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Area’s first distillery since Prohibition up for sale

Michigan Beer Cellar is on Craigslist.

October 31, 2012
| By Pat Evans |
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Area's first brewery since Prohibition up for sale
Michigan Beer Cellar has a 3,500-square-foot, 120-seat tap room. Photo via Craigslist

With new breweries across West Michigan popping up, an established one has gone up for sale.

The Michigan Beer Cellar in Sparta found its way on to Craigslist last week, with owner Dan Humphrey asking $540,000 for the entire operation. The brewery is a profitable operation, said Humphrey, who opened the business a little more than two years ago.

“It’s time to move on,” he said. “I’ve put in a lot of long, hard hours (and) I have a couple of health issues. I just can’t keep up with the place.”

The cost includes the recipes, labels and names of the nine styles of beer, West Michigan distribution footprint, building, brewing equipment and license transfers. Humphrey also will include several months of training for the buyer.

The brewery has a 3,500-square-foot, 120-seat tap room and makes beer, wine and liquors. The brewing process is currently done on a five- barrel system and Humphrey said his distillery is the first in West Michigan since Prohibition.

He said he’s had some interest from potential buyers and set up some tours of the brewery. Humphrey won’t sell pieces off separately, as he believes the brewery has the makeup to be a large production operation.

“I want somebody that wants to move the place forward,” he said. “We’re planning on selling it, but I’ll keep running it until we find the right person.”

Humphrey might be taking his foot off the brewing pedal for now, but should he want to get back into the business, he has options.

His son, Nick, is co-owner of Hideout Brewing Co., and prior to opening Michigan Beer Cellar, he guest brewed at several area breweries.

“If I wanted to get back in, I’m sure they’d be more than happy to let me,” he said.

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