Pop quiz: What’s the best way to spend a warm, summer evening in Southwest Michigan?
If you guessed, “Sitting on a patio, sipping local wine with friends while listening to live music,” you are correct. And, luckily for all of us, there are plenty of opportunities to make this dream a reality this summer. Check out this rundown featuring the top spots for enjoying outdoor entertainment in the coming months.
Our friends at Local Pour, a “tasting room with a twist” in Sawyer, want to invite you to enjoy live music all summer long on their patio. With an extensive lineup of musicians slated to play every weekend from May until October, guests can explore a variety of Michigan-made wine, beer, and spirits under one roof while enjoying the tunes of Erick Oneal Fisher, The Weko Boys, Rodney Mills, and many more. And, if you stop by on June 4 or July 2, you can try out the delicious offerings of Evelyn Mae’s BBQ food truck. If this sounds like your idea of a perfect Saturday, here’s the live music schedule to pencil in on your calendar.
At Vineyard 2121 on Red Arrow Highway in Benton Township, the tunes and beverages will be flowing every weekend, all summer long. Serving a selection of wine, craft beer, premium vodka, ciders, slushies, and food, guests can enjoy a relaxing afternoon under the shady hardwoods while listening to acts such as The Backsliders, Ed Skjordal, and Top Secret. One of the coolest features of this location is the dinner specials they pair with their musical guests, like Deb’s homemade chicken, sausage, and shrimp gumbo over a bed of rice and served with a piece of jalapeno cornbread.
Round Barn Estate
If you’ve never enjoyed live music at the Round Barn Estate, it’s time to make that happen. They take sippin’ and singin’ to a whole new level with their Jammin’ in the Vineyard live music series, with themed parties like The Island Spirit Party, Wine and Wags (bring your four-legged best friends), and Red, Whites, and Brews. Truly a destination location, the Round Barn Estate offers a wide selection of award-winning wines, handcrafted spirits, and craft beer for guests to sip while savoring the sights. A turn-of-the-century Amish round barn provides a stunning photo backdrop, as do the never-ending rows of grapevines that line the property.
Bridgman Social District
Have you visited Bridgman’s new social district yet? If you’re looking for the perfect time to make the trip, check out the new Courtyard Concerts series with live music every Sunday during the summer months starting at 2 pm downtown (between Rochefort’s Cafe and Accents). Grab a beverage from any of the participating establishments and enjoy music and sunshine within the district.
River Saint Joe
But, what if you don’t want to wait for the weekend to enjoy live music in an outdoor setting? You’re in luck! River Saint Joe in Buchanan is hosting Music Mondays all summer long in their three-acre Beer Garden overlooking Flatwater Farm. Grab a pint of Farmhouse Pale Ale, RSJ’s flagship beer, order a Sweet Onion sandwich, and watch the sun go down on the first day of the week as you listen to Don Savoie, Paul Erdman, Lexi Adams, or a multitude of other musicians.
Sister Lakes Brewing Company
Since we’re talking about breweries, another option for your summertime music fix is Sister Lakes Brewing Company in Dowagiac. With the tagline of “Fostering Community, One Pint at a Time,” you know it’s a place where friends gather and stories are shared. Their weekly Sunday Courtyard Concert series kicks off on May 29 with Brian McClure and continues through September with artists like Dan Geib, David O’Leary, The JR Clark Band, and many more. Grab your buddies and a Driftwood (Summer Wheat) or Strange Design (IPA) and enjoy summer at Sister Lakes Brewing Company.
Chill Hill Winery
If you’re looking for a place to celebrate Memorial Day, Chill Hill Winery in Baroda welcomes you to the first Grillin’ and Chillin’ event of the summer. Dart Board Compromise will be playing in the alley from 5-9 pm and the Taqueria Don Chepe truck will be on-site for all your taco needs. Come back the following weekend for Chris Burch (Friday) and Bone Naked (Saturday) as Chill Hill celebrates their 3rd anniversary with wine, music, and food.
While this isn’t an extensive list (how lucky are we to have so many options in our neck of the woods?), it’s a good start to enjoying summer music the way it should be – live and outside.
This article – and your next bottle of wine – are brought to you by Local Pour, a unique tasting room in Sawyer featuring a wide variety of Michigan made beer, wine, and spirits. Local Pour gives everyone “a seat at the table” to taste, learn, and laugh while celebrating Michigan’s spirited bounty.
About the Writer: Stacey Martin is a local author and freelance writer with a passion for promoting Southwest Michigan. Take writing off your to-do list and inquire about content creation for your business at staceymartinwrites.com. She is the author of We Grow Kids Here and New Girl at Church, and the creator and host of “The Folks Back Home” podcast.