FERNDALE, Mich. – Earlier this summer, Axle Brewing Company announced they would cease production and close Ferndale’s Livernois Tap & Brewery. On Friday, Detroit’s Eastern Market Brewing Co. announced they are acquiring Axle.
Axle Brewing Co. President Dan Riley said, “When we made the difficult decision to close at the end of June, we shared that our goal was to secure a buyer that holds our values and interest in this vibrant community with the infrastructure and scale to succeed. We are thrilled Eastern Market Brewing Co. is coming on board to make it a reality.”
EMBC has been brewing at capacity for much of 2019 and their new Ferndale Project will triple production in close proximity to the existing facility in the heart of Eastern Market. The plan is for the brewery and taproom to open as soon as all licensing is approved, likely in early 2020.
“We’ve followed Axle closely since 2017 when they shifted focus from distribution to their taproom and we’ve admired all that Dan and his team did for the Ferndale community. When Axle announced they would be closing, I reached out to Dan to offer my support. What started as a hug has ended in a handshake. We’re grateful for the opportunity,” said Dayne Bartscht, Managing Partner of Eastern Market Brewing Company.
EMBC will shift production of the beers they self-distribute, primarily hop-forward IPAs (e.g., Elephant Juice) and fruit-forward kettle sours, to Ferndale and serve them fresh in the taproom. Packaging will also shift to Ferndale, with plans to greatly expand their selection of cans and to utilize the additional space to begin experimenting with barrel-aged beers. Eastern Market’s taproom will remain the same, serving beer created at both locations.
Bartscht continued, “Eastern Market Brewing Company’s Ferndale Project will be an extension of what we’ve started in downtown Detroit, while also unique to Ferndale. The beer we produce on Livernois will be creative, progressive, and unconventional. Much of our team lives in Ferndale and being able to expand our operations to an area where they live and play was an important component in our decision making. I’m excited to get to know the community and spend time in Ferndale with my family.”
Axle built a foundation at Livernois that aligns with the three pillars of EMBC: community, camaraderie, and craft. These shared values, along with the fact that Riley and his partner, Brilliant Detroit Co-Founder Carolyn Bellinson, own the building, will help with a smooth transition between the two breweries. While Riley will not be involved in the operations of EMBC or the Ferndale Project, he will remain engaged in the local Ferndale community.
“The outpouring of encouragement and support from our guests, team members, and community during our final stretch reinforced that we created something very special together. EMBC has built a respected brand and a highly engaged community brewery in Detroit’s Eastern Market and we are confident their vision, values, and amazing beer will translate very well on Livernois. I’m definitely looking forward to drinking an Elephant Juice in the beer garden with some friends from the neighborhood soon!” said Riley.
Keep up with Axle Brewing Co.
Website: axlebrewing.com, Facebook: @axlebrewing, Instagram: @AxleBrewingCo, Twitter: @AxleBrewing
About Eastern Market Brewing Co.
EMBC is a community-focused craft brewery and taproom in the heart of Eastern Market, an area of Detroit long known for its brewing history. In 2017, EMBC became the first brewery in Eastern Market in over 30 years. Mixing that brewing tradition with experimentation has led to rapid growth of flagship New England style-IPAs, including Elephant Juice and Market Day IPA. The taproom is located at 2515 Riopelle Street.
About Axle Brewing Company
Axle Brewing Company was a Detroit-area craft brewery dedicated to producing classic beer styles with a modern edge. In June of 2017, Axle opened Livernois Tap, a modern beer hall-style destination, and brewery in Ferndale, MI. Axle’s Livernois Tap quickly became a critical neighborhood gathering place. In early 2018, Axle debuted their Livernois Barrel Project with the release of critically acclaimed Wolf Tone Imperial Stout and was named one of the Top Ten Best New Restaurants by the Detroit Free Press along with numerous accolades for beer, food, and design.