Cedar Springs Brewing Company breaks ground
By Judy Reed
Dozens of people turned out this week to witness something that hasn’t happened here in downtown Cedar Springs in a long time—a groundbreaking for a brand new business at the corner of Maple and Main Street.
Excitement was in the air Tuesday, October 14, as the Cedar Springs Brewing Company ceremoniously broke ground.
“It was a lot of fun and I was tremendously encouraged by the wonderful turnout for the event,” remarked owner David Ringler.
On hand to give remarks was John Wheeler of Orion Construction, Mike Corby of Integrated Architecture, Jason Parker of Choice One Bank, Mark Fankhauser, Mayor of the City of Cedar Springs, and 73rd District Representative Peter MacGregor, who said Rep. Rob VerHeulen couldn’t be there and so he was representing them both.
MacGregor, who has been instrumental in helping with legislation regarding craft brewing, said it’s a win-win for the craft brew industry, which keeps growing. “They’ve figured out that if we offer a great product, they will come. And it’s also a win-win for the agriculture industry with the products that are used. So, it’s a win-win for the state, and another reason for people to stop here in Cedar Springs,” he said.
The brewery is expected to be complete in the spring of 2015. Orion Construction began site work after demolishing the existing building earlier this fall. “We have a few housekeeping issues still in progress, including the completing of our environmental reports and some organizational issues, but we’re beginning the physical construction as soon as possible, with hopes to have the outside shell enclosed before the weather slows us down,” explained Ringler.
The project involves new construction of a 5,700 sq. ft. steel, brick and glass building, along with an outdoor biergarden, providing a beautiful environment along the White Pine Trail trailhead in Cedar Springs. The site is oriented to provide room for future growth of the brewery. The design features large windows allowing for natural light in the dining facility, along with both traditional American and traditional European-style seating. The concept is intended to complement the surrounding buildings on Main Street and provide a gateway to the north for future growth. The exterior treatments (international-style flags, signs and open-air spaces) are designed to attract visitors and become a focal point of Main Street.
The brewery/restaurant will feature a variety of craft beers, focusing on German styles along with a full food menu, in-house made spirits, wine and non-alcoholic beverages. Ringler (a.k.a “Director of Happiness”) lived in Germany for four years where he apprenticed with local brewmasters. After leaving Germany, Ringler continued his brewing education at the renowned Seibel Institute of Brewing Science in Chicago. In 2013, Ringler began the formal process in Cedar Springs and received all permits and approvals to proceed. “This project is the result of a near 25-year dream,” said Ringler. “Our final approval was both a relief and a thrill. This is the culmination of a long process and the start of another. We’ve been encouraged by the wonderful support we’ve received from the town of Cedar Springs and we are ready to serve this community upon completion of construction.” Ringler added that he believes with continued support of the local community that this project will serve as a catalyst for future growth, development and jobs in Cedar Springs.
“We know there are many excellent brewers in Michigan and we look forward to being a part of that. We’ve done a lot of research into the atmosphere, menu and experience most craft beer fans hope for when visiting a brewpub. We are confident in our understanding of our audience and we are proud of our entire menu. We hope locals and visitors will love Cedar Springs Brewing Company and we are honored to have the support of Cedar Springs as we move forward,” said Ringler.