Million dollar expansion plan brewing at Short's

A local beer maker wants to invest more than a million dollars into Elk Rapids by turning an old mustard factory into a brewery, but the village isn't saying yes just yet.

Short's Brewing Company has proposed a plan that includes buying the former Bech's Mustard Factory and turning it into brewpub to showcase experimental beers made by founder Joe Short and head brewer Tony Hansen.

The other part of the brick building would be used to bring in local food venders who would rent the spots.

The large white building would house three condos and a banquet hall for weddings.

Short's Operations Manager Matt Drake says, "If we had the green light we have the financing and could go ahead and start working right away but we understand the process takes time."

Short's CEO Joe Short says, "It's just sitting there. It just really appealed to us as an ideal location that fits our company personality. It gives us opportunity to develop something good for the Elk Rapids community."

The Elk Rapids Harbor Commission already had plans in place to clean up the waterfront area and turn it into a park. Village commissioners will now decide whether the parcel should stay public or be sold to a private business like Short's.

Elk Rapids Village Board President Dan Reszka says, "It is a process. We are trying to be careful to not just concentrate on Short's, but on what ramifications there would be if we turned it back into private property."

A public input meeting is scheduled for February 21st.