One of the aspects of small locally-owned businesses that big chains can’t replicate is when they work together to create an original product that is unique to the community in which they do business . Erie Bread Company in Monroe and Original Gravity Brewing Company in Milan, (on the Monroe County side of County Street), are doing just that. Spent grains and beer from Original Gravity are being used to craft artisan bread at Erie Bread Company which be sold as loaves at Erie Bread and on sandwiches at Original Gravity.
Erie Bread Company opened in Monroe in the fall of 2010. They serve artisan breads and take-out lunches. Their sourdough is made from wild yeast present in the air of Monroe. Towne Club (made in Detroit) is their soda of choice. They also sell Spillson’ rice pudding, a local Monroe favorite. Being a part of the community is important to Nick and Alisa Seccia, the owners. They’ve even baked with spent grains from our local homebrew club, the Muskrat Mashers.
The following is a quote from Nick Seccia, owner and baker at Erie Bread Company.
“We are excited to be working with a local brewer in Monroe County both for the quailty of OG’s beers going into our bread and the opportunity for two local producers to work together for a stronger local food community, and maybe help stimulate the economy a bit.”
Original Gravity Brewing Company has also been supportive of local businesses since they opened nearly three years ago. Brad Sancho, Original Gravity’s owner and brewer, has held events for local charities, brewed beer using hops grown in Monroe County and will host a farmer’s market every Wednesday afternoon beginning April 6. Next week they will start using Erie Bread Company’s sourdough and 7 grain multi-grain on the sandwiches that they serve at the brewpub in Milan. Eventually, Original Gravity will add beer bread to their menu which will be sold as part of a cheese tray. The bread will also be available for sale at their farmer’s market.
Brad Sancho, brewer and owner of Original Gravity had this to say about the collaboration:
“We plan on changing up the beer bread quite a bit. Different beers, different spent grains, and different bread styles will make this an exciting project. I cannot tell you how excited we are to work with Nick Seccia at Erie Bread Company. He shares the same passion for his business, as I do for mine. Nothing goes better together than fresh beer and fresh baked bread.”
We had our first taste of this union last week when, for Saint Patrick’s Day, Erie Bread Company baked “Original Gravity Stout Cheddar Rye.” The rye bread with the stout would be incredible in and of itself but they added chunks of real cheddar cheese which took it over the top. Nick did mention future plans to bake using Brad’s highly acclaimed 440 Pepper Smoker, possibly adding cumin, orange and smoked cheddar cheese or bacon. I can’t express how eager I am to try that bread.