Downtown Muskegon has its first two microbreweries on tap and will soon join the growing movement to make West Michigan a beer destination.
plans to open this spring in the Russell Block Building (read story here
), followed by Pigeon Hill Brewing
in the Noble Building (500 W. Western Ave.).
Pigeon Hill Brewing carries the name of a sand dune that once graced the shoreline
in Muskegon and was home to thousands of passenger pigeons. The sand was mined away for industrial purposes and 71 acres is now home to an elite housing development, Harbour Towne.
Pigeon Hill Brewing's owners Joel Kamp, Chad Doane, and Michael Brower, all avid home brewers, hope to resurrect the dune in memory.
"It is our goal to reinvigorate interest in local history, build a deeper sense of pride in the greater Muskegon area, and craft our city into a 'beer destination,'" Brower says. "While Pigeon Hill Brewing will not singlehandedly breathe new life into downtown Muskegon, we believe that our efforts, combined with the efforts of many others downtown, are exactly the catalyst that Muskegon needs to usher in a new, brighter future."
Interior demolition of the west 2,500-square-feet of the Noble Building (along Fifth St.) begins soon, with brewery construction to follow. The 80-seat taproom will share the space with a 3.5-barrel brew house that produces 108 gallons per batch. A separate area will be used for aging special release beers.
"Our beer will be as diverse as our customers," Brower says. "As of right now, our line-up includes Walter Blonde Ale, Shifting Sands IPA, LMFAO (Let Me Fetch An Oatmeal) Stout, Oatmeal Cream Pie, Skeetown Brown, and several other unnamed brews."
Brower says Pigeon Hill is working with the landlord to attract a restaurant to the building's other half.
Although Pigeon Hill hopes to open later this year, no date has been set.
Source: Michael Brower, Pigeon Hill Brewing
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor