When you step inside OP (common name around Kalamazoo) you have the feeling of stepping into an old US tavern. Leather and dark woods add a warmth and richness to the feeling in the air. The large bar acts as a separation between a quiet dining area and a traditional feeling barroom. During lunch this gives a great backdrop for watching the brewers work in the brewery. The brewery is separated from the bar by a windowed wall, allowing full viewing of the happenings inside.
They offer 5 beers year round as well as four seasonal brews. I started off with a small pour of their Summer Hefe (seasonal 5.25%). As far as German wheats go, this was tasty. Considering I had walked over to OP from the Kalamazoo Library, something light and refreshing was perfect. Something that I noticed in the flavor profile was a rich spiciness that to me possibly came from some rye in the mash. It definitely had something a bit more than what you find in many wheats.
From here I moved on to a tasting flight of 4 of their year round offerings. Starting with Haymarket Cream Ale (4.25%), light and creamy, this one would have served the same purpose as the Hefe. The hops do their job, enhancing the flavors from the grains. But it is the grains that stand out in this one.
Sunset Red (5.75%) was probably my favorite of the night, but then I am a sucker for the caramel notes of a well done red. This one had more in line with an American amber than it would with an Irish. The main flavor was more caramel than butterscotch. My view is, this is one I could drink all day.
OP IPA (6.75%) was a shocker. Many times you run across IPAs where the brewer is trying to compete with others in jamming as much hop bitterness into the brew that they are almost undrinkable. Instead of that, they decided to let this one stand on its own merits. Balanced between malt and bitterness, the resin stays with you. In my view this is a mark of a brewer that has learned how to make the hops and malt play together.
Lastly, Rockin’ Raspberry Wheat (5.5%) is another well done beer. The beer is dry and clean, refreshing with a sweet raspberry finish. The raspberry does not overpower, instead it helps to enhance the malt.
OP is worth checking out. They do have tours, but they require a reservation and carry a fee, although the fee does cover the cost of a guided sampling of the beers on offer.