3 Breweries, Bars to Open in Metro Detroit, Atwater Plans Expansion


Three breweries and bars are set to open in metro Detroit within the next few months, starting with HopCat Ann Arbor on Saturday, followed by the Rochester Tap Room in March and a yet-to-be-named Clarkston bar and restaurant in June.

For HopCat’s newest location, at 311 Maynard St., the company’s founder, Mark Sellers, says he challenged his team to come up with the “best beer menu the world has ever seen,” for the new location.

“I think they succeeded by finding some of the most-sought after and highly rated craft beers on the planet,” Seller says. “We’ve also included some excellent, but seldom-seen international selections and outstanding new creations from Michigan craft brewers.”

The opening day tap list includes selections such as Founders Brewing Co.’s KBS and CBS; Dogfish Head’s 120 Minute IPA; Arbor Brewing Co.’s Demetrius Oake Barrel-aged Pale Ale; Gulden Draak Brewmaster’s Reserve from Brouwerij Van Steenberge in Ertvelde, Belgium; and a 2011 Harvest Ale from J.W. Lees & Co. of Manchester, England.

In Oakland County, Rochester Tap Room is expected to open March 12 at 6870 N. Rochester Rd., next to Papa Joe’s. The Prohibition-style bar will carry 60 craft beers and 100 boutique wine options, with Travis Waynick serving as the venue’s “executive rebel chef.”

In addition to pizza, salads, and burgers, entrees on Rochester Tap Room’s menu include a vegetarian pot pie, with truffle-roasted vegetables, wild mushrooms, gravy, served within a puff pastry; a maple-glazed duck breast, served with crisp brussel spouts, roasted grapes, and pomegranate molasses; and coconut chicken and waffles, consisted of coconut herb breading, thai coconut syrup, arugula salad, and cashews.

In Clarkston, the new bar and restaurant is set to open at 6110 N. Dixie Highway and the developers are now soliciting public feedback regarding the name of the new business at clarkstonbrew.com.

In Detroit, Atwater Brewery also has big plans for 2015, including adding 40,000 square feet to its location at 237 Joseph Campau St., and upping its production to more than 60,000 barrels, 20,000 more than in 2014.

Following its May opening of the Atwater in the Park Bier Garden in Grosse Pointe Park, the company is also continuing construction on a new brewery in Austin, Texas, with plans to continue to expand its biergarten and tap house concept to two additional Michigan markets.

“We’re on a good roll with the wind at our back,” says Mark Reith, Atwater’s owner.  “We’re passionate about what we do and we’re dedicated — as we have been since we started — to the idea of ‘bringing Detroit everywhere’ and making a difference in the communities where we operate.  That formula has been working well for us so that’s the formula we’ll continue to use in the future.”

Distribution of Atwater’s product will expand into the Canadian market as well as Colorado, California, New York and New Jersey, bringing its U.S. distribution to 26 states.