Thursday, November 06, 2014

Detroit Just Got More Diverse With Seven New Breweries Opening in 2015

Written by  Aimee West
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Detroit artcile

I have always loved the Detroit area even though I grew up in the Lansing area. I have fond memories of visiting family and friends all over the city and suburbs. I am especially excited to see all the new breweries going up in the Detroit area and becoming a part of the rich history that Detroit is rebuilding.
Starting in Corktown is Batch Brewing Company, who were winners of the 2013 Hatch Detroit contest. They have struggled to get where they are today, even changing locations from Michigan Avenue to right around the corner from Mudgie's in Corktown. Which was a blessing in disguise because the new location has the added benefit of a commercial kitchen. With the idea of beer pairing dinners they brought on Chef Matt Johnson who is creating meals with local and seasonal ingredients. Brewing equipment was installed last week and Stephen Roginston (brewery partner) has said that they will definitely open by the end of December. Just in time for holiday shoppers and those out of town family members you need to entertain.

Moving over to Dearborn we talk to John Rucinski of Dearborn Brewing. He started homebrewing in 2000 and really thought he would keep it as a hobby. As John said, “I always had that 'I don't want to turn my hobby into a job mentality” Well Dearborn is glad that you changed your mind. We hope to taste great things from this brewery and with John taking four years to perfect his Belgian Whit recipe we see lots of patience and determination to create great craft beer. Dearborn Brewing will offer six taps with three rotating options which will include the Belgian Whit, a pale ale, kolsch, and hefeweizen. The seating area will be intimate and relaxed with only 27 seats available. John wants this to be a place where you can hang out, have some drinks, laugh and generally just have a good time. John had this to say “... beer should be fun” and we can't agree more.

Yea Canton! Oh I love Canton not only can I visit my favorite cousin but I can stop in Ikea and feed my need for Swiss furniture and Lingon berries, but sadly there were not any breweries in Canton. Canton Brew Works owner's Barry and Cara Boggs saw this and decided that they would open one. They currently have a 3-barrel system on order, their federal license and a year's supply of hops. With a plan in place where they offer new beers every month on a rotating schedule that will include everything from pale ales, stouts and more. I can't wait for this brewery to open.

Next up is Windmill Point Brewing Company, currently located in the Eastern Market but are looking for a more permanent location in the Wayne County area. They bring a unique passion to craft brewing. All their beer is created by pedal power. They were recently at the Broad Art Museum in East Lansing where they created beer with just the power of people on bicycles. Owner Shawn Grose said, “ We are trying to change the mode of biking from recreation and transportation to energy production.” The brothers Shawn and Aaron Grose estimate that the average customer pedaling at a steady pace can generate enough power to produce two or three beers. They also plan to use wind and solar power on days that pedal power is not available.

November 15th Farmington Brewing Company will have their Grand Opening at 2pm. They are located on Grand River Ave and offer a view of the entire brewing process behind the bar. Jason Hendricks, one of the partners, feels that “it adds to the ambiance of the space to have all the equipment there. We will not be brewing during serving hours, but our customers will see where we do work.”

Nestled in the middle of a residential area in Royal Oak is ROAK Brewing Company. They are located in an old industrial warehouse where they will have a tasting room, inside seating for 77 people, and a small outside dining area. Neighbors in the area were not originally pleased with the rezoning of this space but Mayor Pro-tem David Poulton had this to say, “I actually think it’s going to fit in with the neighborhood and add some vibrancy to the area.” Drew Hopkins, who lives on Seventh Street had this to say about ROAK Brewing, “I look at this building and see a beautiful building going up, and I see that possibly commerce can happen, and people going there will now go into town and buy something from some of the retailers that are starving.” I can't wait to see how the area flourishes with ROAK Brewing Company bringing in a new eating and drinking experience.

Let's head to Flint for a minute. Flint has been working really hard to thrive in recent years and with tenacity and grit, Jason Caya co-owner of Tenacity Brewing is part of that grit. Tenacity Brewing is located on the edge of Carriage Town in an old fire station with a view of the Flint River running behind the building. Tenacity Brewing will be a micro-brewery so no food will be offered on site but that just means more opportunity according to Danny Moilananen, co-owner of Vehicle City Tacos. "The idea of having a place where several food trucks are parked, or even just a couple, is really important to us. You're creating these unique and interesting places people want to give patronage to."

With all these new brewers opening in Detroit I talked to Motor City Brew Tours owner Stephen Johnson and he had this to say, “Motor City Brew Tours is excited to work with all of these new breweries when they open in 2015. You can be rest assured that we will doing lot's of beer sampling r&d at each of these new breweries. We plan to offer new brewery tour routes to take advantage of all of these brewery openings.” I have experienced a few of their tours and everyone has been spectacular. They create a wonderful mix of craft beer, history and fun. I can't wait to learn new history about the Detroit area.

I also think my friend Emily Orttenburg said it best about the new breweries opening up around Detroit, “I love having local access to the experimental brews that you may never end up seeing on shelves. In a way, I get to be a part of the sample market.” I look forward to visiting her in Birmingham and sampling all the great new breweries in the area.

Added Information Dec, 2014:

Opening in February 2015 is River Rouge Brewery located on 4th Street in Royal Oak, a couple blocks east of Main St. River Rouge is a family owned and operated nano size brewery. The location is modeled after a brewery in San Diego, California where the owners brother and head brewer, Edward, has been brewing for the last few years. They will offer 10-12 different styles of beer with taster flights and growler fills available. Edward wants to focus on small batches with limited distribution using local ingredients and resources.

Aimee West

Aimee West

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