Matthew Jason has had little rest since he and Jeremy Sprague opened up their Lansing-based micro-brewery in the Allen Market Place.
Since October, Sleepwalker Spirits and Ale
has operated a pop-up taproom on Wednesdays and Fridays, offering craft beer for take-out sale in 32-ounce howlers and 64-ounce growlers.
The community-owned operation, says Jason, has grown significantly in the six months at the market. More people have become investors, and more beer festivals have invited Jason and Sprague to share their Lansing-made brews this summer and fall. Beer aficionados can also enjoy Sleepwalker ales at local places like Taps 25 and the REO Town Pub, as well as select bars in Kalamazoo and Chicago.
"We're hoping to move into a brick and mortar facility by the end of the year," says Jason. "We've been looking at some locations, but a lot depends on what's ready and when we're ready to commit."
So far, Jason and Sprague say that are two-thirds of the way toward their minimum goal of the $125,000 they need to make the move—thanks to the generosity of community investors.
For now, Sleepwalker continues to create unique beers that feature local ingredients, particularly those from farms in the Urbandale district. Several signature beers feature locally-sourced honey and lavender, and Lansing roasters Craft and Mason
have provided specialty coffees for a double-edged brew.
"We value these types of collaborations because it makes for a better product and supports local businesses," says Jason. "It's a win-win, and reflects our philosophy on community-ownership."
Sleepwalker enjoys pushing the boundaries of beer styles by conjuring up a Belgian-style beer with raisins and prunes, brewing an IPA with Japanese hops, and reviving a historic Polish beer that's 100 years old. Piwo Grodziskie,
Jason explains, is made from smoked malt wheat, and comes from a region where his ancestors had lived.
"We like to innovate, draw upon European traditions, and do different things," says Jason. "That's a hallmark of American craft beer. We take our dream-play
motto to heart, and like to inspire and inspire others."
Sources: Matthew Jason, Co-owner, Sleepwalker Spirits and Ale
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
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