Michigan’s craft beer movement is showing no signs of slowing down as another brewery opens its doors today in Ann Arbor. HOMES Brewery joins nearby Wolverine State Brewing, Glasshouse Brewing, and The Session Room in what’s becoming a beer lover’s oasis on the west side of town.
HOMES, which takes its name after the acronym used to remember the five Great Lakes, seats 99 people with space for an additional 72 on the outdoor patio. The space was formerly a Culligan Water location and was, as owner Tommy Kennedy says, “the perfect location.” The neighborhood feel and opportunity for a large outdoor patio were key features for Kennedy, but it was the building itself that drew him in.
Part of that appeal was the two underground salt pits that were used for Culligan’s water system clientele. Under the HOMES team’s stewardship, those pits now have a found new life as cellar space for their barrel-aged sour beer program. Currently aging in French Pinot Noir wine barrels, the beers won’t be available for another year.
Meanwhile, brewer Nick Panchamé (formerly of Traverse City’s Right Brain Brewery) is busy manning tanks — all named after family members — making other varieties for more immediate consumption. Of the twenty total taps, ten are currently in use featuring hop-forward ales, tart goses, hearty stouts, and, of course, IPAs. Kennedy says there are no plans to distribute HOMES beers, but customers can either drink them on-premise or take home a growler.
Those who choose to drink there can do so indoors, at the bar, or on the patio. Throughout the building are bright murals and other decorative touches from Detroit-based street artist Paolo Pedini. One striking piece featuring astronauts on a bright landscape is in the main dining room, and can be raised to reveal several dartboards.
Noe Hang, the head chef of the popular No Thai! restaurants and an old friend of Kennedy’s, created the Asian-themed food menu. Appetizers include kimchi fries, bulgogi fries, wings, and fresh rolls. Various buns and rice bowls round out the menu with rotating specials coming soon. In addition to being unique to brewpubs, Kennedy believes that the spices and strong flavors of the Asian cuisine will complement the beers well.
HOMES Brewery is located at 2321 W. Jackson Avenue in Ann Arbor; open from 4 p.m. to midnight Tuesday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays; (734) 954-6637; website.
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