Backwoods Lore

Since our beers are made of pure “Up North” goodness, we wanted them to be represented by icons of the region. From an airborne rodent to a canine cross-breed, North Peak beer is truly Northern Michigan.


Learn a little about the stories behind the symbols below.


Archangel — Archangel Summer Wheatsites/default/files/I- Backwoods Lore (Archangel)_0.JPG

Ever-present and always watchful, Archangels are found in the canon of allmajor religions. In the North where adventure is as plentiful as the waves on the bay, these stewards keep an unblinking eye on those below. And as the sun swaths the land in light and warmth during the summer months, the Archangels tend to those who seek to push their physical limits and test their mettle. It’s for these people, and in tribute of their ethereal guardians, that we brew Archangel Summer Wheat.


Bolt Imperial Amber Ale - Thunderbirdsites/default/files/vicious_icon

Many legends have been passed down by native clans telling of the sacred protector of the Great Lakes known as the Thunderbird. This enormous bird-like create is said to be the creator, destroyer and the controller of nature, as well as the guardian of the separation between the earthly waters and the heavens. When trouble abounds the Thunderbird brews a storm with lightning jetting out of its eyes and deafening cracks of thunder coming from the flap of its mighty wings.


Burly Belgo IPA - Yetisites/default/files/vicious_icon

Known as the third-yeti, Burly inhabits the furthest reaches of the snow-covered hills and forests of the Northern Michigan backwoods. He is a burly beast that stands nearly as tall as the giant hardwood trees among which it lives. Known as the third-yeti or Abominable Snowman, the human-like creature is believed to be a direct descendent of Sasquatch, otherwise known as Bigfoot, and is oftentimes seen lolling through patches of fresh snow. Despite his massive size, Burly is a gentle and benevolent beast – who cares for people dwelling in the deep Northern Michigan woods – and enjoys resting beside the gleaming charcoals of a winter fire.


Dauntless Oktoberfest - Troll

Known for his relation to Norse and Scandinavian mythology and his lumbering, oafish gait, Dauntless appears only in early morning fog. He dwells beneath the industrial sheen of the Mackinaw Bridge in early fall, gnawing on passing driftwood and autumn leaves and embodying his troll heritage. Oftentimes lazy, his spends his mornings avoiding sunlight – for it burns his delicately dim-witted mind – and groaning with each shift in his weight. Passing cars never notice his dull groaning, however, for years ago the local fishermen learned to mask it with their foghorns to keep Dauntless’ presence secret. Some have heard rumors of his existence, but nobody save the wrinkled and wise fishermen has ever laid eyes on the allusive troll Dauntless who trudges beneath the Mackinaw Bridge.


Darkangel Cherry Porter - Darkangle sites/default/files/vicious_icon

The mysterious Darkangel has mythology rooted in Greece – but she has been seen occasionally flying overhead the Great Lakes by fishermen out at night, soaring with a vacant look on her beautifully haunting face. It’s believed by many that she is a guardian of the lakes – for anytime she’s near the lakes are calm and glassy – and anytime she can’t be found the lakes swell up in their fitful moods. Despite her menacing name, the Darkangel protects the large bodies of water with her whimsical connection to the sky she dwells in. Nobody has ever seen her by day, and her allusive nature continues to mystify the fishermen who swear they’ve seen her drifting through thick and misty skies.

Diabolical IPA - Jackalope sites/default/files/I- Backwoods Lore (Diabolical)_0.JPG

As striking an appearance as the hop profile of Diabolical IPA, the jackalope is a mythical animal of North American folklore described as a rabbit with deer antlers. It’s possible that the tales of jackalopes were inspired by sightings of them in Northern Michigan for many years.


The jackalope legend includes many claims as to the creature's habits. For example, it’s said that a jackalope may be caught by putting a flask of whiskey out at night. The jackalope will drink its fill making the critter easier to hunt. We say, put a pint of Diabolical out and the little critter will be knocking on your door for more.


Dubious Black Chocolate Stout - Man-Eating Bever

The legendary past of Beaver Island has lived on through the current wildlife’s independence and majestic powers – they scurry and frolic through memories of their hardships while maintaining a nobleness only fitting of their Celtic heritages. Only Dubious, the shunned beaver of his own island, has been isolated from the misty and dimly lit wonder of the past. He no longer wanders the sandy shores of his fallen kingdom – for he has grown to unfathomable heights and spends his time scouring the land for lone men to devour. Legend has it that Dubious avoids capture by flitting between trees opposite the island and waiting for the mist to settle around him in a thick and impenetrable blanket of disguise. He exemplifies the dominance and cultural heritage of the Irish society that has lived on Beaver Island for years.



Furry Black IPA - sites/default/files/vicious_icon Furry

The stories that we were told growing up in Northern Michigan suggest that as the weather grows warmer during the spring, the fur-bearing trout sheds its fur, only to regrow its coat as winter returns

“One of our very close childhood friends, Brad Warren, is an avid fisherman. He says that he's caught so many fur trout over the years that he sewed his own pair of pants with the pelts he's collected,” says partner Greg Lobdell. “No one has ever seen these pants, but we've never forgotten his description of the fur bearing trout and decided to name our Winter Seasonal Black IPA after his fish story.”


sites/default/files/vicious_iconHooligan Hoppy Pumpkin Ale - Hooligan

So who is this Hooligan you may ask? He is a legendary and impish figure who appears but once a year on Devil’s Night, October 30 – the night before Halloween. He lurks through the darkness, traipsing in the shadows from house to house with a rogue gait and a devilish grin on his face. This scoundrel is more mischievous than wicked, yet his reputation for mayhem is wildly known. Anyone who has woken up on Halloween morning to find their pumpkins smashed or yard toilet-papered is familiar with the antics of the Northern Michigan Hooligan.



Hoodoo Midwest Wet Hop IPA sites/default/files/vicious_icon

Hoodoo is a form of traditional folk magic that developed from the blending of a number of separate cultures and magical traditions. Its lore incorporates practices from African and Native American customs, as well as some ancient European practices that have survived for generations by mysteriously swirling around tree trunks. The Hoodoo man is a trans-cultural phenomena, but his roots run deep in Northern Michigan. He is often seen dancing and chanting, drinking up brews that bear his name, as if under the spell of his ancestors – or the power of the hauntingly beautiful Northern White Cedar that he spends his time beneath.




sites/default/files/I- Backwoods Lore (Diabolical)_0.JPG Majestic Wheat Ale - Flying Squirrel

Some would say that the majesty of Northern Michigan is captured best in the soaring beauty of a raptor. But, it’s been given the finest tools. No, we’ll take a small varmint that bests the odds and does what shouldn’t be possible. Anyone who ever gets to witness the wonder of a flying squirrel sailing from tree to tree will undoubtedly agree. It represents the unspoiled, “can-do” attitude that resonates between the tall pines that it calls home.



Mellow Cherry Hibiscus - Sleeping Bear Dunessites/default/files/vicious_icon

The legend of the Sleeping Bear is one of Northern Michigan’s most famous tales. Many moons ago a mother bear and her cubs were forced into Lake Michigan by an enormous forest fire. Swimming through rough, high waters the mother bear made it to the other side, but lost sight of her cubs. Sitting a top a high bluff, she waited an eternity, but her exhausted cubs never appeared. The Great Spirit was so astonished by the mother bear’s determination, that he erected the North and South Manitou Islands to honor her lost cubs. It is said that on warm mellow nights, at certain locations along the dunes, you can still hear the lonely cry of the mother bear calling to her lost cubs. We brewed Mellow Cherry Hibiscus in honor of the determined mother bear and her lost cubs.


Original Hoppy Pale Ale - Buffalo sites/default/files/vicious_icon

Gone are the years when tens of millions of Buffalo roamed the America’s plains. Nearing extinction in the late 1800’s, heads of these imposing beasts are not something to be taken for granted today. Visitors of Northern Michigan are often struck with awe when they learn the largest herd east of the Mississippi grazes on the outskirts of Traverse City. Nearing 350 at any given time, the herd roves the farm indifferent to passersby and their double-takers. Witnesses ought to give more than fleeting glance, for lucky are those who witness a rare white buffalo among the masses. Akin to a unicorn the white buffalo is extremely elusive and symbolizes promise and prosperity.




Perilous Passion Fruit IPA - Porcupine Mountainssites/default/files/vicious_icon

A porcupine can have 30,000 quills that can looks like a radiating sun with the quills are in full display. This attribute has lead to the lore that giant warrior porcupines brought fire to Michigan before laying to rest in the upper peninsula and forming the Porcupine Mountains.



Rambler Pilsner - Rambler

Tales of the Rambler have been whispered and cherished by children of Northern Michigan for years – they murmur of his silent and constant protection, and hope to see his enormous, hulking frame crash by their windows. Rambler keeps trolls out of the Upper Peninsula – by guarding the Northern woods and scouring the nearby mountains for any trolls attempting to creep into his domain. Michigan lore claims he can be recognized by his weird gait – often attributed to his lack of joints – and his droopy face and nose. The Rambler would be forced to live in the U.P. regardless of his desire to protect it – it is the only land vast enough to foster his enormous size.




Siren Amber Ale - Sirensites/default/files/vicious_icon

The Greeks aren’t the only ones serenaded by the intoxicating voice of beauty incarnate. Many a woodsman has befell her call, lured by the promise of what may be. Long winters of lonely isolation created such a legend to warm the heart and soul.


Today, her elusive song still can be heard on quiet nights, but her namesake Amber Ale offers warm comfort to all those that seek it.




Sinuous Celtic Ale - Lake Superior Serpent

The legend has been passed down for generations – 100 years or more, of a massive 75-foot long serpent-like creature seen lurking in the cold, fresh waters of Lake Superior. Containing 10 percent of all the Earth’s fresh water, Lake Superior – at about 350 miles long, 170 miles wide and some 1300 feet deep – is more than ample in size to be home to a large and mysterious creature such as this.


With its long neck and whale-like body, the creature is said to resemble that of the Loch Ness Monster, of Scotland notoriety. Often spotted in the deep, rocky waters off the Isles of Presque, some have suggested this creature is actually a giant sturgeon or even an extremely large Northern Pike. Yet those who have had personal encounters with the nautical beast say that simply is impossible.


Stormy Oat IPA - Water Panthersites/default/files/vicious_icon

This style is full of haziness along with dry/late hop additions to create a juicy mouthfeel with citrus, piney notes unlike any other IPA. Enjoy!

Lore: In the deepest depths of Lake Superior lives the most powerful being in the underwater world. The murky, dark, churn waters of its surrounds inspired our unfiltered IPA, Stormy. A mysterious creature with a body of a wild feline, horns of a deer, a scaled back and a tail so long it wraps around its body ending with a fish tail. With a warning hiss like the sound of rushing water, the underwater panther lives as a protector of the wast amounts of copper in the Great Lakes.




sites/default/files/vicious_iconVicious Wheat IPA - Dog Man

Back in the 1860s, a warrior group of Cheyenne called the Dog Soldiers or Dog Men who were revered as the “Special Forces” of their time. Like wolves or wild dogs, they were resolute in their pursuit of their prey and would come back again and again and again until they won victory.


The Cheyenne Dog Men supposedly were wiped out by a foe. But their vicious tenacity didn’t end with their mortal lives. These souls actually took on many of the features of the real dogs that they mimicked in battle. It’s this snarling spirit we endeavor to instill in each pint and bottle of Vicious.


Wanderer Session IPA - Half-Goat Half-Man

The Wanderer has been seen in Northern Michigan since the late 1800s. It's rumored that in a prior life he went by the name of Donald Key and was a baron of industry. Then something happened. In an effort to escape the stress of his previous life, he traveled to Northern Michigan and set out on a simple hike. So began one man's personal transformation.

Soon after his trip, Don metamorphosed to a slower, simpler pace of life – one filled with hiking the wilderness and opening his mind, body and spirit to any and all impressions that would bring him personal happiness. The story goes that Don soon left all of his worldly possessions behind to hike the hills and backwoods of Northern Michigan like a goat. In fact, some say that he is actually half goat half man.

Over the years, word spread of Don’s story and a loyal group of followers that share the Wanderer’s simplistic philosophy has since formed. Their motto is: "Give me a clear blue sky over my head, green grass under my feet and a great beer at my destination."