North Channel Brewing Co. opens its doors

The North Channel Brewing Co. is finally open on Washington Street in Manistee. (Ashlyn Korienek/ News Advocate)

The North Channel Brewing Co. is finally open on Washington Street in Manistee. (Ashlyn Korienek/ News Advocate)

MANISTEE — After years of hard work and dedication to its craft, the North Channel Brewing Co. finally opened its doors to the public in downtown Manistee on Friday afternoon.

Community members gathered outside of the brewery in support of the new business. Staff members and other city officials participated in a formal ribbon cutting ceremony.

Before the brewery opened at 5 p.m., Aaron May, brewery co-owner, said the staff is anxious to see how the public responds to the menu and beer list. He said he plans to stick around Manistee for many years to come.

“At the moment I am a little nervous, because it has been years of planning things out,” he said. “But if people come here and enjoy the beer, food and the atmosphere, then I am thrilled. I expect to be here for years to come.”

Left vacant for many years in downtown Manistee, the historical building located on Washington Street was restored with the new brewpub and upstairs apartments, which will not be ready until next year.

Bringing the flavor to the downtown area, the bar has 12 taps, which Carl Eskridge, manager, said will alternate based on the brews/hard ciders that are available and by season.

Brewer Bill Joslyn plans to make “classic style” beer with locally sourced ingredients, serving a variety of options from beers, wine and hard cider.

The brewery announced its first brew called “The First Beer” early in October. Joslyn plans to make around 400 to 500 barrels of ale in the first year alone.

As for the food, the menu has a “Tex-Mex” flair, which brings a new variety to the area.

“I am looking forward to people smiling and enjoying the beer and the food, and hopefully come back to see us,” May said.

Tyler Leppanen, executive and economic development director for the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), said North Channel has been a widely anticipated project in the community for a lengthy amount of time.

He said the brewery is a positive addition to the downtown area, as many residents have voiced opinions about the need for more food options.

“There has been a ton of excitement and anticipation from the community for the North Channel Brewery to open,” Leppanen said. “The owners of the brewery seem to be putting a quality team in place to provide a great product and fantastic customer service experience.”

Leppanen said the brewery is expected to provide a long-term, high impact on the downtown area.

“The North Channel Brewery will have a tremendous impact and be an anchor in Downtown Manistee for years to come,” he said.

 

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Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

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