When Artisan Reserve opened in Romulus in November 2018, it was the result of 60 years of experimentation in brewing, at least for Dearborn resident Richard Kasaba.
“Going backward toward the future,” is how he and fellow owner Brian Bush, a Romulus resident, describe their technique.
Richard learned to brew from his grandfather, “Boots,” growing up in a mining town in Pennsylvania. Many years later, he taught Brian the tricks of the trade.
Richard went on to enjoy a long career in engineering, and Brian, though younger, opened his own aquarium and lawn care businesses. Eventually, the pair started taking brewing more seriously. After creating batches for several weddings and receiving rave reviews, Brian and Richard decided to turn their hobby into a livelihood.
It was Brian’s father who suggested opening the brewery in Romulus. On a visit to City Hall, James Bush was greeted by Mayor LeRoy Burcroff.
“Mayor Burcroff immediately connected us with the city’s economic development team and put the wheels in motion,” says Brian.
Brian says the city of Romulus has been a great partner in starting a business, and he raves about the local residents who frequent Artisan Reserve. Brian serves on the board of the Romulus Downtown Development Authority, and he and Richard have a strong partnership with other local businesses, including caterer Norman Catering and Events. Norman has supplied the fixings for Taco Tuesdays, Chili Dog Wednesdays and Pot Roast Fridays, among other events at Artisan. Downtown Romulus Flower Shop, which recently opened down the street, has also been a go-to partner.
The team at Artisan Reserve is excited to build on existing offerings in 2020, adding a food menu and increasing production so they can begin distribution locally.
The time-tested techniques Richard learned in Pennsylvania are evident in the products Artisan Reserve produces today. Brian and Richard spend one to three weeks fermenting their batches, which are small, unlike the stainless steel fermenters used by many larger breweries. They believe the longer fermentation and small batches allow them to maintain quality—as does the use of bottles instead of kegs. Using bottles helps extend the life of the beer too. Their brews last about a year when kept at the right temperature.
Brian is excited about the response Artisan Reserve has seen thus far. He enjoys partnering with as many local Romulus businesses as possible and hopes to continue to build on the momentum downtown.
As for Boots, his secret recipe will make its big debut soon. Boots’ Porter will be available at Artisan Reserve in April 2020.