Atwater Brewery has grown from humble beginnings as a small brewpub in Detroit into one of Michigan’s largest brewers, and the brewery is targeting 2018 as another big year of growth. During 2017, Atwater added a host of new products to complement its robust portfolio and meet growing customer demand. It also signed a new distribution agreement with M1 Network and completed its re-branding with renowned Detroit artist Tony Roko.
“2017 was a year of transition for Atwater,” said Atwater Owner Mark Rieth. “Our new distribution network alone should help us to expand our current markets, enter new markets and ultimately increase retail sales in Michigan by up to 30 percent.”
Rieth said 2018 would be a year of focus.
“Our expanded reach and new packaging encourage us to concentrate our growth across Michigan, which has always been our home and our strongest market. We believe we’ll push our production capacity to its limits.” Rieth suggested that this time next year, Atwater will be producing at a 50,000-barrel annualized rate.
New locations on the way
Atwater will continue to scout new locations to expand its line of award-winning Taphouse and Biergarten projects.
“We say that we’re ‘bringing Detroit everywhere,’ and our Taphouse and Biergarten venues have been an incredibly fun, successful way to do so. In 2018, we’ll be looking at new sites in Michigan and beyond to complement our existing venues in Detroit, Grosse Pointe and Grand Rapids,” said Rieth.
“We’re so grateful to our customers, partners and employees for helping Atwater grow and thrive for 20 years. It hasn’t been easy, and with wine and spirits now dipping into beer sales, it’s not getting any easier,” said Rieth. “But that’s our focus — staying the course, brewing our world-class lagers and other customer favorites from right here in Detroit and distributing them conveniently throughout the state.”
Atwater’s sales continue to be led by its popular Dirty Blond, Vanilla Java Porter and Atwater Lager brands, but its brewmasters are always innovating new styles as well. Atwater’s celebrated Christmas Ale is back this season and starting in 2018, Atwater will offer Vanilla Java varieties beginning with Bavarian Cream VJP in the first quarter followed by coconut, raspberry and hazelnut VJP coming throughout the year. Fans of Atwater small batch productions will learn about an exciting new barrel-aged product in mid-January.
The company’s largest brew facility remains on Joseph Campau in Detroit’s warehouse district where Atwater continues to build on its heritage of brewing world-class German-style lagers and innovative and fresh ales. Over the past 20 years, Atwater’s has expanded its portfolio to include 26 styles of beer and select seasonal flavors that are distributed to 21 states and three international markets.