A rendering of the Rowe Hotel Building in downtown Grand Rapids redeveloped into residential and retail space. Courtesy CWD
A Detroit brewery is planning to set up shop in downtown Grand Rapids.
Atwater moves in
Atwater Brewery said today that it plans to open a taphouse and biergarten inside the renovated Rowe Hotel Building, at 201 Michigan St. NW.
It will be the second taphouse Atwater has set up outside its Detroit riverfront brewery — and Atwater plans on opening more across the country.
Atwater in the Park in Grosse Pointe Park opened in 2014 and has “done extremely well and has given us the impetus to reach out to other markets,” said Mark Rieth, owner, Atwater Brewery.
“We’ve always said our goal is to bring our Detroit beer styles to new markets, and where better to start than in Beer City, U.S.A., right here in Grand Rapids, Michigan?" Rieth said. "We’ve found a great spot for our taphouse, and we’re excited to be part of this important renovation project in the heart of the city."
Atwater in the Park was named among the “Top Ten New Beer Halls in the Nation” and the No. 1 “Most Traditional” by Jetsetter Magazine.
Rieth said the biergarten project will repurpose parts of the building and include outdoor space.
“The Rowe building is an ideal spot for our biergarten and taphouse concept,” Rieth said. “First, it’s a wonderful historic and architecturally interesting building that will be brought back to its original glory and become another noteworthy asset in downtown Grand Rapids.
“Second, we’ll have beautiful outdoor space that will allow for a truly authentic biergarten experience.”
The new location will feature about 40 beers, many made within the downtown Grand Rapids location. Some of those Grand Rapids-brewed beers will be available at select retailers.
Atwater also recently introduced a line of spirits, wines and ciders, which will be available.
Atwater made its splash in Grand Rapids this week with the release of a collaboration beer with B.O.B.'s Brewery, the Michigunder. The German-style Dortmunder Lager is offered during ArtPrize.
“The Grand Rapids opening is an exciting event for Atwater,” Rieth said. “It’s just proof that if you roll up your sleeves and dedicate yourself to making beer you believe in with people you believe in, good things happen.”
The location of Atwater in Grand Rapids was a project CWD Real Estate Investment Managing Partner Sam Cummings took upon himself.
Grand Rapids-based CWD, working on behalf of property owner OMH, is managing the Rowe Hotel project, a $22-million-to-$26-million renovation that will include 9,500 square feet of retail and restaurant space and 77 one- and two-bedroom apartments.
“I couldn't get enough of Atwater’s lager, and its Purple Gang Pilsner in my refrigerator, so I had to figure out a way to bring them to Grand Rapids,” Cummings said. “I think Atwater will be a fantastic addition to the Rowe project and to the Grand Rapids beer scene."
Atwater’s national vision
Last year, Atwater produced about 40,000 barrels of beer. The brewery does have aggressive growth plans. With limited space in its Detroit brewery, Atwater began brewing at the contract brewing facility Brew Detroit.
In 2014, Atwater announced a second production facility in Austin, Texas. The brewery is reportedly a $15-million project with a capacity to brew 100,000 barrels of beer. Recent reports have the capacity more in tune to 40,000 annual barrels, distributing to the California, Colorado and Southwest markets.
Atwater is also planning a similar brewery for North Carolina.
Atwater currently distributes to 22 states. The brewery reportedly hopes to produce 250,000 barrels of beer by 2018.
Atwater Brewery was founded in 1997, but Rieth took over in 2005 when it produced 800 barrels of beer. This year, it could brew about 100,000 barrels, with revenue of more than $12 million.