City tapping into thriving brewing industry

    One of the owners of Stormcloud Brewing Company Rick Schmitt shows off the brewery's production room.

    Business owners are getting get ready to open the first-ever brewery in Frankfort, which will create new jobs and hopefully attract more visitors to the area.

    Construction is moving right along on Stormcloud Brewing Company which is located downtown on Main Street, right next to the Garden Theatre.

    The 3,500 square foot brewery will have a full production room as well as a pub area where folks will be able to enjoy 15 beers on tap.

    One of the owners of Stormcloud Brewing Company Rick Schmitt says, "What's missing in downtown Frankfort was a destination brewery. There are many people that travel hundreds of miles to seek these things out so creating something that was a little different wasnâ??t going to compete with other businesses in the town and create some jobs right here in Frankfort is another piece of the puzzle."

    The brewery will create 15 to 20 jobs for the summer months and eight year-round, full time positions. It will also focus on brewing Belgium style ales which the owners say isn't really happening at other northern Michigan breweries.

    President of the Benzie County Chamber of Commerce Mary Carroll says, "Michigan is becoming known as the great beer state and there are micro breweries popping up everywhere in our region specifically Traverse City, so were just happy to be in that group with this new venture in our community."

    The Stormcloud Brewing Company is looking to open sometime in June.

    There are currently several new breweries in the works in the Traverse City area. The Rare Bird Brewery and Taproom on Lake Avenue is set to open this summer. There is also the Workshop Brewing Company located in the city's Warehouse District, which is set to open in July.

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