TRAVERSE CITY — Brewery Terra Firma is finally on its way.
Construction has begun on the approximately 5,500-square-foot building that is key to John Niedermaier's ambitious plan to create an agritourism destination on Dracka Road where specialty ingredients produced on site will be used to produce beer. An apiary on the property will house bees. Ingredients that can't be produced there will be obtained from local farmers or other nearby sources.
"All said and done, I've been working on this for probably 20 years off and on," said Niedermaier, who honed his brewing skills at the now-shuttered Traverse Brewing Company and then Right Brain Brewery in addition to experimenting extensively with his own creations.
"I have 900 different beers I've brewed over the years," he said. "The bank made me count them."
Finding the right property was the first hurdle. Niedermaier found it in the 10-acre historical Dracka Farm.
Then it was a matter of clearing all of the permitting hurdles, some of which ventured into new territory when compared to traditional construction and agricultural projects.
"We do have special use zoning "¦ because there's nothing like it, no models to go by," he said. "It allows us to do agriculture, it allows us to do production in the brewery and it allows us to do retail in the taproom."
It also allows Terra Firma to take a sustainable approach to waste. Breweries tend to use about five times the amount of water per volume of finished product, though Niedermaier said Terra Firma's process will reduce that by about 30 percent.
"We're taking that clean process water and we've designed a building so we can divert it from our wastewater stream "¦ into agricultural land," he said.
Bran is another byproduct of the brewing process. Niedermaier said that while typical practice might be to give the byproduct grain to farmers, he's been working with the Department of Environmental Quality and local authorities on a plan that will have the grain spread on land at the brewery.
"It's a phenomenal fertilizer," he said.
Nels Veliquette, treasurer of Cherries R Us in Elk Rapids and the keeper of the bees on Terra Firma's property, served as agricultural consultant for the project. He said its innovative model is exciting — not just for the business, but for the neighborhood.
"I think it's a very progressive model in terms of developing ag destinations around beverages," Veliquette said. "And this was a spot that could have easily turned into another 10 or 12 houses. Even though (the farm) is expanded, it's still looking like a farm, acting like a farm and a producing farm for the commercial nature of the farm."
The new building will house production facilities, taproom and offices. Niedermaier hopes to be operational sometime in early 2013.
"It's just so exciting to finally see something physical happening," he said. "I'm tickled to death."
New brewery, agritourism destination under construction
TRAVERSE CITY — Brewery Terra Firma is finally on its way.
Taking an invention from dream to business success
Northport resident and retired vascular surgeon Arne Landé invented a device he believes could change the way diabetics track blood sugar and receive doses of life-saving insulin.Continued ...
Traverse City chiropractors see industry growth
Insurance providers used to be the biggest source of chiropractor Rick Murphy’s headaches, but he found a way to fix the problem.Continued ...
Glenn Puit: Affordable Care Act causing fear, confusion
Celia Anderson is one of the people the Affordable Care Act is supposed to help.Continued ...
Business in Brief: 03/12/2014
Nominations for Business of Year; Biz after hours in Elk Rapids; TC Chamber event scheduled. (Plus more)Continued ...
Pine Hollow open for business
There are nice places, and then there are really nice places.Continued ...
Al Pilong: Two-midnight rule is confusing for patients
Hospitals and health care organizations function with several different agencies looking over our shoulder.Continued ...
Glen Arbor grocery getting new look, products
Glen Arbor grocery shoppers soon will have better access to fresh, local food from their expanding corner store.Continued ...
Guidelines for Record-Eagle business coverage
We realize how important media coverage of a business can be and we are greatly expanding our business coverage at the Record-Eagle. We try to establish a level playing field for everyone and the best way to do that is to work within a set of guidelines.Continued ...
Business Memoranda: 03/12/2014
A veteran bowling and hospitality industry manager, Matt Schauman, will head Tucker’s of Northport bowling operation, a new family dining and entertainment center.Continued ...
Dr. Nancy Reye relocated her practice to Partners in Health after working at the VA Traverse City Clinic for the last two and a half years.Continued ...
- Tuesday, March 11, 2014
UPDATE: Northwestern, Chemical banks merge
The Grand Traverse region’s burgeoning economy sparked the proposed merger of Northwestern and Chemical banks in a deal that will cause layoffs.Continued ...
Northwestern Bank reaches sale agreement
TRAVERSE CITY - Northwestern Bank will be purchased by Midland-based Chemical Bank for $120 million cash, the financial institutions said.Continued ...
Airline explains canceled flight
Airline passengers on a canceled flight from Detroit to Cherry Capital Airport received bad information when told the Traverse City airport was closed for business, an airline spokesman said.Continued ...
- Sunday, March 9, 2014
Downtown retail in high demand
Pleasanton Bakery owner Jonathan St. Hilaire recognizes the value of a downtown Traverse City retail outlet.Continued ...
Sports business nets new owners
Dave and Lin Harvey have seen a lot in their 32 years in the sporting goods business. The owners of Dave Harvey’s Athletic Supply, 901 S. Airport, witnessed hockey rinks in the Traverse City area come and go.Continued ...
Fred Goldenberg: Putting the 'pot' in 'potholes' and other ideas
Michigan legislators are increasingly discussing the prospects of legalizing marijuana in the state for recreational purposes.Continued ...
Cargazing: Soul is still stylin'
If there was an award for the vehicle that offers the most style per dollar, this car — the Kia Soul — would be a top contender.Continued ...
- Saturday, March 8, 2014
Ag Forum: Homeowners, farmers and stewardship
The Grand Traverse region is renowned for its scenic landscapes framed by breathtaking views of crystal clear bays. These views and the sparkling-clean water bring visitors to this area every year and create a competitive market for waterfront property.Continued ...
Futures File: California drought drives dairy higher
Milk futures are near an all-time high as California suffers through a severe drought that is threatening dairy production.Continued ...
- Friday, March 7, 2014
Passengers wrongly told TC airport was ‘closed’
Len Price and his family just wanted to get home. The Traverse City resident, 72, his wife, Linda, and son Logan were headed home from a Montana skiing vacation March 1 when weather caused long delays to their United Airlines flight.Continued ...
Building Permits: 03/07/2014
Building permits issued in Grand Traverse County:Continued ...
The Record: 03/07/2014
Assumed names issued in Grand Traverse County:Continued ...
- Thursday, March 6, 2014
Aviation agreement takes off
Will Bennett doesn’t want to spend his future saddled to a desk from 9-to-5 every day. It’s one reason he’s training to be a pilot in Northwestern Michigan College’s Aviation Program.Continued ...
Cadillac manufacturer to make pallets
A northern Michigan business will benefit from a $133 million contract with the United States Air Force.Continued ...
Corps of Engineers to dredge Leland harbor
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will spend $25 million on navigation projects in the Great Lakes, including dredging of harbors choked with silt because of low water levels.Continued ...
- Taking an invention from dream to business success