In a building on E Patterson in the North side of Kalamazoo, we find a building that not too long ago had been a glass blowing studio. While parts of the building are still reserved for other artists, Boatyard Brewing has been working diligently to set up their new home. Through the process of cleaning out and then setting up the space there have been a mishap or two. They had originally hoped to go into production toward the end of 2012 but through a mishap with the filing of background check paperwork, their licensing hearing has been moved to the middle of February.
Currently they are have been working test batches with a modified Sabco (https://brewmagic.com/
) system, roughly a half barrel brew system. When you walk through the brewery as it is right now, you do get a sense that it is a bit too large for their current set up. Now that they have gone through their final inspections and are waiting on the last bit of approvals, they have ordered the equipment that will become their 10 barrel brewhouse.
The openness of the space is only a minor note though, once you spend some time within the office space. Through conversation with Brian Steele, he mentioned that the brewery is close to being a home away from home. With the 10 to 12 hour days that he and Dan Gilligan have been spending at the brewery for the build-out they wanted a modicum of home.
During my first visit, they were planning to keep the East Patterson location as solely a brewery, with future plans to open a tasting room in a different location in downtown Kalamazoo. The extra time they have had to work on the space has changed that plan a bit. They are now working on a tasting room connected to the brewery that should be opening within the next few months. If all goes well, beer lovers will be able to find their beers on tap at local bars not too long before their own tasting room opens.