Friday, August 23, 2013

[EID Preview] First look at the new Kuhnhenn Brewing Co. production facility

The entrance of the new tasting room. All photos by Nicole Rupersburg.

Earlier this week, Warren-based Kuhnhenn Brewing Company made the official announcement (though I spilled the beans earlier this month) that they have purchased a new facility in Clinton Township that will enable them to significantly increase their production capacity - up to 20,000 barrels annually. (To put that in perspective, the nationally-acclaimed Russian River Brewing in SoCal has officially maxed out at 14,100 barrels annually. It's no Bell's or Founders - with production capacities of 500,000 and 340,000 barrels, respectively - but 20,000 barrels is a lot of beer.)

Kuhnhenn is already a player on a national level, having racked up plenty of awards at the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup over the years (two of the largest and most prestigious beer competitions in the country and world) and getting ranked #12 in a list of the best brewers in the world by user-generated RateBeer. This new 35,000-square-foot facility, located in the former Evergreen Lawn and Landscape building on Groesbeck just south of Metro Parkway, will also allow them to significantly increase their mead production, with an estimated production of 2-3,000 barrels in the first year.

With this new production facility also comes a new tasting room and multi-season outdoor beer garden with an estimated capacity of 250-300 people. Simply put, it took them long enough to make the leap (this search for a bigger production facility has been in discussion for years), but now that they have it is LEGIT.

They expect to be open sometime in the first quarter of 2014, ideally before the Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival in Grand Rapids but certainly no later than St. Patrick's Day. Equipment is already being delivered and I got a walk-through of the new space yesterday. Check it out.

This will be the three-season beer garden. 
Tasting room: south side.

Tasting room: north side. 

Part of the production area (which will be visible to the tasting room).

New tanks!

More photos here.