Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Falling Down Beer Company: The Beer’s About to Start Falling Down

Written by  Jeff Priskorn
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Falling Down Beer Company - Warren Michigan

Falling Down Beer Company in Warren will soon become Michigan’s newest brewpub, and both Mark Larson (brewmaster) and George Lang (president) are excited, anxious, and tired. After several months of renovations at the soon-to-be former My Mother’s Place on 10 Mile Road east of Dequindre, the paint is drying, the bar has been built and epoxied, the exterior sign is in place (and quite eye-catching at that), and the brewing equipment has been installed and is awaiting the final go-ahead from the various bureaucratic and licensing bodies.
I visited with the FDBC guys recently and chatted for a bit while several of their friends (and by virtue of their sweat equity, lifetime mug club members) painted. Did I feel a twinge of guilt for not picking up a paint brush and joining in? Perhaps, though in my defense I was wearing my good cargo pants at the time. Mark walked me through the nascent brewing operations room, which houses a 10 bbl system. Three 310 gallon CCV fermenters stand sentinel over the mash tun and many bags of waiting malt. It’s a veritable forest of shiny stainless steel soldiers just waiting for its first batch of hoppy goodness. Is my gilded prose running away from me here? Most likely, but man, it’s exciting to see a brewpub being born!

Mark and George hope to get the legal sign off on the equipment and begin brewing within a few short weeks. Once the beer is going, opening day will be but two weeks away. For now, the target opening date is somewhere between Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day, bureaucracy permitting. An 8-tap direct draw system is in place behind the bar, and Mark plans on opening with a full roster. His inaugural offerings will include the flagship duo of Ninja Chicken American Pale Ale and Muscovado Stout, the latter being named for the unrefined brown sugar with which it’s brewed. Also on tap will be an amber, a session brown, a cherry ale, and an IPA. Within a few months of opening, they want to install a 24-tap indirect draw system, on which Mark plans on having up to 18 rotating taps. Some of those rotating taps will surely include one of Mark’s “cream porters”, his answer to the ubiquitous cream ale. These will be made with various ice cream flavors, as a hat tip to the old ice cream parlor that was once housed in their building.

The 14-seat bar was built primarily by George, who is writing a book about the process of opening a brewpub. He’s learned (and suffered) a lot in a few short months, he says, but it’s been worth it. Their total investment to date in Falling Down Beer Company is several digits north of $100,000, but with the opening in sight, the return on investment can soon (and finally!) begin. The total occupancy will be 99, and to handle getting the beer and food to the patrons, they’ll presently be hiring two cooks, six servers/bartenders, and a head bartender. Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you’re qualified and interested in gainful employment.

FDBC will offer a full menu, designed from scratch by Mark and George. There will be burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, corned beef, and fish & chips, along with appetizers including onion rings, deep-fried pickles, and (yes!) deep-fried Snickers. Vegetarian offerings will be available as well. For the fried comestibles, Mark wants to develop a beer batter based on the flagship Ninja Chicken beer, which sounds obvious and tasty to this author.

Their POS system is cloud-based and will allow the staff to enter orders on iPads. Free wi-fi will be available, and there’s a really nice touch for the Technorati: power outlets are present every few feet on the front of the bar. Review the FDBC beers on your blog, manage your fantasy football team, or play Words with Farmville without ever running out of battery power!

Falling Down will be open Tuesday-Thursday: 3-11, Friday-Saturday: 3-12, and Sunday: 3-11. They’ll be closed on Mondays for uninterrupted brewing, though Mark plans to get in at least a little brewing every day.

It’s close, folks. And soon there will be beer. Stay tuned for the official announcement of opening day (or rather, night) at Falling Down Beer Company!

www.fallingdownbeer.com

www.facebook.com/fallingdownbeer

Jeff Priskorn

Jeff Priskorn

Jeff Priskorn is a guy who didn’t even like beer until he was 25, which isn’t all that surprising given that the family fridge was stocked with Goebel and Carling Black Label during his tender years. Now an elderly young man, he can finally say that Bud Light is swill and is a proud proselyte to the microbrew world and a loud (and sometimes annoying) advocate for Michigan-made beer. Jeff’s goal is to visit all 100+ Michigan microbreweries and brewpubs, and he’s at least 60% there. In addition to drinking and writing about beer, Jeff is a software guy, actor, voice artist, and musician. Check him out at JeffPriskorn.com, come see his band Mad Rabbit (Michigan’s Live Jukebox™) at a bar near you, and sample his fledgling beer blog at phruityonbeer.blogspot.com.