January 9, 2023
Hartland Brewing Co. is one of the newest microbreweries to hit Livingston County! Since opening in 2019, Hartland Brewing Co. has brewed countless craft beers and expanded its food menu to give the community more food options to choose from. In the three years since opening, they’ve become a staple in the Brighton Howell Area.
To learn more about the offerings at Hartland Brewing Co., we reached out to the owners – Nikki and Ryan McDonald.
What are your favorite Hartland Brewing Co. brews?
Nikki McDonald: “My favorite beer is a Hartland Blonde and Seasonal Cider mix which is a dirty blonde with balanced hop/malt/sweet.”
Ryan McDonald: My favorite is Hop Dodger West Coast IPA which has an extra dry, smooth, and bitter finish.”
Which brews and menu items are top-sellers at Hartland Brewing Co.?
Nikki & Ryan: “Our top seller beer-wise, year-round is our Hop Dodger IPA. Our seasonals do outsell at times. Us Michiganders love our seasons and seasonal beers. Our (Spring) Citrus Smile Ale, (Summer) Blood Orange IPA, (Fall) Rockit Amber Ale, and (Winter) Darkness On My Back Imperial Chocolate Oatmeal Stout spike in sales when they are released.
“Food-wise, our pizza outsells everything else. We expanded our menu after our first year, realizing that Hartland wanted more food options from us. We offer our standard 14-inch round pizza and four specialty pies. (Hop Dodger BBQ Chicken, BLT, Motown Round Detroit Style, and a Charcuterie Board Pizza) as well as a gluten-free 10-inch cauliflower crust pizza.”
Hartland Brewing Co. has a great selection of beers from lite to dark. How often does Hartland Brewing Co. release new beers?
Nikky & Ryan: “We release new beers, ciders, and seltzers 2-3 times a month on average. We use Facebook to inform our general customers and email our Mug Club members.
“We always have a flavor of hard cider on tap and recently introduced our first line of seltzers. Along with our seasonal releases, we also try to have options for certain holidays. We do an Irish Red Ale for St. Patrick’s Day, Stripes Amber Lager for the 4th of July, Marzen/Oktoberfest, and an Apple Pie Specialty Ale for Thanksgiving. We also offer wine!”
Hartland Brewing Co. has vegetarian and vegan options that make them stand out from other area breweries! What motivated you to create these menu items?
Nikki & Ryan: “Our vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are a reflection of our beer menu. We all have different tastes and we would like to offer as many as possible. That’s why we offer vegan salads, meat-free Mediterranean boards, and gluten-free cauliflower crust on pizza at Hartland Brewing Co.”
Hartland Brewing Co. is the first-ever brewery in Hartland! What made you decide to open your brewery here? In addition, what is your favorite part of being a brewpub in the Livingston County community?
Nikki & Ryan: “As residents of Hartland, we opened our brewery when we realized there was a need for it. We love the small-town local living feel and enjoy raising our two kids here. Our favorite parts about owning a brewery are community-driven. We thrive on being involved and pride ourselves on being an asset to Hartland and Livingston County. We also love the customer and employee relationships gained in the pursuit of great beer and food.”
Trivia nights and live music are fun ways to be social and the perfect excuse to drink craft beers! What kind of summer events will Hartland Brewing Co. put on this summer?
Our special events will be limited this summer. It is our first summer in full capacity and we are feeling our way through staff and supply shortages. Next year we will pull the special permits and do an outside event. We will visit as many local beer festivals as possible this summer and are looking into distributing to other bars and restaurants. We are in the works to develop another live music slot for young local aspiring artists, possibly on Saturdays or Sundays.
Hartland Brewing Co. supports the community through its Sunday Funday program that gives 10% of its food sales back to fundraisers on Sundays. What inspired this program and which fundraiser has been the most significant success so far?
Nikki & Ryan: “Our Sunday Funday program was brought on by all of the requests to donate. We want to say yes to everyone and support them as much as possible. With our program, we take donations to another level. We get to meet, understand, build relationships, and donate more than we ever could have before. By encouraging charities to participate by bringing their group to the brewery, we see new faces and they get bigger donations. Win-win.
“Our most successful fundraisers have been Hartland Band Boosters, Hartland Baseball/Softball, and the Howell Senior Survivor program. Being successful feels great but combining that with involving and donating to the community aids pride. Pride knowing that you’re making a difference in neighbors’ lives.”
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