Original Gravity Brewing Company Celebrates 15 Years on June 10

Original Gravity Brewing Company Owner Brad Sancho is celebrating 15 years of business with an anniversary event on June 10. 

“It flew by, everyone says that about their kids like ‘it went by in a blink of an eye’ but it’s the same with this. I can’t believe it’s been 15 years already, and I just hope we can go for another 15,” Sancho said. 

Original Gravity Brewing Company (OG) is a staple beer and deli stop on the east side of Milan. The ambiance is set with fourteen stainless steel tanks for brewing and fermenting. 

The total brewing process takes about 2 weeks, and the most popular beer, Southpaw IPA, is emptied within 12-14 days. 

Their menu has grown from four beer choices and half a dozen sandwich selections to over a dozen beers, ciders and sodas and a full menu of sandwiches, salads and snacks.

Sancho said he wasn’t really interested in craft beer when he began his homebrewing hobby in 2002. Sancho’s soon to be brother-in-law was making beer at his house and sparked Sancho’s interest. It grew from a book and equipment to taking out vacation days on Fridays to start a long weekend of making beer with a small system in his garage.

“Making the beer is one aspect of it, but it’s ultimately that satisfaction of making something with your hands [from] start to finish, building something,” Sancho said.

Beer ferments in these stainless steel tanks for about a week. Photo by Kasey Deschler.

After leaving his engineering job around 2006, Sancho began looking for the location of his new endeavor. 

Originally from Ypsilanti, Sancho knew he wanted to stay around the lower east side of Michigan. OG brewery is close to neighborhoods off Dexter Street, so it is not uncommon for patrons to leave their cars in their driveway and walk or bike to the brewery. Besides the neighboring area, Sancho said there were many reasons for starting his business in Milan, the biggest being accessibility to other breweries. 

“I really wanted to go to a city that did not have a brewery, like I wanted to offer something new, something different to a community,” Sancho said.

Sancho has always been present in his business. From the start, Sancho said he did his homework on traffic studies and demographics of lower east Michigan. When the business finally opened after months of construction, Sancho brewed every beer that the patrons touched. 

Original Gravity sells drinks, food, merchandise and Caulder’s Ice cream. Photo by Kasey Deschler.

“For about 10 years, I did all the brewing, like every bit of it, every batch,” Sancho said/

Sancho said he can’t remember what date they opened. After receiving their Certification of Occupancy and the final touches were completed to the outdoor patio, Sancho decided to flip the sign to open one June day and has been gaining support ever since. Facebook was not the advertising tool that it is today, so positive word of mouth took the business off the ground. Weekly events like their Saturday Day Drinkers Music Series helped to build a community around the bar. 

“I feel like we’ve gained so many fans, so many friends who continue to support us, that’s the biggest achievement,” Sancho said. 

A back wall of the brewery is lined with classic arcade games like Centipede, Road Blasters and Sancho’s personal favorite, Arctic Thunder.
Photo by Kasey Deschler.

The brewery will open early on June 10 for the anniversary event at 10 a.m. and will go until 11 p.m. 

Sancho and his employees are crafting a new flavor profile for the 15 anniversary IPA brew. Because their small kitchen can’t support the customer flow that comes in for big parties like this, Sancho said they will partner with Tecumseh Brewery for their food truck Truck D and Flavor Flav to bring fun food to the event. 

An 80’s rock band called Atomic Cafe’ will be headlining at 4 p.m. on the outdoor patio. 

Check out their website for more information about the event

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