Cognition Brewing Company and Grace Episcopal Church plan community gathering place

The two organizations are combining for mutual benefit to bring life to downtown Ishpeming.
Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 6:23 PM EDT
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A combination brewery and church is certainly not standard, but it is a real project for cognition brewing company and grace episcopal church.

Both organizations have something to gain from the partnership.

For Grace Episcopal, its seeing their pews filled again.

“Lots of churches are seeing fewer people show up, and yet their heart and soul is in this place,” Marna Franson, missioner at Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan, said.

“Essentially what we’re trying to do is get back to the heart of what the church is, and the church isn’t Sunday morning, the church is love in the world, and that’s what Jay’s doing.”

Jay Clancey, the managing member of Cognition Brewing Company, plans to bring in community members by turning the pews into community tables where strangers can become friends.

“We hope to do something along the lines of the ‘Pub is the Hub’ movement in England, where the pub really becomes a community space for gathering, for people to share information, stories,” Clancey said.

“You can just picture people in here and lots of laughter.”

To prepare for the new space, Cognition Brewery is undergoing a name change.

“The Norwegian spelling of cognition is very similar, so we decided to go with ‘Kognisjon Bryggeri,’ Bryggeri being the Norwegian word for brewery,” Clancey said.

“Kind of gives us a new look, a new feel and a new start.”

Although changes are coming to Grace Episcopal, their mission remains the same.

“We will continue to have church here, we’re not going to deconsecrate any of the building,” Lydia Bucklin, bishop staff member at the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan, said.

“The Brewing Company will also do business on their normal hours. What we need to remember is that the space is still the same space, and the people who were here and the memories that have been made are still here and they will be honored.”

While an opening date is not yet confirmed, the brewery hopes to open their doors to the public very soon.

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