Unfiltered Batch #008 — Lakefront
A series of photos/stories that didn't make the book.
Before “State of Craft Beer” was a name, and the book was an idea, Matthew Janzen worked as a copywriter at a Milwaukee-based advertising agency. On a day off from work, he picked up a camera and set out to explore the possibility of quitting his job so he could take photos of breweries instead. Nervous he’d get a “No,” if he called ahead to ask for permission, Matt headed to Lakefront Brewery (the nearest brewery to his home at the time) and started slinking around the outside. After spending some time busting brush on the river bank and catching glimpses of the action through an open loading dock door, an employee walked out of the brewery to greet the random dude taking photos.
The employee, however, was not a random dude; it was Russ Klisch, the founder of Lakefront Brewery, and he was wondering if Matt wanted to take any photos on the inside. Suddenly, Russ was giving the cameraman a personal tour of the brewery…during the middle of the day, when the bossman obviously had way better things to be doing. However, it was in that moment when Matt realized he could probably gain access to take photos at every brewery in the state. So he set a date to quit his job.
Matt’s brewery photography project was originally supposed to be an online directory, which explains the static nature of the photos he took that day (and why none of them would make it in the final copy). Eventually, the directory-idea faded and the book-idea took root. Now, “State of Craft Beer” is available for sale at Lakefront’s gift shop, as well as many other breweries and independent bookstores throughout Wisconsin and the midwest.
Not bad for a Peeping Tom.