Grand Rapids has no shortage of beer for enthusiasts, but for those with a gluten allergy, it can feel like wandering through a desert with nothing to drink. Michigan’s first dedicated gluten-free brewery and facility intends to change that.
With a portfolio spanning from IPAs to lagers to barrel-aged stouts, Brewery Nyx will bring those who love beer but can’t enjoy it back into the fold.
Founder Jessica Stricklen learned to love beer in Grand Rapids. She spent years honing her palate on local favorites, but after a period of feeling ill, she quickly realized she and gluten did not agree. A life without craft beer was tough for her at first, but she has figured out ways to adapt after going more than a decade gluten-free.
The lifestyle change was eased in part by an abundance of gluten-free options Stricklen encountered when she moved to Portland, Oregon — a region ripe with wine. Working as the CFO at Beaux Frères Vineyards, Stricklen developed a bedrock of knowledge in quality craft beverages.
Still a devout beer fan, Stricklen turned to gluten-free brewers like Ground Breaker Brewing in Portland and Ghostfish Brewing Company in Seattle, Washington. The breweries inspired Stricklen to carry the gluten-free torch back to Michigan.
“Moving back to Grand Rapids, I was frustrated with the continued lack of gluten-free beer options,” Stricklen said. “This is Beer City, USA, and this won’t do.”
Stricklen also brought on Sebastian Henao Van Bommel, former brewer at Thornapple Brewing in Grand Rapids, as partner and head brewer at Nyx.
“There’s a lot of people who believe that beer made without malt, barley, wheat or rye is somehow lesser,” Van Bommel said. “I’m here to change their mind.”
Brewery Nyx uses premium millet, rice and other grist that build the foundation of the beer with no sorghum and no artificial additives.
The majority of Brewery Nyx’s product will be canned, so customers will be able to purchase all of the available beer to take home. While there is no kitchen planned, there will be snacks available.
“The intention of our space is to be more of tasting space, where customers can order a flight to taste through our lineup while they are picking up their order,” Stricklen said.
Brewery Nyx expects to open in mid-June at 506 Oakland Ave. SW.