20 Years Over Beers – Episode 2: First Batch

“I kiss her – I say I’ll be back – and I walk down the hill to start selling beer in the craft beer industry and my first kid is born.”

When Mike and Dave decided to pursue their dream of opening a brewery and secured the location in the Brassworks Building, they immediately got to work on brewing their first batch. Because they didn’t have all the necessary equipment, they headed to a contract brewer, Ambleside Brewing, in Minnesota and, armed only with a home brewing background and not much else, got started. After 18 hours of nonstop work (mostly because they didn’t know how to shut the equipment off) they had their first batch packaged and ready to head back to Grand Rapids. Their launch event took place at a local pub, Flanagan’s, on March 13. Mike’s first daughter (and child), Emma, was born on March 12. He kissed his wife, Cathy, and Emma goodbye, walked down the hill from the hospital to Flanagan’s and, with Dave, started a career in the craft beer industry. Two weeks later, their first batch was recalled. To this day, it was the only batch of beer we have had to recall – lesson learned.