Aug. 15 2012 12:00 AM

That's How we Brew, State Side Deli & Uncle Larry's Ribs

Patrick Brazil recently added the new brewing supply store That’s How We Brew inside his year-old, roll-your-own smoke shop That’s How We Roll. That’s just how he rolls, I guess.

“When Michigan Brewing Co. shut down earlier this year, it opened up the door for brewing supplies in the area,” he says. “The closest other brewing supply store is (The Red Salamander) out in Grand Ledge, but that’s a nice little drive. We’re right in the middle of everything in Frandor.”

That’s How We Brew will sell everything a home brewer needs, including hops, yeasts, grains, stainless brewing pots, recipe kits, starter kits, carboy, books, and bottles. He joins the booming mid-Michigan microbrew business, and will partake in Lansing Beer Week with a beer tasting on Aug. 26 from noon to 6 p.m. He’ll be rolling out his debut batch, a saison, which is a lighter brew similar to a Belgian whit. He credits curiosity as the No. 1 thing driving microbrew sales right now, which has also led to the opening of not one but two microbreweries in the last couple of months: EagleMonk Pub and Brewery in Lansing and BAD Brewing Co. in Mason. Brazil says he knows of at least two more breweries — an unnamed one that may open this winter in REO Town and the speculative Gearhead Brewery that is already brewing small batches and is looking to open in Haslett in the near future.

“I’ve hired three new people, and if things go well I’m already considering expanding my business into the empty space next door,” says Brazil. “Business is good.”

That’s the spirit

Come fall, State Side Deli in East Lansing may be serving more than just the thickest Rueben sandwiches in town—owner Spencer Soka hopes to be serving beer, wine and liquor, too. He told me he’s seeking a liquor license for his 2-year-old enterprise and showed me some of the potential interior redesign plans if he gets it. He said he will probably extend his hours, too, although probably not to 2 a.m. If the license comes through, you can bet State Side will be a popular stop on future St. Patty’s bar crawls — nothing goes better with green beer than corned beef.

Comfort food

If you’ve ever been stumbling around downtown Lansing after a hard night of clubbing, odds are you’ve delighted in the kickass smells of Larry Piggee’s food. He’s the guy that works the smoker out in front of Downtown Subs and Salads every Friday and Saturday night, fixing up those awesome-smelling ribs, brisket, pulled pork, chicken breasts, hamburgers and hot dogs. His business, Uncle Larry’s Ribs, has been cooking for about four years now, but I was surprised to see that it’s never been written about — I was there last weekend, and felt like it really needed its praises sung. Ribs aside, Piggee’s piece de resistance is his amazing macaroni and cheese, which is practically its own food group. He makes everything from scratch, including the coleslaw, baked beans, red beans and rice, potato salad, broccoli-bacon salad, and cornbread. The food’s almost worth braving the crowds, and that’s saying a lot.

That’s How We Brew

3000 Vine St., Lansing


9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mon.-Sat.

11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun.

Uncle Larry’s Ribs

216 S. Washington Square, Lansing

Fridays and Saturdays

10p.m. to 3 a.m.