Big Growth In The Works for Witch’s Hat Brewing

Larger production capacity, taproom planned for 2014.

SOUTH LYON – Barely two weeks into 2014, there’s already big craft beer news coming from the little town of South Lyon.

Witch’s Hat Brewing is announcing that they have secured a new home within South Lyon, resulting in a larger taproom and the ability to make even more of their popular beers.  Brewing is expected to begin at 601 S. Lafayette Street in August 2014, with the new taproom opening four months later in December 2014.


Witch’s Hat Brewing initially opened its doors in December 2011, and success quickly followed.  The community-focused brewery has established itself as a favorite among South Lyon residents, and the beers have developed a strong reputation such that customers come from across Michigan to try them.  This past year, further validation came in the form of readers voting Witch’s Hat one of the “Best Michigan Breweries” via 

 But recognition has not been limited to the craft beer community.  The brewery also garnished the MISBTDC 2012 Best Small Business and 2013 Main Street USA Awards, and even received a feature on the local Fox affiliate’s “Made in Michigan” TV show.

 “Our first 2 years in the current location for the brewery have been nothing short of amazing,” owners Ryan and Erin Cottongim stated.  “We never expected the response we have received or the demand for the product that has been created. “


The search for a newer, larger facility began once it became apparent that maximum production capacity at the brewery’s current location at 22235 Pontiac Trail was no longer sufficient to satisfy demand.  In 2012, Witch’s Hat produced 350 barrels of beer, and this number ballooned to nearly 550 barrels in 2013.  With the new brew-house, Witch’s Hat expects to increase production over the next 18 months by 5 fold, estimating new capacity to be 2500 barrels per year. 

 With the added capacity, Witch’s Hat says initial focus will be placed upon their flagship beers – Train Hopper India Pale Ale, Edward’s Portly Brown Ale, Three Kord Kolsch, and Big Doedish Double India Pale Ale.  Increased flagship production will be crucial to the company’s plans to increase their presence in southeast Michigan, most notably through those bars and restaurants that support craft beer.

 Outside of their flagships, the brewery will also be able to continue introducing seasonals and special releases.  To date, beers like the Night Fury Imperial Stout, Tuscan Coffee Stout, Royal Rumble Double Red Ale, and 1908 Smoked Wheat have been limited to the brewery’s taproom.  Witch’s Hat anticipates the additional capacity will afford the opportunity to introduce these specialty beers into the market, and also begin distribution of their popular barrel-aged beers and meads.

Five Years Later Ain’t Nuthin’ Changed

Early un-inspired logo for GLL.

Early un-inspired logo for GLL.

It’s kinda hard to believe, but May 30th 2013 marks the 5th anniversary of when Great Lakes Libations first spilled onto the worldwide interweb.

GLL started out as website where Michigan craft beer fans could discover the address/contact info for local breweries, along with news and a listing of statewide beer events.  It was primitive, but effective nonetheless. 

Then in 2009, the address/contact info morphed into an interactive brewery locator map, which still exists today.  GLL also expanded into the realm of social media via Facebook and Twitter, and later launched this blog where folks could be bored to sleep reading nonsensical beer-related ramblings. 

Most recently, the Yelp, Tumblr, and Instagram applications have all been dumbed-down thanks to our presence.

However GLL’s crowning achievement likely came in 2012 during the Michigan Summer Beer Festival, when web users were treated to a live video feed on our website.  We found this pretty impressive, considering our desktop Pentium 2 is still running Windows 95.

Modern day, slightly less un-inspired logo circa 2011.

Slightly less un-inspired logo circa 2011.

Looking ahead, folks can expect (or perhaps beware of) some further expansion.  For example, due to the tastes and preferences of our various contributors and influencers, lately we’ve begun including Michigan-made wine and spirits under the GLL umbrella.  We are also planning on making the site a bit more user-friendly for the multitude of mobile users (better late than never, right?).

But regardless of where the future takes us, the underlying principle from five years ago will remain the same:  Great Lakes Libations is dedicated to spreading awareness, and connecting those who consume with those who produce.

That, and enjoying a drink or two in the process.

There Ain’t No Cure For The Summertime Brews…or is there?

Sacred Cow IPA

As summer quickly approaches, perhaps you’ve noticed that pretty much every beer brewer in existence has already inundated the market with their seasonal offering, which is typically a wheat-style ale paired with a wedge of citrus fruit (Pretty sure I even saw a Pabst Summer Wheat on shelves but perhaps i’m mistaken…).

Some of these beers are really quite good – in fact, I can think of several from craft brewers in our beloved mitten state and surrounding areas that are definite home runs. However there are also some on the market that are…well…i’ll just come out and say it: They’re terrible.

I enjoy the occasional summer ale this time of year, however it has more to do with availability than the onset of warmer weather. In fact, if it’s hot, i’ll take a cold IPA or perhaps a Kolsch.

Maybe i’m the oddball, but on a warm summer afternoon, my brain skips over wheat and demands hops instead. And lucky for me, these options are plentiful this time of year as well.

Livin’ In The Goondocks: A KBS Love Story


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“Our parents, they want the bestest stuff for us.  But right now they gotta do what’s right for them, ’cause it’s their time.  Their time, up there.  Down here it’s our time.  It’s our time down here.” –Mikey Walsh, Goonies … Continue reading