The season was scheduled to start May 8, 2024.

Officials are still assessing damage after the powerful storms swept through Southwest Michigan the evening of Tuesday, September 7WWMT Meteorologist Jeff Porter can officially confirm 2 tornadoes, and possibly a 3rd, touched down on Tuesday.

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One of those tornadoes touched down near the Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International Airport (AZO) on Portage Road right near the Air Zoo and Steinspark Biergarten. As someone who was anticipating the opening of the beer garden and food truck park at West Michigan's only authentic German-style biergarten I was anxiously awaiting news that the site was OK.

Kelsey Thomas
Kelsey Thomas, with permission

Norbert Gimmler, owner and operator of Steinspark Biergarten in Portage, Michigan, shared the following update on social media:

We did [survive the storm], but we have no power. Not sure if we can open tomorrow. We will post it as soon as we know.

Lauren G/TSM
Lauren G/TSM

After assessing any damage it appears the food court grounds and staff are all ok! Norbert has shared a new season opening date of Friday, May 10 at 4:00 p.m. Regular hours for the season are Wednesday-Saturday 4:00-9:00 p.m., Sunday noon to 8:00 p.m., closed Monday and Tuesday.

What to Expect:

Now in their 3rd season in Portage expect to find plenty of authentic German brews on tap, locally brewed favorites, brats, schnitzel, and a rotating schedule of local food trucks. Steinspark is billed as,

... the first authentic German-style Biergarten (beer garden in English) in Southwest Michigan. It is an all-outdoor space for patrons to come together, enjoy good beer (and other drinks), tasty food and engage with their community – all under the lush canopy of mature trees and twinkling lights during the warmer summer months.

It truly is magical! Steinspark is probably as close as you're going to get to Germany without hopping a flight next door at AZO. We're glad everyone and everything appears to be safe and can't wait to enjoy the full season of line-dancing, brats, and beer that's to come!

Tornado Damage in Southwest Michigan on May 7th, 2024

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Gallery Credit: Lauren Gordon


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