Round Barn breaking new ground

Published 9:11 am Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Round Barn Winery co-owner Matthew Moersch is pictured with former employee Deanna Sandmann. Off the Water photo/KATHLEEN NAY

Just four years into the microbrewery business, the folks at Round Barn Winery, Brewery and Distillery are discovering that the glass isn’t just half-full. It’s overflowing — and brothers Chris and Matthew Moersch are making plans for expansion.

The award-winning craft brewery, located at 10983 Hills Rd., Baroda, is looking forward to moving its production facilities to a new locale, just up the road in the Village of Baroda.

“We’ve reached capacity in our current facility, “ said Matthew, “so we’re looking forward to moving just across town to step up production and eventually open a casual brew pub.”

They’re working with an architect to design an open-air taproom in the 10,000-square-foot building that formerly housed South Shore Tool and Die. A little bit industrial and a little bit quaint, the new design will stay true to the artful streetscape of Baroda’s First Street.

The Moersch brothers plan to begin production at the new facility in July, and anticipate opening a brew pub-style restaurant by the summer of 2013. While they plan to keep the fare simple — sandwiches and pizza — the new taproom promises to be anything but. Rumor has it the current plans include anywhere from 16-24 taps, more than double the number of beers Round Barn can offer on tap at their current location.

“Round Barn makes what you would call ‘session beers,’” said Matthew. Session beers, he explains, are beers that have a lower alcohol-by-volume (ABV) percentage, allowing the drinker to have “more than a few” within a reasonable time period without reaching inappropriate levels of intoxication. But just because a beer is lower in ABV doesn’t mean it’s lower in flavor; Round Barn has proven itself time and again with heady, handcrafted brews that keep people coming back for more.

The Moersch family has been in the fermentation business for more than 30 years, and has firmly established The Round Barn’s reputation as a destination winery, brewery and distillery. Each year they draw crowds from all over southwest Michigan, northern Indiana and Chicago to enjoy their microbrews, wine, food, art and music.

“You’re going to have a great time (at The Round Barn),” said Deanna Sandmann, a former Round Barn employee and longtime fan.  “We have a little bit of everything.”

For Round Barn, it seems this year “a little bit of everything” is beginning to mean quite a lot more.