THE STORY OF NEWAYGO BREWING CO.
Newaygo Brewing Co. sprouted from the vision of Nick and Krista Looman of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Born out of their homebrewing hobby, the project was guided by the many people who believed in their vision to bring craft beer and a new restaurant experience to Newaygo, Michigan.
Nick brewed with friends for years eventually founding the Amateur Brewers of Grand Rapids homebrewing club. Together, Nick and Krista found craft beer to be a catalyst for close-knit friendships, education, artistic passion, and entrepreneurship. As their homebrewing operation grew, Krista asked Nick if he would consider opening a brewery with her, drastically altering the trajectory of their lives.
That was December 6, 2013.
Nick’s brother Eric joined the team as co-owner and CFO on December 16th. Their father Scott would eventually leave a teaching career and join the brewery-in-planning to develop and run the kitchen. Krista and Nick quit their jobs, sold their home and moved to Newaygo.
The Looman’s have deep roots in Newaygo having lived and vacationed in the area since the 1950s. It made sense to launch their project in a small town that was aching for a beer brand to call its own. Only a 45-minute drive from Grand Rapids (Beer City, USA), Newaygo enjoys the perks of the region’s booming beer industry as well as celebrated natural resources; the Muskegon River, Manistee National Forest, North Country Trail, and dozens of sport and fishing lakes. It is Grand Rapids’ playground.
Downtown Newaygo is a bustling burg with historic buildings, access to the Muskegon River, and shops and cafes shaded by mature trees. The public parking behind Newaygo Brewing Co. is a popular spot for kayakers and tubers to stage their river expeditions. More than one thousand people enjoy the river each weekend during summer months. What better place to take a paddle break than downtown Newaygo, with a cool beer and a plate to share with a friend, than Newaygo Brewing Co.?
After an arduous 18 month development period which found the Loomans completing a massive renovation of a historic building in downtown Newaygo, the brewing company opened. The Looman’s and their staff of 36 celebrated a grand opening on May 1, 2015. In their first year, the company expanded their menu 3 times, tapped 78 unique beer recipes, poured tens of thousands of pints, created 28 year-round jobs, and were a part of 4 community development projects.
The young company is known for their farm-to-table artisan pizzas, from-scratch desserts, English cask ales, comprehensive tap list, and community-oriented atmosphere.
Newaygo Brewing Co brews on a 6 barrel direct flame brewhouse from PsychoBrew (made in Michigan!)
WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT
NEWAYGO BREWING CO.?
Unlike bigger city breweries, we know that a lot of our guests are going to be adventurers and nature-lovers. We also realize that not everyone is a craft beer fanatic. Our two main goals are to complement the lifestyle of people who live and visit Newaygo by having a tasty beer and food menu with an approachable and welcoming experience and to specialize in beers for every palate. A lot of our beers are like ‘gateway’ beers. Craft beer drinkers will love them for their subtle and balanced flavors, but no matter who you are, you can find a smooth and crisp beer to enjoy at Newaygo Brewing Co.
The desire to find local ingredients and buy from Michigan businesses is another way that we’re different. Supporting our neighbors and fellow Michiganders is important to us. It’s not always easy in the beer world to get hops and barley, among other brewing ingredients, from local sources, but we’re working on it. Our menu features locally bought foods, and our beers are made with ingredients like coffee roasted in Traverse City, and maple syrup practically dripped from our backyard. We get as much as we can from as close as we can, and will continue building partnerships with local businesses to strengthen our community.