You’ve probably seen a picture of yourself at a bar and noticed a beer glass hanging on the wall.
You may not have been able to get the beer out without spilling a few pints, but that’s okay.
The alcohol industry is a tough business, and as a result, there are a lot of great beer companies that have taken the initiative to take their product to bars for free.
That’s exactly what has happened with the Sweetwater Brewing Company, the new craft brewery opening this weekend in the heart of Downtown Detroit.
Owner/brewer Joe Schofield says the Sweetwaters team was looking for an alternative to the high-alcohol, high-cost offerings found in bars and restaurants.
He was excited to have a small-scale brewery, he says.
“We have some great ingredients,” Schofard says.
When they were approached by the city to get their brewery up and running, the answer was no.
The city of Detroit, which had already spent millions to build a new brewery to handle its alcohol consumption, wanted to see how the beer industry was doing, and so they sent them the details of the city’s plan.
Schofards group was happy with the results, so he started making plans to make Sweetwater his own.
“The brewery was born out of a need to make something new and new to the Detroit beer scene, and we wanted to make it our own,” he says, laughing.
The brewery will be in the basement of the downtown Detroit Business Improvement District building, where the city has planned its new brewery.
It will be one of several new breweries that will open in Detroit this year, including a new craft beer bar, two new distilleries and a new microbrewery.
The Sweetwater beer lineup will include an IPA, a session ale and a lager, as well as a seasonal, including the new Black Friday beer.
The beers will be available for purchase on tap and at the bar, as will the beers from the brewery.
“Our beer is going to be different,” Schohield says.
Schohards team is currently looking for a small crew to work on the beer.
They hope to open by the end of January.
“If we can do it, we will be able to be in business,” he said.
The company is expecting to hire around 100 people to work the kitchen, which will serve food, aswell as to handle the distribution of the beers.
Schophield is hoping that this will be a quick start for Sweetwater, which is in the process of completing a second expansion.
He says the brewery will only be open for a few months, and that the city is still in the planning phase of the brewery’s plans.
“There are no plans to build anything yet,” he explains.
“This is all still in early development, but I have been working on this since last fall, and I am very excited to be making this happen.”
The Sweetwaters first beers will come from the new brewery, and Schofonds goal is to have them available in July, he adds.
“I don’t want to make any promises, but we are getting close,” he states.
If all goes well, Sweetwater plans to open its first beer, the Black Friday, on the opening day of the month.
The brews will be brewed in the brewery, then shipped to the tasting room and sold on draft.
There will also be a line of beers available for pick-up, he explains, and for those who can’t wait, Schofes brewery will also offer a few of its beer-themed parties throughout the year.
“It is an honor to be able work with such a wonderful community to help make our community better,” Schophards co-owner Jim Steeves says.
Sweetwater is the latest in a long line of craft breweries to take advantage of Detroit’s growing craft beer scene.
For years, Detroit has been home to a large number of independent craft breweries, and in 2014, the city passed the Michigan Liquor Control Commission’s “Craft Beer License Enhancement Act,” which allowed brewers to sell their beer on draft, while remaining eligible for the city license.
The law also extended the same license to all other breweries, but only in the city.
The craft breweries also received the opportunity to participate in the Michigan Beer and Wine Festival, which took place in Detroit in February.
The Craft Beer & Wine Festival in Detroit, Michigan, May 4, 2019.
Schofield also said that he hopes to open the SweetWater brewery in time for the Michigan Brewers Guild’s annual Great American Beer Festival, and will be opening up the brewery in the spring.
In addition to Sweetwater’s upcoming taproom, Schohilds team is also working on a new beer called Sweetwater Beer Tribute.
This is a beer that Schofilds calls the “best beer tribute in the world.”
The beer is a collaboration between the brewery and a local restaurant