Food Service & Agriculture, Real Estate, and Retail

Detroit brewery opens taproom downtown

October 14, 2016
| By Pat Evans |
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Atwater Brewery, founded in 1997, says its "brewing process" is more than 200 years old. Photo via

Detroit’s largest brewery now has a taproom in downtown Grand Rapids.

Atwater Brewery opened Thursday inside The Rowe in Grand Rapids, at 201 Michigan St. NW.

The interior decorations are a combination of new construction, historic elements of The Rowe and reclaimed materials from buildings in Grand Rapids and Detroit.

“We’re thrilled to bring Detroit beer styles to Grand Rapids, connecting Michigan’s two largest cities,” said Mark Rieth, owner, Atwater Brewery.

“As a wonderful, historic and architecturally interesting building that’s being brought back to its original glory in downtown Grand Rapids, The Rowe building is an ideal spot for our biergarten and tap house.”

An official grand-opening ceremony will be held on Oct. 26.

Drink and food menu

The taproom will serve Atwater’s mainstay beers, such as Dirty Blonde and Vanilla Java Porter, from its production facility in Detroit, along with specialty beers made in house on a German-made Braukon system.

Along with its 40 beers on tap, Atwater will feature a selection of its brands of wine, cider and spirits.

The food menu will feature German wieners, pizzas, salads, desserts and a selection of items special to Grand Rapids, such as chicken schnitzel.


Atwater Brewery was founded in 1997 in Detroit’s Rivertown district.

Atwater brewed more than 40,000 barrels in 2015 and expects similar output in 2016 as it gears up for expansion. In 2017, Rieth expects Atwater to surpass 50,000 barrels.

Atwater also has a taproom in Grosse Pointe, called Atwater in the Park.

Grand Rapids is the company’s third location, and it plans to open similar concepts across the country.

Next year, the company plans to open a $15-million production facility in Austin, Texas, in partnership with Flemish Fox Brewery & Craftworks. 

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