Batch Brewing aims to go beyond growth to grow the community in Detroit

Sometimes there’s more to talk about than just beer, and this was the case during a recent interview with Stephen Rogenson, owner of Batch Brewing Company, about the beer garden’s new stage when the conversation took an unexpected turn around the community.

On Saturday, July 2, 2022, we shared a beer with Rogenson under the pavilion that used to be called Fauci’s Fieldhouse. The floor of the pavilion is artificial turf that I think was a football field. Lined rows of public tables like what I imagine a beer garden in Germany fill the field.

The ambiance reminded me of an Italian public square. Family sitting behind us. The mother was breastfeeding a small child, and a small child was chewing his lunch. My grandmother and father were handing out napkins. A volunteer was collecting signatures for a polling initiative. Bark Nation, a non-profit organization, was launching the Summer Beer Tour fundraising campaign. Happy dogs playing between the tables.

Mike Hahn’s mural inside Batch Brewing in Corktown Detroit.

Chuck Marshall – Life In Michigan / For Hearst

There is a huge mural of Mike Hahn on the west side of the pavilion in an empty parking lot. A recent article in Sen magazine described Han’s work as “graffiti-inspired black and white murals. Han approaches his art with the precision of a sushi chef who prepares a flawless piece of sashimi.” I wanted to run across the mural to follow a thick white line from the other side as you would in a hedge maze. The fresco is dotted with tables and umbrellas that invite you to sit down and have a beer. But I wanted to keep people who parked their rental bikes off the mural. “It’s art. You shouldn’t park your bikes there,” I wanted to tell them.

Across from the wing is the brewery and restaurant. During the epidemic, some kind of facial plastic surgery was performed.

Fieldhouse at Batch Brewing in Corktown Detroit

Fieldhouse at Batch Brewing in Corktown Detroit

Chuck Marshall – Life In Michigan / For Hearst

“I wanted to lighten the colors and the air. I wanted it to feel a little less cluttered, and a little less,” Rogenson said. “There are still plenty of communal eating places, but a few small tables. It feels a bit more, like an upscale experience. We can do all the silly nonsense here, now that I want the stage.”


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“Tell us about the stage,” I asked.

Rogenson pointed to a large shipping container at the end of the wing.

He said, “When I build a theater here, I can do shows with 500 people outdoors. The stage will be across from the shipping container. It will be the same overall footprint as the pavilion. It’s 16 feet wide. It will be a legit stage. It’s a six-foot concrete lifter.” Inches, a step up. We can go up to a bigger width and do something hip. There will be a 15-20 foot trench between the pavilion and the stage. Space to stand if it’s a band that people want to get close to. There will still be seating again here, more space for worshipers. I will cut a hole in the carriage. There will be a service window outside the beer garden.”

Batch Brewing in Corktown Detroit.

Batch Brewing in Corktown Detroit.

Chuck Marshall – Life In Michigan / For Hearst

Rogenson’s smile and enthusiasm are infectious.

“I keep bringing my hobbies to work. I brought my home hobby. Then my barbecue. Now my musical hobby. So here we go, Stephen’s Hobby Land.”

Looking around, I couldn’t help thinking, “I love your hobby land.”

“The big takeaway from COVID,” Rogenson continued, “is you need to take care of your backyard, take care of your neighbor, and the neighborhood,” I mean, literally your own backyard. We are becoming more aware of cleaning, beautifying and adding art.

One day I walked out here, and I was like, I can’t stand the barbed wire on that fence anymore. It must come down. It is not my fence. I had to call the neighbors and say, This is what I want to do. I want to remove the barbed wire. I want to put these privacy panels. As you know, I’m going to create an experiment here. I think it would add value to the neighborhood, and it’s been small talks like that.”

Batch Brewing in Corktown Detroit

Batch Brewing in Corktown Detroit

Chuck Marshall – Life In Michigan / For Hearst

“I was thinking about your slogan, ‘Beer makes me happy.’ Do you think it’s community that makes you happy? And only beer makes community?” asked Rogenson.

His response came in haste. As if he was waiting for this question.

He said, “You’re one hundred percent right. Beer makes a community. It’s a great starting point. You know a community can and should, uh, be intentionally cultivated. That’s something we strive for here. As for the beer that makes me happy, beer is one of the These wonderful marketers.

Do you know the idea of ​​third place? Like your first place where you spend the most time. Is this at home? Is this at work? I don’t know. This depends on the person. Your second place is another. You have a certain role in those places. You’re a mother, you’re a father, you’re a daughter, you’re a father and a wife, you know, whatever. Or at work, you’re the vice president, you’re an actor. You’re the chief marketing officer, you know, you are, whatever.”

“The third place is where you come together, where people don’t play those roles as a parent or as a salesperson, they just play their part within the four walls,” Rogenson continued. “I think of beer as a mobile third place where if you get together and sit down with someone for a beer, that becomes the context of your interaction, your conversation and the environment. It’s something that makes anyone in that moment the equivalent of who they sit and share with.

I want people to be able to walk to this place and give up all the baggage they’ve been carrying with them all week, all day, and like, leave it in the car. I’ll go over here and have a great beer, and I’ll have a great sandwich.”

The conversation has shifted. I was immediately jealous and started thinking about moving to Corktown when Rogenson told us about a community project they are working on with Detroit Spanish Development.

Jessica Brown, pperations manager, Jenna Hudy, placement coordinator at Bark Nation.

Jessica Brown, pperations manager, Jenna Hudy, placement coordinator at Bark Nation.

Chuck Marshall – Life In Michigan / For Hearst

He said, “I’ve just done a small launch of something we call the Porter Street Night Market. This year it’s once a month where we’re testing it. But next year, the plan is every Friday night. We’ll close Porter Street from Trumbull down to 8th. And we’ll have about 150 10×10 tents.” For sellers: Exile jewelry, artwork, wearable or not, food.It’s to help incubate and launch the most nascent small business.We are specifically trying to create a low barrier of entry for black and Latin owned businesses.

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