Brewvine: Clam Lake Beer Company Running on Creativity and Community

Lockdowns, restrictions and limited capacities have made the past year difficult for businesses to stay open but Clam Lake Beer Company in Cadillac has been doing everything they can to stay open and keep their customers happy.

In this week’s Brewvine, Whitney Amann and photojournalist Jeremy Erickson take you there to see how their creativity and the community keeps them going.

“We’ve been creative, we have had to think outside of the box,” said general manager Dawn Casey.

While Clam Lake Beer Company eagerly awaits being able to reopen their dining room, they’re constantly thinking up ways to take care of their customers.

They’ve done everything from a “bag o’ beer”, to take and bake pizzas, adult happy meals that come with a pint of beer and toy, and of course creating a space for outdoor dining.

“When we first were shut down this time, we had a couple came in, or they called and said, can we sit outside and eat and one of our servers said, I’m sorry we only have curbside carryout, and they said call them back, we’ll make it happen so we drag out a table, they dined outside, and then it started becoming a thing, you know,” she said. “Check out our Facebook page, there’s a gentleman sitting out there in the middle of a snowstorm drinking a beer so then it’s evolved from there to where now we have the bubbles.”

When they do finally get to reopen, they are excited to unveil a new space they call the “third level lounge”

“We’re thinking like small plates and then Friday and Saturday nights when we are at full capacity, it’s sometimes an hour to two hour wait where guests can go up, they can have a cocktail while they wait for their tables and then they’ll get a notification, or just groups of parties want to rent the room,” said Casey.

Until then, you can still stop by and grab one of their unique and delicious beers or get it to-go.

“Cinnamon toast crunch is on tap right now, that’s a crowd favorite. Adam, our brewer makes that from the cereal cinnamon toast crunch, a lot of it and it’s amazing so that’s probably the favorite beer on tap right now,” she said.

Clam Lake says the community support is what keeps them motivated and drives their creativity.

“For our employees, our staff, this is hard, it’s hard,” said Casey. “There we have one or two people at the front of the house, they’re getting the beers, they’re packaging food, they’re answering the phones, they’re taking the orders but when they get to see people again and they go outside and there’s people there actually to greet them, and dine, it means so much to them.”

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