Schaendorf Brewing Company – Allegan, MI
If you have been to Allegan, Michigan before, then you know that it’s a small, quiet town with a tightly-knit community. It may sound cliché, but it seems that every small town has its “spot” – a spot where families can gather for a delicious meal, or old friends can catch up over a beer or two. A place that just feels like “home” the minute you walk through the doors. For Allegan, Schaendorf Brewing Company is undoubtedly that spot.
Schaendorf Brewing got its start when the second generation of a local family dairy farm decided they wanted to offer more than just dairy products to their community. Plans were made, a building was selected, renovated, and in no time, dreams became reality for owners Ben and Nicole Schaendorf and managers Kyle and Nicole (Schaendorf) Heslip. When asked how Schaendorf got its start, Nicole stated simply that “her and Ben’s love for food, and Kyle’s love for beer brought them together.” Growing up in the dairy industry meant learning everything there was to know about what it took to make that business flourish. Ben did just that. Not only did that experience allow for Ben to become a partner in what would eventually become Schanedorf Cattle Company, but it served as a springboard to something much larger. In 2018, the Schaendorf’s stumbled upon the perfect opportunity to start a new branch off of Schaendorf Cattle Company and decided to take the risk, knowing the reward would be much greater. Allegan was home for both Ben and Nicole growing up, so what better place could they have chosen to combine their family’s passion for food and their brother-in-law, Kyle’s love for beer.
Kyle, having studied both biochemistry and molecular biology in college gained an interest in the art of brewing beer. Not only did he gain an interest in brewing, but he was also good at it; really good, in fact. Not after long, Kyle found himself as the head brewer at Tapistry Brewing Company in Bridgman, Michigan. Channeling his passion and skill into his own brewery has resulted in clean, true-to-form beer that can only be enjoyed exclusively at Schaendorf.
Schaendorf, like Superior, is a family-owned and operated business and they treat their employees and customers just like family. Both Nicole Schaendorf and Kyle stated that having that family-owned title was one of their favorite parts of their business. “From a quality perspective, when your name is on it, you’re much more invested,” Kyle said. Nicole added that, “We can keep it small. Everything is here; everything happens in house. If we want it, it’s right here; you’re looking at it.”
When customers walk into Schaendorf Brewing, the family wants its guests to feel invited and feel that their restaurant has a family-focused atmosphere. Not every brewery has the ability to achieve that trait, but both Ben and Nicole and Kyle and Nicole have worked very hard to provide an atmosphere with something for everyone.
Chef Brian spoke very highly of his Superior Foods Sales Rep, Tom Gatlin. “Tom will bend over backwards for you. You know him. Anything you need, he will call. He’ll call the vendors himself and try to source the product from where it comes from. He’s just an awesome rep. He’s very down to earth and treats you like you’re his family. He comes in weekly to see us and talk to us. He’s literally my favorite of the three reps we have and he makes it personal when he stops in. I really enjoy working with him.” When it comes to Superior Foods products, Chef Brian said they look most forward to receiving the fresh fish that Superior is able to provide them. “It’s phenomenal. Everything comes in fresh and clean and we love that you guys actually break the fish down yourselves in your production facility and source your products from really clean water.” Alongside of loving the fresh fish we have to offer, Chef stated that he loves that Superior also manufactures and produces our own product lines, as well, at our “ready-to-eat” facility just a half of a mile up the road from our main plant. Most importantly, the Schaendorf Brewing Co family all value and appreciate Superior’s desire to source local products.
Grilled Swordfish Steak paired with Tuscan risotto, served in a saffron tomato broth, topped with oven-dried balsamic tomatoes and paired with broccoli.