Motor City brews innovation from industry change

Posted at 12:40 PM, Jul 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-29 12:40:59-04

When Motor City Brewing Works opened in 1994, the industry was in a much different place.

“When we first started in Michigan, there was no craft beer scene, really,” said Motor City owner John Linardos. “At one point there were just two breweries in the state and now we have over 250. So, now we've gone from the challenge of educating the consumer and trying to penetrate the market to having a lot of beer out there.”

What was once a seemingly isolated, niche market is now a booming business. Its growing popularity changed the way Motor City handles its operations, both with the customer and its internal operations.

In the early days of Motor City Brewing Works, trying to take care of internal business needs such as insurance proved to be a challenge. Companies hadn’t caught up with the new industry’s needs and owners were left to piece together coverage on their own.

Today, though, the environment is different.

“It's not like in the early days when you had put together these puzzles,” said Linardos. “As the industry matured, and the more entered into this industry, the insurance companies are creating packages, really, that are tailored to what we do.”

While Linardos says Motor City Brewing Works is one of the oldest and smallest craft breweries in the area, the staff uses its experience to look toward the future.

“I see in the future a lot of innovation,” he said. “We're working on some different styles of fermenting fruit. Where they don't quite fit the cider category. We're looking at doing some more creative fermentation. I think the breweries that stay local and adhere to how we all started and that's being a part of your community. Creating beer for your immediate backyard that's fresh — I think that's the model that's sustainable.”

Motor City Brewing Works is a policyholder of the Cincinnati Insurance Company.