Saturday, April 20, 2013

Pigeon Hill Brewing Company to establish downtown location in emerging Muskegon beer scene

Written by  Dan VanderKooi
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Pigeon Hill Brewing Company to establish downtown location in emerging Muskegon beer scene

Pigeon Hill Brewing Company is the second brewery to announce plans to open in downtown Muskegon location this year. Locating within a half mile down the road from the previously announced Unruly Brewing, the brewery will occupy space in the Noble Building adjacent to the L. C. Walker Arena on Western Avenue. For those not familiar, the name “Pigeon Hill” is a reference to a magnificent sand dune that was once quite an attraction in Muskegon almost a century ago prior to the dune’s eventual removal and later development into residential condos.
Pigeon Hill Brewing CompanyA question some might ask: Can Muskegon handle two breweries in close proximity? Most certainly. Case in point; look at the two breweries to open in Hudsonville last year, White Flame and Pike 51, in a community that was dry a mere few years ago. Also, Pigeon Hill Brewing Company will start with a 3.5 barrel system. Put in perspective, this is half of the size of the recently opened Rockford Brewing which as the sole brewery in that community is already in the process of expanding to meet the demands. And think about what a great pub crawl Muskegon’s Western Avenue and surrounding area will make with nearby businesses like Hennessy’s, Racquets, and Tipsy Toad all within easy walking distance!

The team of Joel Kamp, Chad Doane, and Michael Brower behind Pigeon hill already includes some award-winning homebrewers. I’ve personally had opportunity to try some of these from Joel and can attest to the quality of his beer. Additionally, Chad, as president of the Muskegon Ottawa Brewers (MOB for short,) has certainly earned the respect of the local brewing community. Michael’s own background as West Michigan’s premier Liquor Lawyer with his firm Stariha Brower also will play a valuable role in getting this brewery off the ground as any brewery would agree brewing great beer is only half the battle with the complex legal road regarding the various licenses in this State.

Speaking of the beer, several recipes have already been established for the upcoming taplist with mainstays that might include the Walter Blonde Ale and Skeetown Brown, and a specialty in the works already nicknamed the “O.C.P.” - Oatmeal Cream Pie. Although details are yet to be announced, plans are in the works for Pigeon Hill Brewing Company to partner with another business at the same location to provide food options for brewery patrons. I won’t name names, but I've already heard talk of several popular local sandwich and/or pizza restaurants which would be more than ready to jump on board to team up with a local downtown Muskegon brewery. I think that Muskegon is more than ready for Pigeon Hill Brewing Company.

Dan VanderKooi

Dan VanderKooi

Dan VK has been following the Michigan Craft Beer scene since before Oberon has been available in 6-packs. Besides making the rounds at all the local craft breweries and beer bars, Dan also supports the local music scene, reads crime fiction, and enjoys playing volleyball with his wife and friends.