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A Great Big Dream

To bring empty space to life, to pour our passion into brewing great beers, and to make Big Buck Brewery better than ever before. This was our dream.

Our story starts as many in the brewery industry do… trying and perfecting our skills by home brewing in our kitchen. Back in the early 1990s, with minimal investment, we were able to make some pretty good beers. As the years passed, our brewing time was transitioned into raising kids, watching soccer games, and focusing on corporate life. But while living abroad, we were then exposed to many unique, local beers that rekindled our interest in brewing.

Having family in the Gaylord area, we routinely visited to take advantage of all that Northern Michigan has to offer. We envisioned someday leaving corporate America and using what we had learned to venture out on our own. Fast forward to August 2017, when we found out the Big Buck Brewery was for sale. In front of us was our chance to pursue our dream: to own our own business, capitalize on our past experiences, and fulfill our brewing passion.

In May 2018, we took possession of the Big Buck Brewery and began the task of rebranding a local icon. With a focus on Michigan-made products, we created a totally new menu, we brought several of the all-time favorite beers back to life, and we challenged our Brew Team to create some exceptional new beers.

Guided by our Head Brewer Doug Mehl, our mission is to simply do things the right way… slowly, carefully, and with some northern grit mixed in too.

We are excited to be part of the up-north community. The Buck is back!

– Cathy & Shawn Smalley