McClary Bros. drinking vinegars to open tasting room

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Small batch drinking vinegars company McClary Bros. will open a tasting room in Farmington Hills on Dec. 5.

Owned by Jess Sanchez McClary, the vinegars are sold in more than 500 bars, restaurants and markets in 20 states. Her products are used to make craft cocktails and gourmet nonalcoholic beverages. The new outpost, at 32621 Grand River, will have all the McClary Bros. products with experts on hand to help customers with recipes and mixing.

Along with the tasting room, McClary Bros. is also launching a new line called “Forgotten Flavors.” The products in this line are made using uncommon or hard-to-find Michigan produce, like the pawpaw fruit.

“It’s a mix between a mango, a papaya and a banana,” says McClary of the pawpaw. She says proceeds from the Forgotten Flavors line will benefit the hunger-fighting organization Forgotten Harvest.

“That line is designed to highlight things that are old, forgotten ideas and flavors, things that used to be commonly used and aren’t anymore. We want to encourage that biodiversity and people using things that may go extinct. Fruits and vegetables that don’t get commercially used, eventually they go away.”

The tasting room opens at noon Dec. 5 with activities for children, food, demonstrations and giveaways. McClary, who used to have a tasting and retail booth in Ferndale’s Rust Belt Market, says her Farmington store is decked out like a Colonial-style pub to reflect the period when drinking vinegars were first popular.

The tasting room will be open noon-6 p.m. Tues.-Sat. with some extended hours through the holiday season.

This news comes a few months after McClary appeared on the wildly popular investment reality show “Shark Tank” on ABC. She didn’t make a deal with the sharks, but the exposure catapulted her business to the next level and things since then have been “crazy awesome” and she’s expanded her team from three to six people.