Brewery Expansions and Openings

Michigan breweries continue to have a strong showing across the state

Michigan breweries continue to have a strong showing across the state. With more than 100 breweries, our state has moved into the No. 5 ranking in the United States for craft breweries. The last few months have seen a large number of breweries either open their doors or expand their operations with larger or additional facilities. The final quarter of 2013 will provide additional opportunities for beer lovers to visit more breweries and try more Michigan-made products.

This list contains only a small portion of the expansions and openings for this year.

Atwater Brewery

237 Jos Campau
Detroit, MI

In the first quarter of 2013, Atwater Brewery completed a $1 million expansion to their current facility on Jos Campau in Detroit. The expansion added six additional 150-barrel tanks and a new bottling line that enabled Atwater to meet the demands of increased production. They are also seeking an additional site in Detroit to expand their full-scale brewing operations, which would take them to 100,000 barrels produced annually.

Atwater Brewery will also expand with “Atwater in the Park.” The new facility will be located in Grosse Pointe Park and involves renovating an historic church for brewing, winemaking, and distilling. Included with the new brewpub and pilot brewery will be a taproom, full-service food menu, and an outdoor biergarten. The biergarten is slated to open in October of this year with the complete facility opening in March 2014.

Long-term plans also include expanding outside of Michigan’s borders to the Southeastern and Southwestern United States as brand recognition increases over the next few years.

Brewery Terra Firma

2959 Hartman Rd.
Traverse City, MI

Open since the 4th of July weekend and situated on a 10-acre farm, Brewery Terra Firma is a model of efficiency and sustainability. The facility reduces their carbon footprint by reclaiming/recycling both water and heat from the brewing process. By using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, they support farmers and suppliers in the region. Adjacent to the spacious taproom and outdoor patio, the owners of Brewery Terra Firma plan on planting a hop, vegetable, and herb garden, as well as using their apiary to make their own honey.

John Niedermaier, the Brewmaster, has more than 20 years of experience and over 1,000 recipes from which to draw brewing inspiration. The brewery is currently offering 10 beers with the eventual target offering of 40. Visitors will most certainly find an appealing selection from the diverse offerings, including the Bee Hive Honey Blonde, Ancho Chili Dutch Double Chocolate Porter, and Pipes and Drums Scotch Ale.

Arcadia West

Kalamazoo, MI

Arcadia Brewing Company plans to open Arcadia West in December 2013. The concept for Arcadia West is that of a German beer hall, with counter service, communal table seating, and roving beer specialists to help patrons with their beer selections. Retractable doors will allow the indoor space to merge with the outdoor patio; the outdoor biergarten will provide customers with riverfront views and pet-friendly sections. The menu features a wide variety of local smoked meats and fish and draws inspiration from Middle Eastern and South American cuisine.

Arcadia West will also feature several innovations in sustainability, with systems in place to capture wastewater, use spent grain, and sourcing many food items locally. Construction of the bar and beer tables will be completed with reclaimed wood and repurposed metal piping will be used to create the light fixtures and hardware. The proximity of the Kalamazoo River will also provide easy access for canoes, kayaks, and bicycles, with portals for each.

Griffin Claw Brewing Company

575 S. Eton Street
Birmingham, MI

Griffin Claw Brewing Co. opened to the public July 18. Brewmaster Dan Rogers brought his award-winning beer to the new facility just down the street from Big Rock Chophouse, where he perfected many of his recipes.

The success of Rogers’ beers – some 20 awards since 1998 — prompted the opening of Griffin Claw, which enables the company to get their beer into distribution channels. Beer drinkers will be able to get Griffin Claw at restaurants, bars, and beer stores.

The entire facility is a 12,000-square-foot complex that houses brewing equipment, a not-quite-yet-operational distillery, and a restaurant with an outdoor biergarten. Executive Chef Brian Henson of Big Rock (Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association’s 2012 Chef of the Year) oversaw the creation of the menu at Griffin Claw.

Round Barn Brewery & Public House

9151 First Street
Baroda, MI

The most recent addition to the lineup is the Round Barn Brewery & Public House. The facility occupies the space of a former tool and die factory. The project included a new state-of-the-art brewing system and complete renovation of the public house space. A visit during the summer months provides the opportunity to enjoy a beer on the large outdoor patio.

Brewmaster Chris Noel has been honing his craft for several years and offers a diverse selection of both staple and seasonal/specialty beers. Every type of beer drinker should be able to find an appropriate selection from mild English style ales (Bob’s Your Uncle) to the very flavorful curry infused Black IPA (Brahman).

Stormcloud Brewing

303 Main Street
Frankfort, MI

Stormcloud opened the doors to their 3,100-square-foot microbrewery on Friday, June 21. Head brewer Brian Confer pays special attention to the yeast profiles in his Belgian-inspired ales; this attention to detail provides each beer its own distinct identity.

Sustainability is important to the owners of Stormcloud. The bar and tabletops were made from repurposed wood from a local bowling alley and the tap handles were crafted out of old cutting boards. The two-story building is complemented by an outdoor covered beer garden and there are plans to add a hop and herb garden adjacent to the building. The menu also features items with locally sourced ingredients.

Gerald Blakeslee is a huge supporter of the Michigan craft beer movement and is also a fan of making sure that safety is a top priority — designate a sober driver or call a cab.