Jamesport and Rotary host Business After Hours

February 26, 2014

chamber logoThe Business Plan.

The Business Plan is a partnership between the Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce and Mason County Press. Today’s topic of discussion are tonight’s hosts of Business After Hours, Jamesport Brewing Company and the Rotary Club of Ludington. 

While being Jamesport Brewing Company stands on its own as a fine dining establishment on the far end of South James Street, it’s also Ludington’s only brewery. So, naturally we will start there.

The man behind the beer is brewmaster Tom Buchanan.

Tom got into brewing back in 1991 when he and some friends started experimenting with home brewing. “We were disappointed with the tasteless, uninteresting popular brand beers on the market,” he said on the business’ website. “The developing craft industry gave me an introduction to some different styles and flavors that could be achieved with various malts and other ingredients and fueled a desire to produce some brews of my own creation.”

Tom had worked 23 years in the transportation industry and said he felt the need for a change.

“My wife and I had purchased a property earmarked for our retirement home between Manistee and Ludington. Imagine my excitement when I learned that a state of the art brewery was soon to be operating in Manistee – the Lighthouse Brewing Company. At the Lighthouse, I met Michael LaCroix, a brewmaster imported from Colorado, and through him I learned a tremendous amount about craft brewing. When a group of business people decided to create Jamesport Brewing Company in Ludington, they called on Michael as a consultant in setting up the brew system and choosing beer styles and recipes for their venture. I assisted Michael and Donovan, another brewer from out west, with the set up and brewing at Jamesport and eventually worked my way into the head brewer’s position when Mike and Donovan both decided to move back to Colorado.

“Today, I realize that I am one of those lucky people who is involved in a career that happens also to be something I love doing. I’m also blessed to be employed at a brewpub that allows me to enjoy the freedom to pursue my passion to learn more about craft beer creation as well as work with some of the most talented people in the food and restaurant industry. Meeting Jamesport customers and conducting brewery tours is also one of my more pleasant duties. I’m always happy to share the love of great brews with another beer lover.”

The other host of Wednesday’s event is the Rotary Club of Ludington. The club meets every Thursday for lunch beginning at noon at the Ludington Area Center for the Arts.

Its mission is to provide service to others, promote integrity and advance world understanding, goodwill and peace through its fellowship of business, professional and community leaders.

Some of the higher profile projects of the club is its STRIVE program. STRIVE is a program for high school seniors who have faced some academic challenges, but want to make the most of their last year of high school. The club also is responsible for the state flags that line the west end of Ludington Avenue’s boulevard section.

Business After Hours is from 5 to 7 p.m. Admission is $5 for chamber members and $10 for non-members. Admission includes appetizers and brewery tours. For more information, go to www.ludington.org.

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