Beards Brewery celebrated its third anniversary on Saturday with a special Three Years of Beards event. In its first three years, Beards has established itself within the Petoskey community and has grown intentionally with compassion and careful consideration.
Founders Peter Manthei and Ben Slocum started with a small one-barrel system and a quaint downtown location. Now, three years later, Beards is brewing with a 15-barrel system in a production facility in Charlevoix and has created a unique atmosphere in which the community is embraced and celebrated.
“We are intentionally working with the community and don’t just want to be a business,” said Manthei.
Three Years of Beards celebrated these successes as well as its sense of community. The event featured specials and surprises throughout the day. A commemorative t-shirt was available, as well as surprise movie posters featuring the Beards’ brewers. Happy’s Taco Shop served a delicious selection of tacos throughout the evening, and Beards tapped three specialty release beers.
Over the course of their first three years, Manthei and Slocum have scaled their business slowly. They took time in their first year to work out the quirks of being a new brewery. Utilizing the one-barrel system enabled them to take the leap from homebrewing while also using professional brewing equipment. Then, in Beards’ second year, there was a focus on fine-tuning production and education, as well as adding a new head brewer.
“We have a supportive Guild in Michigan, and by working with other brewers we’ve learned a lot about best practices,” Manthei said. “And because we home brewed, we were also able to see the why behind those practices.”
Throughout the brewery’s second year, demand grew, leading Manthei and Slocumto open a production facility in Charlevoix. By making this investment in time and best practices, Beards has been able to grow while also remaining passionate.
And, now, as Beards heads into its fourth year, it will continue to stay dedicated to its community while also continuing to grow. The production facility has allowed for an increase in brewing capacity, and now, Manthei and Slocum may need to consider a new taproom location as interest in their beer grows.
“We will need more space. We also want to stay downtown and stay a part of the community,” said Manthei.