Barrels of beer brewed
Mug club members
Donated to local charites
Witch’s Hat Brewing Company started as an idea for Ryan and Erin Cottongim, but it quickly developed into a business plan. As the plan took shape, the couple decided to seek out advice for refining their plan.
How the SBDC helped
Michigan SBDC consultants helped Ryan and Erin further develop their business plan and eventually receive the funding necessary for the brewery to be built, allowing them to realize their dreams.
Witch’s Hat has created 15 jobs and put South Lyon on the map for craft beer lovers. After 3 years, the company outgrew its original location, moving to a larger 8,000-square-foot-building that alllowed for increased seating and production.
When Ryan and Erin Cottongim first opened the doors of Witch’s Hat Brewing Company in 2011, they never expected to find a line of people prepared to wait up to 3 hours to taste their craft brews. Today the South Lyon-based brewery employs 15 people and regularly serves 12 to 20 different craft beers in their taproom, while providing product to about 80 different bar accounts around the state. The community has quickly rallied around Witch’s Hat, providing a loyal base of happy customers.
After just 3 years in business, Witch’s Hat outgrew its original location and moved down the street to a larger, 8,000-square-foot building. The company brewed about 1,300 barrels last year and hopes to quickly ramp up to 5,000 barrels over the next few years.
“Our growth has been truly unbelievable!” says Erin Cottomgim. “While we were working on projections with our counselors at the MI-SBDC, some of these goals seemed so out-of-reach. Now that we are hitting these goals, we are in awe.”
Today the company offers a hand-blown glass mug club with more than 600 mugs on the wall and 1,700 members signed up to-date. It also invites local musicians and bands to provide entertainment, and the walls of the taproom are adorned with pieces of art provided by local artists.
Witch’s Hat is also committed to being a part of the community with more than $30,000 donated to local charities, including The Humane Society of Huron Valley, Gleaners Food Bank, American Cancer Society, Wigs for Kids, Blessings in a Backpack and more.
“We are so grateful to everyone who has helped us along the way. Without the MI-SBDC, we never would have gotten funded, and Witch’s Hat Brewing Company would still be a dream.”