What’s this about? Homemade food and drink, in the best sense of the word. We want to share all of the delights we’ve developed over many years of experimentation and refinement. We are a small brewery, a distillery, a taproom, and a restaurant.
Care to elaborate?
In 1995, Dr. Dennis (Skip) Elmer Jr., newly minted DVM, celebrated his first job as an animal doctor by buying himself a homebrew kit. He brought his homebrewed brown ale to a meeting of the recently formed Downriver Brewers Guild, where he met Mike Bardallis, who had been brewing at home since 1989. Things got progressively more, erm, interesting from that point on. Skip had a years-long run at establishing a horseback safari company in Tanzania, doing a little homebrewing with friends there. Mike supported his homebrew habit by working as an engineer.
In 2003, Skip and Mike met Annette May at the National Homebrewers Conference. Annette, once described as a “walking beer encyclopedia,” was working for B United International at the time, an importer of classic and unusual beers from around the world. Six months later, Annette and Mike were married, and they’ve been living the ‘life of Riley’ since then, plotting and executing all manner of tasty things to eat and drink. These days, Annette is a beer educator, teaching in the Brewing and Distilling program at Schoolcraft College, and working for the Cicerone program, plus many roles in industry organizations. She knows sake, too. As an Advanced Cicerone, she keeps us on our toes.
Mike eventually admitted to himself what he wanted to be when he grew up, starting a new career as a brewer in 2012. (Still hasn’t grown up, though.) Meantime, Skip got interested in distilling, learning many of the finer points of various traditional spirits production techniques. He, too, began thinking about a change in careers…
In 2012, a house fire forced Dr. Elmer to live in a hotel, and eat in restaurants, for six weeks. He found himself spending most nights at Plymouth’s newly-opened Sardine Room, where Chef Mario Maniac’s eclectic and interesting menus kept his spirits up.
Originally hailing from Romania, Mario Maniac is an accomplished chef and restaurateur. His most recent undertaking is the popular French Toast Bistro, with locations in Canton and Northville, which features a French/Cajun inspired menu. He is excited to craft menus built on fresh, seasonal, local ingredients, and designed to harmonize with our diverse range of beers.
What’s in a name?
Mike the Brewer here. My grandfather emigrated to Detroit from the island of Lesvos, in Greece. Family lore holds that the first of our forebears to settle on the island worked as a longshoreman, and became known as ‘the guy who carries the full measure of grain,’ said measure normally being carried by two. (I come from a long line of short, sturdy folks.) His, and thus our, surname changed to reflect that distinction. These days, I put the full measure of effort, enthusiasm, and care into all of our beers. And, necessarily, I carry a lot of grain around.
Detroit’s historic Eastern Market, at Orleans and Division.
When can I get some?
Sometime in 2023, we hope.