KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Mark Rupert’s new business, Rupert’s Brew House, opened Friday afternoon.
He took FOX 17 on a tour. The last malt delivery arrived at the West Michigan Avenue location a couple of hours before the big opening.
Running a brewery is a dream Rupert said he’s had for years. He previously worked as a videographer and audio mixer in California where he said gigs were hard to get.
He said a buddy of his got a hold of a brewing tank for $23 in October 2012. He said that tank came from a bakery. Two others tanks cost $1500 and $1200 each. Rupert has been working to fulfill his dream ever since.
“This has basically consumed by life. I can tell you how many times I`ve slept on the stage to make sure that we could be here for deliveries in the morning,” he said.
He added, “I think the biggest sacrifice is basically knowing that I`m trying to build something bigger than myself here.”
He said Larry bell of Bell’s Brewery, a major local beer producer, is an inspiration. Other breweries have popped up over the years in Kalamazoo. Is there space for another?
“I’m not sure if it’s for me to say. How many grocery stores do we have? How many convenience stores do we have? How many gas stations do we have? Uh, you look at overseas and the European countries, especially Germany, there’s a pub every other block,” Bobby Hopewell, the mayor of Kalamazoo said.
Hopewell said he’s no expert, but he finds the opening of the Rupert’s brew house to be great news for the city.
“Again, you make yourself relevant. You help customers understand that you’re the destination and you’ll do ok,” Hopewell reasoned.
Rupert is optimistic and determined to thrive.