Big Mac Beer

During the late 1800s, Mackinac Island in Michigan’s upper peninsula became a summer destination for vacationers. There were two limitations to visiting, however: a shortage of accommodations on the island and the lack of a way to get there.

In 1887 Grand Hotel opened as a destination retreat for travelers who could arrive by steamer and boat. Over the course of the hotel’s existence it has maintained a formal and proper atmosphere, attracting people from around the world who come to see the longest front porch in the world, extravagant dining halls and breathtaking gardens. Famous personalities such as Robert de Niro, Christopher Reeve, Madonna, President George H.W. Bush, Hillary Clinton, Arnold Palmer and hundreds of others have visited.

The year following the opening of Grand Hotel, members of its board started talk of a bridge to connect Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas, but many ideas were proposed and dropped. When ferry service opened in 1923, traffic on the water became so heavy that it took only five years for the governor to order a bridge feasibility study. Finally, construction began in May 1954 and the now famous Mackinac Bridge, or Big Mac as you see on your shirt, was opened to traffic in November 1957.

Brewed by Menominee-Marinette Brewing Company, Big Mac beer was a short lived label that no doubt tried to take advantage of this local wonder, now the third longest suspension bridge in the world. The brewery had been operating from the 1870s and released it’s Big Mac brew in 1958, but the brand did not last very long and the brewery was sold the following year and halted operations 1961.