Food & Drink

Craft beer, cider, music flow at Project Ferndale's 16-hour opening bash

February 21, 2020, 9:51 PM

A new local brewpub began pulling tap handles Saturday morning.

The day-long opening event at Project Ferndale started at 8 a.m. and runs until midnight with 12 beers, three ciders, two soft drinks, coffee, espresso and live music.

It's an outpost of Eastern Market Brewing Co. (EMBC) in a tile-walled space at 567 Livernois Ave. that was Livernois Tap until last June, when it pulled the plug on a sputtering two-year run. EMBC bought its owner, Axle Brewing Co., last September.

Now it's reborn with pastries baked on site, specialty coffees and counter-service food from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and in early evening (eight-item menu is below). Mead will join the beverage lineup later.

(Photos: Eastern Market Brewing Co.)

Project Ferndale, shown in five photos below, can seat 175 people at shared picnic-style tables and will open a 160-seat patio when days get balmy.

"We opened Ferndale Project to expand our brewing capacity, but it's become so much more," the parent company posts on Facebook this week. "We stumbled into an incredible Ferndale community that has welcomed us with open arms. We’re excited to experiment on Livernois and introduce our newest sours, IPAs, ciders and more."

Michael Kelly is head brewer at the new site and chef Garrett McDonald oversees the kitchen, aided by sous chefs Trevor Smith (pastries) and Lawrence Miller. Dominic Calzetta makes the ciders -- pineapple, dry and coffee flavor -- and will oversee production of mead and soda pop. 

Eater Detroit tells what's on tap (two-page list shown below):

Ferndale Project inherited Axle’s Brewing equipment — a much more expansive setup than what's currently operating at EMBC — and plans to put it to good use. Owner Dayne Bartscht tells Eater customers can expect some EMBC classics on tap such as the White Coffee Stout, Detroit Diesel, Market Day IPA, and Elephant Juice alongside 10 Ferndale Project originals. ...

The opening lineup includes two double dry-hopped New England IPAs, a house gose, a blood orange gose called Blood Orange Mimosa, a raspberry gose, a passionfruit sour, and a pomegranate sour IPA. There’s also a 9 percent ABV coconut imperial stout.

Beers are $4 during weekday happy hours from 4-6 p.m.

Near the end of a Detroit Free Press preview a few days ago, Brian Manzullo includes this reality check:

Ferndale Project opens at a challenging location: Nearly a mile from downtown Ferndale, as the only bar or restaurant on Livernois between 8 Mile and 9 Mile roads. ... The lack of other development along that stretch of Livernois, just north of Detroit's historic Avenue of Fashion, was a factor in Livernois Tap's closure.

Plan a visit

  • Location: 567 Livernois Ave., west of Woodward between Marshall Street and Eight Mile Road.

  • Hours: Opens at 8 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday; kitchen opens at 11 a.m; brewery shuts at 11 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, midnight Friday and Saturday, and at 9 p.m. Sunday.

  • Phone: (248) 556-5512

  • Website: In the works here

  • Parking: Small vehicle lot; 11 bike racks

Photos from the business

The menu includes this $9 burger with aioli sauce and fries ($2 option). Add a second patty for $3 and bacon for a buck more.

Cider and mead brewer Dominic Calzetta, 33, worked at Cellarmen's in Hazel Park, which shut last July.

Pastry chef Trevor Smith developed his craft at GreenSpace Cafe, a vegan restaurant on West 9 Mile in Ferndale.

The opening day beverage list.


This winter lunch pop-up menu shows what comes from chef Garrett McDonald's kitchen for now. 


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