Thursday, October 30, 2014

Wilbo Waits 3 Years for a Corner Bank in Whitehall @PureMichigan to Open As Fetch Brewing Company

Friends of White Lake waited decades for this two story bank building to open doors again. First, an artist painted window murals on the east exposure, a C. Schmidt painted in 2011. Second, a developer gutted the interior, leaving a few architectural elements from the bank period, including the vault and locking door.

The tap room repays our waiting. The wooden tables and bar top remind me of Pigeon Hill Brewing Company, the wood maple and oak, newer, and yet far more distressed. Plus, the wooden table tops are framed by strong steel and supported by legs of angular steel. The beer is as good as one can expect from a team of professional chemists and engineers, including the master artist Missy Morrow.

Fetch is a noun, and no one on the brewing team has Fetch as a surname. As one wall tells, "Fetch is the distance wind travels across open water in order to create a wave". The Brew House is downstairs and the door to the stairway has a "Brew House" logo with mad science elements in the type. The mug club drinks from clay mugs, pint sized, made by local potter, Chester Winowiecki, trained by Peter the Potter. Clay keeps the beer at the right serving temperature longer. Yes, we have technical geeks at play in the beer community at Fetch.

I've never heard of Growlers and Howlers made of clay, and Fetch Brewing Company has them for sale, 68 dollars for the Growler and 45 dollars for the Howler. Less expensive versions are available in glass.

About seventeen maple wood steps lead up to a second floor balcony, a space that benefits from seven square clerestory windows cut into the eastern exposure, great for early sun day times and gazing out on the street from high at night. Friends and lovers are going to snuggle up in this cozy floor of personal spaces. Low lounge seating inside the vault cries for martinis, so Fetch chemists have to be thinking a copper kettle distillery. The vault floor is lined with hundred of pennies, Lincoln side up.

Here's a good reason to drive a few miles north to Whitehall - Montague for the evening. For me, it's a writer's retreat as I'm under deadline.

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