LAKETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Guardian Brewing Company is moving out of Michigan.
The brewery, which opened almost five years ago on 63rd Street off of Blue Star Highway near Saugatuck in Laketown Township, is moving to Indiana due to medical issues in the owner’s family.
Head brewer Kim Collins, who owns the brewery with Kate Bishop, said while they put a lot of thought into it, it was ultimately an easy decision.
“I would say that choosing family and family’s health was a very easy decision, so we know what we need to do. But moving the business was the big piece,” she said.
Since announcing their move, she said they’ve heard nothing but nice things from community members, who have been sad but understanding.
“When you have to make a decision for your family member’s health and they have to move in with you, it’s a big one, but it’s a quick one, and I think anybody close to their family understands that,” Collins said.
While they’re keeping the recipes as they move Guardian Brewing Company out of state, they’re selling the building and equipment. Collins said there’s already been a lot of interest in the property, which includes a 12,000-square foot building constructed in 1912, a 3,500-square foot patio and 4 acres of land.
Collins said she’s grateful there’s been so much interest, as the transition would be more challenging without it.
Guardian Brewing will officially close in Saugatuck when the new owners are ready to take over the property or on Saint Patrick’s Day 2024 — whichever comes first.
“We set that day with our staff in mind, so it will give them a little bit of a break before the summer season … where we know that they will be hired,” Collins said. “They’re wonderful people. Anyone would be lucky to have them.”
Until then, it will remain open to customers and will continue to host events like yoga sessions, craft workshops and beer school.
On Nov. 11, it will host its last Makers Market with 15 vendors.
“(Makers Markets) just really opened up the Guardian community, between the folks that love beer, folks that don’t know if they like beer but want to learn more about it, and then all the makers and artists in the area,” Collins said.
It will celebrate its fifth anniversary on Dec. 21, when Guardian Brewing will serve its five years of anniversary beers as flights.
They’ll also continue to put as much beer into the retail market as they can.
Collins said they’re grateful to the Saugatuck community for welcoming them and supporting them over the past five years.
“We’re from Colorado before this, so thank you for welcoming us as the strangers from out of town and trusting us with such a beautiful historical building,” she said. “… This will always be special to us: what we’ve done here and the Michigan beer community.”
Whenever they needed help, someone always stepped up to help, she said.
As they get ready to close one chapter, Collins said she’s looking forward to the next.
“We’ll just do it again,” she said. “Do it again with more family nearby.”