Brewery expands to fill demand


The Mitten Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids is a baseball-themed microbrewery that pairs craft beer with specialty pizzas. Photo via

A brewery’s beers are going so fast, the owners need more room to brew beer.

The Mitten Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids said today that it has leased a 10,000-square-foot industrial space to grow its beer-marking capacity and meet demand, at 540 Leonard St. NW.

The brewhouse space is just around the corner from the brewery’s historic Engine House No. 9 building on Leonard Street NW.

The space will allow the brewery to expand into the upstairs of the firehouse and outside, which is set to open in late spring.

The brewery said its expanded capacity should also allow it to begin distribution into the Michigan market.

Beer supply

Since its soft opening in 2012, The Mitten Brewing has consistently had a weekly problem with running low on beer.

"Although the problem is a good problem to have, it's still a problem," said Max Trierweiler, Mitten Brewing co-owner. "As we continue to grow, we have undoubtedly turned away patrons due to our lack of product. This upgrade will help us meet that demand."

Mitten Brewing's three-barrel brew system brewed almost to full capacity last year — 512 barrels — and “keeping up with demand is not possible with the current brewhouse.”

The brewery is filling the nearby industrial space with a 20-barrel brew system.

“This expansion is the foundation of our growth,” said Chris Andrus, Mitten Brewing co-owner. “Customers throughout Michigan are asking for our beer, and we want to make sure they can get it on a regular basis.”

The new system’s initial annual capacity is expected to be 1,000 barrels, with a cap of 10,000 barrels.

The brewery will mostly produce its two flagship beers, Country Strong IPA and Triple Crown Brown, at the facility and rotate in other brews.

“It also opens up fermenters in the taproom brewhouse, which will allow us to experiment more,” Andrus said. 

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