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Dutch Girl Brewery works to bring new feel to local beer scene

Grand Rapids resident Kelly Finchem, the owner of Dutch Girl Brewery, is hoping the brewery comes into its own as a neighborhood staple.
Underwriting support from:

Dutch Girl Brewery

14964 Cleveland St., Suite B

Spring Lake, MI 49456


(616) 607-2026



Brewing equipment being moved into place

Brewing equipment being moved into place /Courtesy of Dutch Girl Brewery

A Grand Rapids resident and craft beer lover is gearing up to open her own brewery in the coming months. Kelly Finchem will be opening up Dutch Girl Brewery this summer just outside Grand Haven and a half hour drive from Grand Rapids, in Spring Lake (Dutch Girl Brewery, 14962 Cleveland St, Spring Lake, MI 49456). 

Finchem says opening a brewery was a natural move for her. She’s always loved craft beer and has many family members who do too - including her brothers-in-law and her husband, who has been homebrewing for over 20 years. 

“We had all these different key players, so we thought, ‘hey, why not’,” Finchem says. “We have all the right [people] here and it’s a passion of ours.” 

The name of the brewery came from Finchem’s desire to serve some Dutch-style beers at the brewery, and it stuck because Finchem was already know by the nickname “Dutch.”

Her hopes for the brewery are simple: Finchem says she just wants people to visit the brewery and enjoy it as their own, whether they are locals or tourists just visiting the lakeshore. 

“We have big plans to see it grow and develop, but we (have) to open the doors first,” Finchem says. “Having a lot of support really helps lift us up as well.” 

Finchem says that her family, who have all been instrumental in the brewery’s development, feel the same way and that it is “awesome to see.” Their support, as well as the investors, have been key in making her dream come true.  

She adds that going through the process of opening her own brewery feels very surreal to her. 

“Working on this from concept to implementation has been the most difficult and rewarding experience of my life,” she says. 

Patrons of Dutch Girl will be able to see the brewhouse from different areas, which was important for Finchem so those visiting could watch the brewing process.

As a first-time business owner, Finchem says that she’s had to learn a lot at one time very quickly. As the brewery owner, she’s involved with every aspect of the business, from brewing and equipment down to construction and plumbing work. 

What may seem unique to patrons and supporters- that she is a female brewery owner- doesn’t seem to feel any different than a man with the same role, says Finchem. 

She also finds support from other women in the craft beer industry, as part of the PussyCat Beer Guild, a group of women who brew beer, sell beer or just love getting together to talk about beer. 

“There’s a lot of excitement and enthusiasm there, not only in support of the brewery but for me just to spend time with those women,” Finchem says. “It’s just a really nice fellowship of women.”

Finchem moved her large-scale brewing equipment into the location in May and hopes to open for business in the summer. To keep track of progress and opening announcements, follow the Dutch Girl Brewery Facebook page.

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