Mackinac Island set to open Great Turtle, the island's first brewery and distillery

Posted at 3:39 PM, May 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-31 20:11:19-04

Mackinac Island's first brewery and distillery is set to open on June 12.

Great Turtle Brewery and Distillery will offer custom craft beer, spirits and food in an upscale brewery atmosphere located right on Main Street.

“Mackinac Island is Michigan’s fun summer island! We wanted to create a place that combined that signature island spirit with the newest dining trends. Hence, the Great Turtle Brewery and Distillery was conceived. The Great Turtle dining experience promises guests custom crafted beer, spirits and food in a brand-new upscale brewery atmosphere on Main Street Mackinac Island, right in the middle of all of the fudge and fun! We are excited to have transformed Goodfellow’s Italian Chophouse, an established Island restaurant, into this new dining experience. Our friendly staff can’t wait to serve you!” explains Melanie Libby,

Right Brain Brewery out of Traverse City will provide the signature beers and Les Cheneaux Distillery located in the U.P. will provide the spirits.

"Right Brain Brewery is very excited to be able to team up with Great Turtle Brewery and Distillery. We look forward to being able to shine some positive energy on a new Summer 2020 adventure on Mackinac Island," says Russell Springsteen, owner of Right Brain Brewery.

Great Turtle will also offer a robust lunch and dinner menu, with the culinary expertise of Executive Chef Jason Meade.

“There will be classic items on the menu, but we have also created some signature dishes that will set us apart from anything else you will find on Mackinac Island. Many of our dishes incorporate our craft brews and spirits to create distinct flavors.” Chef Meade adds, “This is the most exciting project that I have been a part of, and I can’t wait to share it with our guests.”

All servers and cooks will be wearing masks and will be health-screened before starting a shift.

Menus will be accessible digitally or on a single-use basis, proper disinfection of tables will take place after each use, social distancing will apply and limited capacity will be enforced.

Director of the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau, Tim Hygh, is excited about the new venture.

“Since 1858 the Lake View Hotel has been a welcome beacon for Mackinac Island travelers. And the restaurants that have been adjacent to the hotel, from the likes of the Pilot House, Goodfellow’s and others are where many an island memory has been made and shared. And now, the latest exciting iteration - the Great Turtle Brewery and Distillery is a perfect place for these traditions to continue and ensure that a good meal and good time will continue to be had on the corner of Hoban and Main.”

You can check out the menu at