John Rucinski had Dearborn Homecoming solidly in his sights as he made final preparations to open Dearborn Brewing.
"There was no way we were going to miss this," he said. "I thought we'd have a soft opening ahead of it but it didn't work out that way."
Rucinski and his wife Sheila opened the doors of Dearborn's first microbrewery at 3 p.m. Friday, the first day of the city's annual festival, a multi-day affair featuring music, food and activities that allows more than 30 Dearborn-based nonprofit groups to raise money for causes that support the community.
Rucinski said the microbrewery features ales using recipes he's fine-tuned in his 15 years as a home brewer.
Friday was "crazy, absolutely crazy," he said Saturday afternoon as he geared up for the second night. "We opened our doors at 3 and I don't think we took our foot off the gas all night." Rucinski said they went through 12 kegs Friday night, and called his bar staff "rock stars" for keeping up with the opening night crowds.
"We were slammed open to close," said server Leslie Parsons.
Dearborn Brewing uses a 7-gallon system with four 300-gallon fermenters.
The microbrewery got off the ground with a $25,000 Kickstarter campaign with many contributions coming in right at the end. "It was nerve-wracking," he said, "but it was a huge help."
Rucinski,44, is keeping his day job in service parts cataloging for Nissan North America. "I just hope I make beer and people like it," he said. His favorite beer among the current offerings is the amber, a malty, slightly toasty brew that was the result of a home-brewing accident.
"I messed up a recipe but my friends said 'you have to make this again,' so I had to recreate an accident," he said.
Dearborn Brewing offers a cream ale, an amber, a brown and an IPA featuring Cascade hops, all available in flights, pints and growlers. It's at 21930 Michigan Ave.