Ramshackle Brewing Company took an alley in Jonesville and transformed it into an art filled oasis that also serves up great beer.
Ramshackle Brewing Company and a Throne
My journey to Ramshackle Brewing Company starts with a death metal concert in Lansing. Opening up for the mighty oceanic metal band Dagon was an incredible death metal band called Throne. One song into their set and I was a fan. Just like when you taste an awesome Michigan craft brew, I was consumed with the intensity and delicious power.
One of the guitarists in Throne is Joe Kesselring (co-owner / brewer at Ramshackle). I had no idea he made beer until a mutual friend, beer lover, and guitarist extraordinaire for Dagon, Kris Finison mentioned he was filling in for Joe at a couple of shows while Joe focused on opening his brewery. When I heard this my mouth dropped open. I figured if Joe can brew half as good as he can play guitar, then I must seek out this brewery. Upon reading that Ramshackle Brewing Company had opened their doors, I gathered up Brenda, Jeff, and Angie for another adventure.
Ramshackle Brewing Team
Partnering with Joe to build Ramshackle Brewing Company are Zack and Jessy Bigelow. Zack and Joe started home-brewing in 2009. When friends and family started raving about their beer and asking for six packs, they figured it was time to take their weekend hobby to the next level. Their cobbled together home-brewing kit inspired the name Ramshackle Brewing. Check out this great article by Julie Havlak for the Hillsdale College Collegian paper for more on the back story of the brewery.
Ramshackle on the Sauk Trail
You can find Ramshackle Brewing at 209 E. Chicago Street in downtown Jonesville. One of the beauties of seeking out new breweries is discovering Michigan history. Jonesville was founded in 1828 as a stop along the Sauk Trail. This famous native American trail eventually became what is today U.S. 12. In 2014, Jonesville incorporated into a city proper. We didn’t get a chance to tour the city as it was late in the day, but we’ll be back.
Inside Ramshackle Brewing Company
Instead of a tumbledown space as their name would imply, Ramshackle Brewing is bright and inviting. Large colorful murals pull your eyes in all directions around the pub. Their sign says “The community brewery” and that is no lie. When we arrive, the place is packed.
Beer It Forward
As you belly up to the bar to place your order, take a gander at the mirror to your right. Now stop admiring yourself and you’ll see that this is the Beer It Forward board. This is a great idea and emphasizes the community spirit of Ramshackle Brewing Company. Buy a beer for the next person wearing chaps, the next priest to stroll in, or whomever you like. You make the rules and you give a little sunshine in a glass to someone.
Drawing and Drinking
Ramshackle Brewing focuses on beer styles that are not necessarily the sexy rage of today. On tap during our visit is a Kentucky Common, a cream ale, a traditional English IPA, a single malt single hop (SMASH), and the Clutch inspired Rye IPA known as Experiment 1000110101. Given the Clutch reference, I had to go with the 1000110101. Just like the lyrics mention, I was a smiling taste kitten with half a mind to double down baby. Just remember, three times is jive.
We snagged a few seats at the bar. This is no ordinary bar. It is an imaginarium. A whiteboard bar with an assortment of dry erase colored pens allows the fine brews from Ramshackle Brewing to inspire your inner artist. The coasters for your beer have erasers on the bottom to allow to your refine your masterpiece. While I’m no artist, we did have a ball drawing and drinking.
We had a great visit to Ramshackle Brewing Company in Jonesville. Next time you are on the road, head down to Hillsdale county and check them out. You’ll be glad you did.
Yes, there are more pictures in our gallery. Please take a look and share on social media. We only ask for photo credit.
Become a Supporter!
Would you like your very own Life In Michigan t-shirt? Become a Patron! Patronage from people like you who enjoy our stories is what keeps Life in Michigan going strong. If you have the means, consider showing your support on our Patreon Page.
Share the News
If you enjoyed the story, then share it on your favorite social media venue or send it as a link to your friends and family. This is good for everyone!