Handmap Brewing partners with Atlas Sales in Calhoun County

Like many businesses, Handmap Brewing had to put the brakes on hard during the pandemic, but now it’s in full swing!

Chris McCleary and Jen Brown, both graduates of Harper Creek High School, returned to the area in 2019 to start a brewery and were due to open their grand opening on March 17.e, 2020. McCleary, a former brewer at Chicago’s famous Goose Island Brewery, recalls, “I finished my job in Chicago around the second week of March 2020. I thought this was the perfect time to open up on the day. of St. Patrick’s Day. ” This does not happen.

Handmap Brewing was opened sporadically, as state regulations allow, on the first floor of the historic Record Box Building in downtown Battle Creek. This grand opening finally takes place on Friday July 9e, and Saturday July 10e.

The festivities coincide with a big announcement. Handmap Brewing and Atlas Sales Inc., both located in Battle Creek, have formed a partnership that will extend the brewery’s reach to bars and restaurants in Calhoun County. Handmap Brewing’s Rye of Sunshine, a rye IPA, and Spreadsheet Blood Orange, a wheat beer brewed with blood oranges, will be available in select locations starting this week.

“We are thrilled to present our beers, made right here in Battle Creek, to craft beer enthusiasts in Calhoun County and we couldn’t think of a better distributor to partner with than Atlas Sales,” said Chris McCleary. , co-owner. by Handmap Brewing. “These first two beers in bars and restaurants are a great first encounter with our style and pair perfectly with Michigan summers.”

“Chris McCleary and Jennifer Brown produce high quality beer at Handmap Brewing and we are delighted to partner with them and help them tell their story beyond the walls of their brewery,” said Bud Dunn, vice President of Atlas Sales Inc. “We ‘We are proud to help promote growth, choice and competition by working hand in hand with breweries like Handmap Brewing to help them succeed today and in the future. to come up.

Joe Sobieralski, Jennifer Brown, Chris McCreary-Handmap Brewing-TSM Photo

Handmap used downtime during the pandemic to set up a beer canning operation, which allowed them to profit from take-out sales. “Well, we bought a little canning line to just move the product around,” McCleary said. “We were ready to open. We had plenty of beer ready to go. Getting cans back then was going to be tough, and it’s still a bit tough in certain package sizes. But we bought this little canning line and started canning beer. McCleary says they got a lot of help as well. “You know a lot of people weren’t working back then, and our friends helped a lot.” Right now they have around 14 different beers to offer.

So where does the name of the brewery come from? Brown said: “Chris had a brewery in his basement called ‘Holidays Brewing’ and that’s what it was going to be. But we didn’t get the mark and remained anonymous for about four months. Every name we tried was already taken. We were on Goose Island one night after work and a friend of our dad’s was there and he asked where we were from in Michigan. And sure enough, I pulled my hand out and pointed at Battle Creek, and we laughed at everyone in Michigan using the hand map. Chris and I looked at each other and said, that’s it. This is the name.

McCleary and Brown say they plan to have some type of live entertainment every weekend and a comedy group from Chicago will be coming on August 6 as well.e.

The Battle Creek Chamber of Commerce will kick off the Grand Opening Friday with a ribbon cutting at 2:30 p.m. They will open at 2pm so everyone can have a beer in hand while the ribbon is being cut. Carlyle Street will be blocked for two days and bands will play outdoors during the day and indoors at night. Thanks to the new social district of Battle Creek, you can have a beer and stroll through the city center. There will also be food trucks there.

  • Who: Handmap Brewery
  • What: Grand opening
  • When: Friday July 9e 2:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. saturday july 10e 3 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • Where: The Record Box / Handmap Brewing, 15 Carlyle Street, Battle Creek Michigan
  • Why: Drink beer, listen to music and have fun!

McCleary said they have 14 beers at the moment. So where do these ideas come from?

“Sometimes these are things I’ve been working on for a long time. Sometimes it’s about keeping up with what’s going on in the market and trying to innovate at the same time. We are constantly tackling a lot of traditional recipes, but maybe giving them our own flair and then looking for new ways. Sometimes ideas come in the middle of the night. Sometimes this happens on a bike ride, sometimes while I’m sitting in the brewery chatting. Inspiration comes from many different directions.

So if Chris had to pick one beer from Handmap’s entire lineup that people should try, what would it be?

“Probably the Otis. It’s a barrel aged Belgian DuPont beer that’s in red wine barrels, and there’s a lot going on with this beer. The beer is nice and delicate and looks like wine in some ways and it has a lot of different notes of banana and cloves and a bit of wild yeast. It is a very good beer.


  • Friday 3 pm-6pm Ray of light, a duo. “They will be playing outside, so please bring lawn chairs. It’s the whole social quarter now, so you can sit outside and we’ll be selling beer outside and inside ”.
  • Friday 7 pm-10pm Pice Project, of Grand Rapids, inside the Handmap Brewery.
  • Saturday 3 pm-6pm Rusty and nails.
  • Saturday 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sam Luna Band inside the Handmap brewery.

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