Crank up the volume

The new Cranker’s brewery will be highlighted in a TV series

Proud Owner: Jim Crank, owner, stands in front of Cranker’s Brewery on the patio (left). On the right, Cranker’s crew in the brewery room where their six signature beers. are brewed. Photo By: Eric Trandel | Photographer
Big Rapids is going to be featured on national television; at least, a small piece of the town will be.

The brand new ABC series North American Brew Trail did twelve hours of filming at the still-young Cranker’s Brewery in August. Focusing on breweries around the Great Lakes, the Amy Sherman-hosted series will reportedly air on PBS this fall, showcasing the various brews, appetizing local food and the events that each of these establishments provides.

The opening of the pilot can be seen at, giving viewers some idea of what they’ll be watching.

Cranker’s Brewery, for those who may be new to town or unaware of the details, is an extension of the already-present Cranker’s Coney Island at 213 S. State St., which, according to owner and Ferris graduate Jim Crank, will soon be renamed “Cranker’s Restaurant and Brewery.”

Crank has been incredibly open and positive about the project, touting at every opportunity the microbrewery’s local loyalty and desire to become a premier business servicing Big Rapids and the surrounding area. Many of the brews’ names even seem like they could be spins on things in Big Rapids, such as Bulldog Red.

Emphasizing the brewery’s hospitality and desire to bring something different to Big Rapids, Crank painted quite the bright, direct picture of something unique, growing and lasting in Big Rapids. Already, two of the company’s six signature brews–Bulldog Red and The Professor–have recently become available at local establishments.

This is all in addition to the food and services already provided by the restaurant, which includes a recently expanded menu with more dinner and late night options (all a part of the rebranding).

When Ferris students were asked about the food, a number of them noted that it is great hangover food.

Much more will likely be discussed on Cranker’s episode of the series. On the show’s Facebook page (of the same title as the show), photos from the film crew’s day spent there can be seen (Aug. 27), including Sherman posing with the Ferris State Bulldog.

Does this portend some talk of Ferris in the series amidst all the technical, beer and food talk? While it’s not possible to know if anything like that made it past the cutting room floor until watching the show, it’s an intriguing prospect.

While the specific airdate of the Cranker’s episode hasn’t been determined yet, the show will begin airing next month.