GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Alger Heights neighborhood will contribute to the title of “Beer City USA” in the fall of 2017, when the Brass Ring Brewery opens.
Chris Gibbons, a lawyer in West Michigan, received a use variance permit from the city of Grand Rapids in December 2016 and is waiting on permission to move forward with construction. As soon as he gets approved, he says he’s ready to go.
Gibbons is an attorney with Dunn/Gibbons PLC and plans to open the microbrewery at 2404 Eastern Avenue SE in the Alger Heights business district. Residents will recognize the space as the former Dog King hot dog and ice-cream shop, although it will take on a new look under Gibbons’ vision.
“I started brewing at home about ten years ago so I’ve been making beer for quite a while. Last year I turned 50 and I thought, well if you’re going to start a brewery you better get going!” explained Gibbons about the timing of his decision.
Gibbons went to Aquinas College and has lived in Eastown, so he wanted to start his new business on the southeast side and found the perfect opportunity in Alger Heights.
“From all the research and what I’ve seen, there’s a lot of room on the micro level, in a neighborhood like this. We are going to draw heavily on the Alger Heights neighborhood in providing a community space for people to come and have a refreshment and a place to get together and socialize,” said Gibbons.
As for the kind of beer customers can expect, Gibbons will brew small quantities of each beer with an emphasis on “drinkability.” He hopes to have something like a summer beer, or a Pabst Blue Ribbon-style light beer, but will offer mostly ales. As for the food, it will be small plates of meats, cheeses and breads — all locally sourced.
“I was excited when I first heard about it, I feel like Alger Heights is up-and-coming and may be the next hip Eastown,” said Niki Corcoran, who lives in the neighborhood. She is hoping to open a yoga studio in the area, and is excited to support another local business.
Gibbons wants his brewery to have a community vibe, where customers sit at a long table down the middle of the room and get to know each other.
Kent County public records show he bought the space in October last year for $154,500.