Ascension Brewing Company Brews Up Craft Beer Niche

ScottWrightadTOPAscension Brewing CompanySchrock2015_ad_twocities Brews Up Craft Beer Niche

(Nathan Mueller, Jan. 30, 2016)

Novi, MI – Fifteen Mile Porter. Scotty Knows. H.O.M.E.S. 2.0. The Phoenix. 800- Pound Gorilla.

Adam Czap is either a director of an eclectic mix of Hollywood movies, or running a brand new microbrewery.

Fortunately, for craft beer lovers, it’s the latter.

Ascension Brewing Company opened in August with the idea of bringing friends and family together over a pint in a comfortable, relaxing   atmosphere.

ctechad“I really like the social aspect of it,” said Czap, a Novi resident. “What we’ve created at Ascension is a really relaxed environment where people just enjoy being with each other. That’s one of the things I   love about this place.”

Located at 42000 Grand River Avenue, just west of Meadowbrook Road, Ascension offers about a dozen taps of freshly brewed IPAs, ales, stouts and everything in between. Czap, who started brewing in his   garage in 2008, said Ascension prides itself on its ability to meet its customers’ ever changing beer   palate.

“We’re always looking for new ideas and testing new recipes,” he said. “That’s one of the great things   about having a smaller system like we do. We’re very mobile, and without great cost to the brewery, we   can try new things. If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out, but we’ve had fairly good success with   that so far.”

Brandon Sabo is Ascension’s master brewer. It’s his job to do everything from purchasing sidebar01sponsoringredients to   cleaning the equipment when he is finished with another custom batch. “A lot of the recipes are   collaboration,” said Sabo. “Adam helps a lot. Some are his individual recipes and some are my own   original recipes.”

The journey from home brewer to microbrew owner actually predates 2008. Czap, 32, grew up in Brown City, a small farming town of about 1,300 people in Michigan’s Thumb. Both of his parents were teachers and Adam intended to follow in their footsteps by earning a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Michigan.

After starting to teach, Czap quickly realized the profession wasn’t for him. He went back to school for dentistry, but ended up starting a photography business. That side job  quickly turned into a full-time gig and he and his wife still run Czap Studios, a wedding and portrait   GT ad 05boutique, also in Novi.


The home brewing bug bit him a few years into his photography career.   “I think it happened for me the same way it happens to a lot of guys that get into home brewing thinking   they can have some fun with it, and get their beer for a little bit cheaper. But that’s kind of a joke because that rabbit hole is endless for buying new parts,” he said.

$100 investment allowed him to create his first batch. After a few trials and errors, Czap started producing enough beer to keep 30-40 gallons on tap at home.

While he thoroughly enjoyed the process of brewing, it was really the joy of sharing his creations that led to Ascension. “They liked my beer and   said, ‘you could sell this.’ Me being an idiot, I agreed with them.”lisa schmidt law

Czap’s previous experience with his photography business helped him make the transition from home brewer to microbrewer. He started formulating a business plan a few years ago, and by December 2014 was building Ascension – which gets its name from his faith – from the ground up.

Besides his sociability, Czap said there was a sound reason for starting the business.   “I was tired of going to every other city to go to a microbrewery,” he explained. “I thought it was something Novi really needed since Local Color had been gone for so many years.”

Indications are that Czap was right. Ascension is busiest Thursday through Saturday, but has a steady flow of patrons most nights.

And it’s not just good beer bringing them in. Ascension features a full line of appetizers, SCOTT WRIGHT AD basic tallsandwiches, salads and soups. “We emphasize fresh, healthy food,” said Czap. “We do not use a deep fryer or a microwave.”

Still, at its core, Ascension is a brewing company. Long before the first patron walks in, Sabo is hard at work. On average, he brews three to four 150-gallon batches per week. Every batch, he says, takes 12- 16 hours to produce.   That means everything from converting grains into fermentable sugar in Ascension’s mash tun, to kettle boiling and adding the proper amount of yeast.

Sabo buys all ingredients locally, and uses water from   the Detroit River. “We have some of the best brewing water in the world,” he says. “The only thing we do is treat it to get the fluoride and chlorine out. We’re very lucky to be in Michigan, where our water is   such high quality.”

Ascension’s style of beers runs the gambit as does the alcohol content, from light to the potent 800- Pound Gorilla. Czap said that variety is by design. Whatever he and Sabo are producing on a given day,   quality is goal number one.   “I like big beers,” he added. “Really big, flavorful products across the board. I’m definitely not just a hops person.”

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