Microbrewery helps revive main street of downtown Grayling, Michigan

A few years ago, Dave Vargo decided he wanted to open a brewery near his vacation home in northern Michigan.

And if all went to plan, Paddle Hard Brewing would be up and thriving in Gaylord.

Renovation in process.

But those plans failed, so he settled for the town Grayling, instead. In the middle of a Michigan winter.

Today, Plan B has turned out very well for Vargo, and certainly for Grayling, which is seeing an upsurge in restaurants, galleries and other developments in its once-fading downtown.

Vargo said he’s on track to clear at least $1.4 million in sales in 2017 after turning $1.1 million last year.

He’s invested close to $3.5 million in Grayling through a production facility, a brewpub, a wine room and the purchase of another downtown building he’d love to repurpose as a distillery.

Vargo says: “We want Paddle Hard to help revive our community. What’s important to us is that the community see and understand that what we are doing here is for Grayling. The whole idea behind the business is to give back to the community. To create synergy within the community to create a thriving downtown. Grayling is such an awesome place to live, work and vacation and we not only need, but want everyone to stop, stay and play.

Paddle Hard has revived our main street and brought people into our community who may never have been here before,” he continued.

Paddle Hard creates the exposure and destination that brings people to downtown and that’s exciting for us. We love the idea that we get a chance to give back to the community by helping revive our community. Life’s Short. Paddle Hard!,” Vargo exclaimed.

All photos courtesy of Paddle Hard Brewing.

See Bridge article by Lindsay VanHulle.

See Paddle Hard Brewing website.

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