Frankenmuth Brewery hosts charity night

The brewery has the capacity to produce 8,000 barrels of beer a year. / Dillon Collier

The following is a message from Westwind Communications:

There's a lot of buzz in and around Frankenmuth about the re-opening of the historic downtown Frankenmuth Brewing Company as a micro-brewery and restaurant.

The public will get its first view of the newly-renovated micro-brewery and restaurants from 6-10 p.m. Monday, June 29, at an invitation-only benefit dinner in the new and exciting Frankenmuth Brewery at 425 South Main, Frankenmuth, within easy walking distance of the heart of downtown.

Community leaders and other VIPs attending will be asked to donate a minimum of $10 each to be awarded to three Michigan charities; Frankenmuth City Beautification Committee, Hidden Harvest and Christmas/Charity Celebration. More than $5,000 is expected to be raised.

"The event to benefit a local charity is our way of saying thank you to Frankenmuth for all of the support and encouragement offered since we purchased the Frankenmuth Brewery," says General Manager Dave Scholten, whose 30 years of food service experience includes serving as managing partner with Outback Steakhouse.

The June 29 dinner will be followed by a Grand Opening on July 1 when the general public will get its first glimpse of the major changes made on all four floors of the 28,000 square foot building.

The Frankenmuth Brewery, established as a brewery in 1862, had multiple owners over the years. After being destroyed by a tornado in 1996, the brewery was re-opened in 2002 and operated as a restaurant until it closed in November 2006. The Frankenmuth Brewery was purchased in January 2009 by Frankenmuth Brewery Real Estate LLC.

"This is a beautiful facility with a high capacity brew old-European style beer," says Scholten. "Beyond the brewery area, the building has inside seating for 432 people and patio seating outside for 250 diners. The micro-brewery will produce awesome German beer and the restaurants will feature great food as well as high-quality customer service."

Jeff Coon, a native Michigander with more than 30 years brewing experience, has been appointed Operational Brewmaster. Newly-appointed Executive Chef Philip Grzegorski, a Grand Rapids native, was executive chef at The Cheesecake Factory and the Rainforest Caf as well as other top restaurants in Chicago and Los Angeles. Scholten has managed restaurants in East Lansing, Minneapolis, Washington, D.C. and Michigan.

Coon expects the new brewery will produce up to 2,000 barrels of six to seven different types of German beer in 2009. The brewery has a capacity to brew 5,000 to 8,000 barrels a year.

Grzegorski said the Brew Hause restaurant will feature such American-style fare as Meatloaf Sandwich, Navajo Chicken Sandwich, Frankenmuth Brew Sandwich, Reuben, a Franken Burger, Fish and Chips, Ribs, Top Sirloin, Herb Crusted Salmon among several other choices including appetizers, soups and salads.

"The Brew Hause will have a sports-bar feel with several large plasma televisions showing local and state athletic events, a spent-grain pretzel bread made from grain used in brewing with a distinctive old-world flavor, and our locally brewed beers," added Scholten.

The Frankenmuth Brewing Company already is in discussions with local restaurants to carry some of the German brews it produces and hopes to have the spent-grain pretzel bread it will serve baked in a local bakery as well. The restaurant also will serve produce raised at local farms. There is plentiful free parking and several of Frankenmuth's distinctive shops are within easy walking distance of the micro-brewery and restaurants.

About the Frankenmuth Brewing Company The Frankenmuth Brewing Company, founded in 1862, is the second oldest brewery in the country. It is now a micro-brewery and restaurant with an American-style dining experience at two indoor restaurants and two patios overlooking the Bavarian Belle Riverboat steaming up the Cass River. When fully developed the 28,000 square foot historic German brewery will feature seating for 432 indoor diners and 250 patio diners with plentiful free adjacent parking on Main Street in downtown Frankenmuth. The Frankenmuth Brewing Company, under new ownership in 2009, provides high value, classic meals, hand-crafted old-world beer and exceptional customer service. The Frankenmuth Brewery is located at 425 South Main, Frankenmuth, MI 48734. For more information call 989-262-8300.