Tom Tolen /

When Grand River Brewery opens in Brighton it will be the fourth bar-restaurant in Justin Dalenberg’s growing chain.

Dalenberg is investing $400,000 in the renovation of the former Ginopolis on W. Main Street into the Grand River Brewery. “We’re really looking forward to coming to Brighton,” Dalenberg said.

He instantly took a liking to Brighton when he was looking for a new place to locate one of his brewpubs. “We really liked the Brighton area,” Dalenberg says. "I liked the location (at the I-96 and US-23 interchange),” he says. "Nobody had opened a brewpub (in Brighton) at the time. We’re good friends with Mike Corrigan and knew his tenant, Ginopolis, was struggling because of the pandemic and Main Street being closed off.” His first brewpub was in Jackson, then he added historic Marshall, and the Detroit suburb of Clawson venue was added last fall. He hopes to open the Brighton location n May or June.

Dalenberg will be installing a 3-barrel brew house, which will allow them to produce three barrels, or 93 gallons per batch — the perfect size for small-scale beer recipes. His company also makes beer at Brew Detroit - it both brews and cans the beer.

Grand River Brewery obtains all its meats, baked goods and specialty items from the Manchester Market, which he also owns. The store is a butcher shop, bakery and connoisseur kitchen all in one. The company makes its own breads at the Manchester location. “Sourdough, rye, you name it,” Dalenberg says.

They get their beef from Noggle Farms - a family farm which has been in existence in the Manchester area since the 1860’s. The operation features pasture-raised beef with no growth hormones — beef which is dry-aged before sale. “My philosophy,” he says, "is you great ingredients, and they are fresh, there isn’t much else you have to do.”

In addition to a microbrewery, he also has a small distillery and winery. “We like to make things from scratch,” Dalenberg says. The company makes its own Cabernet sauvignon, merlot, pinot noir, an ice wine, and several other varieties of wine. “In fact, we started out as a winery 20 years ago called Veritas Vineyards LLC,” he says. He has a microbrewery license, tasting room license, distillery license and a small winemaker’s license. They also make agave spirits which come from the agave plant native to Mexico - the plant from which tequila is made.

They make several kinds of whiskeys, including the popular Dead Man’s Bounty. They also make a bourbon barrel-aged stout, which is aged three months in bourbon barrels.

Will Grand River Brewery in Brighton be more of a bar or a restaurant? Dalenberg says despite its name it will be more of restaurant than a pub. They will feature steaks, corned beef sandwiches (“We make our own corned beef,” he says), smoked whitefish chowder, a variety of salads, in-house sauerkraut, East North Carolina-style barbecue, Texas-style brisket, jambalaya, oysters Rockefeller, shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico and Thai coconut curry. Dalenberg assures that Grand River Brewery will also have vegan and gluten-free food.

They will also have a large and varied seafood menu, featuring Lake Superior walleye, perch, lake trout, whitefish flown in from the Faroe Islands (located between Norway and Iceland in the Atlantic Ocean) and shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico.

The business plans on having live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Dalenberg says they will also rent out the basement for weddings, anniversaries and other special occasions.