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Motor City Brewing Works



Founded in 1994, Motor City Brewing works is the oldest Detroit brewery still standing. Located in Midtown, they create beer made by the hands of Detroiters with a quality taste known now far and wide. It is now the oldest operating brewery in Detroit for hand-crafted beers. Their location is made of salvaged equipment and scrap from Detroit’s industrial era.

John worked for Ben Edwards and Richard Vincent making cheese and beer so he had solid footing in starting up a business. But there weren’t many models and they needed to keep the business operating until they got traction.

Their location on Second and Canfield is a brewery and restaurant, and serves some of the best pizza in Detroit. Linardo feels that if businesses are really small, the banks won’t touch them. You need to find capital and creative financing. “Knock on the door of the non-traditional lenders – they will help you, like DDF helped me.”

“Traditional banks wouldn’t touch us. They looked at us as a bar/restaurant, the city didn’t have zoning for micro-breweries and didn’t know how to categorize us, and the numbers weren’t there. Mary King of Invest Detroit was a fan of ours and introduced us to Ray from DDF. They helped us to avoid looking for investors and helped us stay afloat in the process.”

– John Linardo, owner

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