- Associated Press - Thursday, September 24, 2015

DETROIT (AP) - Detroiters no longer need to drive beyond city limits to find a tantalizing selection of craft beers, meads and ciders.

Even better, customers at 8 Degrees Plato in Midtown can drink while they shop, whether it’s poured from one of 16 taps or a bottle off the shelves, according to the Detroit Free Press ( https://on.freep.com/1KfVmon ).

“It’s a great idea,” said Mike Fitzsimmons, 47, a firefighter from Washington Township who stopped in for a Witch’s Hat Rez Gets Smash’ed double IPA, and then another beer, after getting a consultation at the tattoo shop next door.

The craft-beer store opened quietly recently in a sparsely populated area south of the Midtown core and within walking distance of the under-construction Detroit Red Wings arena development. Its craft beers from across Michigan and the country are displayed across 2,400 square feet, under high ceilings with historic accents.

Employees can pour you a pint from behind the bar or navigate you to virtually any number of flavors you’re seeking - unless it’s Bud Light or other mass-produced domestic beers not sold in the store. The airy building, with its large glass windows, white-tiled bar wall with vintage light bulbs, offers a stark contrast from the party stores dotting this area of Cass, with their mini-mart ambiance and staff locked behind the counter.

“Who wants to talk to someone behind Plexiglass, bulletproof glass, right?” said store manager Scotty Kearns, 33, adding that the 8 Degrees Plato offers “someone to tell you what’s going on inside that bottle.”

Until now, craft beer lovers in the area were faced with having a growler filled (8 Degrees Plato does that, too) at a local bar or brewery or staying on premises to drink. Whole Foods and some local party stores offer a mix of craft beers, but this place offers one of the largest selections of bottled beers in Detroit. And customers are allowed to mix and match their choices as they please.

Kearns said this is the first store in Wayne County to have a license to operate as both bar and retail. He explained how you can grab a six-pack container and wander the store, pulling individual beers from other six packs to build your own, with a 10 percent discount on check-out if you fill it.

Fitzsimmons said he didn’t know the store existed until he stopped by last week. He said the place is likely to be a big hit once the arena goes in. Meanwhile, the shop opened next to Iconic Tattoo, a new location with the same owner as Rochester tattoo shop XS Tattoo.

8 Degrees Plato itself is an additional location for the store by the same name in Ferndale. Owners Brigid Beaubien and Tim Costello, of Detroit, run both locations.

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Information from: Detroit Free Press, https://www.freep.com

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