Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Farmington Brewing Company – A Geographic First

Written by  Erik Smith
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farmington brewing

In a great beer state like Michigan, there are few areas on the map where there isn’t a brewery. One of the most glaring voids in the state has long been in a rough square of Detroit’s Western suburbs, bordered by I-696 to the north, Southfield Freeway to the east, I-94 to the south, and I-275 to the west.
Farmington Brewing Company became the first brewery to open within that geographic section when they opened their doors to the public on November 15th. Through the postings on their Facebook page leading up to opening, co-owners Gary & Jason Schlaff and Jason Hendricks knew the excitement that would come with their opening. They sold all 150 available mugs in their mug club is a surprisingly small amount of time. The size and enthusiasm of the crowds has surprised even them.

“We hate having to turn people away,” said Jason Schalff, when I made my visit 8 days after the opening, “But we had to because we reached our capacity in here most of opening weekend.”

Passionate homebrewers for many years, the owners knew they’d have some popular beers, so they stocked up before opening on a few of their favorites, Blood Orange Wheat, a double IPA called Mount Olympus, and a Scotch Ale called Cameron’s Wee Heavy. It took less than a week for the first two to go, and Cameron’s followed shortly after.

New batches of all three beers are expected shortly, but there was plenty of quality beer left when I made my visit. I particularly enjoyed the Wheat, a traditional style with a spicy touch (I was told later that came from the wonderful addition of coriander), the Vanilla Bean Porter, with it’s sweet & malty qualities, and the Raspberry Imperial Stout, dangerously drinkable at 8.7% and with just enough raspberry.

The crew at FBC was thankful for the help they received from many Michigan breweries, including River’s Edge in Milford, The WAB in Ferndale, and ELK in Grand Rapids.

The taproom, located on Grand River Avenue in downtown Farmington, is an attractive and welcoming place. Food is not available, but the owners have made arrangements with many of the local restaurants to provide for carry-out or delivery options that can be brought in.

Farmington Brewery is not open on Monday and Tuesday, those are brewing only days.

Erik Smith

Erik Smith

Erik Smith is a relative newcomer to craft beer, having first been turned on to the scene by a chance encounter with "The End of The World" (Unibroue's La Fin du Monde) during the summer of 2011. Since then, he has increased that love of beer by serving as the 'un-official' photographer for the many beer events at Ashley's in Westland, MI. His goal is to visit every Michigan brewery. An avid traveler, beer tourism has played a prominent role in his travels since 2012. 

Find him on Untapped at eriksmithdotcom and at his blog at http://onmyfeetorinmymind.com/