Food Service & Agriculture, Real Estate, and Retail

Partners plan brewery in downtown neighborhood

November 6, 2015
| By Pat Evans |
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City Built Brewing Co.
City Built Brewing Co. in northwest Grand Rapids will focus on "distinctive" beer flavors and a Puerto Rican-influenced menu. Photo via

A Puerto Rican-themed brewery is coming to Grand Rapids.

City Built Brewing Co. will open its doors this summer in a 5,000-square-foot space as part of 616 Lofts on Monroe, at 820 Monroe Ave. NW.

The brewery is a joint venture between former Northwestern Mutual financial advisor Edwin Collazo and David Petroelije.

The pair have more than 30 years of brewing experience, and the project is backed by nearly two dozen Michigan investors.

Collazo said the pair are "really excited" to get the brewery "off the ground and serve great beer to some of the most discerning beer fans in the world."

“City Built is a labor of love for David, myself, our families and our friends, and we want to bring different flavors to the beer landscape in Grand Rapids," Collazo said.

“We’re thrilled to be in the North Monroe neighborhood, where a locally built brewery can thrive and be part of the local community.”

Lott3Metz Architecture in Grand Rapids is serving as the project’s architect, and Honor Professional Management in Grand Rapids is the contractor on the project.

"Distinctive" flavors

Petroelje will lead the 10-barrel brewhouse and draw on various cultures, such as Belgium, Scandinavia and Poland, for creative beers, using herbs and spices outside of hops.

Petroelje said City Built will aim to brew beers that are "different and delicious."

"We’re looking forward to blazing a new trail in the beer city,” Petroelje said. “We'll brew some good pales and IPAs to satisfy hop heads, but we will also be using flavors like lavender, cardamom and sage to give our beers a distinctive edge.

“When beer fans take a sip of City Built beer, we want their senses to wake up and their taste buds to know they’re drinking something they’ve never had before.”

City Built expects to distribute its beers and will initially brew 1,000 barrels annually. It has the ability to brew more than 7,000 barrels a year.


Collazo’s wife, Karen, will lead the kitchen and use her Grand Rapids Community College culinary training.

The menu will include items using Collazo’s family recipes from Puerto Rico.

Brewing neighbors

Petroelje began brewing as a student at Calvin College in the mid 1990s.

Collazo began brewing with his uncle before the pair started brewing together when they met as neighbors in Heritage Hill.

The City Built business partnership was started in 2013.

616 Lofts on Monroe

As part of 616 Lofts on Monroe — a four story, $22-million renovation project, with 85 one- and two-bedroom apartments — City Built Brewing will be neighbors with the already-announced Fido & Stitch boutique dog store, CKO Kickboxing and the fourth restaurant by Essence Restaurant Group.

The project by Grand Rapids-based 616 Development has 40,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor. 

“We are excited to have a neighborhood brewery in our building," said Monica Steimle, director of development, 616 Development.

Steimle added that the brewery will be "an additional attraction" for the Monroe North and Belknap neighborhoods.

“City Built has the potential to shake up Grand Rapids’ thriving craft beer scene, and we look forward to their success and growth,” Steimle said. 

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