This weekend, Kyle Malone will endure a grueling half-Ironman triathalon, consisting of a 1.2-mile swim in Lake Michigan, a nearly 60-mile bike race through the hills of Southwest Michigan and a 13-mile power run. It will take him at least six hours to finish, and he expects his brother-in-law to beat him by about an hour. He has an excuse though — Malone hasn’t had much time for training.
“I’ve been pretty busy,” Malone said. “I did get a bike ride in last night around midnight, but some other things have taken priority lately.”
Those “other things” are the myriad duties that went into creating Ozone’s Brewhouse, a craft brewery and taproom opening this week in Old Town. Malone’s laid back tone undersells the work he has put into the new business. He has spent 12 to 16 hours a day for more than six months converting an empty warehouse and tin shed into an operational brewery. Malone, 27, is also the brewmaster of Ozone’s, which he is opening in partnership with his father, Dan Malone.
“It makes it easier when you’re working with someone where you agree on 95 percent of every decision that needs to be made,” Malone said. “It’s a good team.”
“He’s a good boss,” Dan Malone piped in, walking past to attend to something in the taproom. “He knows what he’s doing.”
The elder Malone has been a home brewer for more than two decades and served as the inspiration for his son to get into the trade when he turned 21. Kyle Malone gained his formal brewing knowledge at the Siebel Institute in Chicago and went on to spend three and half years at Three Pints Brewing Co. in central Indiana before coming back to Michigan and embarking on this venture with his dad.
“It’s a hobby run amok, actually,” Malone said. “(The craft brewing industry) is doing very well in Lansing right now, and I think our beers are going to be a good complement to the scene.”
Over the past year, Malone has sampled his way through the taps at Lansing Brewing Co., Ellison Brewery + Spirits and Sleepwalker Spirits and Ale, which he cites as having some of the area’s highest quality quaffs. But he said Ozone’s will have a slightly different focus.
“The beers we brew will be unusual, providing a good yin-and-yang balance to what’s already here,” Malone said. “Lansing’s beers are very stylistically correct, but we’re not necessarily going to be doing things that are stylistically correct. We try to do things to stand out a little more.”
Between the two of them, the Malones have created “hundreds” of beers over the years, including a chocolaty house porter, a barrel-aged Amarillo black IPA and Kryptonale, a cherry-vanilla amber ale. But it’s not just the flavor profiles that set these beers apart.
“The trend right now (with craft beer) is high alcohol content,” Malone said. “Our goal is to make a beer you can have two of and still be able to stand up when you’re done.”
Lower alcohol brews are colloquially called session beers among craft brewers. Malone said he plans to stock his taps with offerings that come in around 5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), which is comparable to a Budweiser. By comparison, the Abbey Dubbel at Midtown Brewing Co. clocks in at 8 percent ABV, while Lansing Brewing Co.’s Soul Slayer imperial stout has a 9 percent ABV.
The brewery hosts a ribbon cutting 11 a.m. Friday. Ozone’s 12 taps won’t all be utilized at first, but the Malones plan to slowly fill those slots through the end of summer and fall. Current offerings include Kryptonale, Sage Blonde Ale (seasoned with Michigan sage) and the -48 SMASH, a single malt and single hop pale ale with fruity notes.
Malone estimates that between the site upgrades and infrastructure, he and his father invested over $300,000 converting about 3,000 square feet of the 10,000-squarefoot warehouse into the brewery, with the attached “shed” becoming the taproom. They’ve also included a section of bar from the old Mustang Bar that used to live on Turner Streer before closing in 1986. That site is now home to UrbanBeat Event Center. An outdoor beer garden was the finishing touch on Ozone’s site, but not the last step in the brewery’s development. This fall, Malone plans to start canning his beer for distribution, featuring artwork by his sister, Kate Bly.
“Our goal was to be on local shelves by football season, but we’re shooting for (late fall) now,” Malone said. “We’ll get there eventually.”
Laurel’s not resting
Okemos hair salon and spa Laurel Salon will hold a grand opening event at its new location Thursday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The event will feature hors d’oeuvres, champagne and a gift certificate giveaway. The newly renovated 4,000-square-foot space features modern design elements and an open floor plan that includes six spa rooms and a “mini gym.”
“Our guests are loving our open feel, natural light and the wide range of services,” said Janae Fredline in a statement. Fredline co-owns/operates the salon with her wife, Stephanie Fredline, who also serves as the salon’s colorist.
The expansion allowed for the Fredlines to hire additional hairstylists, estheticians and a nutritional consultant/personal trainer. Laurel Salon offers haircuts, color, reflexology, manicures and pedicures, customized skin care services, massage, wax removal, Reiki energy balancing, nutrition services and personal training.
Ozone’s Brewhouse 305 Beaver St., Lansing (Opening Friday, Aug. 12) 4-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; noon-midnight Friday- Saturday; noon-10 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday (517) 999-2739, facebook.com/ozonesbrewhouse
Laurel Salon 2395 Jolly Road Suite 145, Okemos 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday – Friday: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday (517) 927-2267, laurelsalon.com