By Lonnie Huhman,

The future of the building at 8080 Grand Street in Dexter is taking shape each day with the most recent development being a microbrewery signing a lease.

During the city council meeting on Jan. 28, Michelle Aniol, Dexter’s community development manager, told the council that Erratic Ale Co. has leased space at 8080 Grand Street, for a microbrewery, tasting room and outdoor seating area. 


“The company has not submitted its application or site plans, but I expect it will be submitted next week,” Aniol said on Jan. 29. “The company would like its proposal to be considered by the planning commission on March 4.” 

The building is owned by Don Darnell and Paul Grusche, who have been restoring it over the past few years since buying it. It’s an old factory built in the 1940s. Grusche said they’ve been hard at work doing such things gutting the inside, putting in new windows, updating its support beam and many more restoration projects done all in an effort to keep its historical charm while making it a place for modern uses.

“We’re excited,” Grusche said of the building and it’s potential.

He said the building is divided into three units with each one having its own garage door. He said they are trying to keep an industrial-vibe at the location.

For Brian Schroeder, it’s a perfect place to take his hobby of brewing microbrews at home to the next level. Schroeder, who moved to the Dexter area a few years back, said he’s been home brewing for over 20 years,  but he’s always thought about a bigger operation with encouragement from his wife. The move to Michigan from the Cincinnati area led him to think more about making it happen.

“It was always in the back of my mind that it would be great to go pro with it,” Schroeder said of his home brewing.

He said it was always about the right time and place, which he thinks he’s found in Dexter.

“Dexter has the right feel for us,” he said of him and his family. “We love it here.”

His wife, Deb, is his partner and he said she provides the business experience to complement his brewing experience.

He said he will be a small operation, so it’s more of a nanobrewery. He said they will have three barrels of beer on tap at a time, but would be able to rotate varieties frequently while trying new ingredients, especially local ones.

He said he likes to create Belgian style beers, pale ales and IPAs, with the Brut IPA being a recent favorite.

There will be a tap room for customers to try the latest brew as well as the capability to offer carry-out growlers and special bottles. Schroeder said food options would be limited to appetizers and small plates, but there would be the option to bring in carry-out from other food establishments.

He said the location is great because it’s right off downtown and is easy to get to with parking, and it is right next to the Border-to-Border trail.  

There’s work ahead for him, starting with the city approval process. He said if and once his plans are given approval, he will then begin the build out process of the space along with installing equipment. He said with high hopes his target opening date is late summer or early fall.


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