The Detroit brewing industry has a long history in Eastern Market with companies like Eckhardt & Becker Brewery and Stroh’s housing their production facilities in the historic district through the early 20th century. None of these breweries still operate in the area, but one company is trying to bring beer business back to the market. Next year, Eastern Market Brewing Company, will launch in the former S&D Packing building off Riopelle and Winder next to BB’s Butcher Inn.
The owners Dayne Bartscht, Devin Drowley, and Paul Hoskin secured the facility in July after researching opportunities in Detroit, Chicago and Ann Arbor. With them is veteran brewer Hazen Schumacher, whose resume includes stints at Bell’s and Brew Detroit as well as 16 years with Atwater.
The 5,200-square-foot meat packing facility spans two floors and includes a rooftop deck with views of Shed 2 and both street and alley access. The owners say they plan to renovate the building in stages focusing first on the first floor, which will house the brewing equipment as well as a 120-seat taproom featuring long communal tables.
Christian Hurttienne Architects (Wright & Co, The Peterboro, Detroit City Distillery) is charged with developing the overall look of the brewery, which will preserve some of the industrial aspects of the space while adding more windows for natural light and garage doors leading out to the alley and on Riopelle. “The idea is in the summer and on market days people can actually walk in this alley, which looks directly on Shed 2 and we'll have seating out there,” Drowley adds. Eventually the company plans to build a mezzanine overlooking the first floor for live music and expand seating onto the second floor. Within two years, they plan on opening the rooftop to guests.
Earlier this month, Eastern Market Brewing began renovating the space and securing equipment for a five-barrel system. Between 9 and 12 taps will be supplied on a rotating basis with a mixture of traditional German-style beers and brews featuring ingredients sourced from the market. The taproom will eventually offer some food to complement the beer, but they’d initially like to encourage customers to visit and bring in food from other restaurants in the area, says Bartscht. “Above all we want to be known as a brewery.”
Depending on the expediency of city, state, and federal permitting, Eastern Market Brewery is aiming for a spring debut. The company will also host pop-up events leading up to the opening. “We're pretty excited about the future here,” Hoskin says.
• Eastern Market Brewing Company Facebook [Official]
• Eastern Market Brewing Company Instagram [Official]
• All Beer Here Coverage [ED]