These companies are bringing new brewing ventures to Detroit very soon, bolstering the rich Michigan brewing culture, and adding to the story of a city in the midst of a recovery.
- Batch Brewing Company under construction Facebook
- Dearborn Brewing window installation Facebook
- Canton Brew Works test batch Facebook
- Windmill Pointe Brewing Company mugs made by Pewabic Facebook
- Farmington Brewing Company kegs Facebook
- ROAK Brewing Company mockup Roger J. Beret Architects
- Tenacity Brewing Company firehouse Facebook
Batch Brewing Company
The winner of the 2013 Hatch Detroit contest, Batch Brewing Company has had a long road to opening day, including a complete relocation of their site from Michigan Avenue to a building just around the corner from Mudgie's in Corktown. The wait is nearly over though. With brewing equipment installed this week, brewery partner Stephen Roginson tells Eater that Batch will definitely open by the end of December.
"Indoors, we're really very far," Roginson says. The company is finishing their furniture fabrication and is ready to start building the bar. Outside Roginson says that the site still requires a complete façade treatment. They started pouring concrete this week. "We'll actually start brewing very soon," he adds, although with the hop market being very "tight" right now he can't say what will go into the fermenters first.
While the original location did not allow for food, the new space came with commercial kitchen equipment and space for a small restaurant. With that in mind, Batch has brought in chef Matt Johnson to work the kitchens, preparing meals with local and seasonal ingredients.
In addition to a very "simple" menu, Roginson says chef Johnson will be cooking for events featuring multicourse meals with beer pairings. The dinners will be offered in a special area away from the main taproom.
In the meantime, Batch has been popping up at regular tasting events around town.
John Rucinski started homebrewing in 2000, and while it occurred to him to start his own taphouse, he never really considered it a viable option. " I always had that ‘I don't want to turn my hobby into a job mentality,'" he tells Eater. But after nearly 15 years, Rucinski has finally come around. Dearborn Brewing is receiving new equipment shipments seemingly every day as the company speedily closes in on an opening date.
Rucinski has a self-deprecating sense of humor when it comes to his brewery. "We're trying hard not to take ourselves too seriously," he says. "The only thing I really want to be dead serious about is the quality of the beer." As a homebrewer, he spent four years simply perfecting his Belgian Whit recipe, and he wants to bring that same precision and quality to the taproom. When Dearborn Brewing opens, the offerings will likely include the Belgian Whit, as well as a pale ale, kolsch, and hefeweizen. The brewhouse will offer six taps with three rotating options and a 27-person sitting area. "We'll try different things and see what works," he says.
People are quick to take their stances about what beer should be, says Rucinski. "Some people stringently adhere to styles. Other people drink pale fizzy stuff and that's enough for them. I think beer should be fun."
The brewery will have a relax feel as well, with chalkboard pain to on the walls and a bring-your-own-food policy. "I want the brewery to be a place where people can come, hangout, have some drinks, laugh, relax, and just have a good time."
Canton Brew Works
There are no breweries in Canton. That's what Canton Brew Works owner's Barry and Cara Boggs discovered when they recently relocated to Michigan from Chicago. Soon after the move, the longtime homebrewers created a plan for their own taproom. With equipment on order, a federal license, and a year's supply of hops secured, they hope to open by the end of December, Barry Boggs tells Eater.
"We're going to have a 3-barrel brewhouse," which will produce about 93 gallons at a time Boggs says. The industrial-style taproom will seat up to 48 people.
The couple is in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to raised funds for design improvements like acoustic paneling that Boggs says will allow customers to have a conversation when they're visiting, without struggling to hear over background noise. "Sports bars are fine," he says. "I just don't want that kind of noise level."
On tap, Canton Brew Works will have a rotating selection of beers including pale ales, IPAs, stouts, brown ales, and more. "[I want] to keep introducing new things. I don't want somebody to come back after a month and see the exact same beer for sale I want it to change up."
As of Friday, the crowdfunding campaign has surpassed 50 percent of the $9,000 goal.
"We're just looking forward to getting open and serving Canton," says Boggs.
Windmill Pointe Brewing
Windmill Pointe Brewing is making headlines for an unusual concept—pedal-power brewing. Brothers and bike enthusiasts, Shawn and Aaron Grose, own Windmill Pointe and say they plan to generate some of the energy required to brew by having customers ride stationary bikes at their location in Eastern Market. The brewery is set to open in 2015.
"We are trying to change the mode of biking from recreation and transportation to energy production," Shawn Grose, a former science teacher tells The Wall Street Journal, "We've been talking about this [for] seven years, and there comes a time when you either keep on dreaming or bring that dream into reality."
While the idea is admittedly gimmicky, the company estimates that the average customer pedaling for an hour can generate enough power to produce two to three beers. The brothers also plan to incorporate wind and solar power into their set-up.
Farmington Brewing Company
"Our equipment will be directly behind our bar," says Jason Hendricks a company partner. "We think it adds to the ambiance of the space to have all the equipment there. We will not be brewing during serving hours, but our customers will see where we do the work."
Like many of the brewers on this list, Hendricks and another partner Jason Schlaff started out as homebrewers before deciding to take their hobby to the next level.
The brewery will not offer food although customers my bring their own or order-in from nearby restaurants.
Farmington Brewing regularly updates its Facebook page with photos of the progress on site. The company recently put in a bar and taps.
ROAK Brewing Company
Initially, ROAK Brewing Company faced some challenges moving forward with a plan to set up shop in an industrial warehouse on the boarder of a Royal Oak neighborhood.
The company eventually received the support of city commissioners and are now working on an approximately $1.2 million renovation. The space will include a 1,200 square-foot taproom with seating for 77 people and a small outdoor dining area.
According to an article published in The Daily Tribune, the operation is expected to brew 7,500 barrels of six different craft beers annually.
Flint-based Tenacity Brewing rounded-off a successful Kickstarter campaign on October 19, exceeding their $15,000 goal. According to the Kickstarter video, the microbrewery gets its name from the gritty resilience of the city of Flint.
Co-owner Jason Caya told MLive recently it would likely open by the end of the year in an old firehouse on North Grand Traverse Street.
The owners plan to produce a variety of ales including pales, stouts, kolsches, IPAs, and wheats. While their plan doesn't include a restaurant, Tenacity's owners say they're in talks with Flint-based food truck Vehicle City Tacos to create a partnership.
"We want to be an asset to the neighborhood," Caya tells MLive. "[Beer] brings the community together."
The brewery will include both indoor and outdoor seating, while maintaining the feel of the firehouse.