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OUR STORY

Our love of craft beer started many years ago, but the story of Ore Dock Brewing Company started in the summer of 2009 during a 4,000 mile road trip across the western U.S. Up to this point, whenever we found ourselves traveling to a new place, we had formed a habit of visiting the local brewery. Local breweries always seemed to exude native culture and never failed to provide an eclectic mix of friendly people, not to mention the fact that each region had its own unique beer styles and local favorites. We especially enjoyed those breweries that exhibited a clear link to their community, utilized locally produced ingredients and products, and fostered local art and music.

The trip out West was no exception; in fact we planned our route based on the breweries we wanted to try. Somewhere between the stunning western landscape and the amazing breweries that we visited, we were surprised to find ourselves homesick for the Upper Peninsula. It was then that we realized we wanted to take the atmosphere at these breweries and infuse it with all the things we love about Marquette, and the dream to start a microbrewery was born. We began working on a business plan and found that we were truly passionate about our idea; passionate enough to get through more than two years of working, planning, and saving.

We are so very grateful to the many wonderful friends and family who have been supportive and helpful in so many ways along our journey. We strive to make Ore Dock Brewing Company a true reflection of all the things we love about Marquette and the Upper Peninsula. Cheers!


OUR BUILDING

Building Reclamation

Nick (foreground) is Ore Dock’s Brewmaster.

Ore Dock Brewing Co. spans the confines of two adjacent buildings along Spring Street in historic downtown Marquette.  Located just off of Front Street, the brewery sits where a nearby fire in 1868 all but completely devastated the downtown district.  Shortly thereafter, the city issued an ordinance stating that all newly constructed downtown buildings would no longer be afforded the opportunity to use wood as their primary construction source.  As a result, many of the historic buildings still found in existence today showcase the ornate architecture derived from local sandstone deposits.  Part of Ore Dock Brewing Co. reflects that heritage.

According to some sources, the building that sits at 112 W. Spring St. was initially built in 1864.  A two story building (at the time only half of its current size), this space saw a wholesale grain and grocer occupy the lower level for much of the late 1800’s and into the turn of the century.  While upstairs, a Chinese laundry operated until the early 1910’s.  In 1910, the building more than doubled in size with a sandstone addition extending further to the north.  The change is visibly obvious as the concentration of sandstone used at that time was much less than its original counterpart.  Shortly thereafter, the 150 year old building began its century long stint as a car garage for both sales and service, complete with a ramp allowing for storage of vehicles on the second floor.  Though the ramp has since been removed, one’s senses can still be elevated by the variety of community events, live music, and wide selection of craft beers found each and every week at Ore Dock.

Frei_Chev

Before it was a brewery, the building was a garage and storeroom for Frei Chevrolet.

Merriam-Webster defines craft as “an activity that involves making something in a skillful way by using your hands.”  The focal point of Ore Dock has a history related to craft that dates back nearly 150 years.  Though existing as an automobile repair shop for most of its existence as a place of commerce, the site where our taproom and brewery currently exists at 114 W. Spring St. was once home to the Marquette Bakery.  Established in 1874 by native of England and Civil War Veteran of the Union Army, William R Wright, the bakery was known as a favorite meeting place for people of all ages.  According to a 1913 obituary produced by Marquette’s Mining Journal, Mr. Wright was known not only as Marquette’s finest baker, but also as a superb maker of candies as was evident by the steady throng of children that would visit his shop.  By 1911 the original Marquette Bakery building was no longer in existence.  And though the products derived from wheat, fruit, and sugar have changed from baked goods to brewed goods, the dedication toward excellence remains the same.  Today, the spirit of craft and community is once again vibrant on Spring Street.

 


THE BREWERY

Traditional processes and premium ingredients are the blueprint of each beer crafted at Ore Dock Brewing Company.  Ales that emphasize balance and drinkability, each sip engaging the senses while providing for effortless enjoyment.  We’re less interested in pushing the boundaries of craft beer and more about defining ourselves by uniquely meeting standards set forth over centuries and within frameworks of traditional style.  That isn’t to say we don’t have our fun.  But we’re serious about what we do.  Beer is our passion.

Like the great foundation of our peninsula, we’re a little bit of everything.  On our best days we find ourselves at roughly 60% Belgian,  20% English, and 20% American.  We take great pride in creating true-to-style ales crafted from ingredients that actually belong there.  From the finest two-row barley of England and France, to hops such as the Noble Saaz, North American bittering bombs like Columbus, and the earthy English Fuggle, we let our beers speak their own language.

TansferThough it all begins at the source.  And for us, that’s practically a stone’s throw away.  Hang a left outside the brewery doors and stare down 10% of the Earth’s entire fresh water supply.  That’s Lake Superior.  For all but three months of the year,  she enters the brewhouse a mere one degree above freezing.  It’s the cleanest, coldest, softest water supply that a fermentable transformation could ask for.  And as the typical life span of a water molecule existing as liquid in the “big lake” is roughly 100 years, we like to think all that time spent bonding might actually lead to molecular aspirations outside of merely playing a part in the hydrological cycle.  We help them get there in the form of Ore Dock ale.  After all, it’s what water wants to be!

 

 


OUR COMMUNITY

Where craft beer and community meet.  These words have helped drive the mission at Ore Dock since the beginning.  Our goal has continuously been two-fold: to craft great beer and help craft a great community.  Historically, breweries have always played a central role within their communities. We strive to reclaim that idea here in Marquette.

From the Marquette Blues Festival and Downtown Showdown Ski and Snowboard Rail Jam to local fundraisers and benefits, Ore Dock is proud to sponsor a variety of community events and causes. Whether bowling for kid’s sake or cleaning local rivers and lakes, we encourage our staff to volunteer their time with causes that mean the most to them and provide reimbursement for up to four volunteer hours per month. We wouldn’t be here without the support of our community and we’re committed to returning the favor.

Community Partners

40 Below Marquette County Young Professionals
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Marquette & Alger Counties
Downtown Showdown Ski & Snowboard Rail Jam
Hiawatha Music Co-op
Innovate Marquette SmartZone
Iron Range Roll
Marquette Blues Festival
Marquette Chamber of Commerce
Marquette County Mom Prom
Marquette Downtown Development Authority
Marquette Home Brewers
Michigan Ice Festival
Ore to Shore Mountain Bike Epic
Sideline to Sideline Sports Medicine Group
SmartPize
Superior Beekeeping Club
Superior Watershed Partnership & Land Trust
Travel Marquette
Zonta

…and more!

Associations and Awards
Visit Us
114 Spring Street
Marquette, Michigan
906.228.8888
Tap Room Hours
Sun - Thurs: Noon - 11pm
Fri, Sat: Noon - 1am
Community Space Hours
Thurs: 5pm - 11pm
Fri, Sat: 5pm - 1am
Study Hall: Mon - Sat, Noon - 5pm
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