GRAND RAPIDS — Harmony Hall will be closing its doors on Grand Rapids’ west side as the owners of Harmony Brewing Co. LLC plan to move brewing production to another location to “maximize” distribution.
The company, owned by siblings Heather, Barry and Jackson Van Dyke, announced today that it will close the 401 Stocking Ave. NW location after ArtPrize this year and move its brewing operations to an off-site, production-only facility. The owners “wrestled with this for a long time,” according to the statement posted to Harmony’s Facebook page.
Harmony Hall launched in 2015 as a satellite location to help the brewery keep up with demand for beer production. Because the Eastown site was constrained for space, the owners moved most of the brewery’s production operations to the Harmony Hall location. Now, they said the Harmony Hall facility lacks the space the company needs for “large scale production, so we had to make the difficult choice to move.”
The company’s original location in Eastown will remain open and will host events such as live music and comedy shows that currently take place at Harmony Hall.
Harmony Hall’s closure announcement comes on the heels of the brewery changing its state licensure from a brewpub to become a microbrewery, which gave the company the ability to distribute its beer, in addition to making its own wine and spirits. The licenses were issued on Oct. 18.
At the time, the owners told MiBiz that they were planning to invest in both the Eastown and west side locations, including building a new canning line and upgrading production equipment at Harmony Hall.
The Stocking Avenue building previously housed Little Mexico Restaurant and before that served as a sausage factory. The structure features Bavarian architecture and Mexican relief murals that the owners preserved when converting the space into Harmony Hall.
“Thank you to all of our regulars, mug club members and neighbors who claimed a spot at Harmony Hall,” according to the company’s Facebook post. “Thank you to the performers, musicians, community groups, artisans and beer enthusiasts who enlivened our space. And thank you to our amazing, hard working and creative staff, as always.”
News of the Harmony Hall closures comes after several West Michigan breweries have shut down this year. They include Osgood Brewing, which announced Sept. 1 that its restaurant was closed and it was winding down brewing operations in Grandville, and ELK Brewing Co., which shut down its Wealthy Street location on May 14. Previously, ELK Brewing also closed its Comstock Park location in January of this year.
As well, Sawyer-based Greenbush Brewing Co. in July reportedly closed its satellite brewpub in South Bend, Ind. that it opened inside a SpartanNash-owned Martin’s Super Market in November 2019, according to a report in Inside Indiana Business.
However, some companies in Michigan’s beer industry remain in expansion mode. That includes Reed City Brewing Co. in Mecosta County, north of Big Rapids, which plans to take over the recently vacated Long Road Distillers space in Cadillac to open a satellite location to be known as Cadillac Brewing Co., according to a report by the Cadillac News.
“We have built a foundation for many to enjoy and we are looking to create the same atmosphere just north of us,” owners Kevin, Deanna and Courtney Murphy (a husband and wife and daughter team) said in a statement posted on Reed City Brewing’s social media.
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