The Urbanite – Jon Liedtke – Sept. 10, 2014
Steven Fabischek and Bryan Datoc completed their engineering degrees together, worked at Chrysler together and have homebrewed together for a number of years. The duo is now setting up shop in the former Lefty’s Underground – or for those who remember, Aardvarks at Pelissier Street and University Avenue to open downtown Windsor’s first craft brewery in decades.
Craftheads Brewing Company still has a ways to go before their doors open. acquiring a liquor licence, completing renovations and setting up the brewery and taproom but the two are eager to bring over 20 taps of unique craft brews to downtown drinkers.
“It’s one of those things where we sat next to each other and asked what we were going to do after work, so we tried brewing beer,” said Datoc. “We went to Jake’s [Windsor] Brew and started brewing there and found it was cool and got more into it.”
Fabischek and Datoc joked that brewing was crossed of their bucket lists fairly early. They’ve brewed by extract and all grain, and that they quickly realized brewing was their calling.
“Steve proposed the idea of starting a brewery… we started working out the numbers and it grew on me, the idea of making beer for a living,” said Datoc. “Having a brewery, something you can call your own is much better than working for somebody else, you get to make the decisions.”
Seeking to capitalize on the lack of breweries downtown the closest being Brew, located east of Caesars Windsor and slated to receive their license “shortly” Fabischek and Datoc don’t view other craft breweries as competition.
“It’s nothing like we’re competing against them. I think the more craft breweries in Windsor the better; get more people drinking craft beer and get them away from those commercial lagers,” said Datoc.
“We’re all kind of a family of craft brewers and we’re trying to get more people into craft beers and away from commercial beers,” said Fabischek. “We’re all local people trying to support local… we’re not some big conglomerate that makes massive amounts of beer with no taste, we’re trying to raise awareness for beer in the city.”
“It’s a huge following,” said Fabischek referring to craft beer across the globe. “I think it’ll be good for this city… I think we can get people to come to this city for that same reason, to try to experience the craft breweries.”
The brewery will feature a taproom for patrons to sample beer and a retail shop for customers to take beer home.
While the duo has the ability to have 34 taps, they intend to produce 20 beers in house and feature rotating beers from other Ontario and Quebec breweries. They also will allow customers to order their own beer and set the style and flavour, as well as feature a sponsored keg of which part of the profits will be donated to a local charity or arts group.
Pints will be priced at three levels depending on the ingredients and alcohol content. Flights of beer will also be available to purchase to sample the different flavours.
Pending licensing and renovations, Craft Heads Brewing is set to open in roughly three months.
Jonathon Liedtke is the managing editor of The Urbanite, Windsor’s alternative newspaper. He is also a member of Windsor’s “Punk with Horns” band The Nefidovs, and as such, is committed to enhancing and sustaining the arts community.