Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Glasshouse Brewing Turns 'Wasted Space' Into Newest Ann Arbor Brewery

Written by  Aimee West
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Earlier this month my friend Abby and I went to the opening of Glasshouse Brewing in Ann Arbor. They join an already rich craft brewing area which makes this a wonderful place for a beercation.
Brad and Brent along with their father Steve are the owners of Glasshouse. The building they are located in also hosts one of the oldest businesses in Ann Arbor. Brad felt compelled to take the, “wasted space” of the storage room behind the glass shop and turn it into a working brewery.

Brent’s fiancé started him on this adventure by taking him to Shorts Brewing Company in Bellaire, MI and as he said, he “fell in love with the culture, environment, people and wanted to learn more.” This started him on the adventure of homebrewing and eventually turning “wasted space” into what you see today.

Glasshouse Brewing has wonderful touches that give a nod to the history this building has seen. The original sign from 1884 hangs inside on one of the walls and the hanging lights are reclaimed from various old Detroit buildings from Material Unlimited in Ypsilanti. They even have a few old freighter lights from ships on the Great Lakes. As we took our seats, we noticed the stamping plates embedded in our table and all the indoor tables at Glasshouse. History is very important to Brent and his family they wanted to keep the history alive of this business in Ann Arbor. They felt it was, “a root of Ann Arbor” and wanted to honor history in the building and atmosphere.

The life blood of the brewery is visible behind the bar and is set up to be run by one man, Kuma Ofori-Mensa. Kuma said that many of the recipes available were not run as test batches; he researched and planned the recipes so they came out exactly how he wanted them.

Glasshouse currently has seven beers on tap with many more planned for the future. They have a Public House bitter that is malty and creamy; this was one of our favorites. The Payeur porter was robust with a hint of caramel. The Summer House was as, Abby put it “herbacious.” The Grain House is their amber wheat and we both agreed this was the perfect drink for a hot summer day, “a post-yard- work shower beer.” Abby fell in love with Firehouse Smoked Stout. Kuma created this wonderful smoky beer with cherry wood smoked grains and 25% Briess smoked malt. We were told the tacos from the

Chela’s Restaurant and Taqueria next door would pair wonderfully with the Firehouse. After our tasting, we checked out that restaurant, purely for research, and Abby would have to agree that an al pastor taco would be perfect with the smoky flavor. Both Abby and I would highly recommend Chela’s, the tacos and tamales were just delicious.

Kuma mentioned he would like to add a cider to the mix, along with other styles of beer, too. Eventually the brothers have plans to add a full kitchen as well. For now, people are encouraged to bring their own food.

Next time you are in Ann Arbor make the time to stop and enjoy a cold pint at Glasshouse Brewing and a meal at Chela’s.

Photo's By Abby:

Aimee West

Aimee West

Is new to the craft beer scene but always willing and wanting to learn more.