Battle Creek natives return home to open Handmap Brewing

BY MiBiz Staff Tuesday, June 11, 2019 08:30am

BATTLE CREEK — The latest brewery to receive a $200,000 incentive from Battle Creek Unlimited Inc. has been identified publicly for the first time.

Handmap Brewing LLC will occupy ground-floor space in the historic Record Box redevelopment at 15 Carlyle Street, according to a statement.


Founded by Battle Creek natives Chris McCleary and Jenniver Brown, Handmap Brewing plans to brew beer on site and offer a small menu. Crews currently are building out the taproom, which is slated to open in fall 2019 and employ about 12 people.

McCleary comes to the venture as its head brewer after a decade of brewing industry experience. Most recently, he spent the last three years brewing at Goose Island Beer Co. in Chicago. Meanwhile, Brown has decades of business and financial experience at Chicago-based firms.

“We are looking forward to coming home to open Handmap Brewing, catching up with old friends and making many new ones and are excited to be part of the great things happening in Battle Creek,” Brown said in a statement. “Our intent is to create an atmosphere where everyone feels welcome, from the craft beer enthusiast to people who have never been to a brewery.”

Handmap Brewing currently is in the application process for a microbrewery and small winemaker license from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission, according to state records.

Last week, an affiliate of developer Restore 269 LLC received a $415,000 performance-based grant via the Michigan Community Revitalization Program to close financing gaps on the historic renovation project, as MiBiz previously reported. The Battle Creek-based Restore 269 is investing $1.8 million to transform the long-vacant three-story building, which will include a technology office with a web design company and shared work space on the second floor and an event space on the third floor.

The Handmap Brewing project is the second $200,000 incentive Battle Creek Unlimited gave to a brewpub to locate a taproom and restaurant in the city’s downtown. The other award went to Grand Rapids- and Holland-based New Holland Brewing Co. LLC, which is investing more than $1 million to renovate an 18,000-square-foot building at 64 W. Michigan Ave.

Battle Creek Unlimited turned to the non-traditional incentives in a bid to improve vibrancy and attract more people to the city, as MiBiz reported this week.

“Handmap Brewing’s decision to locate at the Record Box will build upon the transformative momentum that is currently underway in downtown Battle Creek,” BCU President and CEO Joe Sobieralski said in a statement. “We are not only excited to watch them grow and thrive in Battle Creek but thrilled to see the downtown momentum continue.”


EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to correct a typo. 

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