Griffin Claw Brewing Company held it’s second monthly beer tasting event on Monday at Big Rock Chophouse in Birmingham.
The event showcased the current Big Rock beer lineup, which will soon be brewed and distributed from Griffin Claw Brewing once it opens in early 2013.
“We’re segueing into the new brewery, exposing people to a lot of different beers,” said Dan Rogers, Brewmaster at Big Rock Chophouse. “I want to get people in this area experienced with drinking great beer. And this is just the first step.”
The tasting hosted about 100 people, which was over double the number of attendees from the first tasting in October.
Craft beers in ice buckets greeted guests as they sat down. Seats were scarce as the beer would be by the end of the evening.
In addition to enjoying Rogers’ brewing prowess and other select craft brews, attendees also had a chance to hear updates on the new brewery.
“Pretty much everything is on schedule,” Rogers said. “Weather holds things back this time of year. I don’t think we’re that far behind.”
Griffin Claw, scheduled to open in April 2013, is set to be outfitted with all new equipment. Rogers said the new equipment will allow him to improve the quality of his beers.
“Once I get brewing over there, the quality of the beer is going to go up, up, up because I’ll be brewing every day,” he said. “You want that with a brewery to be brewing every day, bottling everyday, kegging everyday. It actually becomes simpler.”
To say Rogers is excited about the new digs is an understatement.
“With this new equipment, it’s like I got grandpa’s old car out of the garage and I get to park my new Vette in there,” he said. “I hope the tanks have a new car smell on them.”
Rogers said all of the new equipment is made by a local provider from Lake Orion, Michigan.
“Craft Works. They’re building all of our tanks, the brewhouse, the fermenters, the bright tanks,” he said. “We’re not Frankenstein-ing any of this equipment. It’s all brand new.”
Those Michigan made products will allow Rogers to do things other brewers can’t.
“With that new mash filter, I can use a lot of Michigan products that people can’t,” he said. “I can do unmalted wheat, rye, oats. I can do unmalted barley, where a lot of lauter tuns can’t handle that.”
Later plans also include a strategy to use homegrown things from Michigan.
“We’re going to add a distillery, so I’ll be able to use a lot of Michigan products,” Rogers said. “I bought tanks built in Michigan, not China. I’m happy that we’ve got Michigan workers building our equipment.”
Rogers made his ambitions clear for future plans.
“There’s a lot to do. We’re building this brewery from the ground up. It’s not like we leased the building and renovated something,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll hit 5,000 barrels the first year. We can do 18,000 barrels capacity there. And I want to do it all.”