Thursday, October 01, 2015

Grand Opening for Ellison Brewing Co. Is Friday At 2pm.

Written by  Aimee West
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Ellison Brewery and Spirits is a true hidden gem in the East Lansing area. Located on Dawn Rd., nestled among a few industrial buildings, Ellison is housed in a building with no name that over the years has been used by the Lansing State Journal for a distribution center, and warehouse space for many others. Eric Elliott and his crew have given new life to this 10,000 square foot building and have created a warm and relaxing atmosphere inside.
The brewing equipment in the back will catch your eye first, but take a moment and enjoy the space Eric and his team have put together. I want you to notice the warm wood floors and accent walls. Notice the sturdy metal stools and picnic-style benches where you can enjoy a pint with old friends and new, which is exactly what we did on Wednesday as they were getting ready for their Grand Opening on Friday at 2 p.m. We talked with Eric and head brewer Todd Schwem as we toured the facility and sampled the tap list for the big day.

As we toured the facility, Eric told us about his plans for different spaces in the building, and how they had already incorporated being able to grow the brewing area for future use. Too often we see breweries start out too small or without any thought to how they will grow. It is refreshing to see how they have planned for future expansion with the pipes, electricity and barrel lay out; they are ready for the future.

We started with Kaylan's Kolsch with its clean finish, this is a great beer to ease anyone new into the craft scene. Next was Pasadena Pale (8%) and Big Toad's Very Hoppy Timings (10.25%). Made with Amarillo and Citrus hops, Big Toads has a great hoppy smell and finish.

Mud Slinger was the first batch created by Todd at Ellison Brewery and what should have taken only four hours ended up being fourteen due to fixing issues and getting used to the new system. You can’t taste any of the sweat or tears that went into creating this beer. All you taste is chocolate and vanilla and at 10.75% this is a “real sneaker,” as Eric put it. We then tried the Tiramisu Stout (8%) that smelled amazing and tasted even better. Finally, we tried the Hazelnut. When you try this take, a minute to enjoy the amazing aroma they have created. This is a beer to enjoy while you talk to friends, as it warms up it becomes creamer.

We talked about the aroma and how smooth the coffee flavor was in the Mud Slinger, Tiramisu Stout, and Hazelnut Stout. They use local coffee roasted in DeWitt by Craft & Mason Co. and you can taste the quality in every sip. Craft & Mason use only reliably sourced beans and have a commitment to farmer sustainability. Ellison Brewery will also have Nitro Fresh Coffee available at the brewery. I am so excited for future coffee cocktails made with Ellison Spirits.

While sampling and talking, brewer Leon Traczynski came out with the Tangerine Wit they have been working on and we were able to have a sneak taste. If the other beers didn’t convince you to stop in, then this Tangerine Wit better.

They will also have two hard ciders available, Apple Blueberry and Apple Pear both at 6.5% and created using Uncle Johns Apples.

We noticed a trend of high gravity beers being offered and Head Brewer Todd mentioned he is all about, “The big gravity beers and keeping within the styles with a twist such as crazy flavors.” We are excited to see what else Eric, Todd and the other brewers think up in the future at Ellison Brewery and Spirits.

Friday at 2pm is their Grand Opening featuring thirteen beers and two hard ciders on tap.

Aimee West

Aimee West

Is new to the craft beer scene but always willing and wanting to learn more.