- Associated Press - Monday, August 29, 2016

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Creating a sense of community was important to Jamie and Andrew Kidwell-Brix when the two set out to open a brewery taproom.

The husband-wife brewing duo plan to open Earthen Ales this fall in the Village at Grand Traverse Commons, the Traverse City Record-Eagle (https://bit.ly/2bJD98j ) reported. Traces of the community will be sprinkled throughout the brewery.

“It’s all about community for us, and we want to carry that atmosphere into the brewery,” said Jamie Kidwell-Brix. “We want community members to be able to come in and bring their friends.”

Community donations will even help fund Earthen Ales startup costs. The couple raised $25,960 in a crowdfunding campaign that they hoped would encourage community involvement and spread word of the soon-to-open brewery.

“We want to build the best brewery that we can build, and this was a means of doing that,” said Jamie Kidwell-Brix.



Contributors will be rewarded based on their donation amount with prizes like mug club memberships, Earthen Ales apparel, a day of brewing in the brewhouse or the opportunity to name a beer serving tank. The donations will go toward the brewery’s last minute personal touches, including barstools handcrafted by a local blacksmith and a bar that the couple’s close friend offered to build.

“We just want to find ways to make it (Earthen Ales) really cool,” Jamie said. “We’re super excited to be part of the Traverse City community. It’s such a vibrant craft beer scene and we can’t wait to start making beer.”

Earthen Ales, sandwiched between Elf Cafe and oneupweb at 1371 Gray Drive, will offer eight beer taps brewed by Jamie and Andrew Kidwell-Brix. The pair previously worked as urban planners, but brewing became their favorite off-the-clock hobby.

“Once two brewers meet each other, it kind of gets out of control,” Andrew said. “This is the one thing that we couldn’t imagine not doing.”

Recipes are inspired by the couple’s surroundings and travels, Jamie said. The brewery will serve pints, half-pints and growlers of four year-round taps - Ale of the Earth, Juniper Rye, A2 IPA and Sweetbrier Wheat - and four rotating seasonal brews. The Kidwell-Brix are working with local farms to develop a farm-inspired beer.

“We serve beer with a sense of place,” Andrew said. “It’s well-balanced and innovative.”

The taproom will serve light snacks, but customers also will be allowed to bring their own food, Jamie said.

“We encourage customers to take advantage of the food options from all the great surrounding restaurants,” she said of the Grand Traverse Common’s nine other eateries and wineries.

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Information from: Traverse City Record-Eagle, https://www.record-eagle.com

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