Big Changes at Small Stores
As a microbrewery, they could technically put in some barstools and sell by the glass, but they'd rather not. They'll give tastes, but they're selling only take-home growlers and half-growlers from the two taps behind the counter. One will always be their IPA, the other a rotating tap (wheat beer in early June). Cheadle says she thinks the word "growler," a sixty-four-ounce jug, predates the craft beer movement--it supposedly refers to the "growling" noise the jug makes when opened.
Their brewer, Teo Watson-Ahlbrandt, has brewed for several micros and recently finished his degree in biochemistry at EMU. "Since we don't have trade schools for brewers in this country, that was as close as I could get" to a relevant degree, he says. Another choice would have been microbiology: "I've also seen a fair number of engineers in this field too--the whole thermodynamics thing."
Watson-Ahlbrandt calls his operation "super small. I'd call us a nanobrewery, but that license doesn't exist in Michigan."
Biercamp Artisan Meats, 1643 S. State, 995-2437. Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Closed Sun. bier-camp.com