Brewery planning lakeshore taproom


Mitten Brewing's Saugatuck taproom will seat up to 42 customers inside. Courtesy The Mitten Brewing Co.

A local brewery has its sights set on the lakeshore.

The Mitten Brewing Co. plans to open a taproom and restaurant in Saugatuck, at 329 Water St.

The Saugatuck City Council voted this week during a special meeting to recommend approval to the Michigan Liquor Control Commission for Grand Rapids-based Mitten Brewing to serve alcohol on the premises.

The company also plans to serve wine and hard cider.

The council approved a special land-use application for the site during a Jan. 21 meeting. The building is the former home of Borrowed Time, a beer and wine bar.

The Saugatuck location is expected to open on June 1.

Mitten Brewing’s co-owner Max Trierweiler said the company plans to do a small-scale build out of the existing space. The cost of construction is uncertain, but it may range around $50,000.

“The fact that it was a restaurant previously makes it a lot easier for us to move in,” he said.

The 1,900-square-foot location is already equipped with a kitchen, and Trierweiler said their biggest project would be to add cooler space to expand the original four-tap system to a 12-tap system.

Trierweiler said the smaller venue would mimic the feel of its Northport location but have the added advantage of serving pizza. The Saugatuck menu would not be as extensive as in Grand Rapids.

Mitten Brewing has contracted Grand Rapids-based Willink Construction for both construction and architecture. The company is also working with Grand Rapids-based Mercantile Bank on financing.

The brewery would manage its own interior design. The company intends to mirror the design of its Grand Rapids location, built within the historic Engine House No. 9.

The interior would seat 42 guests. The property also affords outdoor seating on a deck and a yard, which the company plans to use for picnic-style seating.

Trierweiler added that Mitten Brewing was drawn to Saugatuck because of the new market opportunities it provides.

“We really haven’t been actively seeking out these satellite locations, they come to us,” he said. “A lot of people from Chicago travel to Saugatuck. This is a whole new audience for us.”

While Mitten Brewing has no immediate plans to travel out of state, Trierweiler did not rule out the possibility of tapping into the Chicago market.

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