Jared Green went to college hoping for a career flying commercial airplanes.
Never during his schooling did he expect to open a brewery, but last fall following more than a decade of working in the aviation industry, Green is now co-owner and brewer at The Gallery Brewery in Portland, Mich.
“When I finished school, I couldn’t get a flying job,” said Green, who has worked for airlines and in air traffic control in Florida and Michigan. He also currently works at Michigan Department of Transportation.
His wife gave him a kit a few years ago and his interest in beer took off. Then he had a conversation with his future business partner, Neal Mathisen. Mathisen and his brother, Alan, had discussed opening a brewery for years, however their jobs as air traffic controllers in separate cities — Neal in Lansing and Alan in Peoria, Ill. — had prevented them from capitalizing.
Neil Mathisen’s conversation with Green resparked the interest and they settled on Mathisen’s home city of Portland, instead of a spot in Reo Town, Lansing.
As soon as the conversations began heating up, Green began brewing several times a month, preparing recipes for the opening. His brews range from a solid representation of a classic porter to a Golden Ale, which Green says is his most popular in terms of local demand.
Green brews on a three-barrel system with two fermenters. Space is constricting and expansion plans are in the works, but in the current space increasing potentially to seven barrels is likely the only option.
“We wanted to start with a seven barrel system, but economics dictated that we couldn’t,” he said. “There’s not a lot of room back there.”
Food is nearly all made from scratch in the kitchen and offers an eclectic lunch and dinner menu.
The Gallery provides a unique stop right off I-96 between Grand Rapids and Lansing. The name stems from the buildings history, which most recently housed a business that did a variety of art-type activities, including framing, selling art, teaching guitar lessons and pottery. A kiln in the back allows mugs to painted and fired in the back.
Now, The Gallery pays homage by hosting regular art exhibits and music Thursday, Friday and Saturday every week.