Grand River Brewery’s history is embedded into the community, land, and spirit of Michigan. Those who started the journey many years back were inspired by the beautiful purity of our waters and the kind open hearted people who live here. Nearly 20 years ago, Cherry Creek Winery was started on the North side of US 12 in the Irish Hills, eventually expanding out to a larger space along I 94 where a tasting room, vineyard, and restaurant were born.
10 years ago, the original owner, John, purchased a historic building in downtown Jackson, Michigan, which he worked tirelessly to renovate into Grand River Marketplace. This marketplace included a branch of Cherry Creek Winery, a deli, a brand new restaurant, a market, and the beginning of Grand River Brewery. Over the years, this space evolved into Grand River Brewery as it is today. Some years ago, John hired Justin as a consultant, and he came in with a strong pursuit to make Grand River Brewery the best restaurant in the state. Along the way, John pioneered the combination brewery, winery, and distillery, with Grand River Brewery becoming the very first brewery to also be a distillery. Though John has moved on to other business endeavors, Justin Dalenberg stepped in to take a very hands-on position as the operator of the brewery. With his influence and expertise, Grand River Brewery has grown to be the community staple it is today, with around 300 employees across both locations. In 2018, we expanded to open a location in Marshall, Michigan, which has since flourished and become a home for many locals.
Our partnership with the Manchester Market, which is home to Grand River Bakery and Butchery, has elevated us in this way, as it really showed us that we are capable of making our own product better than we can buy it. At both the market and the brewery you can find impassioned individuals whose driving force is a desire to serve the community and share in the bounty of quality craft food. Arie, the head pastry chef at the Manchester Market, has perfected recipes for our brioche burger buns, pretzels, bread bowls, and much more. His training at Johnson and Wales in Providence, Rhode Island gives him a unique and expert perspective on all of our baked goods. Our partnership with the butchers at Manchester Market means we always get the highest quality meats available to us, so our guests can rest assured that their food comes from a place of love and care.
We apply the same level of care to our brewing as we do to our food. We brew using traditional methods to honor the history of beer making while putting our own special twist on things. The GRB brewers remain authentic to the brewing experience from the beginning to the end, starting with sitting around sampling beers and dreaming up recipes. The process of brewing is as social as drinking beer is, so our brewers wanted to craft beers that have their own stories to share in the circle.
From the beautiful nature found in Michigan to the history and happenings of Jackson, GRB pulls inspiration from all around when crafting our beers. This love and care for food and drinks is our reason for being who we are. Grand River Brewery works hard to make sure we serve the best food, which allows us to uplift and empower our staff and guests alike. Our hands-on approach to training ensures that everyone who works for Grand River Brewery loves what they do and allows them to be fulfilled by the act of service. We consider ourselves to be in the business of happiness above all else, and we never underestimate the power of good food, good drinks, and good friends.