Back in the 1980s, Da Yoopers had a backwoods hit with “Second Week of Deer Camp,” a song about the beer-drinking proclivities of Upper Peninsula hunters. It turns out the song didn’t inspire the name of Hannah Cheadle and Walter Hansen’s Biercamp Artisan Sausage and Jerky–but the beer did.

Hansen, twenty-nine, says his dad “used to go up to the Upper Peninsula to a friend’s deer camp on Lake Superior. They went there every year and drank a lot of beer and wine, so they called it beer camp.” Hansen and Cheadle, also twenty-nine, thought it was the perfect name for their business, though they did make it a little classier by using the German spelling of “beer.” They don’t actually sell beer yet, but hope to soon–they’ve applied for a retail beer and wine license.

The couple is from the Sutton’s Bay area in northern Michigan. Hansen, a third-generation butcher, went to culinary school in Vancouver, specializing in cured meats. They then moved to New York for six years where, among other jobs, Hansen worked for celebrity chef Mario Batali at his trendy restaurant Del Posto, where one of his primary duties was running the charcutier station, preparing cured meats. Cheadle’s degree from Western Michigan University is in merchandising, and while in New York she put in time working for Paul McCartney’s daughter, fashion designer Stella McCartney.

Opening a cured-meat business seemed the perfect way to combine their talents. “Walt had talked about opening a place, and he said, ‘You could design the store and merchandise it, and I could make everything,'” Cheadle laughs. “And I said, ‘Let’s do it!'”

They picked Ann Arbor, Cheadle says, because they had family and friends in the area and “we knew it was a foodie town.” Also, after surveying the competition, they didn’t find anyone doing exactly what they had in mind.

Biercamp is in the front half of the Hoffman Furniture building, on S. State next to the Produce Station (Hoffman is still there, in the back). With its bright white refrigerated cases, it feels like a butcher shop out of the 1960s, an illusion fostered by a selection of soda pop like Faygo and Towne Club in retro bottles with deliberately old- fashioned labels.

“We make artisan sausage, bratwurst, jerky, hot dogs, baloney and cured meat, cheese spreads, and tons of different things,” Cheadle says. “We like to make a lot of things that go well with beer and wine.” And they make them all from scratch, including a beef jerky pate, which is their jerky ground up and mixed with cream cheese, dried Michigan cherries, and shallots. The recipes are all either Hansen’s own or ones handed down in his family.

Though it’s mostly retail, Biercamp does have a small counter with three stools, and a couple of picnic tables outside. Cheadle and Hansen have been pleasantly surprised at the popularity of their lunchtime sandwich specials–Cheadle says half of their customers come in to buy a sandwich, and wind up buying something else as well.

Hansen says they get a lot of customers from the Produce Station next door. “People come in, drawn by the odors coming from the barbecue ovens outside,” he says. “They say, ‘I just followed my nose–this must be what heaven smells like.'”

Biercamp Artisan Sausage and Jerky, 1643 S. State, 995-2437, Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m., closed Sun.