The Rapidian

The Hideout Brewing Company marries prohibition-era Michigan with off-beat brews

Hiding out in a neighborhood just off of Plainfield Avenue, The Hideout Brewing Company offers 31 different brews on tap at a time. Their past year has been one of gaining momentum.
Growlers and Halloween decorations on display at The Hideout Brewing Company

Growlers and Halloween decorations on display at The Hideout Brewing Company /Marie Orttenburger

Ongoing Brewpub Events at The Hideout Brewing Company

Monday Retro Game Night. Starting at 7 p.m. Play nine different classic console games in the upper level.
Wednesday Open Mic Night. 8 p.m.-midnight. Anybody is welcome to perform in the upper level. From 9-10 p.m., a featured band will play.
Thursday Live Trivia. First round at 8 p.m., second round at 9 p.m. Prizes are awarded to winners of each round.
Saturday Chess. 1-3 p.m. Grab a beer and play chess with opponents of all skill levels.


3113 Plaza Dr. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525


Sunday: Noon-Midnight
Monday-Thursday: Noon-1a.m.
Friday-Saturday: Noon-2 a.m.


Canopied entrance of The Hideout Brewing Company

Canopied entrance of The Hideout Brewing Company /Marie Orttenburger

Bar at The Hideout Brewing Company

Bar at The Hideout Brewing Company /Marie Orttenburger

The Hideout Brewing Company's name and theme might be just a little too apropos of the 1920s prohibition-era breweries that inspire them. Located in a residential area off of Plainfield Avenue, the brewery is rather challenging to find. However, in the past two years under new ownership, The Hideout has been gaining notoriety in their remarkably diverse selection of brews on tap and consistently-increasing distribution footprint.

In early 2012, Scott Colson and Nick and Theresa Humphrey purchased The Hideout Brewing Company, which had been operating under different ownership since 2005. The group took over the brewery with one goal: to grow.

"The goal is to get bigger and bigger," says Mike Hermann, Operations, Distribution and Supply Manager at The Hideout Brewing Company. "In January we were sending at about three and half barrels worth of beer a month, and this month we're at 113 barrels."

That's an increase of about 3200% in 10 months.

The brewery's primary way of expansion has been through distribution. Hermann meets with at least one distributor a week, and the brewery consistently adds draft accounts. In the future, the brewery hopes to start bottling their mainstays, but for right now the focus is distribution.

"With how fast and quickly we've expanded draft accounts, we could not also bottle," says Hermann. "If you start to bottle, you automatically double your production. The facility we're in is not exactly big enough for us to handle double right now."

He says over the next few months, the brewery is going to look into expanding to accommodate the necessary extra space for additional fermenters and bottling equipment.

Those who visit the brewery on-site are greeted with a selection of 31 different brews on tap. This includes a handful of the brewery's mainstays, such as Gangster IPA, Cement Shoe Stout and Hired Gun Red, as well as a massive selection of specialties.

Hermann notes that the prohibition theme serves a dual purpose: it references a prominent part of Michigan history while also providing a wealth of different ways to name their wide array of brews.

"Many of the prohibition figures and events are from Michigan," says Hermann. "Doing a prohibition theme keeps with the local Michigan history."

"Plus," Hermann adds, "it's easier to name your beers." 

The extensive variety in their beer comes naturally in that the brewery does not have a head brewer. Instead, owner Nick Humphrey and a team of four other brewers create different recipes.

"We figure the best beer in the world has not been made yet," says Hermann. "We're more likely to find it with five or six different people coming up with different things rather than just one head brewer telling everybody what they want to do."

"We like to keep it diverse," he says. "We come up with crazy, fun beers."

Some of the more off-beat varieties to try at The Hideout include a Blueberry Maple Mild, Cherry Coconut Almond Brown and their Caramel Lager. The brewery aims to add a new brew to their taps every single Friday.

To add to their list of quirky brews, Hideout Brewing Company will release three bacon-flavored stouts in the coming weeks. A Maple Bacon, Regular Bacon and Bacon and Waffles Stout will be available to try at the BaCon and Beer Festival hosted by DeltaPlex on November 2.

Attending festivals is another way the brewery is trying to make themselves familiar and accessible to the community. Their remote location sometimes makes it difficult to attract an audience.

"We're right next to the highway and people will see "brewery" on the building, but they won't be able to locate us," says Hermann. "We don't get business we could potentially get."

The brewery intends to address this problem by making maps with directions to the location more available to their audience. Hermann says there has also been discussion of creating an app for smart phones that includes directions, an updated tap list and notifications for when new beers are released.

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