Another one bites the dust--and they were one of the good ones too!

We Michiganders all know Grand Rapids' long-standing reputation as Beer City USA. In fact, GR just reclaimed the title of "Best Beer City" in a USA Today readers poll for the 3rd year in a row!

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However, over the last year we've seen breweries like Tapistry in Bridgman, Open Road in Wayland, and most recently Townies in Ann Arbor all go up for sale. Now we have to add another brewery from right here in West Michigan to that list.

I can't help but wonder: is Michigan's craft beer bubble about to burst?

Diane Karns - Callander Commercial
Diane Karns - Callander Commercial
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Guardian Brewing Company

Located just outside of Saugatuck, Michigan is, "A 100% Queer-owned, independent, craft brewery & restaurant focused on serving beer, wine, & liquor."

I was able to make it over there earlier this year for my first--and apparently only-- time. What I loved most about the brewery, besides the beer of course, was the décor. The walls were lined with concert posters, signed guitars, and other outstanding rock n roll paraphernalia.

Diane Karns - Callander Commercial
Diane Karns - Callander Commercial
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Someone really took the time to curate that collection! And now, sadly, it all must come down. In a recent statement on Facebook the brewery shared:

After many long, hard conversations, we have to say goodbye to Guardian Brewing as we now know it and re-invent ourselves elsewhere. For 5 years, we have shared our beer and our hearts with you all, and letting go will be very difficult. We made it through the trials of opening a business, a global pandemic, and years of road construction; yet, none of these are why we are moving on.

What Happened?

Despite the brewing making it through the global pandemic and all the chaos that followed, the owners say their reason for closing the brewery is personal:

Recently, we have had another parent navigate through cancer. This one really shook us...it has become clear that family is our number one priority above all else...We have grown to love Michigan and the people in it. That was a large reason for moving here in the first place. However, we have limited time with those we truly love and we are the only ones now that can help them.

Of course we're sad to see Guardian go and as stated it was an extremely difficult decision, but I commend the owners for having their priorities straight; precious time with family is priceless. 

Diane Karns - Callander Commercial
Diane Karns - Callander Commercial
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When Will Guardian Close?

The brewery is now on the market via Diane Karns at Callander Commerical and owners Kim & Kate say the brewery will maintain "business as usual" until March 2024 or the sale of the brewery-- whichever comes first.

Again, bummed to see them go but at least we still have time to say our final goodbyes. Check out the brewery's current menu and events schedule here.

Lauren G/TSM
Lauren G/TSM
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Property Bundle in Ann Arbor Includes Brewery and Airbnb

If you've ever wanted to own and operate your own craft brewery in Pure Michigan, here's your chance-- and then some! The Ann Arbor properties are listed for a combined $1.85 million.

Gallery Credit: Lauren Gordon

For Sale: Beautiful Michigan Brewery On The Shores of Lake Superior

Billed as "Michigan's first cooperatively owned brewery", Drifa Brewing Company in Marquette is listed for sale at $375k.

Gallery Credit: Lauren Gordon