January 18, 2017
8:56 am

Bridgman's Haymarket Opening at Last

A couple of veteran Chicago brewers who finalized the deal to acquire the former Bridgman State Police Post just under two years ago and then hired contractors from Benton Harbor for a substantial makeover and expansion of the building for what has become the Haymarket Pub & Brewery on Red Arrow Highway are finally ready to throw open the doors and welcome you in just after the New Year. For those who have been waiting...it's a New Year of great anticipation.
Brewmaster Pete Crowley and his business partner John Neurauter closed the deal with Lake Charter Township officials in mid-March of 2015 and immediately dispatched crews from McGuire's Professional Construction of Benton Harbor to begin the conversion into a full-scale production brewery. The new venture joins the Haymarket Pub & Brewery in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago, which the two opened nearly seven years ago.
The new brewery was acquired from Lake Township for $500,000 in a deal originally struck in the fall of 2014. It sits on a 17-acre wooded site, and will feature a large outdoor beer garden in the summer season, as well as space to host a variety of outdoor events.
In his original blog statement on Haymarket Brewing Company's own website, in the spring of 2015, Crowley voiced considerable excitement over the eastward expansion saying, "I'm proud to call myself a Chicagoan and be a part of its great craft brewing scene for over 15 years." He added, "During that time I met my business partner John Neurauter, who introduced me to beautiful Southwest Michigan. I am looking forward to joining a second amazing group of brewers and to be able to call both places my home."
The original Haymarket Pub & Brewery is located at 737 W. Randolph in Chicago, and was opened for business in 2010, specializing in "Classic Belgian and contemporary American brewing styles, with an emphasis on hops, barrel-aging and a wide variety of authentic Belgian yeast strains."
The new place in Bridgman has undergone a massive conversion including more than a million dollars in bottling equipment alone. The former State Police Post was built by Lake Township in 1994 for lease to the state of Michigan, but was vacated when budget cuts forced the closure in the fall of 2011.
Over the course of a three-year expansion plan in Bridgman, Haymarket Brewing projects up to 40 employees on staff with over half of those enlisted as full-timers in the bottling facility.
In the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago, the Haymarket Pub & Brewery is housed in a 100-year old building a stone's throw from a historical marker dedicating the site of the Haymarket Riot of 1886. Their kitchen there offers "house-made sausages, smoked meats, specialty pizzas and other handcrafted fare," according to the online blog.
For Crowley's part, the web defines him as "A highly decorated brewer, having won 70 local, national and international awards for his beers, including medals from the World Beer Cup, Great American Beer Festival, and the Festival of Wood & Barrel-Aged Beer." His resume lists "Varieties ranging from refreshing Pilsners to hoppy ales and rich Imperial Stouts aged in bourbon barrels, a brewing technique that has put Crowley on the national beer map for his pioneering work with the specialty."
Haymarket's "The Defender" American Stout captured Gold Medals in 2014 at both the World Beer Cup and the Great American Beer Festival.
In Bridgman the Haymarket Pub & Brewery includes a taproom and kitchen serving those same wood-fired pizzas and house-made sausages in addition to the production brewery on site.
Haymarket Pub & Brewery of Bridgman has plans for a soft opening on the weekend of January 5th and a full Grand Opening celebration coming on January 12th
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