May 6 2015 12:00 AM
In 1898, Lansing became home to an eponymous brewery on Turner Street. It closed 16 years later, and for more than a century the brand lay dormant. But like a kaiju roused from slumber by a nuclear detonation, so re-emerges the name Lansing Brewing Co., summoned by a seemingly insatiable local taste for craft beer.

“(The) craft beer (market) is exploding right now,” said company spokesman Sam Short. “The city is long overdue for its own brewery. This will be the first true production brewery in Lansing since 1914.”

He said one of the original brewery’s flagship beers, Amber Cream Ale, will be revived, but the new location, at 518 E. Shiawassee St., near the Lansing City Market, is about a mile south of the original site on Turner Street.

The 7,000-square-foot building, a former auto warehouse, is owned by Pat Gillespie’s Gillespie Group and will undergo about $1.5 million in renovations. Gillespie’s wife, Jennifer Gillespie, is the Lansing Brewing Co. owner. Short, co-owner of Zoobie’s Old Town Tavern and the Beer Grotto, is on board as a consultant until the brewery opens this fall. Short said there will also be a restaurant component, as well as an on-site liquor distillery and winery.

“We want to be able to give options for people who may not necessarily like beer,” Short said. “It’s not a big step to go from being a brewery to (also) being a distillery. We’re thinking about the customer from the get-go.”

Compost office As the farm-to-table movement has energized enthusiasm for microfarming, demand has risen for organic grow supplies. Compost Katie, a new business on Lansing’s east side, hopes to capitalize on that trend, and help Metro Lansing residents live a little greener to boot.

“I see how much organic waste is going to landfills and I decided something needed to be done,” said Compost Katie’s owner/ operator Woody Campbell. “I want this world to be a good place for my child.”

Compost Katie is a vermicomposting facility that uses worms to transform food waste into high quality compost. Subscribers can sign up for either 5-gallon bins ($12 per month) or 45-gallon bins ($25 per month) that they can fill with most organic home waste — vegetable scraps, breads, napkins, cooked meats, pizza boxes, coffee grounds and filters, newspapers and lawn debris. Campbell will then come by weekly, swap out that bin for a clean one, and bring the food scraps back to his warehouse where he uses a specialized setup to process the contents.

Campbell has enough space to process several tons of vermicomposting material at a time. With only five customers, including Golden Harvest, he estimates he already has about 750 lbs. started. The compost is then sold to community gardeners and local stores under the Compost Katie brand.

“There’s no one else in this part of Michigan doing this,” Campbell said. “But it’s very big in other parts of the world, as well as Vermont and Manhattan. That’s the way things are going.”

For more information or to sign up for service, go to

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