Two-year-old brewery Eastern Market Brewing Co. is preparing to expand to Ferndale. The Detroit brewery has struck a deal to buy Axle Brewing Co. and take over Livernois Tap, which closed in June after two years of business.
Axle Brewing Company’s co-founder Dan Riley, who co-owns the Livernois Tap building, had released a statement ahead of the closing of his Ferndale brewery this spring expressing his intentions to “secure a strategic partner or buyer that shares our values and interest in this vibrant community with the infrastructure and scale to succeed in the amazing space at 567 Livernois.” In a statement today on Facebook, Riley writes that they’ve found that buyer in Eastern Market Brewing Company.
The expansion to Axle’s 10,000-square-foot brewpub in Ferndale is a strategic move for Eastern Market Brewing Co., allowing the brewer to triple its capacity and meet increased demand for its beer. The Detroit brewery will also be able to increase the variety of beers available in cans and begin experimenting with barrel-aging.
Eastern Market Brewing’s managing partner Dayne Bartscht tells the Detroit Free Press that the former Livernois Tap property will be rebranded to reflect the fact that it’s not located in Eastern Market. Bartscht tells Eater the partners are currently referring to it as the “Ferndale Project.” The separate locations may also offer different beers. The new brewpub is on track to open by the end of 2019 or early 2020.
Chef Garrett McDonald, who operates the Elephant Shack food truck for Eastern Market Brewing Company, has been tapped to take over the former Livernois Tap kitchen. The menu is still in the early stages of development, but Bartscht tells Eater that some “fan favorites” will likely make the leap from the Elephant Shack to Ferndale.
The expansion is a dose of good news in a wild few months for the Michigan brewing industry. Following the closure of Axle Brewing Company at the beginning of the summer Cellarman’s in Hazel Park also closed its doors. Then in August, Founders confirmed that it was transferring majority ownership to a Spanish brewing partner. Meanwhile, Roak Brewing Co. in Royal Oak is merging with Dark Horse Brewing Company in an effort to stay competitive and a popular Clawson brewpub Black Lotus appears to be for sale.
Update: This story has been updated with additional details on the Ferndale project from Dayne Bartscht.
• Eastern Market Brewing Co. to Acquire Axle Brewing Co., Will Take Over Ferndale Taproom [Freep]
• Axle Brewing Co.’s Livernois Tap Bids Farewell to Ferndale in June [ED]
• All Eastern Market Brewing Company Coverage [ED]
• All Beer Coverage [ED]