Monday, July 21, 2014

Local microbrewery launches crowdfunding campaign to revamp kitchen.

Written by  Paul Starr
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Arbor Brewing Company Microbrewery is launching a crowdfunding campaign to provide its kitchen with much needed repairs and renovations. The campaign needs to raise a minimum of $75,000 to keep the kitchen open this winter but the brewery hopes to raise $125,000 for a complete overhaul.
The ABC Microbrewery (also known as the Corner Brewery) opened without the intent of running a full kitchen. As the popularity of the brewery grew, so did the demand for a more diverse and substantial menu. A backyard bbq grill on the deck to cook burgers and brats eventually grew into an outdoor kitchen complete with commercial grills and a pizza oven. Unfortunately the customer demand for grass­fed burgers, fresh pizzas and garden­sourced ingredients outpaced the tiny kitchen.

“Right now we operate in a kitchen that’s about 60 percent inside our building and 40 percent outside our building,” Executive Chef Brian Guerriero explains. “Winter time can be rough here.” But the rough­and­tumble environment for the kitchen staff goes beyond exposure to the elements. Poor ventilation in an already stifling hot environment creates poor working conditions for the staff.

Co­owner Rene Greff explains that that without the necessary changes, the Microbrewery will be unable to continue to use the outdoor space and will have to dramatically reduce its offerings and lay off half of its 8 person kitchen staff.

“A big part of our corporate culture is creating a good work environment for our staff,” she said. “And we realize right now that that is an area where we are failing them. The health department has been very patient and great to work with but the fact of the matter is that grills and ovens require mechanical ventilation in order to provide a safe working environment. We recently had to stop serving burgers because of unsafe smoke build­up. This just isn’t a sustainable situation.”

The campaign includes a dozen different benefit levels for funders from $5 (in exchange for your name and hometown on a brick in the pub) to $5,000 (for lifetime memberships in the mug club, growler club, and french fry club, lifetime tickets to monthly beer tastings at ABC’s Ann Arbor location, and a beer brewed and named in your honor and released at a party for your and your friends.

The Microbrewery is hosting a launch party for the campaign from 7 to 8 p.m. on Monday, July 21. Greff and her co­owner and husband, Matt, will be on hand to show their campaign video, talk about all of the campaign perks and answer any questions. Refreshments will be provided. The campaign is live here.

About Arbor Brewing Company Microbrewery

Arbor Brewing Company Microbrewery is a production brewery and beer garden that brews Arbor Brewing Company brand beers for distribution throughout Michigan. It was opened in 2006 and is owned and operated by Ypsilanti residents Matt and Rene Greff who founded the Arbor Brewing Company Brewpub in downtown Ann Arbor in 1995.

Paul Starr

Paul Starr

Paul Starr is the creator of the I'm a Beer Hound and one of the organizer and the driving force behind Art & Craft Beerfest, Lansing Beer Fest, Beerfest at the Ballpark Spring & Fall. When he's not working on Beer Hound he's probably watching the Lions, Tigers or Red Wings. Being a recent new Dad of twins, he doesn't have much extra time these days for mischief.