New Dutch Girl Brewery Opens in West MichiganBy Jane Whitttington on September 25th, 2015 /
What started as a hobby has become a vocation for husband and wife team, Luke Finchem and Kelly Rozema Finchem. In fact, Kelly describes their new business as “a hobby that got out of control.” Their Dutch Girl Brewery in Spring Lake, near Grand Haven and Lake Michigan, has become the latest entry into the trendy craft beer scene. Located just outside of town, the facility includes not only a comfortable, airy place to check out the ten beers they brew up on site, but also to listen to live music, enjoy light snacks and soak up the friendly vibe of this new venture.
According to Kelly, “We had been doing home brewing for a long time before we decided we wanted to do this as a business. It took about three years from the time we started talking about the idea to our opening. We scouted out different locations around the area before we found this place. It used to be Midwest Motor Sports, and we were able to remodel it to include not only the brewery but also the bar area. The brewery is behind glass walls, so our customers can see the beer being made. We had fun coming up with the design and making it our own. Our tables are made from reclaimed material from Holland Christian High School—the wood used to be bleachers at the school.”
She continues, “This is very much a family business. My brother is CFO and my brother-in-law has made his career in food science. We’ve had support from our families every step of the way.”
The name comes from Kelly’s Dutch heritage, and the décor in the facility includes a collage of Klompen (wooden shoes) and family photos.
They currently have ten beers on tap with plans to continue developing more. They serve some food and customers are invited to bring in their own food or order in from Vander Mill, a restaurant just across the street, or a local pizza eatery. Kelly says that they hope to eventually add a kitchen and food service.
Local musicians are featured on Friday and/or Saturday nights, and there is no cover charge.
Dutch Girl Brewery has been participating in summer festivals throughout the area, and on Saturday, October 17, they are hosting a Bier Fest with their own beers, food vendors, live music and games. They plan to make this an annual event.
With 11 employees including a full-time head brewer, Dutch Girl Brewery has been busy from day one. Their blend of casual comfort and superlative beer has drawn in customers who continue to come back to sample the latest on tap offerings. According to Kelly, “Our most popular beers are Dirty Boots, which we actually named after our dog, which uses seven types of light and dark roasted grains, and Coastie Kolsch, a German pilsner malt. We buy as many of our ingredients locally as we are able; we think it’s important to support local business.”
For those who just can’t make up their minds, Dutch Girl also offers flights of four or eight five-ounce samplers
For more information, visit www.dutchgirlbrewery.com.