Nanobrewery planned for Walker PHOTO BY SYDNEY SMITH

Nanobrewery planned for Walker

BY Friday, August 09, 2019 10:30am

WALKER — The owners of 1983 Brewing Company LLC are one step closer to opening Walker’s second brewery. 

The Walker Planning Commissioner approved a special land use permit and site plan for 1983 Brewing during its Aug. 7 meeting. The approval will allow the owners to use a 3,000-square-foot building at 3393 Remembrance Road NW for a nanobrewery, with commercial sales and on-site consumption.

Co-owner Brad Lawrence said the company will use a one-barrel brewing system, roughly three times the size of a typical homebrewing operation. 

“This is mostly to-go sales and brewing on site to give people a fresh product they can go enjoy at home,” he said, noting the goal is to sell beers within two to 10 days after it is packaged. 

The owners plan for the brewery to be open for sales Thursday through Saturday, with production taking place Monday through Wednesday. 

The company currently has seven finished beer recipes, Lawrence said, noting that the brewery hopes to open in early 2020.

The site is zoned partially highway commercial and partially single-family residential. The building was previously used by Bosworth Builders LLC and as a dental laboratory.

With the local approval for the site, 1983 Brewing must now submit a license application to the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.

If successful, 1983 Brewing Co. would be the second brewery to open in the Grand Rapids suburb of Walker. DeHop’s Brewing Co. opened its brewery and restaurant in February 2018 at 363 Cummings Ave. NW in the city’s Standale district. 

Nationwide, the craft brewing industry continues to grow, with 7,450 breweries operating during 2018, up nearly 13 percent from the prior year, according to the Boulder, Colo.-based Brewers Association, which estimates independent craft brewers’ sales at $26.7 billion. 

Michigan ranked fourth nationally last year with 510 permitted breweries, according to data from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). The data also includes breweries in planning or companies that received permits but never opened.

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