Drafting Table Brewing Co., located in Wixom, Michigan
Five days a week I make my daily drive home from Ann Arbor Michigan back to the small town of Wolverine Lake Michigan. On that journey I typically find myself getting off the highway at Milford road and taking my commute up Pontiac Trail from the city of Milford into Wixom. Normally I do this to just take myself off the highway and enjoy a more relaxing drive, then sometime late in the summer of 2015 a sign went up that generated some excitement. It was a simple sign letting the world know that Drafting Table Brewing Company would be opening soon.
For those who aren’t familiar with Wixom Michigan it’s a small town that formerly housed a giant Ford Motor Vehicles assembly plant. For decades the Ford plant was the biggest reason to drive traffic into the city of Wixom, and then the plant essentially closed in 2006. Now 10 years after the departure of Ford, Wixom is pretty much a suburb. Among a collection of restaurants, department stores, and small communities lies Drafting Table Brewing Company.
Drafting Table was opened in 2016 over Easter weekend and was instantly generating beer buzz in the local area. Part of this was fueled by the reputation of the owner and brewer Aaron Rzeznik, prior to opening Drafting Table Aaron brewed fantastic beers at Witches Hat Brewing in South Lyon, who has a reputation themselves for making some pretty fantastic brew. Aaron’s experience and passion for a well crafted beer shines through every glass of beer that is poured. An easy way to win me over with beer is to give me a fantastic Stout, I don’t care if it’s 95 degrees outside I don’t think there is a better beer than a big heavy stout. This is something of a running theme for the Sommbeer staff so it should come to no surprise that when both David (Sommbeer’s fearless leader) and myself were checking out Drafting Table for the first time we couldn’t resist the Imperial Russian Stout “Only Fools Russian“. The two of us must have talked Aaron’s ear off going on and on about how much we loved this stout. True to form Only Fools Russian is a jet black bitter beer that packs a punch with full body and a 10% abv. The stout, like many of the style, has a bitter flavor however that is balanced out nicely by being loaded up with chocolate giving the beer an appropriate amount of sweetness and assuring that the alcohol isn’t so abrasive that it turns people away from the brew.
What’s even more impressive about Drafting Table, in regards to their beer specifically, is just how well crafted their beer is. Not every beer on tap has to be something that I’m into, luckily we live in a beer era that has so many different styles and options of beers to enjoy that it would be impossible to like everything. That being said there are a few breweries that have the talent to craft beer in a way that can make you appreciate a particular style even if that beer is a departure from what you normally enjoy. A perfect example of this is Drafting Table’s Witty Yank Witbier. I’ll be the first to admit that witbiers really aren’t my thing, I tend to gravitate myself towards heavier malty beers or sticky hopped up IPA’s. So when Witty Yank was tapped, regardless of me admitting that I’m not a fan of wheat beers, the bar tender insisted that I try a glass. Well guess what, as usual, the bar tender was absolutely right. Witty Yank is light and fruitful with dry citrusy finish and remarkably easy to drink. Is Witty Yank my go to beer on the menu? Not necessarily but it proved to me that no matter what ends up on the menu I know that I am going to get and extremely well crafted beer that will certainly be enjoyable.
Piggy backing off my Witty Yank experience I want to mention the staff at Drafting Table. Everyone behind the bar or on the floor at Drafting Table does a really good job of delivering a great brewery experience. Each staff member is well-educated on the beer available and does a really good job of recommending beers for those of us that might not know what we’re looking for. Every employee is really down to Earth and easy to talk to but still manages to have their own personality which makes having conversations with the staff unique and enjoyable. Among the staff are owners, Aaron and Kristen, who almost always seem to be around greeting and mingling with people. The brewery already has a wonderful layout that is well-lit and bright creating a very open feeling and vibrant environment and the staff amplifies the welcoming and relaxing feel of the brewery.
What is it that makes a great brewery? I think there are 3 big bullet points that need to be checked off in order to be considered great. First is the most obvious, the beer which Drafting Table passes that test with flying colors. Regardless if you like big burly Russian Stout like Only Fools Russian or more intricate and refreshing Sasion like Peach Road to Charms there is a beer on tap for you all the time. Next bullet point is the staff. I think a good brewery either needs to have a knowledgeable staff or an extremely pleasant staff and Drafting Table has both. Last but certainly not least is environment, is the brewery actually enjoyable to go sit down in and have a pint? This is probably the most important aspect of a brewery or taproom because lets face it, regardless of how good the beer is if you don’t enjoy being somewhere you probably won’t back right? Since opening I can honestly say that Drafting Table has been one of my favorite places to go spend my free time. It’s also become one of my favorite places to bring friends, family members, and anyone willing to stop up and have a beer with me. If you’re in Michigan or traveling through the mitten state make sure that you add Drafting Table to your stops along the way.
Drafting Table Brewing Co.
49438 Pontiac Trail
Wixom, MI 48393
Sunday : 12-9