Third Nature Brewing Company Built for Outdoor Dining and a Pandemic

ROCKFORD, MI – Almost perfect.

Great food, great beer and great service all surrounded by the natural beauty of the White Pine Trail. It’s almost as if Third Nature Brewing Company was built as the backdrop for a Pure Michigan TV commercial.

It’s no surprise that the brewery with a huge beer garden, several fireplaces and igloos has been recognized as one of the top destinations for Michigan’s Best Outdoor Dining in Grand Rapids.

He finished second behind the poll winner A Twenty-Three Tavern in Grand Rapids and in front of Brass Ring Brewery in Grand Rapids, known for its open-air cabins.

Opened in late 2019, the setting quickly became a big part of its success, which was only heightened when it tackled the unexpected challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and the closure of indoor restaurants.

“We were very grateful for our little Biergarten haven,” said Hayley Zitzelsberger, who owns the brewery with her husband Chad, along with Troy and Donghee Zitzelsberger, as well as Bryce and Lisa Roebke. (Lisa is Chad and Troy’s sister).

“This has allowed us to continue serving you beer, food and a safe place to come and enjoy the time away from home.

We presented Third Nature Brewing Company in our recent article on outdoor dining destinations on the White Pine Trail.

READ: 10 great outdoor restaurants along the White Pine Trail

A Third Nature Brewing Co. employee delivers food to customers at an igbrew on Thursday, February 4, 2021 in Rockford. (Davison Hope | hope Davison

We thought we would check with Hayley Zitzelsberger to see how things are now that indoor dining has returned to 25%, and if the recent cold weather has made it difficult for people to go outside.

How are things going ? Is Igbrew use increasing or decreasing?

“The recent cold snap affected us, but not as bad as we expected. Fortunately, we had our Igbrews with the 25% capacity inside to welcome you inside again. This is obviously not as many people as we can usually accommodate in normal times; but, we are doing with what we have available right now! Fortunately, we closed our pergola at the start of reopening 25% of its capacity. It creates a unique dining experience with our overhead cafe lights, radiators and large enclosure windows let you gaze out at the snow-capped beer garden. We saw a slight drop in Igbrew bookings only in the sense that they didn’t fill up as quickly. We usually still had a sold-out evening on the day of the service.

How has business been overall?

“Overall (it) was better than expected. We took advantage of the development of our large outdoor spaces as well as a slightly mild winter (at least before this last cold snap). Eating inside is difficult as we can only serve 25% of what we usually do, but we try to make the most of what we are allowed to do at this time. We are grateful that we have guests who want to go out for dinner, drink and feel safe with our COVID procedures that we have in place. We all do what we can and even having 25% of our tables full brings us a lot of happiness.

Find Michigan's Best Outdoor Dining Along The White Pine Trail

The “Falafel Bowl” dish is pictured with Jeju IPA and blackberry cider at Third Nature Brewing Co. on Thursday, February 4, 2021 in Rockford. (Davison Hope | hope Davison

Describe Third Nature to first-time visitors, from the beer side to the food side.

“To our first visitor who is a beer lover – we are always trying to brew you something new. Our Head Brewer, Troy, is always working on something and our tap menu changes regularly. Even have a few “Crew Brews” where a member of the team creates a beer! We have accessible beer, but we will keep you happy, beer lovers too! A popular one on tap right now is our Decadent elf delight; an Imperial Stout Vanilla Coconut Macaron. The best way to learn about our beers would be to order a flight the next time you come. Our team is always ready to help you create the perfect flight board for you!

“To our first visitor who is a foodie – Our chef, Ryan, distributes incredible homemade smoked barbecues, salads, sharing meals, pizzas, comfort food and mouthwatering specials. You’re definitely going to want to rip up our giant fluffy pretzel with beer cheese or dry rubbed smoky wings to start. Follow that up with one of our awesome bowls including a new menu item, our Falafel Bowl! Also add one of our three different burgers that we have on the menu or our homemade smoked BBQ sandwiches; to name just a few choices. We also welcome our vegetarian, vegan, and GF friends, so ask your server for our dietary substitutions! Our chef is looking forward to our next beer dinner where he creates a unique multi-course dinner and beer pairing with our head brewer. These dinners are always decadent, fun and delicious!

“Overall, we want our brasserie to be welcoming, friendly and bring you a little closer to nature over a delicious meal and a pint.

The search for Michigan’s best outdoor restaurant is sponsored in part by Warm fitness.

Find Michigan's Best Outdoor Dining Along The White Pine Trail

The outdoor space of Third Nature Brewing Co. is pictured on Thursday, February 4, 2021 in Rockford. (Davison Hope | hope Davison


Third Nature Brewing Company

7733 Childsdale Ave. NE, Rockford, MI 49341


Hours: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Closed on Mondays. (Kitchen open until 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; last call at 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.)

Also: The Igloo reservations are online and guaranteed with a $ 50 deposit, which includes a $ 10 rental fee that covers the cost of cleaning and maintenance. A refund of $ 40 is returned to your card. Reservations are 90 minutes.

More information: Where

Look for Michigan's best outdoor restaurant: Hearthstone Bistro

Heated igloo meal at Hearthstone Bistro on Tuesday, February 9, 2021. Igloos are available for reservation, per igloo, per night. (Cory Morse | Morse |

If you have any questions about this research or suggestions for future research, please feel free to email us:

Jean Gonzalez: [email protected]

Amy Sherman: [email protected]

Follow our best Michigan adventures on social media:

@mlivemibest on Twitter

@mlivemibest on Instagram

Facebook at MLiveMIBest.

Participate using hashtags #mibest and # alfresco dining.


Jean Gonzalez is on twitter @michigangonzo, as good as Facebook and Instagram @MichiganGonzo.

Amy sherman is on twitter @amyonthetrail, as good as Facebook and Instagram @amyonthetrail.

Barley and Vine offers craft beer, wine, and cold cuts

Barley and Vine is the MichiganÕs Best Outdoor Dining Flint survey winner. The property is located at 1072 Elms Road in Clayton Township, between Swartz Creek and Flushing. (Jake May | May |

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