ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. (WWJ) – Driving past Jamex Brewing Co. in St. Clair Shores, you probably wouldn’t suspect that tiny building to be a brewery.
But inside 21721 Harper Avenue, Jeff and Kat Kaye are hard at work with a two-barrel brewing system, constantly turning out new and different beers.
Every week, they start making a new beer, keeping the ever-revolving tap list fresh and updated. They never have a repeated brew. While that provides a lot of new options and variety, Jeff Kaye says it can be quite the challenge.
“Initially, when we opened, we had no idea what our clientele wanted, so we pretty much brewed what I wanted to drink,” Kaye told WWJ’s Zach Clark. “And now, it is a business as well, so I’m brewing to satisfy my own needs, in a way, but I’m also trying to keep up with the market. I think trying to find a beer that satisfies both avenues is challenging.”
Kaye says with the rapidly moving craft beer scene, he is tasked with not only keeping up with new styles, but making classics good enough to draw in that crowd. But then with a two-barrel system and no recurring flagship beers, it’s even tougher.
“Especially if you had a beer that just knocked it out of the park and it’s selling like crazy, and then you look in retrospect, like “man, if I’d only done a seven- or 10-barrel batch, I could sit back and enjoy myself rather than try to figure out how to replicate that exact beer’ and hope to have it on tap before the previous beer runs out, which has kind of happened recently,” Kaye says.
As the Kayes try to put new twists on exciting recipes and keep their taps fresh, sometimes they just stumble into the next idea. That’s what happened with the Pils to Pay the Bills.
What started as a home brewing hobby in San Diego has turned into a family affair in St. Clair Shores. Not only do Jeff and Kat work together every day, their establishment is named after their first two sons, James and Alex.
As for their daughter, Adrian? She has a beer named after her – the Ady Rose Blackberry Currant.
Learn more about Jamex Brewing Co. on their website, and be sure to listen to Zach Clark's full conversation with Jeff and Kat Kaye below.