Brewery wins Business of the Year award
A brewery in the region has received widespread support from neighboring businesses to win a Business of the Year award during its first full year in operation.
The Round Barn Brewery & Public House in downtown Baroda, south of Benton Harbor, was named the Business of the Year by the Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce during its annual meeting this month.
The chamber serves members in Stevensville, Baroda and south St. Joseph.
Chris Moersch, one of the owners of Round Barn, said the brewery was nominated by other businesses in the community, and the award means a lot, since it’s given by its peers and during its first year.
“We are frankly shocked and very pleasantly surprised by it,” Moersch said. “It is an honor to be recognized by your peers.”
The Round Barn Brewery & Public House, the production brewery of the Round Barn Winery, Brewery and Distillery, serves more than 20 taps of unique microbrews, hand-crafted cocktails from their distillery and their award-winning Michigan wines.
“One of the very cool things about our business is our entire bar, we make it,” Moersch said. “We are a winery, distillery and brewery.”
Moersch added that the brewery’s food is made in a “from-scratch kitchen.”
“You can’t make all the booze and buy all the food,” Moersch said.
Round Barn’s brewery production was relocated to the 10,000-square-foot location in 2012 after the site of a former tool-and-dye shop sat empty for a couple years.
“We opened the bar portion in July of 2013, opened the kitchen in October of 2013 and then 2014 was our first full year of operations,” Moersch said. “It has been great. Frankly, we wanted to be part of the rebuilding of downtown Baroda. We felt like we would be a welcome addition, and we have been very well supported by the local community.”
As Round Barn Brewery & Public House enters its second year, Moersch said the biggest addition they’re looking forward to is completing the installation of sliding-paneled windows for the outdoor patio.
“Toward the end of last year, we covered our outdoor patio and are in the process of closing it in,” Moersch. “It will help us better utilize that space and serve more people.”
The Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce also awarded the Community Spirit of the Year to Eric Banchet, for his work with the Lakeshore Band.
The chamber’s board named several officers at its meeting this month: Larry Wozniak, president; Claudia Ruppel, first vice president; Mary Hill, second vice president; Debra Shannon, secretary; Kellen Van Hulle, treasurer; and Tomeka Kinne, past president.