Brewery Profile – Greenbush Brewing Co.

Sawyer, Michigan’s Greenbush Brews Full-bodied Beer

Greenbush Brewing Co. opened their doors in June 2011 and have been growing their company and brand presence ever since.

Longtime friends and co-owners Scott Sullivan and Justin Heckathorn decided to open Greenbush after Sullivan moved back to Michigan from Chicago.

Sullivan leads the vision of Greenbush in projects and programs, while Heckathorn deals with the financial and compliance issues.

That method has worked. Greenbush has expanded their brew system from a 7-barrel to a 15-barrel capacity to keep up with demand not even two years after opening. The 12,800 sq. ft. brewery put out 8,100 barrels of beer in 2014.

The Brewery

Greenbush now employs 12 people in the brewery and supplies craft beer lovers in Michigan, Northwest Indiana, and the greater Chicago area.

Head brewer Jake Demski joined Greenbush as a cellarman in April 2013, moved to brewer in November 2013, and became the head brewer in May 2015. Demski has been able to learn and perfect the 75 different Greenbush styles and recipes on the roster over his two years of employment.

‘We don’t make any beer below 6% ABV,” says Aaron Darling, operations director for Greenbush. “We make full-bodied beer with a lot of flavor.”

The Restaurant

The 1,750 sq. ft. restaurant employs another 50 people while the full-service kitchen prepares a variety of food from snacks like pork belly cracklins and wings to sandwiches and entrees.

The facility, including the restaurant and annex, serves up to 28 different beers.

Michigan Ingredients

Greenbush utilizes fresh, Michigan-grown whole-cone hops from Hop Head Farms in Hickory Corners to brew the specialty pale ale called Demeter every September.

Michigan Hop Alliance is also a business partner who supplies a couple of fields worth of Summit hops.

The brewers want to add Michigan-grown malt to the ingredient list whenever possible.

Expansion Plans

Over the next few years, Sullivan and Heckathorn hope to complete another expansion with the addition of a new production facility across the street from the current brewery/taproom complex.

“We can’t really give solid dates for the expansion,” says Darling. “There are a lot of things up in the air, and things can change quickly when planning a major project.”

Brewery Favorites and Availability

The brewer and customer-favorite beers match up with Star Chicken Shotgun (6.8% IPA), Anger (7.6% Black IPA), and Brother Benjamin (10.1% Imperial IPA with Honey) rounding out the top three.

Pints: Yes
Flights: Yes
Bottles: Yes
Growlers/Howlers: Yes
Kegs: No

Contact and Connect

Greenbush Brewing Co.
5885 Sawyer Road
Sawyer, MI 49125


April Fool’s Day Video

The team at Greenbush maintains a good sense of humor about operations and the need for capital as displayed in this April Fool’s Day video.