Brewery 4 Two 4

Brewery 4 Two 4

By in Uncategorized Comments Off on What does that Sign Mean?

What does that Sign Mean?

Back (L to R): Paul Busscher, Erin Busscher, Bruce Anspaugh
Front (L to R): Amy Anspaugh, Jane (Overway) Busscher, Erin Miller, Dave Miller

If you’ve visited our brewery, you’ve probably seen the sign. It’s written in Dutch, and it has a special meaning beyond the words engraved.

Many of you have asked what it says; some were even able to figure it out. Today we will go behind the words and give you some insight on the man and the story behind those words.

Good friends of ours, I’d venture to say, our Holland family, the Overway/Busscher clan, graciously welcomed us into their family circle 10 years ago when a chance reunion occurred. Erin and the “Other Erin” happened to meet at UW-Green Bay while in graduate school, and when we moved to Holland (the 424) we just so happened to move across the street from (the Other) Erin’s Aunt. We’ve been part of the “family” ever since and you’ll see them visiting their tulip glasses very often.

Now, back to the sign…Erin’s grandfather, Marv, was quite the character. He was 2nd generation Dutch-American and grew up in Noordeloos. He was a railroad engineer and a World War II Vet. He had many “Marv-isms” which he would exclaim in Dutch, much to his delight because no one would really know exactly what he was saying. He loved life and worked hard for everything he ever acquired, which meant his life was grand. He had all he would ever need in life. He always offered you a beer and he loved the Cubs. Marv also loved the water. He paid cash for a modest house on Lake Macatawa and he loved to be on the water fishing. One of his most endearing Marv-isms was one he’d always say while out fishing, and that saying is now hanging on our wall.

It says (in Dutch): “Today we brew beer, so don’t shit in the river!”

We’re not exactly sure where Marv aquired this saying, for all we know he made it up!  But, we do know that clean water is important for all of us, and it extends to making good beer too. When the Busschers said they wanted to give us this sign we were honored to accept it, and to hang it in our brewery. Not only does it epitomize a great man, it also ressonates with us because our water resources in the Holland area are of upmost importance to our (collective) lifestyle and local economy. We can’t enjoy life to the fullest like Marv did if we dirty the very things that bring us joy and satisfaction. So next time you’re in the brewery, raise a glass to Marv and the great resource we have in our back yards, the Lake Michigan water used to brew the beer at Brewery 4 Two 4.

By in Blog, Craft Beer Comments Off on World’s Smallest Commercial Brewery

World’s Smallest Commercial Brewery

World’s smallest commercial brewery… probably and exaggeration, but not by much.  Two ½ bbl systems are all we have to keep a beer in your hand.  This means we produce one keg at a time, literally.  Of course, we added some smart solutions that speed up the process, such as a big instant hot water heater that allows us to mash in without having to wait for the water to heat and larger kettles that allow us to net out a full keg.  However, you can only speed the brewing process up so much.  This is why we are open on weekends only for now.

“What kind of idiot would open a brewery in a high traffic area with a tiny system?” you might ask.  To which I proudly reply “this idiot.”  You see, we knew we wouldn’t be able to keep up with this system.  This very same system is the one Our Brewing Co. opened with 5 years ago when they constantly were running out of beer.  It was through that process that I became good friends with the folks down there and became their weekend shift brewer that helped keep beer on tap in the first 6 months at Our.  It was through that experience that I learned what an unsustainable hustle it would be to start with a system this size.  Unfortunately, or possibly, fortunately, depending on how this plays out, it is what we had to do.

When we began planning this brewery we had intentions of starting on a 3 bbl system with 8 fermenters, 2 brite tanks, and a glycol system.  Early in the project, we ran into some financial snags.  Looking back it all worked out great because those snags are what allowed us to keep 100% ownership and control of the brewery.  Unfortunately what it meant was that we would have to put all the money we could scrape together into the build out to pass code and get the doors open.  A second mortgage, cashed out retirement accounts, money from our parents. We are so far extended at this point; it’s just not possible to get a bigger system yet.  I cobbled together a plan that would allow us to make enough beer to be open on the weekends to get the revenue flowing.  Sure, this plan requires keeping our day jobs and basically brewing non-stop 7 days a week until we can get our next system.  But we already established “this idiot” likes to bite off more than he can chew.Speaking of, did I mention we are also expecting our first child in December?  All of this brewing is just good sleep deprivation training for when the baby comes.

One of our core beliefs is that in this ever more saturated brewery market the way for a small brewery to succeed is to start slow, build a loyal crowd, and not overextend too fast.  The tough part of that is finding the loyal crowd that is willing to be patient and wait for you to grow into something cool.  Judging by our first openings and offerings, we have found that crowd.  If you are still reading this, you must be one of the cool kids.  Thank you for your patience, thank you for your support.  With your continued patience we promise to continue to pour more time, effort, and funds than we ever thought possible into making this your brewery.  Cheers!


By in Blog, Craft Beer Comments Off on Reflections on our first weekend

Reflections on our first weekend

It was a long road to get here.  A long, bumpy, winding, hilly, scary road with no guard rails.  We experienced nearly every hiccup, roadblock, and delay that you can experience in opening a brewery.  Getting to opening day is definitely a milestone and something to be celebrated.  However, the unrelenting uneasiness of “Did I mortgage my whole life on a losing idea?” is always rattling around in the back of your head.  Did we get the beer right?  Did we get the space right?  What if everybody hates this place?


Fear is an amazing motivator.  It can push you harder and longer than you would have ever thought possible.  The final push to get the doors open was definitely fueled by fear (and caffeine).  By no means are we content.  The space and the beer will continue to be tweaked, improved, and pushed towards what we view as perfect.  But for now, to see the response so many of you had to our dream this past weekend was truly humbling.  We saw somewhere around 1,000 of you pass through our doors this weekend.  Somehow we managed to not run out of beer and yet not carry much over.  We had a few glitches with our point of sale system and got a little backed up, but everybody was patient and understanding.  It should also be pointed out how responsible and under control everybody was.


So many of you had great things to say about the beer and the ambiance, we don’t even know where to start with how to thank you.  But let’s start with this:  We promise to not relax, or rest on our laurels.  We will continue striving to improve everything about our business to give you the best experience possible.  And yes, as soon as we can get through some emergency debt we acquired to get the doors open, we will be working on a bigger brew house to bring you more hours and crowlers for carry out.  Just keep coming in and grow with us, it will happen.  In the meantime, relax and have a beer.  Cheers!


Dave and Erin

By in Blog, Craft Beer Comments Off on Grand Opening is less than a week away!

Grand Opening is less than a week away!

brewery 4 two 4

We want to thank all of our friends (old and new) and family who helped us break the ice at our soft-openings. We are now busy putting the final touches on the tap room and making some updates based on the feedback we received. We are anxiously awaiting this weekend, and we can’t wait to open the doors for good (at least every weekend to start)!

During the weekend, on Friday and Saturday, we have the pleasure of being involved in Holland’s first ever beer tour. The Holland Beer Tour will take you to all the celebrations going on in town from our grand opening to Big Lake‘s 4th anniversary party, Brew Merchant‘s 1st anniversary party, and to Our Brewing where there’s always something happening!  Check out the link for tickets.  It’s gonna be a great beer weekend in Holland!

We’ve received some great press coverage in the last few days.  Special thanks to MittenBrew for beautifully telling our story through print and pictures!  Check out the story below.