Patrons of the
Wolverine State Brewing Co.
can drink to a newly completed addition this fall. In November 2010, the microbrewer moved into a warehouse formerly occupied by Big George's Home Appliance Mart. Work has just begun on the addition of another 3,500 square feet to the existing 6,400-square-foot brewery, a 50% expansion of space.
The lager-only microbrewer will be bumping back into extra warehouse room at its facility at 2019 W. Stadium Boulevard in Ann Arbor. The addition will be evenly split between more production space and a taproom expansion, according to E.T. Crowe, the company's marketing director.
The project is in response to sales growth of 400% growth in wholesale and 40% in the taproom, according to the company.
The production side of the expansion will add new offices, a mill room, more storage, and a more efficient pickup system for wholesale distributors, and will make room for more fermenters. Fermentation capacity has tripled since the brewery opened, Crowe says.
In August, the microbrewer will add a third bottling: "Wolverine Amber Lager". In October, "Massacre", a bourbon barrel-aged imperial dark lager, will be released.
The rest of the expansion will consist of an overflow tap room available for private rentals. It will have its own bar, a staging area for caterers, and separate entrance. Restrooms will also be reconfigured.
Crowe has been fielding weekly requests to rent the existing taproom, which went into the decision to add a room available for rent. "We have so many regulars and so many people who expect to come during open hours, I don't anticipate ever wanting to close the taproom for any private party, unless the president rolls into town and needs a beer, you know what I mean?"
She hopes to have the overflow taproom open in September: "Football season is the goal."
Source: E.T. Crowe, marketing director, Wolverine State Brewing Co.
Writer: Tanya Muzumdar