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Dutton, Mich. — Railtown Brewing Company will open the doors to its newly constructed expansion on July 16.

The new building is located at 3595 68th Street SE, Dutton, Michigan—next door to the brewery’s original location. It boasts two floors and an outdoor patio, and it will seat over twice as many guests as the original space.

railtown brewing

The new location’s second floor will eventually be available for private events and beer dinners.

Hungry guests of Railtown Brewing previously had to bring their own food, but the new space has a kitchen that will serve American pub grub with some cultural flavor. Dishes will take inspiration from Chinese, Korean and Dutch cuisine, to name a few.

Exposed ceilings and duct work lend an industrial feel to the new building. It will seem familiar to those who visited the original location, said Justin Buiter, co-owner of Railtown Brewing Company. Popular dart boards will still hang on the walls, and the decor will follow a similar theme.

“It takes a lot of the feel from our current space, it’s just bigger,” Buiter said.

Buiter said the expansion was built by the local community—both literally and figuratively.

In the literal sense, much of the construction on the new building was completed by local businesses.

“Most everybody involved in the project is Michigan based, but we had a lot of trades that came specifically out of Dutton,” Buiter said.

Figuratively, the expansion was built on support received from the Dutton community. When the brewery opened in 2014, Buiter said he wasn’t sure what to expect. Dutton was a dry town until 2005.

“The support from the residents and businesses of Dutton has been absolutely unbelievable,” Buiter said. “Our growth thus far has really been fueled by the local community.”

The brewery’s growth will continue, Buiter said. Railtown Brewing has also doubled their production capacity with new equipment from Psycho Brew, a Michigan-based brewing equipment company. Sights are set on distribution for Railtown Brewing in the near future.

“As we get our feet underneath us and make sure we have our taproom taken care of, we’re going to start looking at opportunities within the distribution market,” Buiter said.

The brewery will celebrate its last hurrah at the original location on Saturday, July 14. The event  will feature special beers on tap.

“All our staff will be present to reminisce about all the stuff we accomplished over here, and the future next door,” Buiter said.

territorial brewing

SPRINGFIELD, Mich. – Territorial Brewing Company, a brewery in Springfield that specializes in brewing lagers, announced it has expanded brewing operations into a new production facility to meet increased demand by beer lovers, bars and restaurants in Battle Creek.

The first batch of beer was brewed at the new location on Dec. 4, 2017.

“We have struggled to brew enough beer and keep up with demand since first opening in November of 2014, and this new location will allow us to keep up with demand while staying true to the beers we love to make,” said Tim Davis, co-owner of Territorial Brewing Company.

Up until December, Territorial was brewing beer in a space shared with its restaurant kitchen.

“The space was incredibly cramped and we were constantly getting in the way of the kitchen staff, and vice versa,” Davis said. “In fact, it got so bad that we resorted to only brewing beer at night, when the kitchen was closed. This new location will allow us to brew beer on a more consistent schedule and keep up with demand.”

Territorial produces mostly lager beers, which take considerably longer to ferment than ales. This limits the overall volume of beer Territorial can produce in a given time.

“Territorial Brewing Company excels at brewing German-inspired beers that require a lengthy fermentation time and keen attention to detail, and this new production facility will allow them to meet the growing demand for these high-quality lagers,” said Bud Dunn, president of Atlas Sales Inc. “We’re proud to work hand-in-hand with small craft brewers like Territorial Brewing Company to help them grow and succeed.”

The new production brewery is not open to the public. However, the original restaurant and taproom, located at 256 N Helmer Road, will remain open.

“We’re proud to serve as a gathering place for so many customers who live and work nearby and thank them for their loyalty as we worked through our behind-the-scenes growing pains the last three years,” said Charles Grantier, co-owner of Territorial Brewing Company.

 “As Battle Creek’s only brewery, we want to help make Battle Creek and Springfield a fun, vibrant community and a destination for visitors near and far,” Davis said.

 

creston brewery

Grand Rapids, Mich Creston Brewery has finalized plans to begin construction this week on their second floor banquet hall space. This beautiful and historically preserved 5000 square foot space will include a 210+ person banquet hall space as well as a 30 person conference room space, and a second bar with 20 taps of house beer, choice MI wines, ciders, and spirits. The facility will be served by the existing 20 barrel brewhouse, 2500 square foot full-service kitchen, the existing staff of 36 employees, and the expansion will create at least 10 new positions.

“We could not have done this without the support of our community, the Creston neighborhood,” Co-Owner Vincent Lambert said. “The growth of the Creston Business District has ensured our commitment to the neighborhood, and we’re excited as ever to be providing more of what have become hallmarks of our young business – high quality beer, food, service, and entertainment in one of the most unique, beautiful settings in our city.”

Creston Brewery, founded by co-owners Scott Schultz, Molly Bouwsma-Schultz, Vincent Lambert, and Cailin Kelly, opened in August of 2016 as a brewery, restaurant, taproom, and event space. “The banquet hall will complete our first phase of the business: growing our business organically to fully utilize our space at 1504 Plainfield Ave. as a destination for our neighbors, our city, and beer-loving tourists alike. Our next steps will be to utilize our 2nd floor space for concerts, curated beer dinners, stand-up comedy acts, DJs, yoga classes, dance classes, etc. – you name it, we have the perfect venue for it,” Co-Owner and Brewmaster Scott Schultz says of their plans.

The construction is expected to take four months with an anticipated opening date of May of 2018. Creston Brewery plans to host weddings, banquets, non-profit, corporate, and other private events for 2018 with an eye on expanding the use of the space beginning in 2019. Parties interested in this space should contact events@crestonbrewery.com.

 

Comstock Park, MI – Speciation Artisan Ales is a small production-only brewery focused on mixed cultured sour and wild ales. They aim to highlight the yeast and bacteria in their beer, noting how it can change from batch to batch, develop over time, or represent a unique place in time through its specific “terroir.” This plays into the evolution theme of the brewery, as they celebrate each beer that is created as unique and cannot be duplicated. Speciation’s two main brands Genetic Drift, a farmhouse saison, and Incipient, a sour golden ale, provide the base of these experiments in which consumers can compare how each batch provides a new experience.

Currently, Speciation is open once per month for direct bottle sales to their customers. Bottles can be reserved online the week before the release, but frequently sell out within a matter of minutes. However, there is hope for those who want to give them as try, as Speciation has announced plans to expand into a tasting room in the coming months. They have acquired additional space next to their current production facility which will serve as both barrel storage and a tasting room.  Speciation plans to be open weekly for limited hours out of their tasting room for both draught pours and bottle sales to go.

speciation

Great American Beer Festival

Most recently they made a big impression at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival. Speciation donned long lines and quickly ran out of beer at each session. They were also cited in several publications as a “must try brewery” and critics raved over their Tequila barrel aged Incipient with Agave, Blood Oranges, Limes, and Salt as well as their Rhubarb Vanilla Incipient.

 

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.

 

beards brewery

The first time I ventured out to Beards, I nearly missed it driving through downtown Petoskey. The sign was relatively small on an easy-to-miss building. The brewery itself was tucked in the back of a building, down a stone path in what looked like an enclosed outdoor space. The taproom was small, cozy, full of board games, and a record player was playing in the background. It felt like a secret you only wanted your good friends to know about.

Fast-forward five years, and Beards has become a staple in the Petoskey community. Now on the corner of US-31 and Lake Street, the brewery resides in the former Whitecaps building and is one of the first things you encounter as you enter downtown.

beards brewery

And while the space is larger, feels more expansive, and has extraordinary views, it maintains a similar atmosphere as the original space.

“We wanted to keep as much of the old place as we could,” said Ben Slocum, Beards co-founder.

Upon entering, a stone path that pays tribute to the original guides you to the taproom surrounded in natural elements. And, if you look closely, you might be able to spot the original bar and large Beards logo.

At the same time, the new space on Lake Street feels more “grown-up” with intimate booths, more community tables, and a grand staircase. There’s also an opportunity to escape upstairs to a more intimate space, where the board games and vinyl records can still be found.

The move from a small, intimate space to a large, inviting one exemplifies Beards five-year journey. Starting on a one-barrel brewing system, Beards had a humble beginning. Word spread quickly about the excellent beer and atmosphere, and after just two years, a 4,000 square foot production facility was opened in Charlevoix. The production facility contains a 15-barrel system and has allowed Beards to expand its production and distribution.

“We sold more on July 2 than we did during all of our winter months combined,” said Slocum, referencing their continuous growth and expansion.

Beards is now canning and can now be found throughout Northern Michigan, the Kalamazoo/Grand Rapids area, and throughout Wayne County. Recently, Beards released its first bomber: Gin Barrel Aged Luna.

beards brewery

And now that the brewery has taken over an old restaurant and has more space, it also features a full food menu. As much as possible is made in house, from brat buns to braised lamb shank, which compliments everything Beards has become known for.

“We craft beer, why not craft food?” said Slocum.

Beards will officially be celebrating its five years of success from August 17-19; the new taproom is open Tuesday-Sunday from 11a.m. to midnight.

 

tripelroot

As they appraoch three years of business, Tripelroot, Zeeland’s first and only brewpub, is maintaining a focus on crafting an experience that is simple, sustainable, and social.
The space was designed using only three materials: brick, wood, and metal. Same goes for the menu, which exclusively offers stonebreads, appetizers, and salads.
The pub was developed and is consciously maintained to be sustainable through constant efforts to reuse, recycle, and repurpose.
The folks at Tripelroot love to pair good beer with great company, and the atmosphere of the pub reflects that mentality by fostering a social experience for the community.
Until recently, the space was previously uninhabited for nearly a decade. Now it’s home to Zeeland’s only brewpub—and in February, they were approved to double in size by moving into the adjacent building.
We decided to pay Laura Gentry a visit to ask some questions about the budding brewpub and their plans for the future.
 
tripelroot
 
Tripelroot is Zeeland’s only brewpub. When you opened in 2014, were you looking to fill a hole in the market, or were you inspired by something more personal?
I’d say a little bit of both! Even though we didn’t grow up in Zeeland, we fell in love with its quaint hometown feel as soon as we arrived. It was close to home, close to work, and it offered a great environment to raise a family.
So we knew we loved the people, and we knew those people were in need of a place to gather and share great beer. On top of that, we had always dreamt of opening our own brewpub. The pieces seemed to fit together so we had to go for it.
 
What was the inspiration for the name, Tripelroot?
The idea for the name was supposed to reflect two aspects. First, we wanted a subtle beer reference with a nod to the Belgian Tripel. The second half, “root”, eludes to stability and a source of life for plants…a fitting reference for how we see ourselves in this community.
 
Zeeland was “dry” until 2006. With a town that has been relatively slow to develop its dining options, how do you think Tripelroot has affected the community?
It has been amazing watching the town transform in recent years. Although we can’t take credit for all the change, we’re happy to say Tripelroot has become a centerpiece of the community.
When we moved here, downtown was empty after 5 o’clock. Now, people have difficulty finding a parking space on weekdays.
 
Sounds like a good problem to have! So you were approved for expansion in February. What are your plans for the new space?
Yes! We are very excited about the new space, which opened around Memorial Day this year. With the beer garden, our capacity is approximately 100 people, which often isn’t enough on our busy nights. So when the space next door opened up, we jumped on the opportunity to expand. We’re excited to say we already have 15-20 private events booked for for 2017 as well as overflow space for the busy evenings.
tripelroot
 
What hurdles have you been dealing with in the first two years of business?
Great question. I definitely think the city of Zeeland recognized that the town needed places like Tripelroot. In the beginning, however, the city required us to meet 60% food sales. With beer being our main product, we had to collaborate with the city to better align their expectations with those of the state.
Another one of our biggest challenges has been keeping up with demand. Hiring and retaining good, dependable employees has been tough with the pace we’ve established.
 
Simple. Sustainable. Social. I love it. Why did you choose these three words? Can you tell me what they mean to you personally and how they influence the brewpub?
We feel that our lifestyle can be boiled down to these three words. Living simply is key for us. It’s one of the reasons we love Zeeland so much. And we wanted to reflect simple living in the design of the space by using only brick, wood, and metal.
Sustainability is another aspect of Tripelroot that we find important. Most of what we consume in the kitchen and taproom is compostable. We actually only produce 1 – 1.5 pounds of trash every day! Even our food scraps go to good use. Some of our mug club members have a pig named Mini that gets the best of the best from our kitchen.
Creating a social environment has always been top-of-mind for us. We feel that a good brewpub is a place for community, it is a comfortable environment where friends and family can meet and share stories and reconnect.
 
Where did you draw inspiration for your food menu?
European beer and food culture has always been interesting to us. A lot can be said about people who’ve been brewing for hundreds of years. The stonebreads are actually our interpretation of a traditional German street food that we’ve always loved. We reuse the spent grains for our beer to make the dough in the bread.


 
 
Let’s talk beer. What is the plan for Zeeland Brewing? Are the two entities working in tandem or are they be separate?
They are separate entities, but we are contracting Zeeland Brewing to brew and distribute Tripelroot beer since we can’t do this with a brewpub license. As a brewpub, we can sell other breweries’ beer, which is a freedom we enjoy and want to continue.
 
The beer catalog is tremendous. How have you crafted your selection?
We definitely like to maintain a range of beers to appeal to all drinkers. So we’ll have Wheat, IPA, Double IPA, Belgian, and Stout, enough variation to keep things interesting. We want Tripelroot to be educational in a way. Despite the beer culture in West Michigan, we still have many customers who are new to craft beer. Offering a wide variety of beer, including our Cellar Series and some fun cocktail creations, we plan to give the Zeeland community a taste of the craft the we love and appreciate.

 
Wonderful. Is there anything else you’d personally like to touch on?
Yes! I’d love to talk about some of the events coming up this summer.
On August 19, we have the Mud Flap, which is our second year hosting the event. It is an “Amazing Race” style event where contestants compete in a scavenger hunt on bicycles around the city. Last year, we had a great turnout that raised over $3,100 for Susan G. Komen, and we hope to keep building and growing the event as time goes by.
Lastly, there is Wednesday’s Training Session Day where we invite community members to go for a bike ride in the trails around town. We also invite runners and swimmers to join in on the physical activity. Then, we all meet at the pub to enjoy our Session Ale and recover after a hard day’s work.
So come out and join for one of the many events this summer!
Thanks so much for your time, Laura. It’s been great talking with you.
 
Photography: Amee Rutan


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