‘We Found Surprises:’ Owners Reflect on First Year of Eastern Market Brewing Co. –  Deadline Detroit

“We’re turning one and throwing a block party to celebrate,” post the entrepreneurs behind a Detroit craft beermaker that opened last October after $1 million in renovations to a nine-decade-old building. 

The former meatpacking plant went up in 1929 on Riopelle Street. (Company photo)

The 15-hour event starts at 10 a.m. Saturday inside and outside Eastern Market Brewing Co. 2515 Riopelle St. Bands plug in at noon to lively up the traffic-free block. 

Elephant Shack, a food truck that’s part of the startup, will serve street food (menu here), and business co-founder Dayne Bartscht will lead a 10 p.m. birthday toast.

The rotating draft list from brewmaster Hazen Schumacher includes wheat, Irish stout, tangerine pale ale, IPAs, blonde, Belgian pale, cherry porter, English Barleywine and blood orange Hefeweizen. “We create classics that continue the tradition of craft beer in the city of Detroit, plus one-of-a-kind beers with local flavor that only the freshest Eastern Market ingredients can provide,” the taproom’s site says.

Experimental brews will be released hourly Saturday night, starting at 6 p.m.

Bartscht, along with partners Paul Hoskin and Devin Drowley, look back at sweat and surprises as “our dreams of opening an intensely local brewery” became real. They post on Facebook: 

‘Little did we know . . .’

As our first birthday approaches this Saturday, we can’t help but think about the year-long restoration process and all the hard work that came (and continues to come) with reviving a nearly 90-year-old meatpacking plant in Eastern Market .

“Little did we know how much work, and time, it would take to bring it back to life.” (Yelp photo)

Built in 1929, our brewery served as a meatpacking plant for over 80 years. The building fell into disrepair during the 2000s, but even with its bumps and bruises, we fell in love with 2515 Riopelle the first time we set foot inside. Little did we know how much work, and time, it would take to bring it back to life. Naivete at its finest!

Throughout the buildout, we found surprises:

  • Old meat hooks that fell through the false ceiling during demolition (everyone was OK) and are now proudly displayed in the taproom.

  • An old shotgun in the floor of a broken cooler (not displayed).

  • Meat sales receipts from the mid-1900s stored behind plywood blocking a hidden doorway. (Patties were cheap back then.)

  • And our favorite piece of all — an antique Toledo meat scale that somehow still lights. (They don’t make them like they used to.)

The best is still to come, as we have big plans in 2019 for our beautiful second floor. That’s where the original ammonia refrigeration system still resides and where, just maybe, a rooftop beer garden will be if all goes to plan.

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