Charlevoix Seeks Brewery

This summer I received an email from Keith Carey of the Charlevoix Downtown Development Authority. In it he mentioned the DDA’s desire to have a microbrewery in their town so I asked him if he was willing to promote it on our blog. He was.

I agree with Keith. A microbrewery would be a fantastic addition to Charlevoix. Way back in 2007 when people had computer desks and you had to text using your phone dial pad Sarah and I drove through it looking for a brewpub. While we  didn’t find one, what we found was a beautiful city ( it made the Forbes list of America’s Prettiest Towns) in both location and architecture that was bustling with shoppers perusing great shops and dining at local restaurants.

I finally “sat down” for a virtual  Q & A  with Keith this week about the prospects of a brewery in Charlevoix. Here’s what he had to say:

What type of city is Charlevoix?

Charlevoix is a city of 3,000 year round residents that typically swells to 30,000 or more during the summer months. Our community welcomes a significant number of summer residents, or “resorters”, who relocate to their summer homes in Charlevoix between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  Downtown Charlevoix is nestled on an isthmus between majestic Lake Michigan and beautiful Round Lake.  Along with its beautiful water views and million-dollar sunsets, Downtown Charlevoix is most noted for its signature drawbridge which opens every hour and half hour and its truly unique waterfront shopping and dining experience.

Downtown Charlevoix is also home to the second most popular municipal marina in Michigan.  This facility, along with the two square block expanse of East Park, received a $13.5 million upgrade less than five years ago.  This massive renovation project expanded the number of full-service boat slips to 75 and included a new harbor master building and state-of-the-art outdoor performance pavilion.  The project resulted in East Park being recognized as one of only ten “Great Public Spaces for 2009” by the American Planning Association.  Charlevoix was also recently recognized as the #2 “Best Yachting Town in the World” by Yachting magazine and its readers in July 2011.

What do you see as the mutual benefits of having a brewery in Charlevoix?

Charlevoix provides an excellent opportunity for a brewery due to its loyal, year-round customer base, strong summer tourism season, unique geographic location, and vibrant events and activities calendar.

The significant upgrades to Downtown Charlevoix’s municipal marina and signature East Park also make buildings within our downtown development authority boundaries eligible for participation in Michigan’s Redevelopment Liquor License program, offering licenses at a reduced cost in exchange for private building improvement investment.

Becoming home to a brewery would broaden Charlevoix’s eatery inventory and aid us in our efforts to make our downtown a must-stop destination for dining and entertainment.

Any brewer would want to know if your water source is Lake Michigan. Is that the case?

Yes, homes and businesses within the Charlevoix city limits, including Downtown Charlevoix, receive their filtered and treated water directly from Lake Michigan.

Can anyone interested in opening a brewery contact you?

I’d welcome any opportunity to speak with folks interested in opening a brewpub here in Charlevoix (or any other business, for that matter).  I can be reached by calling 231 547-3257 or emailing kcarey@cityofcharlevoix.org.  If someone simply wants to learn more about Downtown Charlevoix, they can visit our webpage at www.DowntownCharlevoix.com or our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DowntownCharlevoix.

I would like to thank Keith for taking part in this short Q&A. I wish you luck in finding a brewer to make Charlevoix their home.

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