Atwater Brewery Joins Grand Rapids

Atwater Brewery owner, Mark Rieth, says he’s ready to bridge Detroit’s craft beer with Grand Rapids’ booming “Beer City” scene.

Atwater is moving to an open space at The Rowe off of Michigan Street NW. They are bringing their German lager-style beer to beer city USA.

Sweeter than ales, Atwater has brewed lager-style beers since 1997 out of Detroit. In 2002, Rieth became a business partner, then advanced to be the owner in 2005. The “Dirty Blonde” and “Vanilla Java Porter” are two of Atwater’s most popular lagers.

The brewery will offer 30 varieties of beer on tap, then will expand to 40 varieties over time.

The brewing equipment is capable of producing over 800 barrels every year. The Detroit location produces around 45,000 barrels every year.

In the late 1980’s, Rieth began home fermenting lager in Boston. He encourages his brewing staff to be creative with the imported Bavarian brew system.

The Grand Rapids brewers answered the challenge, making two IPA’s named “Better Life Choices,” and “World Peace,” Rieth said.

The new brewery has 186 indoor seats and 60 outdoors. Atwater’s menu has sandwiches, pizzas, appetizers, salads, and entrees. Atwater even carries their own wine brand!

Atwater Brewery Challenges

Rieth said one of Atwater’s biggest challenges is convincing customers that parking is easily available at the busy corner of Monroe and Michigan. However, there are 1,500 parking spots within walking distance from the pub.

The business also encourages walking and biking there from downtown. Atwater will also welcome dog lovers in their outdoor seating area.

The brewery opens just after the downtown crowds came to visit for ArtPrize.

They originally planned to open before ArtPrize, but due to equipment, construction and licensing delays, they were unable to open until now, Rieth said.