If you’ve ever driven through Dimondale and thought there must be something in the water around the tiny Eaton County village, you’re only half right.
Actually, something isn’t in the water — at least that’s the case for those who pull over at 145 Bridge St. to stop at Dimes Brewhouse. And if you do happen to belly up to the bar, you won’t be alone. Brewer and co-owner Chad Rogers opened the establishment with his wife, Michelle, at the edge of the downtown strip in December 2017, and it quickly became a popular destination for craft beer aficionados from throughout the region and beyond.
“Pretty much anything that you can ferment we make here in-house. We can’t bring in other people’s product and sell it because our license doesn’t allow us to do that,” Rogers said. “One thing that’s somewhat unique is that we use reverse osmosis water to build all of our beers from, so it kind of gives us a blank slate in terms of a water profile. Then we can add different minerals to replicate other water profiles throughout the world.
“Typically, something like an Irish stout that’s made over in Dublin, Ireland, has a different water profile than what we have here in the ground,” he continued. “We can mimic that water profile by using reverse osmosis water and then building it up from there. That gives us kind of a unique take on the process.”
If that sounds a bit science-y, it should. That’s what Dimes Brewhouse is all about, from Michelle’s science-themed art on the walls and the periodic table of beers to the beakers used as glasses for reward members of the Mad Chemist Club .
“From the outside, it doesn’t look like much; but once you get in here and you see the environment and the art on the walls, you see the scientific theme,” Rogers said. “We moved back to the area in 2014, and this building was for sale. It used to be a flower shop. We were going back and forth over a coffee shop or a brewery, and we went with the brewery route. That’s where it started. I had been involved in home brewing for five or six years, so I already had an itch to brew.
And, Michelle and I, our backgrounds are in chemical engineering, and we both had a desire to work with the equipment. The two things just made sense together.
“There are two primary approaches you can take to brewing: the art and then the science,” he added. “We take the science approach, and that’s just based on our backgrounds.”
If that’s the case, then the rear of the building might just as well be called the laboratory since it’s where Rogers and staff concoct the four flagship beers and 16 rotating products Dimes serves in addition to the food offerings that have been available since a kitchen was added in 2020.
From the work of area artists displayed and for sale on the walls to the cozy front of the house, there is a private and personal appeal to Dimes Brewhouse. The building itself is only roughly 1,000 square feet, and the taproom takes up about half that space. The front and back patios allow occupancy to creep up near 100 patrons, and Rogers said there are also some options to increase seating out back in the future. However, other than that, the footprint of Dimes is pretty maxed out. Not that that’s a bad thing.
“It’s intimate, and that’s something that people also enjoy. The lighting is soft. It just provides kind of an intimate environment to hang out with friends and enjoy good beer and good food,” Rogers said. “It’s the location. We can service Dimondale, the surrounding communities. We’re close, and I think that’s a real advantage. People have a home hub that they can go to. That’s kind of what we’re filling.”
Yet, as is the case with all the best secrets, word tends to get around soon enough. That’s not a bad thing, either, Rogers noted. It’s bringing a new demographic to the village tucked off the beaten path, allowing new faces to explore all the charm Dimondale has to offer.
“In the beginning, it was kind of like my wife and I were building this up. Now that it’s somewhat established, I think what kind of brings me the most satisfaction is seeing all the people who meet each other in here, new connections being made,” Rogers said. “In those five years, people have made friends here that they never would have met before. You can’t really put a price on that. When someone says, ‘Oh, man, I met my fiancée at Dimes, and now we’re married. And we just love that place.’ That makes me feel awesome. That’s what we were going for.
“As a business owner, you obviously want the business to be successful; but with a small business like this, it’s more than about just making money. You have to create a place, an environment, that your patrons enjoy and can feel comfortable in. I think we’ve been able to provide that.”