Old Northwoods Supper Club property to re-open as Barrel and Beam

Published: Dec. 1, 2016 at 4:30 PM EST
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The old Northwoods Supper Club will re-open in summer of 2017 as a craft brewery with a focus on farmhouse and barrel-aged style beers. Founders Nick VanCourt and Marina Dupler, U.P. natives, residents of Marquette, and graduates of Northern Michigan University, are calling the brewery Barrel and Beam, in a nod to the barrel aged beers that will be brewed in the iconic building which features wooden beams and a log exterior, and originates back to the 1930s.

With a dedication to Farmhouse ales that will be bottle conditioned and aged in wine barrels, including Saison and Bier d'Garde styles, as well as sour beers, Barrel and Beam will be the only brewery of its kind in the Upper Peninsula, Northern Michigan and Northeast Wisconsin. The brewery will have a tasting room open on Saturdays where patrons can enjoy the offerings or purchase bottles to go.

"These very traditional style ales are brewed to highlight local agriculture and are seeing a resurgence in popularity. We're happy to answer the call from craft beer enthusiasts," said VanCourt. "Barrel and Beam is a reflection of my long-standing passion for producing farmhouse and barrel-aged beers that are as authentic and as true to style as possible."

VanCourt is particularly excited for the Michigan sourced fruit beers that will spend up to a year aging in wine barrels or oak foudres, a classic method in Belgium utilizing full sized tanks constructed of oak.

"We will feature an old-world product line brewed with ingredients imported from Belgium and France and a new-world line brewed with ingredients from Michigan."

Fittingly, the traditional style ales will be brewed and bottled in a building that has a special place in Marquette's history.

"The Northwoods is a beautiful property in Marquette Township and we're honored to have the privilege of renovating and opening its doors once again to the public," said Dupler. "Many residents have fond memories that include celebrations of weddings, proms, first dates, anniversaries and other special occasions and we look forward to hearing more of those stories and connections as the project moves forward."

The building will be renovated in a way that is reminiscent of a Belgian farmhouse, with a light-filled interior and beams that stretch toward the sky.

VanCourt, a graduate of the World Brewing Academy, a partnership of Siebel Institute of Brewing Technology in Chicago and Doemens Academy in Munich, Germany, has eight years of professional brewing experience at microbreweries, brewpubs, and production breweries in both Wisconsin and Michigan, including Wisconsin's The Great Dane, Tyranena Brewing Company and Milwaukee Brewing Company, and, most recently, as head brewer and part-owner of Ore Dock Brewing Company in Marquette.

"Ore Dock is what brought us back to Marquette and I couldn't be more proud of the amazing team and the place it has in our community," said VanCourt. "The response from patrons to offerings like seasonal Saisons helped the couple realize the dream of a brewery solely focused on these beers could be had.

Andrea Pernsteiner, founder of Ore Dock Brewing Company says, “We are proud of the strong brewery team that Nick cultivated here at Ore Dock and we are excited for the opportunity to work with him in a different capacity. Barrel and Beam will prove to be a unique and welcomed addition to the craft brewing scene in Marquette County.”

Given the niche focus of Barrel and Beam, VanCourt and Dupler will remain owners of Ore Dock and future collaboration efforts are planned.

The couple is pleased to be partnering with U.P.-based mBank, FA Industrial Services and Lisa Wrate Architecture, as well as other local contractors and businesses to complete the project. The brewhouse will be designed and built by Quality Tank Solutions, based in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.

Brewery and construction updates will be posted on the