Former MSU football player finds success in craft beer – The Detroit News

Former MSU long snapper Tony Grant stands between oak barrels on the “sour beer” side of the Northern United Brewing Company headquarters Tuesday, July 13, 2017, in Dexter, Mich. “I have just absorbed everything about beer here,” he said. “We are always creating and learning.”(Photo: Cody J. Tucker / AP)

Dexter — Surrounded by wooden oak barrels, plastic hoses and a lingering hint of wet-basement staleness, Tony Grant is giddy.

Making beer — especially the sour variety — is an exact science, and the former Michigan State football player is talking about fermentation, bacteria and natural carbonation.

“We just let Mother Nature do her thing. We don’t fake the funk,” said Grant, standing inside a 25,000-square-foot warehouse at the Northern United Brewing Company building in southeast Dexter. “Sour beer’s the next ‘big thing.’ ”

Northern United is the company that produces brands like North Peak, Nomad, Civilized, Grizzly Peak and Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales. Grant is the CEO.

And he loves to talk about craft beer. He has an engineering background, and it doesn’t take much prompting to release the nerd inside.

“He will take people for tours and talk about the tanks, equipment and history behind it all,” said Angela Grant, Tony’s wife of nearly seven years. “When I go with him, I blank 10 minutes in and am bored. He is so fascinated by it. It blows my mind how much he learned about it.”

And in just a few years. Tony Grant left a job as a director of Owens Corning in 2012 to join six partners in the micro-brew business.

On the other side of the warehouse, packaging, kegs and carbonated cylinders sit in rows. This is where they make the IPA, stouts, wheat beers and all the rest, a totally

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