December 18, 2018

Bier Breaks into Beers

Charlevoix’s Bier Gallery owners to open brewery in gallery’s backyard
By Al Parker | Jan. 20, 2018

A popular Charlevoix-area gallery is hoping to expand from artwork … to ales and lagers.

Adjacent to the Bier Gallery and Pottery Studio noted potter and avid brewer Tyler Bier and his wife, Anna, are planning to open Bier’s Inwood Brewery in a separate building just a short walk up a hill from the art gallery.

Bier said the idea came about one night as the couple and a group of friends sat outside the family’s “Eagle Nest,” sipping on Bier’s homebrews and marveling at the Lake Michigan sunsets.

“I’ve been brewing for about seven years,” said Bier. “Working as a potter, I had a little extra time in the winter, so the idea of brewing my own beer meant I could be productive and have some fun. I’ve always been interested in how things work, so I really enjoyed building my own brewing equipment — first brewing in my kitchen and then outside on another system that I built.”

As a self-taught brewer, there was plenty of trial and error for Bier.

“I read a lot of books and beer forums, but ultimately I learned new things with every batch I brewed.”

The brewery, located about six miles south of Charlevoix, just off US-31, on Ferry Road, is housed in the family’s Victorian-style home. It’s been renovated and will seat just under 50 guests inside, plus offer a large outdoor area so visitors can enjoy the fresh air, games and stunning panoramic views of Lake Michigan.

“We have no food plans at this time,” said Bier. “But people are welcome to bring their own food, and food trucks are a possibility.”

Bier will be brewing on a two-barrel system and plans to have eight rotating taps of beer, along with cider and wine. He looks forward to using local ingredients as much as he can, whenever they are available.

“I’d like to offer a little bit of everything,” he said. “I’ll be brewing a lot of beers true to style but also take the opportunity to use non-traditional techniques and ingredients that are shaping the craft-beer world.”

So what type of beer does he enjoying making the most?

“My favorite beers to brew are Belgian-style beers because the simplest ingredients can create the most complex flavors, which are almost entirely dependent on the yeast,” he said. “They are more unpredictable because the yeast plays more of a role in the outcome of the flavors than I do.”

So is Bier giving up his popular pottery work to focus solely on a new career as brew master?

Not at all.

“I’ll be doing all of the brewing, and my wife and I will be running the brewery,” he explained. “I plan on having Bier Art Gallery stocked with my pottery by spring, as well as beer-related pottery in the brewery. The long winters should allow for me to continue making some pottery.”

The exact date for the brewery’s opening is still undetermined. “As soon as we’re finished with construction, we will have our final walk-through with the state inspector and will start brewing shortly after that,” said Bier.

Launching a brewery is pricey, and the Biers have received plenty of help from other family members — namely Tyler’s parents, Ray and Tami Bier, and his brother, Ryan, and his wife, Sara. Bier's Inwood Brewery became a very exciting idea and eventually a reality through our personal investments and Tyler's brother Ryan and his wife Sara. With Ryan's initial funding we were able to purchase our brewing system and other industrial components of brewing. Tyler's parents, Ray and Tami Bier, also played an important role in the Brewery's existence as the building the brewery occupies was once their residence, built by Tyler's Grandpa and Uncle 19 years ago. 

We have pushed through some of the harder, or time consuming aspects of starting a brewery from local to state and federal approval and licensing. With this said, the funds we have yet to raise will go towards the many construction projects the house still has to undergo in order to be a commercial building and accessible to all. These projects include fire safety, an additional bathroom, support beams, a new parking lot and deck just to name a few. Bier's Inwood Brewery became a very exciting idea and eventually a reality through our personal investments and Tyler's brother Ryan and his wife Sara. With Ryan's initial funding we were able to purchase our brewing system and other industrial components of brewing. Tyler's parents, Ray and Tami Bier, also played an important role in the Brewery's existence as the building the brewery occupies was once their residence, built by Tyler's Grandpa and Uncle 19 years ago. 

We have pushed through some of the harder, or time consuming aspects of starting a brewery from local to state and federal approval and licensing. With this said, the funds we have yet to raise will go towards the many construction projects the house still has to undergo in order to be a commercial building and accessible to all. These projects include fire safety, an additional bathroom, support beams, a new parking lot and deck just to name a few. 

The Biers have also gone online to help raise money for the final phases of construction, including an additional bathroom, support beams, a new parking lot and deck. So far, they’ve raised about $2,000 toward their goal of $15,000.

“We set up a GoFundMe at gofundme.com/biersinwoodbrewery for generous individuals to help us complete what has turned out to be a very expensive project,” he said. “In return, we offer several levels of rewards consisting of handmade beer glasses and even a brewing experience. Also we’ll be putting all of the donors’ names on a ‘special thanks to’ plaque in the brewery to show our gratitude. I’d like to thank my wife for putting up will all of my homebrew equipment laying around the house … and my family and friends for their help and support.”

 

 

 

 

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