The HOMES Brewery mnemonic is a familiar one: a simple way to remember the Great Lakes. Water is a recurring theme in the building at the corner of Jackson and Collingwood–it once housed a Culligan office and now has an extensive underground storm-water retention system.
A beer aficionado, Tommy Kennedy was working with his brother David at Kennedy Care, a home health care provider, when his wife, Melissa, encouraged him to pursue his passion. He had hoped to open last fall, so anticipation had time to build: When HOMES finally opened its doors in April, normally sleepy Collingwood was suddenly lined with cars as beer fans overflowed the parking lot in their eagerness to try the city’s ninth and newest brewery.
Visitors can’t miss the bright blue shipping container perched atop the building. Asked about it, Kennedy exclaims, “Our contractor got that for us! The ‘sister’ container is over at Katoi,” the Detroit restaurant that recently suffered a devastating fire. The HOMES container provides extra space for equipment, including the air compressor, the front half of the boiler, and the wort chiller. Downstairs, the basement holds nine French oak barrels used to sour and age select beers.
Currently, eleven taps are available including “6 Languages 3 Voices” (a roasty toasty oatmeal stout), “King Cold Brew” (an imperial cream ale using Milan Coffee Works coffee), and a number of IPA and pale ales. “We are a very hop-forward brewery!” head brewer Nick Panchame enthuses. Sources include American hops such as Mosaic, Citra, and Simcoe, but the beer “‘Sincerely, Vic’ uses Vic Secret hops from Australia, and our ‘Sincerely, Nelson’ contains Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand,” Panchame says. These “are more fruit-forward than bitter.”
Panchame, formerly with Right Brain Brewery in Traverse City, adds tasty and interesting adjuncts to many of the beers on tap. “Drops,” a Gose-style wheat beer, is aged on Sweety Drop peppers from the Peruvian Amazon. The teardrop-shaped peppers are both sweet and sour, giving the beer a unique flavor and slight tartness. The kettle-soured “Leafy Leaf” is made with coriander and aged on basil.
Kennedy and his team carefully curated the menu to pair well with their beers. Noe Hang (of No Thai!) helped develop the menu, and executive chef Chou Vang came from Tomukun Noodle Bar. Their menu features Asian-inspired street food from Thailand, Laos, and Korea. Items include Thai beef salad, Asian steamed buns, and bowls of Korean marinated beef or Thai chicken. There’s a “kimchi reuben” bun (the sandwich ingredients, plus kimchi), and French fries with toppings based on kimchi or bulgogi beef.
The venture is a team effort. Every tank is marked with the name of a family member or friend who supported Kennedy and his crew. One bears the name of a friend who passed away. Because he was involved with youth golf camps, the current “charity tap” will donate $1 per pint to youth golf charities. “Our motto is beer about people,” Kennedy says. “It’s about the relationships that got us to where we are today.”
HOMES Brewery, 2321 Jackson Ave., 954-6637. Sun. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Tues.-Thurs. 4 p.m.-midnight, Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Closed Mon. homesbrewing.com