MUSKGEON — Pigeon Hill Brewing Co. LLC plans to keep the beer flowing at its Western Avenue taproom for now, while fine-tuning brewing operations in its new facility.
The popular Muskegon brewery eventually expects to move its taproom out of the Noble Building at 500 W. Western Ave., but is staying put in the facility at least through the busiest months of the year, said Michael Brower, co-owner and director of sales and marketing.
“Frankly, I still love that taproom, and we’re excited to spend the summer there,” Brower said.
The brewery plans big changes on the horizon, including a new taproom with a kitchen and space for outdoor games and events in the years to come. Pigeon Hill relocated its production operations and offices into a new building at 895 Fourth St. near Shoreline Drive in April and started brewing beer there in May.
The new brewhouse is part of a $2 million expansion that will eventually move most of Pigeon Hill’s operations across Shoreline Drive and accommodate future growth.
“We do have the taproom space white boxed here at the new facility,” Brower said. “We’re still in the process of making sure all of the bugs are worked out and everything is working efficiently on the production side.”
The owners have yet to announce an official taproom move or when the new space will be ready.
“We want to make sure we do it right, take our time, plan and when we’re able to actually launch it, everything is as good as it can be,” Brower said.
Founded by Brower, Joel Kamp and Chad Doane, Pigeon Hill celebrated five years in business in March, and was one of the first tenants to revive Western Avenue near Muskegon’s L.C. Walker Arena. The company started out brewing beer in the Noble Building and has a lease into 2021 for the taproom.
The company also owns and plans in the future to redevelop its former production facility at 441 W. Western Ave, which it currently uses for storage.
Pigeon Hill built its new 15,000-square-foot, two-story brew house on a former city-owned parking lot. The property will accommodate future expansion — an agreement with the city allows up to a 30,000-square-foot addition — but the brewery initially plans to use the extra outdoor space for outdoor games and special events.
Pigeon Hill sold 3,072.5 barrels of beer in Michigan last year, a 14.9 percent increase over 2017, according to data from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.
Muskegon City Manager Frank Peterson told MiBiz he anticipates the Noble Building space will find a new tenant quickly once Pigeon Hill eventually moves out.
As MiBiz reported in February, West Michigan Rum Co. LLC plans to open a 1,200-square-foot tasting room and cocktail bar branded as Burl & Sprig behind Pigeon Hill’s existing taproom in the Noble Building. The floor also includes cigar lounge The Humidor and Topshelf Pizza & Pub.