DETROIT, Mich.–Atwater Brewery, Detroit’s largest and fastest growing craft brewer, announced that it is partnering with End Grain Woodworking Co., also of Detroit, to create a unique series of beer tap handles made of reclaimed wood from Detroit area properties. The handles are currently available for purchase at www.atwaterbeer.com for restaurant and bar operators. The public can also purchase the collectible handles beginning in mid-August.
This project is a shining example of Atwater’s dedication to ‘bring Detroit everywhere’ and keep as much business as possible in Detroit. “The End Grain Woodworking Company doesn’t simply create these handles in Detroit, they are literally made OF Detroit,” Jason Schrider said, director of operations at Atwater Brewery. “Each of our new handles is crafted from worn, warped and knotted century-old reclaimed wood, meaning that each one is truly unique.”
The address from where each piece of wood was originally (and legally and ethically) reclaimed will be stamped on the back of each handle creating a unique tie to the exact location in Detroit where the materials were sourced. By looking up the address, consumers can share in the history and get a feel for what form the wood may have taken before End Grain transformed it into a craft beer collectible.
The End Grain Woodworking Company has been a part of Detroit’s creative reuse sector for nearly four years, with the Atwater project shaping up to be one of its largest and most challenging productions yet. “We’re thrilled to be working with Atwater,” End Grain Co-Founder, Chris Behm said. “Now those who enjoy one-of- a-kind Atwater beers can show their love with a one of a kind piece of Detroit memorabilia.”
The opportunity of using non-traditional lumber means no two finished products will be exactly alike. “Old nails ruin saw blades, hairline splits are as common as splinters and the dimensional lumber isn’t anywhere near as accurate as what you’d pick up at a lumber yard,” Behm said. “What that means for the end product is that each one will be truly special.”
Atwater owner Mark Rieth likes the positive impact that sourcing local materials has on the city. “The use of reclaimed materials has numerous benefits to the Detroit area including job creation in the deconstruction industry, diversion of waste building materials from landfills, and a reduction in air pollutants in neighborhoods where demolition would have otherwise occurred,” he said.
Breathing new life into old Detroit namesakes has been a part of the Atwater brand since the very beginning. Atwater’s brewery on Joseph Campau was once a ball bearing manufacturing facility. Its ‘Atwater in the Park’ restaurant biergarden in Grosse Pointe Park is a creative reuse of an abandoned church. The emphasis on positive reuse and repositioning will continue to play a role as the brewery continues to grow.
For the past several years Atwater Brewery has grown steadily, with production hitting upwards of 40,000 barrels in 2014 with demand far outpacing supply. “This is an exciting time for Atwater,” Rieth said. “It’s just proof that if you roll up your sleeves and dedicate yourself to making beer you believe in with people you believe in, good things happen.”