Manager Tommy Spencer (left) and owner Joe Lancaster (right) stand in front of the drop down bar at 18 Taps LLC in Beaverton.

Manager Tommy Spencer (left) and owner Joe Lancaster (right) stand in front of the drop down bar at 18 Taps LLC in Beaverton. 

BEAVERTON – Michigan is known for having some of the best beers in the country. From Bell’s Brewery to the Keweenaw Brewing Company, Michigan hosts a wide variety of breweries from coast to coast. As such, tap houses are on the rise, and Beaverton just welcomed its first one. 18 Taps LLC just finished up their first month of business and the response so far has been first rate. 

Owner Joe Lancaster first decided to open the tap house as a way to make extra income during the off season from his first business, J&D Landscaping and Excavating. “Landscaping ended for the season and I get very bored, I can’t sit still,” Lancaster said. 

In November of 2018, he started to look into ideas for what he could do with the building J&D is managed in. J&D, and now 18 Taps manager, Tommy Spencer suggested a tap house. 

“I did some research on it, and seen that there was a pretty good calling for tap beers and microbrews. We gutted the place and started from the ground up,” Lancaster said. 

Construction began in the end of November 2018 and was completed in April. They had their official grand opening on April 12. Since then they have been enjoying a steady stream of satisfied customers. 

“Our business in the first month has been very educational and fast paced,” Spencer said. 

18 Taps, named for it’s location along M-18, hit the ground running with several events throughout each week. They hosted a viewing party for the season premiere of the widely popular HBO series “Game of Thrones”, held guided painting classes, and hosted multiple concerts and karaoke nights. 

They show no sign of slowing down either, coming up they are hosting a world-wide respected blues musician. “We look forward to having Larry McCray play on June 29, with the next concert on July 4 featuring the Jack Pack and .25 Cent Beer Band,” Spencer said. 

The community seems to be enjoying the tap house, with crowds packing into 18 Taps for each event. Patrons to the business can enjoy the events and also take advantage of the relaxed party atmosphere the space creates. Drawing inspiration from the southern bar, blues and barbeque scene, the tap house is decorated in a modern style, with corrugated steel and wood panels, marble countertops, and finished cement floors. The drop-down suspension bar, makes the space feel more like someones finished party-garage than a typical bar – in the best way possible. All of this coupled with the plethora of games throughout the space for patrons to play as they socialize adds to the relaxed feel.

As for offerings, the tap house boasts not only a variety of seasonal microbrews and standard favorites on tap, but also cocktails and wine, with a local Michigan focus. Resident microbrew aficionado, Spencer, can recommend which microbrew might be right for a patron’s taste. Beer flights are also available on their Michigan shaped boards, with a special heart painted on Beaverton. 18 Taps has a continually changing beer menu, with new beers on tap on a weekly basis. This gives patrons a reason to keep coming back and sample the latest brews. 

18 Taps does not serve food themselves, but they are working with Smokin’ Bob-B-Que, whose food truck is parked outside of the tap house, ready to serve up their signature barbeque that patrons can take inside to enjoy with their drinks. 

18 Taps LLC seems to be well on its way to becoming a fixture for Beaverton, and Gladwin County, night life. With Spencer’s knowledge of craft beer and Lancaster’s business acumen, 18 Taps has a bright future ahead of them. For more information find them on Facebook or stop it at 3340 M-18, Beaverton, MI.

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