HAZEL PARK, MI – If you hear loud music coming from 24310 John R, you can be sure the four bearded men inside the building are hard at work brewing up something delicious—and none of the neighbors are complaining.
The 12,000-square-foot former lumberyard is now home to Cellarmen’s, Hazel Park’s first brewery, cidery, and meadery. The meadery opened this October, just in time for the Fall Beer Fest in Detroit.
Cellarmen’s tasting room is decked out in wood paneling and second hand furniture sets. The space gets its personality from homemade tables (made from wood from the lumberyard), local art for sale, and a soundtrack that skews toward heavy metal.
“It looks a little bit like your grandpa’s basement,” said Ian Radogost-Givens, one of the four cofounders of Cellarmen’s.
Radogost-Givens cut his teeth at B. Nektar meadery in Ferndale, along with Cellarmen’s cofounders Jason Petrocik, Dominic Calzetta, and Andrew Zalewski. With five years experience under their belt, the men are ready to produce anything they can think of.
Current offerings in the taproom usually include 9-12 meads, ciders, and beers. Most are made with Michigan-sourced ingredients when possible, and they never use fruit concentrates—only fresh fruit and juice.
“The French Oak Wildflower is what a mead-head will drink. Then we have our Trasher beer, a Lager style Ale that we made for people in the town to relate to,” Radogost-Givens said. The Trasher is their best seller.
Not much has changed since the space served as a lumberyard, including the free popcorn that is kept ready for customers.
“For customers who came in and bought lumber here their whole lives, now if they came in for a beer, the space would still feel familiar,” Radogost-Givens said. “The place only needed a spit shine,” he added.
The guys feel right at home in Hazel Park, where, along with James Rigato’s new spot, Mabel Grey, they have helped the neighborhood earn its reputation as an up-and-comer.
“Hazel Park has gone beyond what most cities do to get small businesses off the ground. We’ve gotten so much support from city officials to open our doors, and now quite a few of them come here to drink,” Radagost-Givens said.
Mead has taken off in Michigan, and Radogost-Givens would like to put Hazel Park and Cellarmen’s on the mead drinker’s map.
“My goal is to bridge the space between Warren, where Dragonmead and Kuhnhenn are, and Ferndale, where Schramm’s and B. Nektar are,” said Radogost-Givens.
The brewery’s current production capacity is 8.5 barrels of cider and mead, and 1 barrel of beer at a time. They hope to bump cider and mead production to 10 barrels soon.
“Now that we have wrapped our heads around filling the taproom, we have been able to supply a few local bars with kegs,” Radogost-Givens said.
The men aim to start canning mead in the spring or summer of 2016.
Over the holidays, Cellarmen’s plans to release the second run of Cranpus, a cranberry orange zest mead made with allspice and two kinds of honey. For New Year’s Eve, they will host a party featuring a champagne mead that climbs to 14% ABV.
“If you’re looking for a nice friendly atmosphere, good drinks and good music, come by. We’re just four hard working sons of bitches making a dream happen,” Radogost-Givens said.
Cellarmen’s is open Thursday 5pm-Midnight, Friday 3pm-Midnight, Saturday 12pm-Midnight and Sunday 12pm-8pm. You can find more info on their Facebook page.