Brewery coming to downtown Reed City

REED CITY — A LeRoy native is returning to his home county to share his love of all things brewed and start a business in downtown Reed City.

Red Tail Brewing Co. is creating local buzz as more and more residents notice a large sign in the window of the building located at the corner of Upton Avenue and Higbee Street.

Owner and current Brighton resident Kevin Murphy is behind the large project. His interest in brewing began after visiting a microbrewery with a friend and learning more about the craft.

“From day one, it became a passion,” Murphy said, “There is so much more to beer than you can imagine.”

After beer brewing, his curiosity expanded into other areas.

“Once I started brewing beer, I found out about mead, which is a honey-based wine, so I dabbled in some mead,” he added. “From there, it expanded into wines.”

More than 2,700 square feet is available for his use, and Murphy said he is planning to create a 30-seat bar, a lounge area and space with tables and chairs.

With extended family in the LeRoy area, Murphy travels through Reed City often, though he and his wife were focusing on areas like Grand Rapids and Traverse City, which already have an established brewery scene.

“For a few years now we’ve been looking for a building,” Murphy said. “We didn’t really look in Reed City. Why, I don’t know. One day my wife wanted to bring me to town and that’s how we found this place.”

He closed on the building in July and expects to submit brewing and wine licenses by next week. Approval could take up to three months. In the meantime, he will renovate the inside of the building and sort out the fine details. He hopes to be open as early as the first of the year.

A lover of all styles of beer, he plans to offer a selection of brews he created, including a variety of six or seven pale ales, IPAs, stouts, wheat beer and more. As for wines, he plans to produce flavors not normally found on a store shelf. Everything will be produced on site and tours will be offered to the public. Food options, such as deli sandwiches or fish tacos, and homemade soda options are being explored as well.

The story behind the company title, “Red Tail,” stems from Murphy’s love of birds of prey, specifically the red-tailed hawk.

“For quite a few years I’ve come up with different names, but nothing ever stuck,” he said. “Years ago, before my wife and I were married, I looked into falconry and I’ve always wanted a red-tailed hawk. Out of all the animals, birds of prey are my favorite. Then the name came across and I knew that it was right.”

Murphy said he wants the brewery to be an open place for social interaction, where customers can relax with a good drink and learn more about the brewing process.

“My dream is to stay focused and be here,” Murphy said. “I’m looking forward to getting to know more people in the area. I just want to get this up and going and create different beers now and then.”

To keep up to date on the brewery’s progress, search for Red Tail Brewing Co. on Facebook.