Transit Guide: Detroit Breweries

David Gifford
8 min readDec 11, 2017

Visit Detroit’s breweries using 24-hr public transit.

DDOT System Map

Detroit has twelve 24-hr bus routes and and you can use most of them to reach the city’s most popular breweries. Use to plan your trip & check schedules. SMART & DDOT DART passes cost $2 per person which grants you up to 4 hours of unlimited bus rides. For $5 you can purchase a 24 hour pass! No cash? No problem. Use the DART mobile app! Want to buy passes in advance? Buy passes in person at a SMART or DDOT transit center or buy online & keep them in your wallet or purse. QLINE Detroit is now part of the DART network which means you can ride the buses or streetcar with one pass.

Vernor Route #1

Board this bus on SB Washington just south of Michigan Ave near the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel. #1-Vernor bus runs between the Rosa Parks Transit Center and East Dearborn by way of Lafayette, Trumbull and Bagley to Vernor through Mexicantown ending at Schaefer & Michigan Ave.

  • Brew Detroit 1401 Abbott St. Detroit, MI 48216 — Exit at Trumbull & Abbott (across from Trumbull & Porter Hotel), take a short walk down Abbott and you’re right there!
Brew Detroit
  • Batch Brewing Company 1400 Porter St, Detroit, MI 48216 — Exit at Trumbull & Abbot (across from Trumbull & Porter Hotel) walk to Porter (how appropriate), walk one block and you’re right there!
Batch Brewing Company

Michigan Ave #2

Hop on this bus at the NW corner of Cass & Michigan Ave (outside AT&T). #2 runs between Detroit and Fairlane Town Center until 11:30pm and between Greenfield and Detroit after midnight.

  • Downey Brewing Company 13121 Prospect St, Dearborn, MI 48126 — For an adventurous trip, check out this brewery in Dearborn. Exit on Michigan and Lois & walk a few blocks south. #1 Vernor is also an option for reaching this brewery.
Downey Brewing

Cass Ave Route #16-Dexter

Hop on this bus at Jefferson and Griswold, across from TCF Center or anywhere along Cass Ave. #16 runs between Detroit and the former Northland Mall all day and night along Cass Ave. Use TransitApp to look up stops and nearby Mogo stations.

Motor City Brewing Works
Jolly Pumpkin Detroit
  • Nain Rouge Brewery 666 Selden St. Suite B, Detroit, MI 48201 — Exit at Alexandrine on Cass to reach this brewery.
Image from Nain Rouge Brewery Instagram

Honorable Mention: 8 Degrees Plato Detroit 3409 Cass Ave, Detroit, MI 48201 — The #16 bus stops right in front of 8 Degrees Plato, at Peterboro & Cass, a unique beer store with a huge variety of beer that also serves beer on tap.

8 Degrees Plato Beer Co Detroit

Woodward #4

There are no breweries on Woodward but there are plenty of places to drink. Hop on this bus at Woodward between Larned & Congress (outside of Plum Market), next to the Kern’s Clock or all along Woodward. #4 Woodward runs between Detroit and the former State Fairgrounds all day and night.

Image from Saucy Brew Works Facebook
  • Tenacity Craft Brewery 8517 2nd Ave, Detroit, MI 48202 — Convenient stops at Woodward & Pingree or Woodward & Euclid. One block west.
Image from Tenacity Facebook

Honorable Mention: HopCat 4265 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201 — Although HopCat doesn’t brew beer, they boast 130 taps + bottles and limited releases. DDOT bus #4 Woodward stops right next to the QLINE station.

HopCat Detroit

Van Dyke / Lafayette #5

Hop on this bus at Rosa Parks Transit Center or on Larned & Woodward. #5 Van Dyke / Lafayette runs between downtown Detroit and 8 Mile all day & night.

  • Brewery Faisan 1087 Beaufait St, Detroit, MI 48207 — Exit at Beaufait & Lafayette & walk north.
Brewery Faisan

Gratiot Ave #6

Hop on this bus at Larned & Woodward (Coleman A Young Municipal Center), or along Gratiot. #6 Gratiot runs between Detroit Police Department (3rd and Abbot) and 8 Mile all day & night.

Detroit Beer Co
Eastern Market Brewing Co

Jefferson Ave #9

Hop on this bus at Larned & Woodward (Coleman A Young Municipal Center), or along Jefferson. #9 Jefferson runs between Rosa Parks Transit Center and Grosse Pointe Park all day and night.

  • Atwater Brewery 237 Joseph Campau Ave, Detroit, MI 48207 — Exit at Jefferson & Joseph Campeau, head south two blocks and you’re there.
Atwater Brewery
Atwater in the Park

Bonus Section: Regional Transit!

Starting Jan 1st, 2018 SMART bus introduced new regional service called FAST (Frequent, Affordable, Safe, Transit). With routes on Michigan, Woodward and Gratiot, these buses run 20 miles or more out from the city center making limited stops with no system transfers. You can use your $2–4 hour or $5–24 hour DART passes on SMART’s FAST buses also!

Starting Downtown:

Easily hop on a FAST bus in front of the David Whitney Building (A-Loft Hotel), Grand Circus Park, near Rosa Parks Transit Center, near TCF Center, the Foundation Hotel, on Larned or on Jefferson. Look for the FAST sign.

Downtown SMART FAST bus routes

FAST Michigan #261

Hop on FAST Michigan at several downtown stops along Jefferson, Washington (north of TCF Center), Woodward (outside of David Whitney bldg.) and on Michigan just west of Cass. Buses depart every 30–45 minutes.

  • @Schaefer Road — Downey Brewing Company was discussed above.
  • @Mason St — This stop puts you one block past Dearborn Brewing.
  • Bus continues to DTW airport and back. No further breweries on this route.

FAST Woodward #461–462

Hop on FAST Woodward at several downtown stops along Jefferson, Washington (north of Cobo or south of Michigan Ave) or on Woodward near the QLine station. Peak buses depart every 15 minutes and 30 minutes off peak.

  • Woodward Avenue Brewery 22646 Woodward Ave, Ferndale, MI 48220. The W.A.B. has been a Ferndale staple for over 20 years now, just one block south of 9 Mile bus stop.
  • Ferndale Project567 Livernois Ave, Ferndale, MI 48220. A new addition to the area by Eastern Market Beer Company, you may need to hail an Uber or transfer to the #17- 8 Mile bus to get to this one.
  • Urbanrest Brewing2615 Wolcott St, Ferndale, MI 48220. Exit at 9 Mile and its a mile walk. Transfer to #710-9 Mile SMART to get closer. A downtown Ferndale location has been announced!
  • Eastern Market Brewing (Royal Oak) — 330 E Lincoln Ave, Royal Oak, MI 48067. Exit at Woodward & Washington by L.A Fitness and its a short walk.
  • Jolly Pumpkin Royal Oak / Bastone419 S Main St, Royal Oak, MI 48067. Exit at 11 Mile and its less than 1 mile walk into town.
  • Royal Oak Brewery215 E 4th St, Royal Oak, MI 48067. Exit at 11 Mile and its less than 1 mile walk into town.
  • River Rouge Brewing Co406 E 4th St, Royal Oak, MI 48067. Exit at 11 Mile and its less than 1 mile walk into town.
  • Griffin Claw Brewing Co575 S Eton St, Birmingham, MI 48009. Exit at Maple and its exactly one mile. Pro tip, transfer to the 15 Mile crosstown to get closer!
  • Exferimentation Brewery 7 N Saginaw St, Pontiac, MI 48342. Exit at the Phoenix Center stop and walk a few blocks north on Saginaw St.

FAST Gratiot 561, 562*, 563

*562 is weekday, peak hours only.

Hop on FAST Gratiot at several downtown stops along Larned, Randolph and St Antoine at Gratiot. Peak buses depart every 15 minutes, 30 minutes off peak.