The best little laid-back gathering space most of Traverse City hasn’t heard about yet is right under their noses: at the Acoustic Tap Room tucked away on Maple Street, just steps from downtown. The idea to make mead first came to founder and longtime brewer Bruce Grossman in a dream, and the inspiration for a pub-style tasting room followed during trips to South Korea and Ireland, where Grossman fell in love with neighborhood joints that encouraged conversation, music, and impromptu jam sessions. Using local honey and fruit as much as possible, Grossman brews what’s known as “small mead”—which, with its light carbonation and 6 percent alcohol, is more akin to a strong beer than the more standard, wine-like mead most people are familiar with. Grossman’s cozy tasting room keeps eight small meads on tap and encourages mixing them up to create different flavors. Take home a growler and float your favorite stout atop the Cherry Bzzz mead, or linger over a table to catch live music many nights of the week.