Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sparta’s Michigan Beer Cellar Successfully Sells Via Craigslist

Written by  Dan VanderKooi
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Sparta’s Michigan Beer Cellar Successfully Sells Via Craigslist

Michigan Beer Cellar’s founder Dan Humphrey made the news last fall when he put his successful Sparta-based brew for sale on Craigslist with an asking price of over $500,000. After discussions with approximately 20 different interested parties, Michigan Beer Cellar has found it’s new owner. Chuck Brown, whose background experience includes many years in accounting and food service, has had owning and operating a restaurant as a goal. In the last couple of years, a home-brewing hobby fueled by a Mr. Beer kit leading to all-grain brewing has resulted in shifting priorities.. Chuck’s immediate focus with the brewery is to continue to brew the signature recipes and brands that founder Dan Humphrey has spent the last 3 years building, and continuing his vision to develop and push the brewery to bigger heights.
Michigan Beer Cellar opened in Sparta a few years back as the only game in town. Just in the last year, the microbrew landscape has changed dramatically with new breweries opening in close proximity. First Perrin Brewing Company opened in nearby Comstock Park with a 50 million dollar facility putting themselves in league with some of Michigan’s larger breweries. More recently Rockford Brewing has opened with great beer, sandwiches, and an awesome view of scenic Rogue River Dam. With this microbrewery explosion, Michigan Beer Cellar has maintained a core base of loyal followers plus has the benefiting exposure of the expanding local beer scene.

Transfer of licenses and finalizing of paperwork happened over this past weekend, which also happens to be Dan Humphrey’s birthday, so a celebration was held at the brewery with cake and live music from Beer Cellar regular performers Delilah DeWylde and the Lost Boys. Dan’s last batches brewed with Chuck this past weekend are two new lagers, a Vienna and a Dopplebock. Dan also will stay on as a consultant through next month before officially retiring from the Beer Cellar. Chuck Brown will be debuting his own recipe, the “Lucky Enough” Amber Ale, at the brewery’s Saint Patrick’s day celebration featuring live Irish music from Paddy’s Cure, Dorian’s Cross, plus Lee Mulder and Tom Mooney starting at 2 PM Sunday, March 17th. Other upcoming events include the 5th annual Pink Dress Run, and the brewery will be celebrating it’s 3-year anniversary in June.

Dan VanderKooi

Dan VanderKooi

Dan VK has been following the Michigan Craft Beer scene since before Oberon has been available in 6-packs. Besides making the rounds at all the local craft breweries and beer bars, Dan also supports the local music scene, reads crime fiction, and enjoys playing volleyball with his wife and friends.