Grand Rapids Brewery Series: Mitten Brewing Co.
The next stop on our brewery series throughout Grand Rapids we have Mitten Brewing Co.,
located on Leonard Street in Grand Rapids. Mitten Brewing is a baseball-themed microbrewery that pairs delicious craft beer with gourmet pizza. It’s a staple among Grand Rapids residents being one of only two places on Leonard Street that seem to be turning the area around. Leonard Street is desolate and run down among Grand Rapids areas and with Mitten Brewing Co. and Long Road Distillers, we hope that Leonard Street will get its much-needed makeover!
Mitten Brewing has three locations— the original being from Grand Rapids. The other locations are in Northport and Saugatuck. The two lifelong friends who created Mitten Brewing back in 2012 were home brewers and saw a chance to bring a brewery to the westside of Grand Rapids where there hadn’t been one since Prohibition! They decided to revamp an old Engine House No. 9, and start a unique brewery where the architecture was kept intact for historical reasons but also give it flare with baseball-themed memorabilia. The building is wild. Still donning its red brick front, firetruck size doors, and Victorian theme, all the founders did was place a brewery inside of an old engine house. It’s a unique experience and setting for a night out with friends while drinking craft beer inside an old fire station, and it definitely is worthwhile—especially with the ghosts!
Yes, you read right, ghosts! Since the beginning of the brewery, the new owners joked around with the old tenant asking if the station was haunted. Turns out it really was. The tenant said it wasn’t anything bad, but it was indeed haunted. Since then odd noises, shadow figures, and weird happenings have been occurring since the opening of the brewery. One morning one of the owners came in first thing in the morning from staying there until 2 in the morning the night before, being the first and last in the brewery. He came in to find a smattering of bare footprints circulated in one area inside the station. The footprints were random and made no trail to and from a certain destination, and the footprints also seemed to be the size of a child’s foot!
A couple of years later they found another discovery. While doing demolition upstairs to repurpose wood for a new bartop they found a piece of wood that hasn’t seen daylight in 126 years. The board also showcased the image of a barefoot. To compare, the owners compared the sizes of the foot with images taken from before of the footprints found years before and found that they were the exact same foot. With these ghost happenings, patrons and employees of the brewery have noted shadows of figures, odd noises, feelings of a spirit within the room, and even moving figures that resembled people in the brewery when there wasn’t anyone there at all.
Besides ghost stories and a unique, historical atmosphere, they also brew killer craft beer. From IPA’s, ales, lagers, porters, and fruit beers, they have a fix for any beer lover. Mango Gold being my favorite but also popular favorites like Dock’s No-No and Triple Crown Brown are crisp and spectacular in flavor.
Many of Mitten’s Brewing beers and food are named with puns that resonate with baseball lingo. They were creative not only in their atmosphere and flavors but also in any small aspect that could connect back to their baseball persona. Mitten Brewing is also famous for their wood-fired pizzas. They have fun flavors like chicken and waffles, macaroni and cheese, and hotdog toppings that they put on a select few of their pizzas, which are amazing in taste and fun to try for a different type of pizza sensation!
Go experience this brewery firsthand and maybe spot a ghost or two!