ALPINE TOWNSHIP — Dunneback Fruit Farm LLC aims to offer customers something new in addition to the fruits and vegetables grown at the multi-generational family farm.
The business will use fruits, hops and other products from the farming operation to make beer, wine and cider and serve them in an on-site tasting room at 3025 6 Mile Road NW.
Pending approval of a microbrewery license and small winemaker’s license from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission, Ed Dunneback & Girls Farm Market expects to begin brewing by Aug. 1.
Stephanie Ginsberg, manager of the farm market, says the family decided to explore adding the options as a way to help even out the cyclical nature of the farm market business.
“Our biggest thing was creating more consistency across our seasonal business,” she said. “Weather obviously affects us. If we offer something like beer, wine and cider or more events, that’s more opportunities for people to come experience different parts of the farm.”
Pink Barrel Cellars will occupy space in the back of the existing farm market, with the hope that the operation will grow over time, according to Ginsberg.
The company wants to offer five or six different beers on tap, plus a couple of ciders and eight to 10 wines, Ginsberg said. The plan is to serve an IPA, stout, pale ale and a seasonal beer depending on what is in season at the farm. For the cider, Pink Barrel will offer some “fan favorites” and play with different seasonal fruits and flavors.
The farm has also been granted a special events permit through Alpine Township and hopes to hold outdoor events, such as farm-to-table dinners. The beer, wine and cider options will complement that part of the business, Ginsberg said.
“Mostly, we’re just hoping that people will come out and enjoy the space,” she said. “We have a beautiful farm, and we just want to make it more of ‘come spend the day’ and have a glass of beer.”
If approved, the company would join the growing ranks of craft breweries in Michigan.
According to data from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), Michigan ranked fourth nationally in 2018 with 510 permitted breweries, behind California (1,236), Washington (540) and New York (532). The numbers could include breweries in planning or companies that received permits but never opened.
In a new state-by-state report, the Boulder, Colo.-based Brewers Association, which tracks small and independent breweries, pegs the number of operating craft breweries in Michigan at 357, which ranks fifth nationally.
The organization’s statistics do not include Grand Rapids-based Founders Brewing Co., which is nearly 31-percent owned by Spain-based Mahou San Miguel Group, because it doesn’t meet the group’s definition of an independent brewery.
Michigan craft breweries tracked by the Brewers Association produced 899,792 barrels of beer last year, or 3.7 gallons for every adult over the age of 21, according to the report.