Stormcloud is ‘a brewin’

Stormcloud Brewing Company’s signature beers have begun shipping out of the new distribution facility and headed to  markets in the Grand Traverse Area and beyond. (Photo/Colin Merry)

Stormcloud Brewing Company’s signature beers have begun shipping out of the new distribution facility and headed to markets in the Grand Traverse Area and beyond. (Photo/Colin Merry)

Distribution facility starts shipping popular beer

FRANKFORT — Craft beer lovers across the state can now start enjoying Stormcloud Brewing Company’s signature beers.

Since the canning line at Stormcloud’s new 12,700 foot production facility went online in early March, the company has begun shipping pallets filled with six-packs of Rainmaker and Whiled Away to stores in Grand Traverse, Leelanau and Benzie counties, as well as to markets beyond.

Some stores in Benzie County already have the product on the shelf.

Rainmaker and Whiled Away are the first two signature beers from Stormcloud Brewing Company canned at a new distribution facility. (Photo/Colin Merry)

Rainmaker and Whiled Away are the first two signature beers from Stormcloud Brewing Company canned at a new distribution facility. (Photo/Colin Merry)

According to Keirsun Scott, marketing and communications manager for Stormcloud, the first batch, which started shipping on March 15, contained around 470 cases of Rainmaker and 270 cases of whiled away

Stormcloud also sells kegs of beer to area restaurants, and the new facility will help them reach new markets in the restaurant field, as well.

The facility, located on Parkview Lane, in Frankfort’s industrial park, features a 20 barrel Sprinkman brewhouse, which Scott said was hand-made.

Rick Schmitt, who co-owns Stormcloud Brewing Company with brewer Brian Confer, said the system is capable of producing 4,500 barrels of beer a year.

He also said the canning line can produce about 30 cans per minute.

The idea, according to Schmitt, is to begin distributing locally, and work into the Grand Rapids market and beyond, if the demand dictates.

“I’m proud of our efforts to make great beer that people want to drink,” Confer said “We’re very excited about the increased capacity at the new facility, both in terms of brewing volume and lab space to continue our push for the best quality beer we can make.”

While not open yet, the distribution facility also will have a tasting room, where people will be able to get pints and buy retail product to take home. Tours of the facility also will be available. However, the new facility will not offer food service, like

Stormcloud Brewing Company’s new distribution center features a 20 barrel Sprinkman brewhouse, which can make around 4,500 barrels of beer a year. (Photo/Colin Merry)

Stormcloud Brewing Company’s new distribution center features a 20 barrel Sprinkman brewhouse, which can make around 4,500 barrels of beer a year. (Photo/Colin Merry)

Stormcloud’s downtown Frankfort pub.

Schmitt said he expects the new facility to create 10 or 12 new jobs, and it will be open year-round, with the majority of the brewing for both distribution and the downtown Frankfort pub location.

The pub’s brewing facility, which features seven barrels, will be used to make experimental beers and small batches.

There also is a small-batch brewing system at the distribution facility.

We have a lot of new beer flavors in mind that we were unable to pursue at the smaller pub brewery,” Confer said. “It’s going to be a great couple of years at Stormcloud.”

As for why Stormcloud decided to build a new facility, Schmitt said it was the natural progression for the business, Schmitt said Stormcloud had reached capacity at its downtown Frankfort location, and couldn’t make beer fast enough as it was, let alone for distribution.

A public grand opening of Stormcloud’s brewing facility will be scheduled in the future.

 

Leave a Reply