Couple Planning Urban Brewery

Record Box exterior rendering Battle Creek

A couple is planning to launch a new brewery in the region.

Chris McCleary and Jennifer Brown intend to move from Chicago and start Handmap Brewing in their hometown of Battle Creek.

The brewery will be located on the first floor of the Record Box, at 15 Carlyle St., a mix-used facility undergoing a complete renovation by the development firm Restore (269).

McCleary, Handmap’s head brewer, has been brewing for over a decade, the last three years for Chicago-based Goose Island Beer Company. Brown brings business and financial experience from multiple Chicago-based companies.

Plans for Handmap include on-site brewing with a rotating selection of brews, light food options and an “inviting” atmosphere.

Construction of the facility is underway, and a grand opening is slated for this fall.

Handmap Brewing expects to employ nearly a dozen people when fully operational.

“We are looking forward to coming home to open Handmap Brewing, catching up with old friends and making many new ones and are excited to be part of the great things happening in Battle Creek,” Brown said.

“Our intent is to create an atmosphere where everyone feels welcome, from the craft beer enthusiast to people who have never been to a brewery.”

This is the second brewery that has committed to opening in downtown Battle Creek following an RFP in conjunction with a $200,000 incentive from Battle Creek Unlimited, the city’s economic development arm. New Holland Brewing is also planning to open a location at 64 W. Michigan Ave.

Photo: A rendering of the Record Box building. Photo via

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