HOLLAND, MI — Infused with DeVos family money, Coppercraft Distillery is upping its game.
The Holland Township distillery has unveiled a new full-service restaurant and plans to expand production of its award-winning artisan spirits.
The 56-seat restaurant — with room for another 26 on the outdoor patio — shares space with the distillery’s production facility, at 184 120th Ave.
Guests dine next to the copper-topped still and fermenters, separated by a wall of glass.
The menu features New American cuisine dishes such as bacon-wrapped chorizo stuffed dates and Bangs Island Mussels, selected to complement the bar’s cocktails made with Coppercraft spirits.
"We think there’s an opportunity to be part of the food scene and for Chef Kelsey to innovate," said Paul Maranlette, restaurant manager who joined Coppercraft last year. He added that Chef Kelsey Winter-Troutwine does a lot of pickling and preserving of the fruits and vegetables served with the dishes.
There’s a printer at the restaurant so the menu can constantly change to reflect the freshest ingredients arriving in the kitchen, he added.
Winter-Troutwine, who has worked with top chefs in Chicago, was brought in last year to oversee the kitchen, while distiller Walter Catton will remain the face of production.
Catton, who co-founded Coppercraft with his wife, Kim, sold the company to
Betsy DeVos stepped away from the venture to avoid conflicts of interest with her new role as the U.S. Secretary of Education. She also resigned as chairwoman of the couple’s Grand Rapids holding company, Windquest, as part of her divestiture, although she continues to hold a financial interest in the company.
The deal was initially described as an acquisition by Windquest because the name was on forms filed with the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.
Windquest served only as an agent on the form, according to Brian Burch, a spokesman for Coppercraft.
State liquor rules prevent companies from both owning restaurants and liquor production facilities, he said.
Windquest owns the Reserve Wine & Food, a restaurant and wine bar in downtown Grand Rapids.
Coppercraft is licensed to serve spirits it produces on premise, Burch said.
Dick DeVos retains ownership through the entity, CC Investors, which also includes his sons, Rick and Ryan along with his two sons-in-law. Nathan M. Lowery and Michael Abraham.
The same group, under the entity RC Investors, bought a 51 percent stake in Ridge Cider Company, a craft hard cider maker in Grant.
There’s an opportunity for collaboration between the two companies said Brandon Joldersma, Coppercraft’s general manager who was recently hired away from Virtue Cider in Fennville. In his new role, Joldersma will oversee sales and distribution for Coppercraft.
The distillery plans to dramatically increase production from the current 150 barrels a year to 1000 barrels annually within 5 years, Joldersma said.
Coppercraft creates premium, small-batch spirits by hand using local ingredients. They include vodka, citrus vodka, gin, rum, applejack, bourbon, corn whiskey and rye whiskey.
As the official spirits sponsor of Holland’s Tulip Time festival, Coppercraft created the "Tulip Julep," featuring its Applejack. The cocktail will be available at the restaurants during the annual festival, which runs through May 14.
The Coppercraft bar is open 4-11 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and during restaurant hours, which are: 4-11 p.m. Thursday, 2 p.m. to midnight Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.
Ridge Cider Co. produces more than 30 dry, artisanal ciders made from apples grown on the "Ridge," a fruit-growing region located west and north of Grand Rapids.