Knaebe’s owners plan to add a microbrewery

Courtesy Photo The Kromer family poses in front of the family business Knaebe’s Apple Farm and Ciderworks outside of Rogers City. The business will be adding a craft beer element to its tasting room in the next few months. Pictured from left to right are: Matthew Kromer, Scott Kromer, Alison PaolettiKromer, and Luke Kromer.

ALPENA — A new microbrewery is opening in Northeast Michigan, likely in time for Memorial Day Weekend.

Knaebe’s Apple Farm and Ciderworks is expanding its long list of food and beverages to include freshly made beer.

The business — located just a stone’s throw away from Rogers City in Moltke Township — is already a popular destination for its fresh fruit, wood fired pizza, and hard ciders that are served in the store’s tasting room.

Owner Scott Kromer said the idea of producing and selling craft beer has been on his mind for some time and work toward the goal began many months ago because receiving the proper licensing from the State and federal government is a tedious endeavor.

We’ve wanted to start doing it for the last few years and we got the ball moving,” he said. “It is a long process, but we want to have something special for the people. We’re in the final phase now before we’re able to sell beer.”

Because there are so many moving parts with opening a brewery, Kromer said an exact date isn’t set for when the craft brews will be available to the public.

“It could be before Memorial Day,” Kromer said. “It is sort of a moving target, but we’re excited and can’t wait to introduce this to the people.”

Kromer said the business will continue to brew its craft ciders along with beer. He added the experience gained from making cider has helped him and his family prepare for adding craft beer to its menu.

“We have been doing cider for a while and we took some classes,” he said. “We have good equipment already, which will make the process a little easier.”

Like with its cider, Knaebe’s tasting room will offer customers a chance to sample beer in small glasses, or enjoy a larger pour with flights or a growler.

Kromer said he is going to do his best to utilize local products and services for the new brewery as often as he can to support the local economy.

Although it is unlikely any of the new beer will be available, Kromer said, Knaebe’s tasting room will open the weekend of March 3-5 from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. to coincide with the Rogers City Antique and Vintage Snowmobile Show.

“We will have our ice cider available and just open up so people can come in and have a good time,” Kromer said.

Hot cider, wood fire pizza and a featured bakery treat will also be available.

The bakery and main barn will remain closed for the season.


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