How Short’s Built on a Brewery Experience for Consumers

Beer, music, and food can be a combo that usually doesn’t disappoint. For Short’s the three have been a part of the company’s 19-year history and expanding on that idea has proven worthwhile with the debut this spring of its new outdoor music venue beer garden located just across the street from its original brewpub location.

Previously a parking lot, the location houses a stage and pavilion with tables and taps. Also, the Bellaire, Michigan brewery partnered with a local food truck to provide a different fare of food outside of what the brewpub has to offer.

Starting in December 2020 and through the Spring of 2021, Short’s used the area for outdoor social distancing and built keg “campsites” in the lot, complete with fire rings that consisted of 12 three-sided spaces made up of over 900 kegs. Once winter was over, they constructed a container pavilion with two shipping containers and a permanent metal roof to provide protection from the elements and hosted community concerts during the warmer months starting last summer.

READ MORE: ​Creating a Kitchen Experience That Matches Your Brewery​ Culture

“These early experiments showed us that the concept could work and that the community could benefit from an outdoor space with music, food, and drinks,” said founder Joe Short in a release. “As we started prepping for the summer at the Pub, moving music outside just made sense so we decided to go for it.”

Right before the brewery’s 19th anniversary this spring, they got the idea to license the space so they could pour beer, and in less than two weeks we made it happen.

The Bellaire Beer Garden is now open seven days a week and is home to Oaxacan fare from Osorios Tacos y Salsa.

“We wanted to do something totally different from what we were doing with the Pub menu and also offer our community something that isn’t widely available in our region: Authentic Oaxacan food,” explained Marketing & Brand Director, Christa Brenner. “Having one set truck has been great. Consistency is king in our business and the crew from Osorios are great partners — the owners Miguel and Carla are some of the kindest people on the planet and their food is amazing.”

On the weekends, they work to house live music from talent across the state. Brenner said they’ve always had a robust music program at the Pub with acts like Billy Strings, Dean Ween, Joshua Davis, Vulfpeck, Breathe Owl Breathe, and more, but the Pub’s dining evolution has elbowed the music out of the room.

“In the summer folks come to see us for the beer and food, they’re families that are typically not coming for a live show,” she said. “Moving music outside and across the street to the new stage made a lot of sense.”

Short’s usually doesn’t charge a cover for music or sell tickets to shows, but Brenner said this new venue opens up possibilities for bigger shows so they are exploring what that might look like.

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