Bad Brewing carves out place in Mason community

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The Mason Times

Small, locally owned breweries, known as microbreweries, have become exceedingly popular across the nation, and Mason’s Bad Brewing is an example of that.

When Bad Brewing Co-Owner Brian Rasdale, who had brewed his own beer at home for years, was laid off as a Lansing police officer in 2010, he decided the time was right to pursue his passion.

 Bad Brewing co-owner Brian Rasdale stirs a batch of beer.

Co-owner Brian Rasdale stirs a batch of beer.

“This was always kind of a pipe dream,” Rasdale said, “and we finally got an opportunity and said screw it let’s do it.”

Four years after Rasdale and co-owner Danielle French opened the brewpub in July 2011, Bad Brewing has seen success in Mason.

“It has come so far in three years, and there’s so many people opening,” French said. “We just happened to hit the market at the right time.”

According to a study by the nation-wide Brewers Association, there were 159 breweries in Michigan, a 66 percent increase from 2011, with Michigan breweries providing 7,137 jobs, resulting in a total economic impact of more than $600 million. Although only a fraction of that can be attributed to the five-employee Bad Brewing, the industry growth has been a boon to Bad Brewing’s business.

While micro-breweries around the country are becoming big business, French emphasized that breweries like theirs has always been about the people, not the profits.

“Mason has been amazing,” French said. “They are so welcoming and friendly. You come in here and you don’t know anyone and you’ll know half the people by the time you leave.”

The impact Bad Brewing has had on the Mason community has been more than just social, as twice a year the brewery sponsors its own “block party” that regularly draws in more than a thousand people, many of them from out of town.

“As far as economic wise, (Bad Brewing) has done very good things for people in Mason,” Mason Downtown Development Authority Chairman Mark Howe said. “They bring a lot of people to town, and these people are buying.”

Bad Brewing is expanding its downtown Mason location. The expansion, which will conjoin Bad Brewing’s existing space with the vacant building next door, will add a beer garden and another bar, and is expected to open in early spring.

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