Craft Beer Cellar has been my go-to beer store in Grand Rapids since it opened in 2017 at 404 Ionia Street Ave. I’ve enjoyed the atmosphere of the bottle shop, along with the expansive selection I’ve been able to peruse and buy from.

Unfortunately, all of this is coming to an end with the recent announcement that they will be closing their doors. The statement was posted on Facebook earlier this month and sent waves of sadness throughout the loyal patrons like me and the craft beer community of Michigan. It read:

“Dearest beer geeks. It is with heavy hearts that we announce we’re closing our doors. We’ll be open however long it takes to sell off our inventory.

First off, we want to thank you for welcoming us into the Beer City community when we opened over 3 years ago. We’ve enjoyed being part of this city’s immersive beer culture. It’s been exciting to see the beer scene evolve so dramatically over the short time we’ve been open. We’ll be winding down over the next few weeks, depending on how long inventory lasts.

You are what kept us fighting as hard as possible to keep this place going. We’ll terribly miss all of our regulars who bellied up to the bar.

Why are we closing? It’s a combination of factors. COVID has definitely played its part. Closing the bar portion of our store has hit us hard. It made up almost half of our revenue. We are thankful that we at least have a bottle shop to sell beer-to-go. Many of you have definitely stepped up and ordered to go beers and deliveries. We can’t thank you all enough for the continued support. Our hearts go out to the bars and other businesses that have no legal way of opening.

Our amazing staff have been kept in the loop on everything happening behind the scenes over the past few months. They’ve chosen to stand together and continue to work not knowing if or when we’d be closing. They stood by when we had to reduce their schedules due to COVID closing our bar. They went from bartenders to delivery drivers without hesitation. They’re amazing people and we’ll do everything we can to help them find new careers somewhere else.

On the positive side, you can now enjoy a beverage outside on the street. Please enjoy a few final pints with us. We just got our outdoor commons area license on Tuesday. The city of Grand Rapids and State of Michigan have been quite helpful in getting these licenses out as fast as possible. A giant thank you to everyone involved in that process.

Effective immediately, everything in the store is 10% off. All drafts are 25% off. We’ll be raiding our cellar, especially our kegs of rare releases. Look out for some sweet deals over the next few weeks.


Brian, Jessica, Schyler, Drew, Paige, Brennan, and Cullen”

I decided to hit up Craft Beer Cellar one more time last weekend to take a walk down memory lane and stock up on a few beers. The 10% off everything in the store had risen to 20% and it was now 50% draft beer. The inventory was still fairly full and I was able to find a ton of local beers that I haven’t had before.

As I mentioned above, loyal patrons were flocking to Craft Beer Cellar to get their final fills. Brewery reps were doing the same. I was able to hear from a few brewery reps from across the state who echoed such positive sentiments about Brian and his staff.

Zach White of Ellison Brewing Co said, “Brian and the entire staff are just absolutely wonderful people. It’s truly unfortunate to see Grand Rapids as well as the craft beer community lose such a passionate and knowledgeable business owner. It’s definitely going to leave a void in (the) Downtown Grand Rapids Craft Beer Scene.”

Buck Dubro of Grand Armory Brewing said, “Brian is compassionate, both in-person and business. The lengths he would strive to maintain fresh product of everyone’s favorite brands through thick and thin are uncharted. As the CBC goes, what a great gathering place not only to enjoy Michigan and abroad amazing offerings, but also to learn by a well-educated staff, workshops, and meet and greets. CBC GR will always be remembered to be as a place to explore new styles with likeminded folk in a calm and inclusive setting.”

Check out the coverage of Craft Beer Cellar Grand Rapids over the past few years.

The final date for Craft Beer Cellar is this coming Saturday, September 26 from noon to 11:00 pm.

Best wishes to Brian and his team as they transition into new lives after Craft Beer Cellar. I’ve enjoyed getting to know everyone and enjoying many beers from the store.


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By Ed Norton

Edwin "Ed" Norton was first introduced to craft beer when his designated fraternity Big Brother Vince asked him if he knew anything about the topic. Ed admitted his ignorance and the rest is history as Ed and Vince would split six-packs of craft beers each week during Ed's probationary status. Ed is now a craft beer enthusiast who is always on the lookout for a beer he has not tried when bottle shopping or drinking at breweries and bars. In addition to drinking beer, this livelong Michigan resident enjoys a bunch of hobbies that he doubts you really care about, other than drinking beer and sounding off about it.

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