Posts

Ada, Mich. — Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery will open the doors to its new facility as part of the Ada Village redevelopment project on May 11, 2018.

The new space is larger, but it still offers a familiar, cozy feel the neighborhood brewery proudly evoked before the renovations.

gravel bottom

“We’ve put a lot of time and effort into making this feel similar to what the other Gravel Bottom was: welcoming and comfortable,” said Owner Matt Michiels.

The new building boasts a suite of upgrades. The new bar offers 20 taps, which means mainstays can remain while Gravel Bottom’s ever expanding cast of experimental styles rotate.

“That gives us the opportunity to offer that variety that you’re used to here,” Michiels said.

Gravel Bottom’s brewing equipment has also received an upgrade. The new location will have a new brite tank and new 3- and 7-barrel jacketed fermenters, enabling brewers to experiment with temperature and larger batches.

gravel bottom

“This was the opportunity to upgrade our equipment so we can brew more styles and be even more creative,” Michiels said. “And we’re able to brew bigger batches of some of those mainstays.”

“Gravel Bottom has become a well-known pillar of the Ada business community and we’re excited about their move,” said George Haga, Ada Township supervisor. “Their new home and highly-visible location on Ada Drive are another example of the transformation that is taking place in the Envision Ada project.”

“It’s very important for us to be a part of this community. This is where we started. And it’s exciting to have this chance for renewal,” Michiels said.

The homebrew shop will not be integrated into this new space, Michiels said. But customers can look forward to a new kitchen serving meals designed by Chef Eric Benedict. The menu will feature locally sourced, seasonally influenced dishes, including small plates designed to pair with Gravel Bottom beers.

The brewery is also acquiring a vintner’s license, meaning customers can look forward to wines, meads and ciders both made by Gravel Bottom and wholesaled in.

gravel bottom

The new building brings some exciting changes, Michiels said, but it’s also a renewed declaration of the brewery’s original values.

“When I first started Gravel Bottom, this was a business plan of lifestyle. I wanted to be part of a small community,” Michiels said. “We were able to come into Ada and really make a positive impact in this community before this development happened.”

Grand Rapids, Mich — Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery & Supply, an Ada-based brewery and home brew supply shop, is bringing their experience-centric philosophy on beer to a larger audience.

Owner Matt Michiels announced that the brewery plans to expand to a larger facility, and is considering the MC Sports store located at Plainfield Avenue and I-96. Gravel Bottom will present plans to the city for approval on October 12.

The new 18,000-square-foot facility would house a 15-barrel brewing system, canning line, homebrew supply shop, taproom and restaurant. Visitors to the new space would also be able to brew beer on the premises and rent homebrew equipment.

“The whole idea is to have a place where people can come and really experience craft brewing,” Michiels said. Gravel Bottom’s visitors could participate in brewing and tasting classes as well as experience the entire brewing process with Grand Rapids’ first brew-on-premise facility.

The new restaurant would also allow Gravel Bottom to explore pairing food with their beers.

“Our idea is to bring the creativity and innovation into the food just like we do with the beer,” Michiels said.

The new facility does not mean the brewery is abandoning its Ada roots. Gravel Bottom has already started building in Ada’s new development, where the brewery will continue brewing the exciting and creative beers they are known for on an upgraded three-barrel brewing system. This location will expand Gravel Bottom’s taproom capacity and also offer small plates and quick lunches.

“We are excited for Ada’s future and enjoy being part of this community,”Michiels said.

The styles produced in Ada would also be available at the Plainfield location, enabling both locations to offer over 18 beers on tap.

“We like to be innovative and creative and challenge style guidelines to create fun, exciting and balanced beers,” said Michiels. “That’s what gets all of us up in the morning.”

Michiels hopes the new location in Plainfield will enable Gravel Bottom to reach a larger audience.

“Right now, we can’t offer our beer outside of Ada, because we can’t produce enough,” Michiels said. “This allows us to take Gravel Bottom into distribution.”

Plans for the Plainfield location are early in the process and pending city approval. Michiels hopes to begin construction between December 2017 and February 2018.

gravel bottom

Ada, Michigan  Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery & Supply today announced plans to relocate to a newly constructed building at 452 Ada Drive, near the corner of Ada Drive and Fulton Street in Ada Michigan, immediately adjacent to the new Kingma’s Market. Gravel Bottom’s new facility will feature a larger taproom, expanded tap offerings, food and extensive on-site brewery capacity. Gravel Bottom will continue operations at 418 Ada Drive until their new site is complete by the end of the year.

The new, 2,500-square-foot brewery will include a 75-seat indoor taproom and an outdoor patio offering up to 50 seats. Gravel Bottom will also expand hours of operation offering quick lunches and small-plate food pairings for up to a dozen new taps.

“We have built a great following in Ada and look forward to helping make Ada a destination as we continue to support local events like Beers at the Bridge, Brats and Bonfires and the Ada Chili Cook-Off.” said Matt Michiels, owner, Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery & Supply. The new space will give Gravel Bottom the opportunity to upgrade its brewing equipment and offer a wider variety of its innovative craft beer selections. “We are adding a small kitchen as well which will allow us the opportunity to pair our beers with food and provide our customers with an enhanced craft beer experience,” said Michiels.

Gravel Bottom is also expanding its operations and is currently researching locations closer to Grand Rapids “I am excited to unveil even more details on our growing production plans in the next 4 to 6 weeks as they are put in place, and I look forward to sharing how they will enhance the Beer City experience” said Michiels.

Michiels moved back to Michigan in 2011 and opened Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery & Supply in 2013 creating the region’s first craft brewery and home brew supply store. Gravel Bottom’s announcement joins a growing number of Ada Village shops, restaurants, and new businesses as Ada’s redevelopment continues.

 

ADA – Veteran homebrewers, novices, and people-who-just-want-to-drink-beer-outside alike are invited to the first Learn To Homebrew Day hosted at Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery and Supply.

The brewery and homebrew supply shop is bringing the American Homebrewer’s Association (AHA) event to Ada Nov. 7.

The free event will last from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and include at least nine industry professionals hosting discussions about their specialties. The topics are as broad as the whole process of homebrewing and as specific as yeast health.

Nine homebrewers have also been invited to bring their equipment on premise to demonstrate their personal processes. Throughout the day, the brewers will make the same recipe on their own systems as attendees look on.

“Some of these guys go far out; it’s pretty cool to see,” said Chrissy Walker, homebrew supply manager at Gravel Bottom. “Then you have other people who are just going to bring their little burner and a little pot.”

In addition to the educational parts of the event, attendees will be able to enter a raffle and the store will be hosting a one-day fall sale on homebrewing equipment.

Walker emphasized that the event isn’t just for veteran and novice homebrewers—it’s for anyone who wants to know more about beer.

“I think the more knowledge we can get out there on how to properly taste beer and what goes into brewing beer, the more you’re going to enjoy it,” said Walker.

Matt Michiels, owner of Gravel Bottom, said he felt the goals of AHA’s Learn to Homebrew event mirror Gravel Bottom’s mission statement.

“That’s really what we’re trying to do. Bring to people the experience of brewing, and a creative environment where you can learn about the sport,” said Michiels.

“That’s how it all started in my backyard—brewing beer with my friends and drinking the beer,” he said. “I’m excited to have that environment here.”

Whether they go to learn about the art (or science, or “sport,” as Michiels would have it) of homebrewing or just to enjoy the camaraderie in the brewing community, Walker has one warning for potential attendees:

“Caution: brewing does cause more friends,” she laughed. “I’m gonna throw that out there.”

ADA — Matthew Michiels, owner of Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery & Supply, opened up his pub with one simple goal in mind — creating a space that is conducive to connectedness and making new friends over a pint — either brewing or drinking that pint.

Gravel Bottom is more than just a brewery — it’s a thriving homebrew shop that has been embraced by Ada residents and those who want to explore the world of homebrewing at all levels — novice or expert.

The concept for Gravel Bottom was always a combination of both brewery and homebrew shop, but not at the level it ended up becoming. “In the original business plan, we only had a 1/2 bbl brew house. However after moving back to Grand Rapids and experiencing West Michigan’s craft beer renaissance, it was clear we needed a bigger brew house to keep up with demand.”

Settling on a 3 bbl brew house provided a big enough a space big enough to support demand, but still small enough to experiment and play.

Play is important, and homebrewing is incorporated into the tavern — six ever changing taps provide customers a diverse range of styles and experimental beers. “One of those taps is always a homebrew recipe which is open source to anyone who wants to brew it or tweak it to fit their pallet better,” Michiels shares.

At the homebrewing shop itself, Michiels prides himself on having all the necessary equipment, supplies and ingredients to create a perfect beer. It carries a multitude of different varieties of grains, hops and yeast. The brewers who work at Gravel Bottom have definitely increased the selection options as well, because they are junkies for new ingredients to play around with.

Home brewers are a big influence on Gravel Bottom. Ada is a small town, and people become regulars, neighbors become friends. Michiels tells MittenBrew a story about one of the first Home Brewers to make a guest appearance on tap at Gravel Bottom — John Weicherchess.

“John is a neighbor of mine who showed up at my house as soon as he heard I was putting in a Craft Brewery & Supply. So, of course, I offered to take him down to the brewery and show him around. At the time the place was pretty tore up, but I figure it would be a cool place to have a couple pints of his (and Steve Waakes’) home brew. After the first pint, he grabbed the jackhammer and started helping me break up the concrete floor for our plumbing. Having fun and making new friends is why I opened this place. I could not have picked a better town and I watch this same story play out regularly. This story is also one of the things that inspired us to always have at least one home brew recipe on tap.”

Michiels and his staff are all brewers, bartenders and shopkeepers at Gravel Bottom. A well-rounded bunch, anyone can help you with anything you may need.

As for the beginning brewer? Michiels has some collective tips and tricks for getting started.

“It’s like anything you want to get better at. The more you do it, the more you will learn. You begin to hone in your processes, and each time you brew it gives you the opportunity to experiment with new ingredients or tweak a recipe. Don’t overthink your recipes — take great notes and be open to new ideas and feedback. You’ll be surprised how easy and fun it is to create your ideal beer,” he said.

“And GBCB is always here to help — feel free to bring in a sample for feedback and don’t hesitate to ask our brewers about anything you want to understand better.”

ADA — Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery served for the very first time on Saturday, at its Ada Drive location. The brewpub served roughly 1,000 pints on that day alone, and anticipates more the coming weeks.

Owner, operator and long time homebrewer, Matt Michiels began working on his idea for a homebrew shop around five years ago. By that time he had been brewing his own beer for more than a decade, and decided during his time as a stay-at-home dad that it was time to go back to work, but not in a way that he had before. Previously, Michiels worked in finance and accounting, but felt that returning to the corporate world was less than ideal.

The brewpub served five different beers ranging from a Belgian wit, to a porter with Michigan maple syrup, to a citrusy IPA. A Black IPA proved to be a rather popular choice on Saturday, and the Pale Ale stood its ground as well. Plans for future beers include many styles of beer including sour ales, experimental ales and even some rye and wheat whiskey barrel aged selections, too.

Originally, the brewpub was formulated as much more of a homebrew shop with a 15-gallon pilot system for experimental batches that local homebrewers could enjoy part of the way through their trip to gather supplies or ingredients. However, when Michiels began to analyze the Grand Rapids area market, he quickly realized that the town was ready for a much larger, 100-gallon batch size.

Gravel Bottom is now a place that has something for the beer lover, the brewer and everything in between. Classes and seminars are offered on a wide range of topics, and many of the recipes that are served at the brewpub will be available for purchase in a homebrew-sized ingredient kit.

Additionally, the brewpub will feature recipes from local homebrewers. The first featured recipe — a Grapefruit IPA — is brewed exclusively with hops, barley, yeast and water, but packs a very distinct grapefruit aroma.

While not open yet, the homebrew shop contains a rather wide variety of ingredients, and is stocked with much of the tools and equipment required to make beer at home.

Michiels stated that distribution and bottling of their beer is not part of the plan for the future of Gravel Bottom, but their most valued goal is “to serve the local community in the form of an experiential place to try what’s on tap, and to learn the art of brewing beer.”

Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery and Supply is closed Sunday through Tuesday, but Michiels anticipates expanding their hours in the near future.


Home     About     News     Services     Contact Us



Sign Up To Get The Latest Brews