Monday, June 02, 2014

Cranker’s Brewery celebrates anniversaries in Big Rapids and Grand Rapids

Written by  Dan VanderKooi
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Cranker’s started as a family-owned chain of Coney Island themed restaurants in Mount Pleasant, Big Rapids, and Grand Rapids. The Big Rapids location expanded two years ago to include a separate brewery and production facility connected to the 24/7 dining location. After seeing sales at this location increase many times over, the Grand Rapids location was next to expand in May 2013 by adding a nano-sized brewing system also allowing them to serve and sell beer from the larger facility in Big Rapids. Plans are now in the works for the Mount Pleasant location to soon be able to offer the award-winning Cranker’s beers as well.
One of the keys to Cranker’s success has been due to the amazing beer being produced by head brewer Adam Mills. Interestingly, prior to being recruited for the position 2 year ago, Adam was the only brewer who applied with no prior professional brewing experience but was able to succeed on the strength of his homebrew recipes alone. Adam was able to adapt quickly to a large system winning World Expo of Beer recognition with several beers include the Professor IPA, 5th Voyage Coconut Porter, Crankenstein Amber Lager, and Honey Kolsch; all currently available in bottles.

The beer of Cranker’s has built on the already solid reputation earned from the expansive menu of food available at the restaurants. That reputation is of course built first on the authentic Coney dogs but also including a full menu including breakfast, appetizers, burgers, sandwiches and desserts. Add to the mix soup, salads, sides, and even some Mexican and is clear that Cranker’s is a place that can easily please even a family of many. I’ve dined at both the locations at Grand Rapids and Big Rapids and would not hesitate at a return to visit to either. I can see why Cranker’s, while still being very new, has already earned their place among Michigan’s top breweries.



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.