Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Sleepwalker Spirts and Ale Is Excited About Expanding Into New Location

Written by  Aimee West
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Recently I was able to sit down and talk with Matt Jason from Sleepwalker Spirits and Ale. Sleepwalker Spirits and Ale was partly inspired by a love of creating spirits and by a historic preservation article describing how small businesses can preserve the integrity of the community in the face of large “big box” businesses. They want to be, “A locally owned business that is a reflection of the larger community.”
Matt is excited to be expanding their community-based footprint by moving out of their small Allen Street Neighborhood ‘closet-sized space’ to just around the corner into the currently empty space on the corner of Kalamazoo and Shepard. The current owner has already started demo on the space so they are excited about the possibility of a smooth transition with the storefront opening sometime this summer.

The new space is around 5,000 sq. ft. total, and will feature a bar and open seating area for around 60 people. The goal is to have a mix of bar and table space so people can enjoy a pint of beer and conversation. Matt said he wants, “a warm and cozy environment that is suited to intimate conversation as well as live music.” He is looking for more of a modern pub feel. They want to host different events and are excited to see what sort of events the greater Lansing community brings.

They plan on purchasing a seven barrel system soon for the new brewery space and Matt is excited to finally start distilling whiskey! When I asked “why whiskey?” He mentioned how there is a resurgence of interest in whiskey, and that it is an interesting spirit to work with and even more fun to experiment with. The plan is to start with a white, unaged whiskey. The mad scientist alive in both Matt and Jeremy will have a chance to be creative with their future whiskey endeavors, from infusions to small batch aged projects.

Expanding on the community feel, they want to have a small kitchen offering locally made foods, like meats and cheeses. Matt even mentioned the possibility of featuring local food producers and chefs and how, “we think having food is important.” With the Allen Street Neighborhood Market in the same building, the food possibilities are limitless. How much fun would that be to pick up dinner and a growler of beer to go?

Matt is looking forward to this space being a community owned place that can, “connect the some of the different patrons of Lansing’s Eastside together.”  I can’t wait to see the finished space and attend the first community event at Sleepwalker Spirits and Ale’s new location.

Aimee West

Aimee West

Is new to the craft beer scene but always willing and wanting to learn more.