Yesterday's debut of the new tap room at Brew Detroit has received coverage from nearly every Detroit-area media outlet. That's what happens when you open a photogenic bar inside a former ball bearing factory in Corktown.
The tap room, however, is just a tiny piece of Brew Detroit's 61,000-square-foot automated brewing facility. Opened in 2013, the facility is capable of churning out a volume of beer unseen since the days of Stroh's, the fallen Detroit beer giant. Thankfully, the similarities between Brew Detroit and Stroh's stop there.
It's not worth diving deep into Stroh's history, but there's a reason that Detroit produced so little beer after they imploded. Stroh's was ruthless. During its long history, the company aggressively bought out a huge portion of Detroit's beer industry, often demolishing rival breweries simply to insure they'd never compete again.
Brew Detroit's facility will have the opposite effect. Think of it like a co-working space for brewers, where smaller companies (Like Atwater or Motor City Brewing Works) can access world-class equipment and scale up production without breaking the bank. Brew Detroit produces its own beer in small batches for the taproom, but the focus is on being a "collaborative brewery."
Point being, Brew Detroit is more than another trendy bar or a "Detroit"-branded boutique. It's a major piece of beer-producing infrastructure that will give Detroit's craft beer industry a leg up. Knowing all of that makes a visit to the tap room all the more satisfying.