Embark on a thrilling journey with us as we delve into the enchanting world of vinyl records and craft beer in the picturesque landscapes of Marquette.
Marquette: Vinyl and Beer
You may not know it, but there is vinyl gold in the hills of Marquette. It isn’t on every corner. You’ve got to do some serious prospecting. On our last trip to Marquette, I was on a mission to find the vinyl. While in Marquette, I enjoyed a number of tasty beers. After all, Marquette is the Beer City USA of the North. This may not be an official title, but let’s roll with it.
I’ve driven by Yooptone Music probably a half dozen times and didn’t realize it was there until I typed “vinyl records Marquette” into Google’s search. You’ll find Yooptone located at the Village Shopping Center (1015 N 3rd St). A good reference point is that Yooptone is in the mall off 3rd St. between Park and Magnetic. Alternatively, if you can find Kognisjon Bryggeri, cross 3rd St, and head South, you’ll run right into the Village Shopping Center, and Yooptone is next to the pharmacy.
Once you arrive, prepare to be thrilled and amazed. The vinyl selection is excellent, with quite a few deep cuts of classic rock. The genres range from hip-hop and rap to punk, Elvis, and classical. For the adventurous, Yooptone offers Mystery Bags. Pick up a brown paper bag of 6 albums for five bucks. Who knows what gems will pop out of that bag? I love this idea of a low dough treasure hunt.
On top of a nice selection of albums, Yooptone Music sells used stereo equipment and record players. If you are into making your own music, Yooptone has you covered with guitars, keyboards, pedals, sheet music, and more. This is a great store, and I plan to return.
Beer Break – Kognisjon Bryggeri
After picking up some albums and your new guitar at Yooptone Music, you should celebrate with a beer at Kognisjon Bryggeri (1034 N. 3rd St.) They have an outstanding pub designed for spending time with friends and family while you swap stories about your favorite albums, first concerts, and the latest spins on the turntable. All the beers at Kognisjon are designed with music in mind.
Steve Wamsley Instruments & Music
On what I consider the main drag in Marquette (i.e., Washington St.) is a little shop with a sign that reads “Steve Wamsley Instruments & Music.” You’ll find it at 127 W Washington St, just down (east) from the Delft Bistro. I wanted to go inside and visit. However, every time I thought they might be open, they weren’t. I tried multiple days while we were in town for the U.P. Fall Beer Festival, and no luck. I know I have been inside once a couple of years ago, so there must be a trick to finding them open.
I remember that the vinyl collection was good and had decent prices from that one visit. They also have an assortment of musical gear and supplies. I’ll try to visit again next year. If you have any luck, let me know what you think.
Time for food (and a beer): The Vierling Restaurant & Marquette Harbor Brewery
The Vierling Restaurant & Marquette Harbor Brewery (119 S Front St) is both iconic and historic. The inside of this historic space is splendid. You could spend all day marveling at the beautiful bar or meandering around the restaurant, admiring the photographs and artifacts that fill the space.
While the space is dazzling, the food and beers make the Vierling iconic. They have been brewing delicious craft beers since 1995, making them the oldest brewery in Marquette and one of the oldest in Michigan. A visit here for lunch or dinner should be part of your Marquette experience. When in doubt, go for the whitefish with a blueberry wheat or Monkey Paw brown ale. Either way, you can’t go wrong.
Vinyl with Beers – The Best of All Worlds at Geoff & Jon’s Record Show at Ore Dock Brewing
If you happen to be in Marquette for Labor Day weekend, chances are good you can experience Geoff & Jon’s Record Show at Ore Dock Brewing (114 W Spring St). I can’t tell you the cadence they use to book these shows at Ore Dock. One year, we happened upon this show during the U.P. Fall Beer Festival, and it appears to show up randomly throughout the year. I suggest watching the Geoff & Jon’s Record Show Facebook group or Ore Dock’s events. Regardless of how you happen upon the show, prepare for an excellent vinyl and beer experience.
If you have yet to visit Ore Dock Brewing, take a few minutes to soak it all in. The space is open and inviting. You can hang out at the bar, grab a table, play pool, or tear up some pinball. Now, grab a beer. There are plenty of options to choose from in just about any style that you wish. I love Reclamation IPA and Queen City Kolsch. Here again, you really can’t go wrong. Ore Dock has cider and hard seltzer if beer isn’t your thing. With your beer in hand, head upstairs to dive into Geoff & Jon’s Record Show.
Geoff & Jon’s Record Show
At the top of the stairs, you’ll enter a large room filled with records next to the bar–row after row of tables supporting box after box of albums. It is a ton of albums. I mean, literally a ton of albums. Hell, it could be several tons.
The selection is vast, with something from every genre of music, including both new and used albums. You’ll find both Jon and Geoff selling their records. Jon has a shop called The Emporium featuring Vintage Vinyl (338 W. Washington St.) in Marquette. Geoff used to live in Marquette but now lives north of Detroit and runs Michigan Records, which you can find on Discogs as well as Instagram when he’s not selling records physically at a record show.
Jon and Geoff are super friendly and more than happy to help you find that special album or just shoot the breeze about music. If you are looking for rare albums, be sure to ask, as they sometimes have a stash on hand. Whether you are on a mission to find that elusive Rainbow Rising album or just want to rummage around, Geoff & Jon’s Record Show at Ore Dock Brewing is a blast.
Post Vinyl Shopping Beers
With your arms loaded with precious vinyl from a day of foraging in Marquette, you deserve a reward. I can’t think of a better prize than fresh Michigan beer. Now you’ve got options. Clearly, any of the marvelous breweries mentioned above will provide ample rewards. But I suggest you check out our friends at Drifa Brewing for a beer and let the emotions from your vinyl purchases simmer, then head over to the always amazing Barrel + Beam.
Located at 501 S Lake St Marquette, you’ll find Drifa Brewing off U.S. 41 heading south from Marquette. Their pub is not too big and not too small. I guess you could say it is just right. The beers are brewed with pride and taste great. Specializing in small batches, the styles rotate. I recommend the ESB if you happen to see it on tap.
After your stop at Drifa, finish your day at the magnificent Barrel + Beam (260 Northwoods Rd). This place is stunning. With all kinds of space to sprawl out and relax, it is the perfect spot to reflect on a terrific day in Marquette spent sipping beers and hunting for vinyl.
The beers here are like those cherished albums in your collection – unique and memorable. Anything on tap is going to be special. But if you need a guide, try the Monarch lager and then go wild with Terroir saison.
Come hungry and enjoy locally sourced and extremely tasty food from the Northwoods Test Kitchen (part of Barrel + Beam). All the choices are superb, but for me, the NTK Bahn Mi sandwich with summer sausage and whitefish pate is the bomb.
We’ve got more photos from our Marquette vinyl and beer adventure in our gallery. As always, if you have thoughts to share, please leave a comment or email us. We’d love to chat.
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