New In Town
|By Allan I. Ross|
RED CEDAR SPIRITS/SLEEPWALKER ALE AND SPIRITS/SOUP SPOON CAFELast week I told you about two new Lansing area micro-distilleries: Sanctuary Spirits in Grand Ledge and American Fifth Spirits, which will open in downtown Lansing sometime this summer. But that’s not all the notable potable news in the area.
The tasting room for Red Cedar Spirits in East Lansing opened recently; the micro-distillery began production last July inside a 45,000-square-foot building that used to be East Lansing Public Works Building.
Building owner Kris Berglund, university distinguished professor of food science and chemical engineer at Michigan State University, partnered with Uncle John’s Cider Mill in St. Johns to create Red Cedar Spirits. He’s the authorized representative of Red Cedar Spirits and the managing partner of Artisan Distilling Co., which manages Red Cedar Spirits for Uncle John’s owner Mike Beck.
Confused? Well it gets better: In the same building, Berglund also owns Working Bugs, a 6-yearold bio-based chemical company that he runs with his wife. The company makes all-natural products, including hand sanitizers and salt substitutes.
He owns some of the equipment; Michigan State University owns the rest. Red Cedar Spirits manufactures whiskey, bourbon, vodka, gin and rum. You can by individual drinks or whole bottles in the tasting area, which has a capacity of 47, including a 24-seat bar. Food is limited to selections from the MSU Dairy, including its line of gourmet cheeses.
“We’re kind of slow now, but once the weather starts getting better, I expect we’re going to be pretty busy,” Berglund said.
In other booze news …
Soup Spoon expanding
“(The expansion) will allow us to book private parties to about 40-plus,” Gavriledes said. “We’ll also be able to add some more jobs, including three immediately with the new catering kitchen.”
The new space is about 1,000 square feet. Gavriledes expanded two years ago when he got the liquor license. He’s also the owner of the building, and rents the office space upstairs as well. Now that he has the whole bottom floor, the positives have already started manifesting themselves.
“The increase in parking has been great,” he said. “It’s funny how just a little more space can make a difference.”
Red Cedar Spirits 2000 Merritt Road, East Lansing 4-8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 1-8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; closed Monday-Tuesday (517) 908-9950 facebook.com/ redcedarspirits