour, Painted Turtle Cocktail Flights, Nashville Hot Chicken Mac and Cheese and our giant Shell Yeah burger. We also offer a full kids menu and a dog friendly patio for the fur babies. Don’t miss our retail shop where we offer plenty of GTBD swag as well as our signature craft beers in cans to take home. We are conveniently located across from the Shepler’s Ferry dock on the corner of Main and Hoban Street.
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?
Great Turtle Brewery and Distillery does not take reservations for peak season (June – August) or weekends outside of season. We do have a large dining area and strive to keep your wait time brief.
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.
What beers do you have on tap?
Great Turtle Brewery and Distillery will offer up to nine custom beers this season on draft (some are seasonal). We also have a rotating taps of popular Michigan Craft. 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, Whiskey and Rum distilled by High Five Spirits in Petoskey, MI. We also carry a large selection of popular brands of spirits.
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.
Director of Operations
For 30 years, I have been working in the restaurant business and have held every position from Dishwasher to Director of Operations. My favorite cocktail is a Vieux Carre – a combination of rye whiskey and cognac mixed with bold flavors. When I get a day off, I am a habitual golfer and love boating. Over the winter months, you will find me on a ski hill or traveling with my family. When I get to the island for leisure, my favorite thing to do is bike M-185. We hope you enjoy your time at Great Turtle!
I have been in the food and bar industry for 24 years – 20 of them on beautiful Mackinac Island. I get asked about what I like to drink, and I guess I would have to say I love trying a variety of drinks but my favorites would be a nice dark rich stout or a classic vodka and soda. In season, I love to explore Northern Michigan and find some hot fishing spots, off-season I will be deep sea fishing in the Florida Keys, traveling with my wife, Pearl, and being a great uncle to my 4 nephews and 1 beautiful niece. My favorite thing to do on a night off? Nothing beats a nice peaceful sunset cruise around Mackinac on one of the island’s beautiful evenings.