Did you know that Michigan is home to 131 craft breweries and it ranks fifth in the United States? The craft beer industry has a just over $1 million economic impact and the state produces 582,909 barrels of craft beer per year. By definition, craft brewers are small brewers. They interpret historic styles with unique twists and develop new styles that have no precedent. Craft brewers tend to be very involved in their communities through product donations, volunteerism and sponsorship of events.
Baffin Brewing Company, Macomb County’s newest brewery, encompasses all of these qualities; they began from a love of craft beer and the community in which the movement was inspired. Their mission is to provide their customers and community with the very best craft brewery in which to call their own, inspiring a sense of pride with each taste from the glass.
As the statistics show, craft beer is becoming increasingly popular and Macomb County can attest to that, as it is now home to six local craft breweries. Baffin Brewing Company is located in St. Clair Shores at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and 10 mile Road. According to Bryan Wojciechowski on the Hour Detroit Michigan Beer Blog, the building that Baffin Brewing Company now calls home is one of the city’s oldest. It has a great deal of history, as it was once the site of Bennett’s Market and, more recently, Mike’s Marine. The site has undergone some renovations since Baffin moved in, but many of the old charm has remained. As Wojciechowski mentions, the taproom walls are constructed from salvaged brick from 1920s-era Detroit buildings that a local mason installed and the bar is made up of 100-year-old reclaimed lumber.
Baffin Brewing Company was founded by Evan Feringa, Joe Dowd and Joe VanderMarliere. The company began in Dowd and Feringa’s college apartment in 2009. The set up was much less intricate than it is now; they utilized their kitchen cabinets to suspend bags of grain and hops in their kettles. A hobby quickly turned into an obsession as Dowd and Feringa worked diligently, honing their craft and learning new styles. Feringa, the head brewer at Baffin, also spent a few years working as an assistant brewer at Dragonmead, another Macomb County brewery located in Warren.
After months of preparation and a week of soft openings, Baffin Brewing Company officially opened its doors on Saturday, Jan. 31. 2015. Since then, the brewery has experienced amazing success. Every weekend, and most weeknights, the brewery is overflowing with customers, some who are now regulars and some just visiting for the first time. Baffin Brewing Company typically has five to six beers on tap and the owners state that no matter what your favorite brew is, they have something that will make you happy!
The founders have created clever and original names for their craft beers, generally trying to name their brews around pop culture. Feringa, Dowd and VanderMarliere are also focused on sustainability and they do their best to purchase as much of their ingredients as possible from local farmers.
The current beers on tap include:
- Heffenwolff – a classic German style hefeweizen, effervescent and refreshing.
- Roth IPA – a west-coast style India Pale Ale, a generously dry-hopped IPA with an exhilarating finish.
- Pamela Amberson – a toasted Belgian-inspired amber ale.
- Holland Oats – a nitrogen Oatmeal Stout, full bodied, soft on the pallet, and easy to drink.
- Crossroads – an American-styled cream ale. This beer is steeped in tradition. Let this brew take you back to a time of flapper girls and zoot suits. This was how beer was meant to be before prohibition.
- Bob Barley – a 100 percent Imperial Jamaican Blue coffee stout
My husband and I have stopped by the brewery for a pint several times now. We are passionate about craft beer and Baffin Brewing Company does not disappoint. The brewery has a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, where you are likely to see a familiar face each time you visit. The beers are all unique and flavorful, as well as reasonably priced. Baffin Brewing Company usually has popcorn or pretzels onsite and are working toward partnering with Pat O’Briens, an Irish Pub next door, to get a small menu available to brewery patrons. They also plan to have a variety of food trucks in their parking lot during popular weeknights and weekends.
I would highly recommend visiting the brewery. Have a pint and some popcorn and watch a local sports game or visit with friends. If you want to learn more about craft beer, the owners are more than happy to give you a quick tour and talk about the brewing process.
Baffin Brewing Company Hours:
Tuesday-Thursday: 5 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Friday – Sunday: 12 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Visit http://www.baffinbrewing.com for more info.
Amanda Minaudo is an associate planner for the Macomb County Planning and Economic Development Department.