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stormcloud production

FRANKFORT, Mich –– The beer is flowing at Stormcloud Brewing Company’s new production brewery located on the east side of the city of Frankfort. The 12,759 square-foot facility houses a 20-barrel brewhouse, handcrafted by W.M. Sprinkman Corporation of Waukesha, Wisconsin, with the capacity to brew 4,500 barrels of beer annually. The brewery is also home to a new Craft Canning System, built by Codi Manufacturing, Inc. in Golden, Colorado, with the capacity to fill approximately 40 cans per minute.

stormcloud production

In March, Stormcloud began canning its two most popular beers – Rainmaker Ale, a Belgian-style Pale Ale that brought home a bronze medal from Denver’s Great American Beer Festival, and Whiled Away® IPA, a Belgian-style IPA and best seller in Stormcloud’s downtown Frankfort pub.

Six packs of both beers in 12oz cans have been distributed to stores in 11 Michigan counties, including the cities of Traverse City, Manistee and Ludington. As production increases, Stormcloud cans will be distributed north to Petoskey, Cheboygan and Alpena, and south to Muskegon and Grand Rapids.

stormcloud production

The increase in beer production capacity at the new brewery has already enabled Stormcloud to expand its keg beer distribution to the greater Grand Rapids area in partnership with West Side Beer Distributing of Grand Rapids. Stormcloud’s current distribution footprint includes 32 counties in Michigan’s lower peninsula.

“I’m proud of our efforts to make great beer that people want to drink,” says co-owner and head brewer Brian Confer. “We’re very excited about the increased capacity at the new facility, both in terms of brewing volume and lab space to continue our push for the best quality beer we can make.”

Designed by Byce & Associates, Inc. of Kalamazoo, the production brewery houses brewing, fermentation, packaging, cold storage, and all shipping and receiving processes. The facility is also home to a brewing laboratory, office space, and public tasting room with merchandise space. The tasting room is scheduled to open to the public Friday, May 25 and will feature an outdoor beer garden similar to Stormcloud’s downtown location.

“We wanted the design of the tasting room and outdoor area to connect visually with our existing pub and restaurant,” says co-owner Rick Schmitt. “So even though we’re across town from the pub, both new guests and long-time customers will feel the connection to Stormcloud’s downtown roots.”

Energy efficiency was also top-of-mind when designing the new brewery, and a number of environmentally friendly systems were put into place at the production facility, including:

  • 6.2 kW Solar System with 10 two-panel ground mounted arrays that automatically orient to the sun’s location in the sky. Installed by Traverse Solar of Traverse City.
  • Large sections of vertical glass curtain walls and strategically placed skylights in the production area to maximize daylighting.
  • All interior lighting is controlled by occupancy sensors and shuts off automatically when vacant.
  • All exterior lighting is controlled by photocell and timeclock. Exterior lighting shuts off at dawn.
  • All light fixtures are LED, using less than half of the lighting energy (watts per square foot) allowed by the latest energy code.
  • Office furnace is 95% efficient (minimum requirement is 80% efficient).
  • Office condensing unit is 15 SEER (minimum requirement is 13 SEER).
  • Production area gas heaters are 90% plus efficient (minimum requirement is 80%).
  • Two electric car charging stations (Tesla and generic). Available summer 2018.

Public tours of Stormcloud’s new production facility will begin this summer. The brewery and tasting room is located at 366 Parkview Lane in Frankfort, Michigan.

 

 

stormcloud
FRANKFORT, Mich -­- The PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics begin this February but patrons at Stormcloud Brewing Company are already enjoying the thrill of one cold weather, Olympic event – the sport of Curling.
 
For a third winter in a row, the northern Michigan microbrewery has constructed an outdoor curling sheet next to its pub in downtown Frankfort. The curling sheet is host to a 12-team Curling League that meets on Thursday nights and Sunday afternoons, in addition to Learn to Curl Lessons on Saturdays with instruction from the Traverse City Curling Club.
 
“Anyone who lives in northern Michigan all winter long knows it’s essential to stay active,” says Stormcloud’s co-owner Rick Schmitt. “When we first looked into using our outdoor space next to the pub for a wintertime activity, curling immediately came to mind. It’s a fun sport that people of all ages can enjoy.”
 
Due to space limitations, Stormcloud’s curling sheet is approximately half the length of an official curling sheet. Also, the stones are smaller to compensate for the shorter sheet. Otherwise, the rules are the same. Curling is similar to the sport of shuffleboard with two teams sliding granite stones across the curling sheet and towards a circular target on the ice. Players use a curling broom to sweep the ice in the path of the stone to help guide it. Team points are scored for stones closest to the target area.
 
On top of adding four more teams to this year’s Curling League, Stormcloud is offering private 90-minute lessons to groups with a minimum of eight people. “This is the third year we’ve built the curling sheet and it gets more popular every winter,” says Schmitt.
FRANKFORT, MI – Stormcloud Brewing Company and The Garden Theater are partnering for a fourth year to present the Dark & Stormcloudy Film and Beer Series. The series pairs award-winning foreign films with small batch dark beers, handcrafted specifically for each movie by Stormcloud Brewing Company.
 
New this year, each film and beer pairing will be center stage at a special Beer Dinner featuring cuisine inspired by the film’s country of origin. Stormcloud’s owners say the beer dinners will offer an evening of fine dining with international flavors for attendees of this year’s series.
 
“The Dark & Stormcloudy series has traditionally brought visitors to downtown Frankfort for a taste of great beer and engaging cinema,” says Rick Schmitt, Stormcloud Co-Owner. “This year we wanted to raise the bar by showcasing the incredible cuisine of the country each film originates from. Our beer dinner guests can expect to enjoy an exceptional and intimate dining experience.”
 
The first beer dinner takes place Tuesday, January 17 with a pairing of Spanish cuisine and Stormcloud’s handcrafted ales. All three beer dinners will be held at Stormcloud Brewing Company’s pub in downtown Frankfort. The film, beer and food pairings continue in February and March with a second and third film, beer and dinner. Each beer dinner includes admission to the corresponding film.
 
Each film will be shown in the historic Garden Theater, next-door to Stormcloud Brewing Company in downtown Frankfort. Admission to each film is $7 per person. Plus, each movie ticket purchaser receives a $5 Stormcloud token. Please note, beer will not be served inside The Garden Theater.
 
January Film: Spy Time, an action-comedy from Spain. Adolfo is a dull security guard who loses his girlfriend, becomes the target of a dangerous criminal, and learns his father is a secret agent. Forced to work with his dad, Adolfo attempts to win back his girl while trying to stay alive.
Winner of Best Director at the Seattle International Film Festival, Best Feature Film at the Miami Film Festival, Best Film and Best Actor at the Monte-Carlo Comedy Film Festival.
January Beer: Anacleto. A dark ale brewed with Spanish Paprika, Cayenne Pepper and a touch of Oregano.
January Showtimes: Tuesday, January 17 at 4:30pm; Thursday, January 19 at 7:30pm; Sunday, January 22 at 2pm; Thursday, January 26 at 7:30pm.
January Beer Dinner: Tuesday, January 17 at 6:30pm. Four-Course Beer Dinner at Stormcloud Brewing Company pairing Spanish cuisine prepared by Stormcloud Executive Chef Joe Meyers with Stormcloud’s handcrafted beer. Beer dinner menu and reservation information.
 
February Film: A Man Called Ove, a comedy-drama from Sweden. Stepping from the pages of Fredrik Backman’s international best-selling novel, Ove is the quintessential angry old man next door. An isolated retiree with strict principles and a short fuse, who spends his days enforcing neighborhood rules and visiting his wife’s grave, Ove has given up on life. Enter a boisterous young family next door who accidentally flattens Ove’s mailbox while moving in, earning his special brand of ire. Yet from this inauspicious beginning an unlikely friendship forms. What emerges is a heartwarming tale of unreliable first impressions and the reminder that life is sweeter when shared. Winner of Best Actor at the Seattle International Film Festival, Best European Comedy at the European Film Awards, Best Actor and Best Make-up at the Guldbagge Awards.
February Beer: Sonja. A dark ale brewed with chocolate, raspberries, and bright Swedish smiles.
February Showtimes: Tuesday, February 14 at 4:30pm; Thursday, February 16 at 7:30pm; Sunday, February 19 at 2pm; Thursday, February 23 at 7:30pm.
February Beer Dinner: Tuesday, February 14 at 6:30pm. Beer Dinner at Stormcloud Brewing Company pairing Scandinavian cuisine prepared by Stormcloud Executive Chef Joe Meyers with Stormcloud’s handcrafted beer.
 
March Film: The Brand New Testament, a comedy from Belgium. God exists, and He’s a jerk. He lives in a high-rise apartment in Brussels and never gets out of His pajamas. He takes sadistic delight in dreaming up new “laws” to torment humanity and He’s a petty tyrant to His wife and ten year-old daughter, Ea. Like her brother before her, Ea has had enough of her Father’s abuse and when she spies the right opportunity, she hacks into His computer and leaks to the entire world the only thing He has over them: their inevitable death date. Ea, after escaping and with her Father in pursuit, gathers apostles and writes her own New Testament to try to fix the mess her Father has made of humanity. Winner of Best International Film at the Haifa International Film Festival, Best Film, Best Director, Best Script and Best Original Score at the Magritte Awards, Belgium.
March Beer: Ea & The Goddess. A traditional Belgian Dark Strong Ale brewed with ingredients inspired by the Last Supper.
March Showtimes: Tuesday, March 7 at 4:30pm; Thursday, March 9 at 7:30pm; Sunday, March 12 at 2pm; Thursday, March 16 at 7:30pm.
March Beer Dinner: Tuesday, March 7 at 6:30pm. Beer Dinner at Stormcloud Brewing Company pairing Belgian and French cuisine prepared by Stormcloud Executive Chef Joe Meyers with Stormcloud’s handcrafted beer.

 
FRANKFORT, MI – Stormcloud Brewing Company and The Garden Theater are partnering for a fourth year to present the Dark & Stormcloudy Film and Beer Series. The series pairs award-winning foreign films with small batch dark beers, handcrafted specifically for each movie by Stormcloud Brewing Company.
 
New this year, each film and beer pairing will be center stage at a special Beer Dinner featuring cuisine inspired by the film’s country of origin. Stormcloud’s owners say the beer dinners will offer an evening of fine dining with international flavors for attendees of this year’s series.
 
“The Dark & Stormcloudy series has traditionally brought visitors to downtown Frankfort for a taste of great beer and engaging cinema,” says Rick Schmitt, Stormcloud Co-Owner. “This year we wanted to raise the bar by showcasing the incredible cuisine of the country each film originates from. Our beer dinner guests can expect to enjoy an exceptional and intimate dining experience.”
 
The first beer dinner takes place Tuesday, January 17 with a pairing of Spanish cuisine and Stormcloud’s handcrafted ales. All three beer dinners will be held at Stormcloud Brewing Company’s pub in downtown Frankfort. The film, beer and food pairings continue in February and March with a second and third film, beer and dinner. Each beer dinner includes admission to the corresponding film.
 
Each film will be shown in the historic Garden Theater, next-door to Stormcloud Brewing Company in downtown Frankfort. Admission to each film is $7 per person. Plus, each movie ticket purchaser receives a $5 Stormcloud token. Please note, beer will not be served inside The Garden Theater.
 
January Film: Spy Time, an action-comedy from Spain. Adolfo is a dull security guard who loses his girlfriend, becomes the target of a dangerous criminal, and learns his father is a secret agent. Forced to work with his dad, Adolfo attempts to win back his girl while trying to stay alive.
Winner of Best Director at the Seattle International Film Festival, Best Feature Film at the Miami Film Festival, Best Film and Best Actor at the Monte-Carlo Comedy Film Festival.
January Beer: Anacleto. A dark ale brewed with Spanish Paprika, Cayenne Pepper and a touch of Oregano.
January Showtimes: Tuesday, January 17 at 4:30pm; Thursday, January 19 at 7:30pm; Sunday, January 22 at 2pm; Thursday, January 26 at 7:30pm.
January Beer Dinner: Tuesday, January 17 at 6:30pm. Four-Course Beer Dinner at Stormcloud Brewing Company pairing Spanish cuisine prepared by Stormcloud Executive Chef Joe Meyers with Stormcloud’s handcrafted beer. Beer dinner menu and reservation information.
 
February Film: A Man Called Ove, a comedy-drama from Sweden. Stepping from the pages of Fredrik Backman’s international best-selling novel, Ove is the quintessential angry old man next door. An isolated retiree with strict principles and a short fuse, who spends his days enforcing neighborhood rules and visiting his wife’s grave, Ove has given up on life. Enter a boisterous young family next door who accidentally flattens Ove’s mailbox while moving in, earning his special brand of ire. Yet from this inauspicious beginning an unlikely friendship forms. What emerges is a heartwarming tale of unreliable first impressions and the reminder that life is sweeter when shared. Winner of Best Actor at the Seattle International Film Festival, Best European Comedy at the European Film Awards, Best Actor and Best Make-up at the Guldbagge Awards.
February Beer: Sonja. A dark ale brewed with chocolate, raspberries, and bright Swedish smiles.
February Showtimes: Tuesday, February 14 at 4:30pm; Thursday, February 16 at 7:30pm; Sunday, February 19 at 2pm; Thursday, February 23 at 7:30pm.
February Beer Dinner: Tuesday, February 14 at 6:30pm. Beer Dinner at Stormcloud Brewing Company pairing Scandinavian cuisine prepared by Stormcloud Executive Chef Joe Meyers with Stormcloud’s handcrafted beer.
 
March Film: The Brand New Testament, a comedy from Belgium. God exists, and He’s a jerk. He lives in a high-rise apartment in Brussels and never gets out of His pajamas. He takes sadistic delight in dreaming up new “laws” to torment humanity and He’s a petty tyrant to His wife and ten year-old daughter, Ea. Like her brother before her, Ea has had enough of her Father’s abuse and when she spies the right opportunity, she hacks into His computer and leaks to the entire world the only thing He has over them: their inevitable death date. Ea, after escaping and with her Father in pursuit, gathers apostles and writes her own New Testament to try to fix the mess her Father has made of humanity. Winner of Best International Film at the Haifa International Film Festival, Best Film, Best Director, Best Script and Best Original Score at the Magritte Awards, Belgium.
March Beer: Ea & The Goddess. A traditional Belgian Dark Strong Ale brewed with ingredients inspired by the Last Supper.
March Showtimes: Tuesday, March 7 at 4:30pm; Thursday, March 9 at 7:30pm; Sunday, March 12 at 2pm; Thursday, March 16 at 7:30pm.
March Beer Dinner: Tuesday, March 7 at 6:30pm. Beer Dinner at Stormcloud Brewing Company pairing Belgian and French cuisine prepared by Stormcloud Executive Chef Joe Meyers with Stormcloud’s handcrafted beer.

 

FRANKFORT, Mich –­ Stormcloud Brewing Company is pleased to announce the release of their newest collaborative beer, Legally Wed & Off To Bed. A Belgian IPA infused with hibiscus, Legally Wed & Off To Bed was brewed this spring by Stormcloud in collaboration with Fermenta, a Michigan based collective of women brewers.

collaboration beer

A non-­traditional marriage of hops and hibiscus, the Belgian ­style India Pale Ale was brewed with Cascade, Mosaic and Michigan ­grown Crystal hops. Stormcloud Beer Education Coordinator Charla Kramer says, “The Michigan hops lend a firm but clean backbone to this ale while the tropical notes of Mosaic hops court the hibiscus flower. She might be a Pink Lady, but the hibiscus is no fragile violet. Her tart sassiness is the perfect match for this beer’s light hop bitterness.”

Crisp, light, and refreshing, Legally Wed & Off To Bed is a summer­ready IPA. “We had a lot of fun brewing this beer,” says Stormcloud Head Brewer and Co­Owner Brian Confer. “The Fermenta brewers came from across the state and contributed their efforts throughout the brewing process. And it’s a great beer. We already have it on tap here at Stormcloud and it’s getting very positive reviews.”

collaboration beerLegally Wed & Off to Bed is now available on tap in Stormcloud’s pub in downtown Frankfort. The IPA will also be showcased with other Fermenta ­brewed beers at this year’s Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti, happening July 22­-23.

Legally Wed & Off To Bed Specifications:
Style: Belgian IPA
ABV: 6%
Bitterness: 50 IBU
Color (SRM): It’s PINK!
Availability: June­-July
Tasting Notes: Hoppy and tropical aroma. Light, approachable hop flavor and bitterness. Slight hibiscus tang balances hop bitterness.

stormcloud brewing

FRANKFORT, MI – Stormcloud Brewing Company has been recognized as one of the 2016 “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch,” an awards program presented by Michigan Celebrates Small Business.

Stormcloud Brewing Company will be honored at an awards ceremony during the twelfth annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business gala event, May 5, 2016 in Lansing.

With a focus on Belgian-style brewing, Stormcloud Brewing Company is an award-winning micro-brewery and pub located in the coastal city of Frankfort, in the northwest corner of Michigan’s lower peninsula. Stormcloud offers 16 taps of handcrafted beer in its downtown pub, in addition to locally-produced cider, mead and wine. Currently, Stormcloud has secured partnerships to distribute its beer to restaurants and pubs within 33 Michigan counties. Stormcloud Brewing Company opened its doors in June 2013.

“We are a young company and this recognition is a great honor for everyone at Stormcloud,” says Co-Owner Rick Schmitt. “Without the dedication and hard work of our employees, this award would not have been possible. My business partner, Stormcloud’s Head Brewer Brian Confer, and I would like to thank all of our team members for working to help achieve this incredible distinction.”

stormcloud brewingCompanies making it to the “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch” list are a remarkable group of second-stage companies. Defined as having 6 to 99 full-time-equivalent employees and generating $750,000 to $50 million in annual revenue or working capital from investors or grants, these companies form the backbone of Michigan’s economy. Representing all regions of the state and a diverse range of industries, companies like Stormcloud Brewing Company are known for their exceptional entrepreneurial leadership, creation of innovation or use of innovation in creative ways, and their sustainable competitive advantage.
Winners were selected by Michigan-based judges from the banking, economic development, entrepreneurship development, and venture capital communities.

Michigan 50 Companies to Watch is presented by Michigan Celebrates Small Business.
Founding underwriters are the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, PNC Bank, Accident Fund Insurance Company of America, and Dynamic Edge, Inc.

Brian_Rick_StormcloudBrew (90)

Contributing Underwriters are Comcast Business Class, Consumers Energy, DTE Energy Foundation, Hungerford Nichols CPAs and Advisors, Edge Partners, Michigan Credit Union League & Affiliates, Rehmann, Michigan Business Network and Varnum Attorneys at Law.

Michigan Celebrates Small Business was founded by Michigan Small Business Development Center, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, U.S. Small Business Administration – Michigan, Edward Lowe Foundation, Chris Holman – Small Business Advocate, and the Small Business Association of Michigan.

Stormcloud Brewing Company, now open daily year round, has made a major impact on the small community of Frankfort. This was evident throughout Sunday as it celebrated its second birthday. Usually a quiet town, downtown Frankfort was full of life as the community celebrated a great local brewery.

Stormcloud opened its beer garden for the first time, complete with yard games and live music. Giant Tic-Tac-Toe and Jenga adorned the grass as local musicians played in the summer sun. Performers included Old Mission Collective, Achilles Tenderloin, Renee Herman, Blair Miller and Robbie Provo.

As with any good birthday party, there were balloons, great food, and birthday treats. Food specials included beer-can chicken and stout cupcakes. There were Happy Hour specials for dads (in recognition of Father’s Day) and special discounts for Cloudspotters (Stormcloud’s membership club).

The brewery’s birthday wasn’t the only cause for celebration. In addition to multiple national and local awards, head brewer Brian Confer was also recently voted one of the top three brewers in Northern Michigan by the readers of Traverse: Northern Michigan’s Magazine and MyNorth.com.

Stormcloud also recently received the 2015 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor. This was not an award just for the beer, but for its excellent service and food as well. Clearly, Stormcloud has a few things figured out.

FRANKFORT — When he traded his camera for a set of home brewing equipment, Stormcloud Brewing Company head brewer Brian Confer took a big risk.

Once a photographer for Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine, Confer emptied his dark room of photography equipment and instead filled it with a new home brewing setup. The risk paid off, and it soon led him down the path to opening his own brewery. Understanding that there were a number of good breweries already in the area, Confer spent a great deal of time experimenting and narrowing his focus before opening the brewery.

“I wanted to focus on home brewing Belgian brews and brewed what would become our flagships extensively,” Confer said.

In fact, he started brewing Rainmaker, Stormcloud’s flagship, early on. He believed in its potential, continued to tweak the recipe and eventually ended with a brew that was drinkable in any situation.

“It’s a great food beer. It has just enough hop to drink on its own, but the amber and caramel elements make it great to pair with food,” said Confer.

The experimentation paid off, only one year after opening Stormcloud, Rainmaker won the 2014 Great American Beer Festival Bronze Medal in the Belgian Style-Blonde Ale or Pale Ale category. Confer was not expecting or even looking for an award from the festival. In fact, he had to verify that the Rainmaker that won was his.

“We were out at the Empire Asparagus Festival at the time. When I got the text, I had to double check,” said Confer. “I was just interested in feedback, really. I was proud that it won, but was not expecting it.”

Rainmaker may have won the award, but many other of Confer’s brews are versatile and refined in flavor. It is the continuous refinement of successful recipes and improvement in ingredients that have set Confer — and Stormcloud — apart. With his Belgian inspiration and focus, you won’t often find Confer incorporating off-the-wall ingredients or over the top hoppiness.

Instead, Confer has started to use more local ingredients while brewing. He has found that the quality of hops available from local farms is much better compared to large farms out west.

The Leelanau Pale Ale, for instance, is brewed with one hop: whatever is available from the Empire Hops farm at the time. Today’s Leelanau Pale Ale (currently brewed with Chinook hops) is not the same as previous versions. Each hop variety allows Confer to further explore and experiment.

“It’s a single hop beer brewed with whatever hop variety is available from the farms in Leelanau, which keeps things fun and interesting,” Confer stated.

With that kind of playful mindset, Confer’s passion about the brews that end up on the Stormcloud menu is clear. Which one could be his favorite?

Confer simply stated, “Whatever’s freshest.”


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