Lake Charlevoix Brewing inflates to offer harbor-side brews

Lake Charlevoix Brewing Company (LCBC) has opened its doors just in time for the summer season. The new brewery boasts a lakefront location, where customers can enjoy craft beverages and food in its harbor-side outdoor seating.

LCBC offers five taps devoted to their own brews alongside three guest taps. Wine, cider and spirit options are also available for those less beer-inclined.

“Michigan craft is a lifestyle. We have people of all ages in here tonight — because everyone loves a good drink,” said Phil Parr, part-owner of LCBC and its neighbor Bridge Street Tap Room.

Its aim was to appeal to everyone.

“We wanted to provide more vibrancy for the city. People go to Petoskey or Traverse City, but we have a lot of good stuff here. So we are working towards creating a better draw for all ages to come and stop and visit. We have to give them something to do.”

Tucked into the boat harbor in the heart of downtown, LCBC represents a creative re-working of space. Before it was a brewery, the space belonged to the Coast Guard for years, and even after that it was only community storage. It took determination and vision to totally transition it into a usable and enjoyable atmosphere.

The successful progression of time between opening the Bridge Street Tap Room to opening LCBC — just one year — shows how quickly Michigan’s craft industry is evolving, even in smaller, up-north communities such as Charlevoix.

“We opened this location because it’s next to the Bridge Street Tap Room. It’s something that’s going to give us more seating, but offer the same great views and allow us the ability to brew our own beer,” said Parr.

With two customized 2.5 barrel systems made by Psycho Brews from Greenville, LCBC looks forward to working with more Michigan companies in the future to brew all-Michigan made beer.

“Right now we just want to make sure we’re brewing good beer for good people.”

LCBC aims to have four flagship beers, with Michigan Beach Blonde expected to be the most popular. Its craft beer menu also includes a British-style red, a smoky porter, a pale ale and a grapefruit saison. Most of its recipes have been adapted from homebrew concepts, which were then adjusted to be brewed on a larger, more sophisticated system.

“It was good to start there — to be able to experiment with smaller batches before trying it on a larger scale,” said Parr.

Besides creating and experimenting with their own beer and food menu, LCBC also hopes to create its own sustainability practices. They want to work with the city and Charlevoix community as a whole to continue to make improvements and learn about all the opportunities the craft industry offers.

“There’s a lot of community pride in here tonight, and we are all a huge support system for the city of Charlevoix.”

The Lake Charlevoix Brewing Company’s grand opening is followed by the second annual Charlevoix Craft Beer Festival, which takes place Saturday. LCBC will be joined by about 20 other breweries to celebrate summer and Michigan craft beer in the city of Charlevoix.

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