If the old saying of “Two heads are better than one” is true, then two Detroit businesses or a nonprofit working together are a powerful way to solve a problem, create a new product or produce something truly unique. During the pandemic, companies are collaborating in new and exciting ways that benefit their customers as well as the greater community.
These collabs are a combination of pure necessity as well as creative genius. For example, Corktown’s nano brewery Batch Brewing Co. is working with Eastern Market’s snarky-yet-creative retail store Well Done Goods to produce the Beer Blanket – a large, cozy square of comfort that Batch customers can enjoy while dining and drinking brews outside.
Batch, which is still opting to serve its beers and food pop-up guests outdoors, started to offer the Beer Blanket for sale at its Porter Street location at customers’ request. Drinking a cold one in a Michigan winter isn’t always the most enjoyable, but those who braved the chill wanted something to keep them warm as those long afternoons shift into evening. An idea was hatched between Batch’s Stephen Roginson and Well Done’s Bethany Shorb, who also is the wicked mastermind behind the city’s longtime fashion accessory company Cyberoptix.
The resulting blanket is approximately 60 inches by 80 inches, so it’s a whopper of a cover. It is grey with red decorative stitching on two edges. It’s 55% wool and 45% synthetic fibers, so you know it will be warm. It features a large white silkscreen print of the Batch logo with a lovely Michigan hop flower. Besides drinking beer, it’s also great for camping, emergency situations, bugging out in the great unknown and lots of other potential adventures.
Here are a few other business collabs that are a mix of raw genius and great relationships between creative companies.
This collab has been wildly successful with Detroit City Distillery’s 2021 batch selling out in a mere 22 minutes. To make this raspberry-paczki flavored brew, Detroit City Distillery uses nearly 1,300 glazed raspberry pączki from New Palace to distill in 100 percent potato vodka from Poland. Each batch uses 18-dozen pączki baked fresh that morning, which are then are soaked for 24 hours in vodka inside a 500-gallon copper pot still. Next, the magic of distillation transforms the pączki and vodka into a crystal-clear spirit that is smooth, buttery and has a distinct raspberry finish.
Megan Ackroyd is the third-generation owner of this Redford-based bakery, and she knows how to not only manage the day-to-day operations of her business but to dream realistically. That means making what she knows and outsourcing items that are well made by others. That includes the bakery’s signature private-label jams that are sourced from Eastern Market’s Gus & Gray, including the fabulous blend known as Ackroyd’s Rowdy Rhubarb Ginger Jam. “Why make something on our own that I know they already make so well?” Ackroyd said.
Rebel Nell works with a variety of local nonprofits to create its graffiti necklaces, bracelets, earrings, cufflinks and more. One of this socially conscious company’s newest collections work with local groups such as the Belle Isle Conservancy as well as internationally focused organizations such as the woman-empowering social enterprise, Minka. All of Rebel Nell’s jewelry is beautiful and makes for great gifts as well as eye-catching showpieces for yourself.
The city’s favorite grassroots soccer team recently announced it is collaborating with Brew Detroit against this season. With this newest collab, the duo are putting together a Session IPA-style beer that is easy to enjoy during its games as well as with family or friends. Every year, Detroit City FC and Brew Detroit open up the naming of the beer as well, making it a contest to see who gets bragging rights for coming up with the best beer moniker.