WYANDOTTE, Mich. (WXYZ) — “We’ve known each other since we were about 4 years old. We went to the same elementary school, so we’ve known each other since kindergarten,” said John Frederich.
Frederich and Brian Elsesser became thick as thieves in elementary school and their friendship grew stronger through high school.
After graduation, Frederich went to Northern Michigan University and Elsesser moved to Grand Rapids. Both came back to their roots here in Wyandotte.
“Coming back just feels like a place that’s home,” said Brian Elsesser. “It’s comfortable, I know the place, so the people here are good.”
As best friends they spent a lot of time together and as the Michigan craft beer trend was growing, they started a hobby of making home brew in their kitchen.
They heard such great feedback on their unique beer recipes, they thought maybe this hobby could be potential money maker.
With a strong business plan in place, last November, they opened Wyandotte Beer Company.
In fact, it’s just down the street from their elementary school where their lifelong friendship began.
“Sometimes people say, do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life,” said Frederich.
“Weird, it’s really weird. Some days you’re like, am I working right now? You are working but you’re having fun while you’re doing it,” said Elsesser.
Turning a hobby into business has some reality checks but the like mindedness helped with a successful launch.
“We’ve known each other for so long, we’ve gotten enough fights ever since we were children, we know how the other guy works, and our conflict resolution is pretty strong,” said Frederich.
Four months after opening, they’re now making a commitment to support other Wyandotte small businesses.
“We do our Java Joe our Coffee Cream Ale and we make it with cold brew made over at Provence Cafe here in Wyandotte".
“Right now, we’re serving up fish from Weyand’s Fish Market up the road every Friday now until Easter,” said Frederich.
“We’re just happy there’s so many other great businesses in this town that offer so much that we can work with. Rising tide raises all ships.”
Best friends living the dream and making their mark in their hometown Wyandotte.