Ferndale City Council approves licenses for incoming brewery

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published June 1, 2016

 Plans for Livernois Tap & Brewery include a beer garden and beers on tap for patrons to sample and buy.

Plans for Livernois Tap & Brewery include a beer garden and beers on tap for patrons to sample and buy.

Rendering provided by Axle Brewing Co.

FERNDALE — At last week’s Ferndale City Council meeting, the council unanimously approved licenses for a proposed brewery.

The licenses in question were a microbrewer license and a small winemaker license for Axle Brewing Co., which is looking to build a production facility that also would include a tasting area for patrons and a small outdoor beer garden at 567 Livernois Ave., named Livernois Tap & Brewery. It would act as the public face of the company, whereas the main production of the product currently is in Royal Oak.

Mayor Pro Tem Melanie Piana said the city has been looking to change the business mix on Livernois, which she feels has been happening naturally, as she’s seen new shops pop up like art galleries, designers and an architect, and the brewery is following the lead of Schramm’s Mead, which opened in Ferndale a couple of years ago.

For residents worried about the addition of another establishment that serves alcohol to the city’s downtown, Piana said the location of the brewery actually is outside of the district, near the border with Detroit by Eight Mile Road.

“We’ve heard from our residents over the years that they want the city to concentrate on economic development on the corridor, and we’ve definitely been doing that,” she said.

With the additions of bike lanes, streetscape investments and improved infrastructure, Piana said these upgrades have been helpful in luring private investments to Ferndale.

“That’s been our strategy, and I think we’re starting to see the result of the strategy of more businesses coming into the Livernois corridor,” she said. “These businesses are showing up in vacant buildings. And vacant buildings are not helpful to the neighborhood and the city.”

Livernois Tap & Brewery will have approximately 14 to 16 different kinds of beer on tap at any given time. It also plans to sell packaged beer to patrons.

Axle Brewing owner Dan Riley said they wanted to come to Ferndale for the brewery because they loved the location on the corridor and the proximity to Detroit and the rest of the community.

“We’ve really had great feedback coming from the neighborhood,” he said. “We love the space and the street.”

Riley said they’re in the final stages of construction drawings and designs for the brewery, and he expects the plan to go before the City Council for approval within the month.