12 E. Bridge St NE, Rockford | Text: (616) 439-0417

Our History

How we got here

Founded in 2011 by co-owners Seth Rivard and Jeff Sheehan, Rockford Brewing Company started as a pipe dream. Upon finding great support and excitement from the community, Seth & Jeff quickly realized they were onto something. After months of planning and a long summer of countless cases of Hamm’s and grueling construction in the summer heat, the pub doors finally opened in December 2012. 

rbc equipment on semi trailer

We quickly earned recognition for our true-to-style mainstay beers and seasonal rotating tap selection. As brewmaster, Jeff has maintained an insistence on quality while refining his craft over decades of experience across the country. High praise for our beer began rolling in, highlighted by Rogue River Brown being awarded its first Bronze Medal at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival (GABF).

Our pursuit of excellent beer was always paired with a desire to serve food to match. We took a huge step forward with the unveiling of our in-house kitchen in the Fall of 2016 - bringing a mix of classic pub fare and world flavors that reflected our values of celebrating quality ingredients sourced as locally as possible.

rbc kitchen buildout

2017 was a banner year for the growth of RBC - topped by being awarded Best Small Brewpub and Best Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year at the GABF along with Rogue River Brown and Sheehan’s Stout both bringing home medals. Beyond the GABF awards, we launched our first packaged beer into statewide distribution with 6-packs of our flagship IPA, Hoplust, and received our first of many awards for food, drink, and culture from regional and statewide publications.

Our growth continued throughout 2018 and 2019, and more accolades followed. Our portfolio of packaged beers grew from just Hoplust to five beers being canned and distributed, reflecting the growth of our overall beer distribution statewide. We were not only meeting the growing demand for our beer; we were able to meet growing demand at the pub by nearly quadrupling our outdoor seating space.

rbc beer awards

2020 has certainly not been the year we drew it up to be in our minds, but there is still plenty cause for celebration. Chef Cameron Sauser crafted a rejuvenated menu to reflect his expertise, creativity, and fun spirit, winning more awards for RBC food than any year prior. We introduced five more packaged beers and saw our distribution footprint grow into major retail chains.

In a tumultuous world, we were quickly reminded of the sheer power and value that exceptional food, beer, and community hold in our society - a familiar comfort we are both happy and fortunate to provide. We have worked tirelessly to adapt the RBC experience without compromising our commitment to quality, our community, and our culture.

rbc staff at night

While there is certainly no roadmap to navigate what the immediate future holds - we do know there is a place on that map for RBC. We have even more exciting things to share coming very soon, but until then, we will relish in the opportunity to share an experience, share the quiet familiar comforts we’ve always longed for, and raise a glass to the days to come.

Since day one, after all, we remain: happy to be here.

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