This year's $50,000 Comerica Hatch Detroit prize goes to Detroit's first nano brewery, founded in Corktown last August by Stephen Roginson, a homebrewer since 1996, and two partners.
The news was announced Thursday night by Hatch on social media, as well as by Nick Andersen in a live blog at Eater Detroit. Judging of four finalists took place at the Madison Theater in the Madison Building event downtown.
The runners-up are Corktown Cinema, Spielhaus Toys and HenriettaHaus Coffee Roasters.
In his presentation, Roginson said Detroit is seriously underserved by local breweries, Andersen reports.
In a city of nearly 700,000, the city has the same number of breweries as nearby Royal Oak, with only 57,000 residents. "Breweries are a place where communities come together," Roginson says.
He brings up the popular Feel-Good Tap (beer for charities) and pitches a 'brewery incubator' program to create other new breweries in the city. "Beer makes us happy," Roginson says. "More beer makes us more happy. . . .
"Batch Brewing Company is all about community. We're altruistic capitalists. We're going to make money, but we're doing much more than that."
Batch, which raised $25,080 early this year via Indiegogo.com, will brew four barrels (eight kegs) or less at a time -- truly handcrafted beer.
It'll be served at the century-old brewing site, 1444 Michigan Ave., where original pressed-tin ceilings and tile floors will be part of the ambiance. But not soon, the Eater Detroit blogger notes:
Batch previously disclosed that they are roughly $70K from opening. With this grant, they, like many of the contestants, are merely one step closer to opening.
For the Batch crew, that step is sweetened by a $50,000 grant.
-- Alan Stamm