Asked how tempting it is to have his own bar in the back of his building, Brad Payeur says “I found out I can’t afford to drink here.”

Glasshouse Brewing, which Brad owns with his identical twin, Brent, and their father, Steve, is the latest brewpub to open in Ann Arbor (but not the last–see In the Works). Glasshouse pints, at about $6, are no more expensive than any other handcrafted suds, but Payeur says that hanging out at his own place, with or without a pint of beer, is going to have to be an indulgence, rather than a way of life. He and Brent still work for a living at Diamond Glass & Feiner’s, their window and door business up front. “I’ll be poking my head in once in a while,” Brad says.

The Payeurs have transformed the back half of their scruffily functional glass shop into a sleekly comfortable pub, a potential social anchor for a neighborhood that is increasingly dotted with small restaurants and cafes but lacks a center. The brewpub seats sixty inside and another sixty in a landscaped courtyard behind. The Payeurs don’t hide the beer manufacture–they showcase it. Towering steel brewing tanks behind the bar provide an industrial atmospheric note–like a smaller version of the Jiffy Mix silos that dominate the Chelsea skyline. (The Payeurs installed TVs at the usual intervals for those who aren’t sufficiently entertained by the artful contours of beer tanks.) Ironically, for a business on the outskirts of town, on-site parking is limited, but by lopping off an awning and re-striping the parking lot they’ve created sixteen spaces and have rented more from nearby businesses to cover evening peak hours.

Glasshouse doesn’t sell any food, and it doesn’t need to. It has an alliance with Chela’s taqueria, its over-the-fence neighbor, which has a kitchen and no beer. Brad says Chela’s owner Adrian Iraola may be setting up a nacho cart in the Glasshouse courtyard, but until then Glasshouse patrons are encouraged to stop in at Chela’s first to pick up snacks or dinner to bring with them to the brewpub. That’s not the only option, though it’s the closest. Across the street are Hello Faz pizza, Taco King, and Pilar’s Tamales.

The Payeur brothers know quite a bit about beer. After several years of R & D, they hired brewmaster Kuma Ofori-Mensa to take over a few months ago. On June 30, when Glasshouse opened its doors, Ofori-Mensa clocked out and pulled himself a pint of Ordinary Bitter, one of his six brews on tap. He examined the head on it critically, explaining, “I had tried a faucet that gave it a thicker, creamier head, but it was just making too much foam. This one is better. It tastes good,” he said, taking a sip, “though it looks a little flat.”

Ofori-Mensa says that the Payeurs’ vision is “to be experimental and offer a lot of variety.” His six beers sweep the beer spectrum: smoked stout, bitter, porter, amber wheat, IPA, and Saison. Saison is a little less familiar than the others; he describes it as a Belgian “easy drinking beer, traditionally made by farmers to drink out in the fields.”

Ofori-Mensa learned his trade at Arbor Brewing Company, where he eventually worked his way up to assistant brewer. (His mentor, Logan Schaedig, is now running the first ABC franchise–in Bangalore, India.)

Old-time Ann Arborites are enjoying the contrast with the Stadium Tavern, a watering hole that stood just down the hill from Glasshouse. Retired programmer Tom Dalton remembers hitting the tavern at 8 a.m. “after working the midnight shift at Cyphernetics [later ADP]. We’d sit around and have a pitcher or two” at the shot-and-a-shell blue-collar bar. Dalton remembers being shocked to see the rarely used front dining room in the daylight: “It looked like the table legs were attached to the floor with black gunk. They mopped the floor but didn’t move the tables. But it was a cheery place. Good staff, good prices.” He says the customers used to joke that the often non-functioning deep fat fryer “had been condemned, but it was probably just broken.” The Stadium Tavern was torn down in 1985; its spot is now Key Bank.

Glasshouse Brewing, 2350 W. Liberty, 436-8847. Mon.-Thurs. 4 p.m.-midnight, Fri. 4 p.m.-1 a.m., Sat. noon-1 a.m., Sun. noon-10 p.m.