It is said you learn something new everyday. Well did you know that Michigan is ranked sixth in the nation for having the most microbreweries, breweries, and brewpubs? It’s true! Michigan is ranked sixth with having over 80 beer brewing businesses! That’s a lot of beer, hence why Michigan is nicknamed “The Great Beer State.” Michigan has given birth to multiple successful breweries including Bell’s Brewery, Short’s Brewery, Big Buck Brewery, etc. And now the state’s legacy continues with the opening of the newly redefined Cheboygan Brewing Company!
After 100 years of waiting, the Cheboygan Brewing Company has finally returned. Back in the 1880’s, breweries were sprouting up in Michigan to quench the thirst of the hardworking lumberjacks. In 1882 the Maloney brothers opened up the brewery in Cheboygan, Michigan. Although business was booming, the Maloney brothers sold the brewery in 1905. These new owners expanded the business tremendously and introduced new methods such as using “crown cap” closures rather than corking the bottle. The newspaper during this time, the Cheboygan Democrat, advertised bottled beer from the brewery for $1.25 for a dozen quarts and $1.50 for two dozen pints. Don’t people wish it were still like that today! Unfortunately the logging business began to diminish since most of the forests had been cleared. Due to pressuring prohibition laws as well as the waning economy, the Cheboygan Brewery could not keep up with competing breweries and closed its doors in 1911. Now after exactly 100 years owners Mark Lorenz, Jamie McClurg, along with Joe Kwiatkowski reopened the Cheboygan Brewing Company in downtown Cheboygan.
The brewery celebrated its grand opening Memorial Day weekend by opening its doors to the public and having live entertainment by the brewery’s own Cheboygan Brewhouse Band. The brand new building consists of a rooftop deck, a patio, a taproom, and also includes a small museum within the building to show the public an important aspect of the brewery: its history. During its grand opening people had the opportunity to taste the brewery’s first brewed beer: Lighthouse Amber. Tim Perry is Cheboygan Brewing Company’s genius brew master who created the beer. Cheboygan resident Spencer Libby describes the beer, “It’s refreshing and tastier than store bought beer, it’s different too, which makes it a nice change of pace.” Lighthouse Amber quickly became a favorite to all. The Cheboygan Brewing Company has sent out Lighthouse Amber to businesses all around northern Michigan. Right now hours at the brewery are Thursday through Saturday 4-10pm, including live entertainment on Saturday evenings.
This northern Michigan historical spot is a necessary addition to anyone’s to-do list. If you are not in the area, look for the Cheboygan Brewing Company’s Lighthouse Amber in a bar or restaurant near you! Also, go to www.cheboyganbrewing.com to browse some of the brewery’s new gear! Stay up to date about live entertainment and new flavors on their Facebook page! www.facebook.com/cheboyganbrewing. For more Michingan Beer information go to www.drinkmichigan.org to see all the breweries in the state as well as a list of beer-related events! ~Mel Libby, Regional Director
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