A combination tasting room and store coming to Lansing's Stadium District
complex next spring will help lessen the chance for "buyer's remorse" among lovers of craft beer and wine.
With the tagline "Taste It. Love It. Tote It.," the Beer Grotto
will offer craft beverage enthusiasts a destination for sampling, experiencing and purchasing up to 48 draft beers and 80 wines—with about 75 percent made in Michigan. The Beer Grotto will also offer a select line of non-alcohol beers, wines and sodas, including the iconic Michigan brand Faygo.
"The idea for the Beer Grotto came about when we were thinking of customers who pick up a flavored stout or a wine with a cool label, only to realize they have five left in a six-pack or are stuck with a cooking wine," says Sam Short, one of three owners along with Troy Ontko and Brandon Ansel. "There's no reason for that. We want people to have a chance to taste everything in our store."
Beer Grotto patrons will also be able to hang out in full-service lounge, or reserve an event space for parties, meetings or celebrations. Short says the hybridized space will include individual tasting stations where well-trained staff dubbed "beer geeks" or "cork dorks" will assist and educate customers on beer and wine samples.
Short plans to hire about 20 part-time and 20 full-time staff for the 4,100-square-foot space. Located on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Cedar Street, the Beer Grotto will seat 200 people inside and 50 people on an outdoor patio.
The Beer Grotto, Short says, addresses the booming interest in craft beers and wines, as well as the ongoing resurgence of living and working in the urban core.
"We've watched Lansing grow in a wonderful way," says Short, adding that Pat Gillespie's Stadium District
and other downtown developments create a perfect setting. "That mix of residential, tourism and visitors to downtown is something you don't see very often. We're happy to become part of it."
The Beer Grotto is on deck for early 2015 and will be open seven days a week. The Lansing location is the third Beer Grotto for Short behind Dexter and Ann Arbor.
Source: Sam Short, Owner, Beer Grotto
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor