(Left to Right): Bret Kuhnhenn, Erik Harms of Dragonmead, Eric Kuhnhenn, during the annual collaboration brew of Dark Heathen Triple Bock

The story of Kuhnhenn Brewing Company goes back to 1972, when Eric Kuhnhenn Sr. purchased Lutz True Value, a neighborhood hardware store in the Old Village of Warren at the intersection of Chicago and Mound. The store saw much success catering to the local community through personalized service and high-quality products.

Fast-forward to the early 1990s, when Bret and Eric Kuhnhenn took over operations of the store from their father. At this time, Eric began homebrewing while in college, and subsequently taught his brother Bret the hobby, and the brothers began brewing at the store and fermenting in their parents’ basement.

Around this same time, big-box home improvement retailers began popping up all around the metro-Detroit area, squeezing out the local, family-owned shops. Bret and Eric began selling homebrewing supplies out of the hardware store, and eventually stopped selling hardware altogether. In 1998, they founded Kuhnhenn Brewing Co. as a homebrew supplies store, with the eventual plan to convert into a full-scale brewery.

The brewery was launched in 2001. With multiple expansions to the property over the years, the company now features a full-service taproom in Warren and their homebrewing supply shop Brewing World directly across the parking lot. Multiple awards and increased demand for their hand-crafted beers, meads, and wines is the primary motivation for the latest expansion: a full-scale production brewery and second taproom will open in late 2014 in nearby Clinton Township.

The company currently employs 38 full and part-time employees, with Bret and Eric jointly sharing the roles of Founders and Brewmasters. Oh, and Sr. is still around…he kinda came with the building. Kuhnhenn beers have limited draft distribution throughout the state of Michigan, in addition to Greater NYC and parts of Europe. The expansion will take the brewery capacity from 2000 barrels per year to 26,000, along with bottling and canning of the flagship DRIPA (Gold Medal: IPA; 2012 World Beer Cup), and other core offerings such as The Fluffer Session IPA, Simcoe Silly, and Penetration Porter. What does that mean for you? More delicious, award-winning Kuhnhenn beer for your enjoyment.