Nonprofit offering $200K to bring brewery to BC

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek
battle creek brewery 122717_452968

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — Attention brew masters and distillers — if you think you have what it takes to become Battle Creek’s one and only brewery, brew pub or distillery, you’re in luck. 

Battle Creek Unlimited has issued a request for proposals and is offering up to $200,000 to the winner.

In a part of the state known for its breweries and beer, Battle Creek is feeling left out in the cold. Arcadia shut down in August, leaving downtown with no brewpubs or distilleries.

Now, Battle Creek Unlimited is doing something about it.

“We have a number of buildings downtown that are available,” said John Hart, Cereal City Development Corp. development director. “Recently, Battle Creek Unlimited has got them back in their possession and have created RFPs in order to attract some interest in them.”

Battle Creek Unlimited is a nonprofit development organization. It wants to see a brewer or distiller move into one of its three buildings it acquired earlier this year — all of which have sat vacant for at least 10 years.

Take your pick. There’s 15 Carlyle St., 119/121 W. Michigan Ave. and 64 W. Michigan Ave.

“They’re due,” says Hart. “And they’re ripe for redevelopment.”

Those incentives include $200,000 in financial assistance.

“It’s very open-ended in the sense that we want to hear from folks what do they need that assistance for?” said Joe Sobieralski, Battle Creek Unlimited president and CEO. “Do they need help buying equipment? Do they need help with lease? Do they need help with some other things?”

If you’re a basement brewer, this gig may not be for you. There are several minimum qualifications, including the ability to show you can secure capital beyond the awarded money.

“I think the ideal candidate would be somebody that’s outside of a certain radius,” explains Sobieralski. “We don’t want somebody from a neighboring community, although if they have a viable option that’s great, but we want somebody that may already be established and looking to get into a second market.”

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