Joe Boomgaard

Joe Boomgaard

Editor, covers craft beverage industry.
Twitter: @jboomgaard
Email: [email protected]

GRAND RAPIDS — After more than three and a half years in business, Gray Skies Distillery LLC has rebranded as Eastern Kille Distillery, effective immediately, to coincide with the first statewide launch of the company’s bourbon. 

WALKER — Chris Sherrell, a veteran grocery executive who worked with Meijer Inc. to launch the Fresh Thyme Farmers Market concept in 2012, has stepped down from the company.

ZEELAND — The United Auto Workers strike against General Motors has cost Tier 1 automotive supplier Gentex Corp. about $7 million to $8 million per week in lost sales. 

When Fox Motors negotiates deals to buy other dealerships, the Grand Rapids-based company prioritizes treating sellers fairly in the transactions. 

Sunday, 06 October 2019 11:58

Pux Cider plans Grand Rapids tasting room

GRAND RAPIDS — Conklin-based Pux Cider hopes to open its first tasting room in early 2020 in Grand Rapids’ Midtown neighborhood. 

SAWYER — A Southwest Michigan brewery is expanding with a new location in Indiana in partnership with a SpartanNash Co.-owned grocery store. 

GRAND RAPIDS — After five years in operation tucked away in a nondescript office building along U.S. 131, mead maker Arktos LLC plans to move to a new location along Grand Rapids’ bustling Bridge Street corridor. 

KALAMAZOO — In the four years since Kalamazoo Valley Community College launched its sustainable brewing program, it could use student-made beers for tastings and instructional purposes, but not offer it for sale in its on-campus full-service restaurant. 

GRAND RAPIDS — A deepening partnership with a Spain-based minority shareholder provided Founders Brewing Co. Executive Chairman John Green the perfect timing to jump back into an early-stage growth company.

GRAND RAPIDS — Founders Brewing Co. is selling a majority stake in the business to the brewery’s Spain-based minority shareholder, MiBiz has learned. 

Native American tribes that want to participate in Michigan’s fledgling cannabis industry face many bureaucratic hurdles.

WALKER — A federal agency has accused supercenter retailer Meijer Inc. of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act over its treatment of an employee at a store in Oakland County in Southeast Michigan.

new bill would end a time-consuming bonding process needed to get a license for Michigan-based craft beverage producers and certain out-of-state companies that sell alcoholic beverages in Michigan. 

HOLLAND — Reports this month that LG Chem plans to build a second U.S. lithium-ion battery plant underscore how much the automotive industry has evolved in the six years since the company started making advanced batteries in West Michigan.

GRAND RAPIDS — Tensions between Michigan craft beverage producers and the state regulatory agency appear to be ratcheting up with the filing of a new federal lawsuit, MiBiz has learned. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Tribally-owned Gun Lake Investments is making an active push into the West Michigan commercial real estate market with an investment in a high-profile redevelopment and three property acquisitions so far this year, MiBiz has learned. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Five Michigan breweries are suing the Michigan Liquor Control Commission over the regulatory agency’s quashing of free bingo promotions at their taprooms.

The retail industry finds itself at a crossroads of many diverging influences. 

GREENVILLE — When the third-generation owners of what’s today known as Stafford Media Inc. decided to sell the publishing and commercial printing company that had been in their family for 68 years, they went to great lengths to vet potential buyers.

Jeff Korzenik became interested in how businesses can successfully hire ex-offenders “almost by accident.” He credits sending his children to public magnet schools in Chicago with opening his eyes to the challenges different groups of people face. 

After more than six decades under the ownership of the Stafford family, the Greenville Daily News is selling to new owners.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019 09:52

ICCF plans move to new HQ in Grand Rapids

After helping save one historic building from the wrecking ball and rehabilitate it into usable office space, the Inner City Christian Federation is looking to do “an encore performance.”

South Bend, Ind.-based Teachers Credit Union plans to acquire New Bancorp Inc., the parent company of New Buffalo Savings Bank.

As more generations become exposed over time to the craft beer industry, brewers will face new opportunities to find growth and challenges to their existing business models. Add in a healthy dose of regulatory uncertainty and shifting market dynamics that could easily catch breweries off guard financially if they scaled up too large, too soon and it’s easy to see that the craft brewing industry remains in a state of constant flux.

In the hyper-competitive craft beer industry in which growth has started to level off in recent years, Old Nation Brewing Co. proves the exception to the rule. The Williamston-based brewery has garnered a name for itself with its M-43 brand, a popular New England-style hazy India Pale Ale that carries a suggested retail price of $13.99 per four-pack of 16-ounce cans.

Macatawa Bank Corp. recorded strong earnings growth for the first three months of 2019.

After stories began to emerge in late 2017 that tannery wastes had contaminated the Rogue River, customers at nearby Rockford Brewing Co. started expressing concern about the safety of drinking the beer. Even though Rockford Brewing was connected to municipal water, which has tested non-detect for the PFAS family contaminants over four rounds of testing, the brewery still faced a possible PR crisis, said co-owner Seth Rivard.

When Chico, Calif.-based Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. put out the “bat signal” seeking help to support victims of last year’s catastrophic Camp Fire in northern California, the Michigan craft brewing industry set into motion. Their rallying point: Resilience Butte County Proud IPA. Sierra Nevada created the beer as a fundraiser, pledging to donate 100 percent of its profits from the sale of the product to the Camp Fire Relief Fund. The 10th-largest U.S. brewery then shared the recipe online and encouraged breweries all over the country to participate.

MUSKEGON — Shifting dynamics in the automotive industry convinced family-owned Hines Corp., an industrial holding company, to seek a buyer for its Michigan Spring & Stamping LLC operations. The decision came after Michigan Spring successfully launched a new production facility in China in September 2018 in response to demands from a key customer, said George “Bud” Hendrick III, executive vice president of corporate development at Hines Corp.

The founding couple whose initials gave ELK Brewing LLC its name are no longer with the company.