At the corner of Front and Hall Streets sits a building that has been a part of Traverse City since 1899. It was first the Big Daylight Candy Company, then later became an auto parts factory, and now houses a staple neighborhood brewery.
In September 1997, two locals, Greg Lobdell and Jon Carlson, teamed up with Shelde Enterprises to open North Peak Brewing Company. It quickly became a cornerstone restaurant on the west end of downtown. And, as breweries have continued to open in the area, North Peak has continued to grow and flourish while remaining a downtown standard.
Lobdell and Carlson have continued to expand their reach, refurbishing old buildings throughout the state. Each new brewery and restaurant continues to make its own impression on the craft market. North Peak, which opened at the beginning of the boom, has continued to evolve, furthering its position as a community staple.
North Peak is now a part of Mission Management, which has a reach throughout Michigan, and even distributes outside of the state. Despite this, North Peak does not feel like a large incorporated brewery. It remains unique to the Traverse City area, grounded in its old architecture and local community.
“You can get things here that you can’t find elsewhere. We want to wow everyone and not only meet the standard, but exceed it,” said Mike Lloyd, General Manager of North Peak.
In order to exceed that standard and continue to make an impact, North Peak has set itself apart with a strong commitment to its beer, food, and community. North Peak does have a bottling facility in Dexter, but continues to brew on-site for its taproom, remaining connected to its roots. There are ten local taps: five remain consistent with local favorites, and five are rotating. Brews like Northern Light, Siren Amber, and Diabolical IPA offer the variety many locals desire.
Likewise, North Peak’s food menu offers a unique variety of high quality dishes.
“We continue to grow as time goes on. We now have a culinary experience to match our brewery experience,” said Lloyd. “Roughly 70% of our menu incorporates our beer.”
Menu items include a variety of meat dishes incorporating sauces, brines, and batters made from North Peak beer as well as an array of hearth baked pizza made from hand-stretched dough incorporating its ale.
The last pillar in North Peak’s success is perhaps one of its most important: its people. With a strong commitment to community, North Peak puts an emphasis on taking care of its staff and giving back to the community.
“We’re fortunate to have a great staff. We have the right people and ensure they are properly trained,” said Lloyd. Many of North Peak’s staff have been employed for over ten years, Lloyd included.
Likewise, North Peak helps the local community whenever it can. Earlier this Spring, it hosted Mohawks for Munson, which directly raised funds for the new Cowell Family Cancer Center at Munson. North Peak has long been a supporter of the now popular St. Baldrick’s campaign, and has hosted a variety of other community fundraisers and events, including for local schools.
“We are a local place that’s doing well, and we want to help where we can. We’ve been fortunate, and want to give back,” said Lloyd.