It was a familiar scene for craft beer, mead, and cider fans in metro Detroit this past weekend – another beloved watering hole was closing up for good.

Shortly after neighboring Axle Brewing Company shut its doors on June 30, Cellarmen’s in Hazel Park announced on social media that it, too, would be closing its doors at the end of July.

The reflective social media post provided patrons and fans of their delicious liquid an insight into the difficult decision:

“We took a step back to examine the industry, untimely death, distribution obstacles, and unreasonably excessive requests stemming from the landlord, which led us to the incredibly difficult decision that Cellarmen’s last day of operation will be Saturday July 27th, 2019.

We never expected the amount of support we received from the City of Hazel Park, our families, the industry, and our fiercely loyal customers. That is why we did this, for you, the people who wanted something different than the rest, to buck standards and as we said from the beginning “no concentrates, no artificial flavors, no bullshit”. Each and every customer who supported us found our philosophy to be a noble enough reason to share with us your appreciation for the things we created…

…This decision never comes easy, but we find it to be a necessary one for now. We hope you will join us for our final weeks, we will be releasing very special batches of barrel aged meads, ciders, and beers that have been tucked away in the back waiting for their day. These are the last time these products will be available so we hope you can join us to celebrate all that we have done together.”

I stopped by over the weekend to have a few more of the beers, meads, and ciders that Cellarmen’s was famous for. Plenty were still available for consumption both in house and to go. Special batches were released on Saturday, as well.

Everyone was recounting memories of gatherings or shows that they had been to at Cellarmen’s. Most people were in good spirits despite the impending closure.

The infamous chalk board on the doors leading into the production was transformed into a message board for patrons to voice their opinions about the closing and the legacy of Cellarmen’s.

Saturday was host to the last show and was dutifully dubbed “Cellarmen’s: Last Rites 2015-2019.” T-shirts were made and final pints of beers, meads, and ciders were poured. The bill included several local bands that have played Cellarmen’s over the years. The place was packed and Cellarmen’s went out with a bang on their own terms.

Cellarmen’s was featured in several Better on Draft blog posts and podcasts. The Better on Draft hosts have poured for Cellarmen’s at beer festivals, too. Check out our (documented) journey with Cellarmen’s.

We at Better on Draft wish Cellarmen’s and those who have graced its doors the best. Cheers!

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By Ed Norton

Edwin "Ed" Norton was first introduced to craft beer when his designated fraternity Big Brother Vince asked him if he knew anything about the topic. Ed admitted his ignorance and the rest is history as Ed and Vince would split six-packs of craft beers each week during Ed's probationary status. Ed is now a craft beer enthusiast who is always on the lookout for a beer he has not tried when bottle shopping or drinking at breweries and bars. In addition to drinking beer, this livelong Michigan resident enjoys a bunch of hobbies that he doubts you really care about, other than drinking beer and sounding off about it.

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