After a little more than three and a half years serving cider, mead, and beer on John R. Road, Cellarmen’s is preparing to close its doors this month. The Hazel Park brewery with a heavy metal aesthetic will serve its last pint on Saturday, July 27, according to a release.
In a statement, Cellarmen’s co-owner Dominic Calzetta says that several factors contributed to the closing including issues with their landlord, challenges with distribution, and the death of founding partner Jason Petrocik in 2016:
We have spent the better part of four years giving everything we have to produce the absolute highest quality product possible for your enjoyment. Sometimes however, the ups and downs of business prove to be insurmountable. We took a step back recently to examine our industry, the untimely death of one of our founders, distribution obstacles, and unreasonably excessive requests stemming from our landlord, which led us to the incredibly difficult decision.
Cellarmen’s was founded by B. Nektar expats who brought their love for funky fermented drinks to Hazel Park. Calzetta and Petrocik opened Cellarmen’s in partnership with Ian Radogost- Givens in October 2015, as part of a wave of new business on the John R. strip. The brewery specialized in beverages made with local produce and honey, but also brewed beers. In the spring of 2016, the company began canning their beverages and eventually expanded into statewide distribution.
Cellarmen’s plans to release special batches of barrel aged meads, ciders, and beers throughout the month of July. The brewery is also selling its brewing equipment and local art off the walls.
This is the latest sign of metro Detroit’s brewery and fermentation scene feeling the squeeze. In June, nearby Axle Brewing Co. closed down operations citing the challenges with making the business profitable. Eastern Market Brewing Company is also doing a petition drive demanding the state of Michigan increase its allowances for brewers to self-distribute, so that the company can grow its business.