IN THE BEGINNING...
The Fenton Winery & Brewery was opened in January 2008. What
originally started as your 'typical' winery offering tastings and retail bottle
sales, grew over the first year and a half to become a wine bar, offering
wine by the glass, a full menu of food, and Fenton's best variety of live
music. The wine bar grew to offer 20+ hand-crafted wines, Sangrias, house
made sodas, flavored coffees, and desserts from local markets.Started in the
midst of the economic downturn, a commitment to the vision of what this
place could be kept us forging forward...
An exciting new chapter for the business was the addition of brewing operations in December 2009. Looking to build upon the success of the wine bar, Matt and Ginny submitted paperwork to obtain a Brewpub license in early July 2009. A short (and sometimes agonizing) 5 months later, the license was in hand and brewing operations commenced. Each of our batches was truly hand-crafted in small lots of 5 gallons each, and the beers were very well received. The success of our beers demanded a larger brewing system, hence, the addition of a 1/2 barrel (15 gallon) system in early August 2010. This system allowed us to more easily keep up with demand, as well as, expand our beer offerings from 4 to 7 in Fall 2010. Our unique beer kegerator (beer delivery system) consisted of a 1950's era refrigerator that was salvaged, refurbished, and converted for operation as a kegerator. This kegerator is now in our banquet room.
THE NEXT CHAPTER...
By late 2010, we realized that the FWB had outgrown its real estate - production demands exceeded what was physically possible to store in inventory. We could make the wine we needed, but literally did not have anywhere to store it onced it was bottled. Not necessarily a bad problem to have, but...
So the search for new space began. As luck would have it, our next door neighbor, a civil engineering firm, was looking to downsize and move out at the same time we were looking to upsize. After pondering for several months whether to expand into the neighboring space, or relocate to a completely new, larger facility, we decided expanding next door was the right move. Once we got started, it took us only 3-1/2 months to complete all of the work and open the new FWB lounge. We even maintained our original timeline after experiencing a serious flood in late July that affected half of our facility. The new lounge officially opened on November 1, 2011. The 3000+ square feet that was added provided double the space for the lounge, a bigger kitchen with a walk-in keg cooler, completely seperate areas for winemaking and brewing (previously shared with the kitchen), an office, and a large raw material/finished goods storage area. Exactly what we needed.
With our new facility and changes in place, we can begin writing the next chapter of our story. We will continue to provide a great place for guests to enjoy with friends and family, with a high level of personal service. We will also be able to increase our wine distrbution to better serve our retail customers. Additionally, as a result of our modfied brewery license, we will have the ability to expand into beer distribution when we're ready. We are truly looking forward to the years ahead...
Matt and Ginny Sherrow, both born and raised in Waterford, Michigan, have lived in the Fenton area for the past 8 years, and have truly enjoyed becoming a part of the Fenton business community. Matt and Ginny got married in 1999, and have two boys, Joshua (10) and Kyle (8).
Matt is an automotive engineer and program manager turned wine maker (now brewer). A Kettering University alum with a mechnical engineering degree, Matt is now primarily in charge of all production operations at the FWB. He initially fell in love with the idea of entrepreneurship while earning an MBA at DePaul University in Chicago. The original plan after DePaul was to work up the corporate ladder to eventually manage a manufacturing plant; however, Marketing and Entrepreneurship classes at DePaul changed everything – the idea of starting a small business had been born. Creating the FWB was the perfect opportunity to combine a love of wine and beer with the desire to start a small business.
Ginny's passion is finance. A proud Clemson University graduate with a degree in Finance, Ginny is now in charge of all finance matters for the FWB. She also handles the restaurant side of the business - the menu, kitchen, decor, etc. She makes sure that everything that our guests 'see' is just right.
We believe that drinking wine is truly in the eye of the beholder. You shouldn't feel intimidated by drinking wine - it’s an individual experience to be enjoyed however you please. Many of our favorite wines are not judged based on the price of the bottle; rather they are remembered best for the atmosphere, friends, and memories that were part of the experience. We would love to have the
opportunity to help you find your own favorite wines.