BARRISTER BREWING Company owners, from left: Melissa and Don Hall and Barb and Dan Nees standing in front of the brewing equipment.

(Independent Photo/Melissa Shepard)


  Barrister Brewing Company plans to open after the New Year at their location in Westtown. There are five owners, Barb and Dan Nees, Don and Melissa Hall and silent partner Deanna Finnegan. The idea for the brewery started for Dan when he started a new hobby of brewing. He started with a kit. For Don, he got bored during the Covid19 Pandemic and started brewing on his stove. The name for the Brewery, Barrister is a lawyer entitled to practice the law. Dan is a former District Court Magistrate and now is a private lawyer. Silent partner, Deanna Finnegan is a former prosecutor in Shiawassee County.

  Since buying the building in 2021, the four owners did a total gut job on the interior. When renovating, they have tried to keep as much of the original materials when they can. The bar top is made out of a wall from the back of the building and they have kept the exposed brick. There will also be a tri-fold panoramic glass door at the back of the building. Customers who enter through the back will be able to see the brewing process on their way in.

  During this journey, they have had help from Cheryl Peterson of the SEDP before her retirement; Owosso Main Street, who filed for a fire suppression system for the entire building, including upstairs in the apartments and they applied for a Department of Agriculture Value Ag Grant, where they will buy from suppliers to get close to having everything that they serve be close to ninety percent Michigan made.

  The owners plan to have eight staple beers on tap, with two rotating. They also plan to have a couple wines and ciders. They are a licensed manufacturer but don’t have a liquor license. The menu will consist of burgers, flat breads, chili, fries, homemade pretzels and beer cheese. There is an enclosure out back for a smoker so they can serve smoked hamburgers.

Barrister Brewing Company to Open was last modified: December 26th, 2023 by Karen Elford