Situated on 114 Washington Street in Ann Arbor is a legendary place: it’s the home of the Arbor Brewing Company (ABC) and the original of their now three locations. The brewpub – a full-service restaurant that brews and sells its own beers – was Ann Arbor’s first, built up 15 years ago by Matt and Rene Greff as they searched “for a way to support ourselves doing what we loved to do and could do together.” ABC is now the banner for brewpubs in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and even Bangalore, India, all with unique brews and the same exemplary model.
It isn’t just their unique flavor that sets ABC apart from the competition – it’s a steadfast commitment to quality, community and conservation. A belief “that we have a responsibility to our community to be conscientious in our business practices and to support and give back through volunteerism, donations and community service” is just one in a long list of high ideals to which ABC holds itself. Others include a devotion to great service, a happy work environment, environmentalism, and professionalism. ABC is ready and willing to back up the claims, too: a $100,000 investment in the Green Brewery Project gave the Ann Arbor location a photovoltaic net metering system, which not only supplies their own electricity but also puts surplus power back into the grid, and a solar thermal water heating system. The Corner Brewery location in Ypsilanti is getting its own $250,000 sustainability overhaul. “It feels really good to know that we were able to make changes that are as good for the environment as they are for the bottom line”, the Greffs said of their investment.
Their chemical science is as good as their electrical, and even more appealing. ABC mixes over 50 different brews throughout the year from Blondes to Browns, India Pale Ales to Spice Belgian and more. A full rundown of flavor, history and food pairings can be found on their website along with their availability, as some are seasonal or only sold in certain locations. This helps to find the right one for you, with age requirements met, of course. Many come highly regarded, including the Big Ben House Mild Pale Ale being “Highly Recommended” by the World Beer Championships, and the Buzz Saw American IPA winning Best of Show at the 2011 World Expo of Beer. General Manager Casey Hyde of the Ann Arbor location says there’s usually 8 to 12 beers on tap at any time, but the number has recently grown to about 14. ABC brewers are constantly tinkering with recipes and creating new concoctions.
All of the ABC locations also serve a variety of food sure to please any palate, including vegetarian and vegan options. They also feature a wide array of events throughout the year on their calendar and you can even host your own event in the tap room, lounge or beer garden. Check out their website for a full rundown, or find them on Facebook or Twitter.
Samantha Stemler, Feature Writer