We, at The Brinery, have our hearts rooted in the ancient art and necessity of preservation and take pride in being a bridge between the farms, restaurants and consumers. We aim to stimulate peoples’ inner economies with our living, raw & unpasteurized, fermented foods as well as our local economy by working with local family farms to source the vast majority of our produce.

As the business continues to grow, we maintain our early values: a commitment to lactobacillus as a direct path to digestive enlightenment and great health, an infatuation with Michigan farmers and the heartbeats of their fields, and a meaningful zeal for the creative and original.

 

Our Progress

LShortly after winning a Good Food Award at the beginning of 2014 we moved into The Washtenaw Food Hub as the anchor tenant. The space available at the hub allowed us to multiply our production storage spaces by 5x so that we could buy and preserve more locally grown produce than ever before.

To put this into context, in 2013 we had been receiving cabbage in 40# boxes and in the fall of 2014 we began bringing in 800# pallet bins! We humbly thank 19 local farmers for the 2014 production season;  without them, we could not have tripled the number of barrels we made in a day or doubled our staff, creating jobs within our community.

 

Owner & Chief Fermenting Officer

David Klingenberger’s love of fermentation began in the fields of Tantré Farm, where he fermented a field of autumn cabbages as a way of preserving an overabundant harvest. In 2010, shortly after David’s initial foray into artisinal methods of storing foods, a nod to primordial traditions,  The Brinery began, as row after row of fall cabbage, blossoming into a dynamic and innovative wealth of barrels, bacteria, and kites thrown wild in the wind.founded The Brinery. As a business owner, David embraces the connection between good health and fermentation, a sailor guiding his probiotic ship though the seas and guts of others.

The Brinery has expanded since, and continues to do so. Brinery products embrace many civilizations and traditions– Korea to Germany, carrot pickle to tempeh, Whole Foods to the Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market. As the business continues to grow, still David and the Brinery team maintain their early values: a commitment to lactobacillus as a direct path to digestive enlightenment and great health, an infatuation with Michigan farmers and the heartbeats of their fields, and a meaningful zeal for the creative and original. The Brinery began as row after row of fall cabbage, blossoming into a dynamic and innovative wealth of barrels, bacteria, and kites thrown wild in the wind.

Farm Relationships

We source the majority of our produce from local, family farms (find a list of them here!). One of the farms that provides us with a lot of produce is Tantré Farm in Chelsea, Michigan- the same farm that led David to make his first batch of kraut.

The mission of Tantré Farm is to produce and distribute fresh, organic produce, while serving as an educational, sustainable, and social network for their surrounding community. They hope to achieve that mission through their CSA, Farmers Markets, Farm-to-School program, presence in local stores & restaurants, and via other community connections. This is a mission that The Brinery can get on board with.

The Brinery’s goal with the farms that we work with is to coordinate to produce fresh, healthy foods for the local community, provide quality of life for the farmer and to sustain economic viability for the farm with care and respect for nature’s diversity.

 

Our Production Facility

Production Room: Ready To Be Filled

Production Room: Ready To Be Filled, 2014

When people think of local produce, the focus is almost entirely on the fresh-consumption market, whether in the form of CSAs or Farmer’s Markets. The Brinery is able to source this local produce and then output a value-added product. The Washtenaw Food Hub exists to be a place that encourages small, local businesses to source local produce and then output a value-added product; The Brinery is the anchor tenant of this hub.

As the hub expands this year, more businesses will have access to a shared kitchen (separate our production space) to process even more local products into their final goods. Small growers may also be able to wash & store vegetables and CSAs will continue to distribute their shares at the hub. Current businesses regularly renting space at the hub include Locavorious , Rani’s Yummy, The Granola Tree and others!

Other features:

  • RO Water access
  • Vermiculture & Composting
  • Solar Panels with ability to supply power to the entire Food Hub
  • Close proximity to most of the farms we receive produce from
  • …the list goes on!

 

Recent Awards

2014 Good Food Award Winner for Sea Stag sauerkraut and Finalist for Oh Gee Kimchi in the category of pickles.
2015 Good Food Award Winner for a collaborative kimchi we made with American Spoon.
2015 Best Pickle Award given by Sandor Katz (writer of The Art of Fermentation)

 

2 Responses to About Us!

  1. […] a professional! Through my good friend Jen, I was introduced to David Klingenberger owner of The Brinery, an Ann Arbor, Michigan business focused on the ancient art of fermentation. David agreed to answer […]

  2. […] not much from local farms) and prepared goods. probably the best finds were the guy that runs The Brinery. he knew of the guy that does pickling out of Gainesville and supplies Homegrown Co-op. we bought […]