Under New Ownership readers have come to know us as a leading resource for information about the people, places, and events in Michigan’s thriving craft beverage scene.

This time the news we’re reporting is about us. We have a new owner. Steph Harding, well known for her photography work, stepped up to the helm when legal transfer of the business occurred on August 1, 2015. began as an idea between friends in January of 2011. Co-founders Bryan Esler, Christopher Epplett and Rob Kirkbride launched the website a few months later in May.

“We started the site with the tagline ‘Uncapping the story of Michigan beer one story at a time.’ I’m confident it will continue to do so,” Esler said.

Esler had been the only original co-founder active in ownership at the time of transfer. He will remain involved occasionally as a special consultant and event photographer.

“Bryan has put a lot of sweat equity into building to its current level,” said Harding. “I am looking forward to continuing the efforts and making it the premier website for Michigan craft beer, spirits, cider and mead information.”

Esler will shift his focus to his photography business, where he photographs corporate and community events, food and drink, commercial promotional images and more.

“I’m so proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish over the past four years,” said Esler. “While it’s bittersweet for me to move on, I know MittenBrew is left in good hands with Steph.”

Her plans for the future of the business include expanding coverage of meads, ciders and distilled spirits as Michigan’s share of those industries worldwide is rapidly increasing.’s format will largely stay the same for the time being. A new content-based email newsletter has begun with the goal of new editions every 2-3 weeks.

Many current staff writers and photographers will remain, with a few new additions and advancements of interns.

Harding’s photography can be found on, in Roadbelly magazine, Grand Rapids’ Beer City USA campaign, on her website, and many other notable places. She will continue contributing her work in addition to ownership responsibilities.

Sheryl Rose

Sheryl Rose

Sheryl is a citizen of the world, though she has always called Michigan home. Born and raised on the Mitten's west coast, she now divides her time between Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor. Reading and writing about beer, as well as brewing it, are all passions of hers but she enjoys drinking it and talking about it the most. Sheryl believes that beer people are often the best people and has made friends around the globe over a pint or two. She is involved in several women-only beer appreciation and education groups, including the PussyCat Beer Guild in Grand Rapids since it's inception. Recently, she contributed to the all-female edition of American Brewer magazine.

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