E-Malt.com News article: USA, MI: Hillsdale Brewing Company gearing up for late January opening
After three years, multiple delays and thousands of Facebook likes, the Hillsdale Brewing Company is finally gearing up for a late January opening, The Hillside Daily News reported on December 23.
“I apologize for it taking so long,” said the brewery’s co-owner and chief brewer, Roy Finch, on December 21.
Along with being chief brewer, Finch also currently is a volunteer firefighter with the Allen Township Fire Department and works full-time at American Axle in Litchfield.
“There’s a lot of people [asking], ‘What’s taking so long?’ or ‘Is this really going to happen?’ And I’ve been telling everybody all along, ’It’s not just a Facebook page, this is going to happen,” he said.
Finch admits that he launched the Facebook page too early, long before he and his wife Felicia, who co-own the pub with Cinda Conant, had much of anything to show. Now, years later, the exterior—dominated by chalky white columns and rust-colored bricks — hasn’t changed much, causing many to speculate that Finch and company haven’t accomplished much.
But, take a look inside, and it quickly becomes clear that the work is nearly done. The bar, with eight taps behind it, and several stools in front, runs from one end of the foyer to a few feet from the other. Finch says the countertop is made of hardwood from the old Hillsdale College gym floor.
The dining areas sit to the right and left of the entrance.
The kitchen floor has been epoxied, giving it a flexible, white surface over the original 100-year-old hardwood, and plenty of shining metal brewing equipment is set up throughout the room. Dozens of gallons of beer lend the air in the fermenting room a sweet-and-sour hoppy smell.
Now, as the finish line finally appears, Finch has two goals.
“To maintain a successful business and to live up to the hype, because there are a lot of people interested in this,” Finch said. “Every time we post something on Facebook, it just gets thousands and thousands of views and hundreds of shares. I didn’t post for a long time because I was frustrated, and everybody asked, ‘When are you opening?’ and I’m like, ‘I don’t want to give a timeline anymore because I don’t know.’ Every time I’d set a timeline we’d fly right by it. I always thought things would happen a lot faster.”
And as the Hillsdale Brewing Company gears up to open and dominates Finch’s time outside of his day job, he says that there are still some things that take precedence over beer. Namely, Finch’s two young children, Grady and Alayna.
“I’ve been losing some sleep over this because it’s like, ‘I don’t know, am I gonna have enough time to spend with my kids?’ I don’t want to be that dad that never sees my kids,” he said.
That worry shapes his definition of what it will look like for Hillsdale Brewing Company to be a healthy business.
“Successful to me would be to still be able to spend good time with my kids.”
28 December, 2017