Highlighting the craft beer family outside of Michigan. Learn about breweries and their offerings in other states within the US.

oskar blues

FLINT – Unsafe lead levels in the city of Flint’s municipal water supply is in the national news media spotlight as the depth and severity of the crisis is realized. An official state of emergency has been declared, prompting action from humanitarian groups, including a generous donation through the philanthropic project of an internationally distributed brewery with a strong Michigan presence.

Colorado-based Oskar Blues Brewery, who recently acquired Perrin Brewing in the Grand Rapids area, has spearheaded the donation of 50,000 cans of fresh safe drinking water to help alleviate the immediate need.

oskar blues

Aaron Baker from Oskar Blues Brewing Brevard said “Perrin is a part of the Oskar Blues Brewery family and having strong ties to Michigan through Perrin definitely made this effort even more meaningful to everyone at the brewery. We learned of a need and had the ability to help out so we made it happen.”

CAN’d Aid Foundation, the nonprofit “do goodery arm” of Oskar Blues Brewery, arranged for the water to be canned and shipped from their closest full-service production facility in Brevard, North Carolina, to Food Bank of Eastern Michigan for distribution to Flint’s residents. Denver-based Ball Corporation donated the cans used in this project. CAN’d Aid was formed in 2013 as a response to floods in Colorado and has evolved into a 501(c)(3) nonprofit doing good deeds across the United States.

Oskar Blues Brewery, known for pioneering the canned craft beer movement, was founded by Dale Katechis in 1997 in Lyons Colorado. Their flagship brew Dale’s Pale Ale, initially hand-canned, lead the revolution.

oskar blues

FLINT – Unsafe lead levels in the city of Flint’s municipal water supply is in the national news media spotlight as the depth and severity of the crisis is realized. An official state of emergency has been declared, prompting action from humanitarian groups, including a generous donation through the philanthropic project of an internationally distributed brewery with a strong Michigan presence.
Colorado-based Oskar Blues Brewery, who recently acquired Perrin Brewing in the Grand Rapids area, has spearheaded the donation of 50,000 cans of fresh safe drinking water to help alleviate the immediate need.
oskar blues
Aaron Baker from Oskar Blues Brewing Brevard said “Perrin is a part of the Oskar Blues Brewery family and having strong ties to Michigan through Perrin definitely made this effort even more meaningful to everyone at the brewery. We learned of a need and had the ability to help out so we made it happen.”
CAN’d Aid Foundation, the nonprofit “do goodery arm” of Oskar Blues Brewery, arranged for the water to be canned and shipped from their closest full-service production facility in Brevard, North Carolina, to Food Bank of Eastern Michigan for distribution to Flint’s residents. Denver-based Ball Corporation donated the cans used in this project. CAN’d Aid was formed in 2013 as a response to floods in Colorado and has evolved into a 501(c)(3) nonprofit doing good deeds across the United States.


Oskar Blues Brewery, known for pioneering the canned craft beer movement, was founded by Dale Katechis in 1997 in Lyons Colorado. Their flagship brew Dale’s Pale Ale, initially hand-canned, lead the revolution.

GRAND RAPIDS – I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.  Not just your average ice cream though – ice cream beer.

Two completely different products, both delivered in a pint, combined forces to support one common goal: to protect our winters against climate change.  New Belgium Brewing Company and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream collaborated to make both of their pints pair together to make a Salted Caramel Brownie two ways.  One being a new delicious flavor packaged in an ice cream pint for Ben & Jerry’s, called Salted Caramel Brown-ie Ale, while the other is constructed into a beer, called Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale, delivered in a pint glass for New Belgium.  

This past Monday, New Belgium and the West Michigan Environmental Council (WMEAC) put the pints together. Asher Attick, Michigan Field Marketing Manager for New Belgium and Nicholas Occhipinti, Director of Policy and Community Activism for WMEAC, served up pour overs, or beer floats, at an event called “Pour Over Climate Sessions.”  

A sweet beer seems to be the beer of choice for the float.  Yet one ends up with a double sweet overload. This mistake does not happen with The Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale.  It has enough of the sweet notes subtly peeking through, but it doesn’t overpower the delicious sweetness we all love from Ben and Jerry’s. The perfect sweet success story.

Success also comes through Attick’s duty in Michigan to work with local nonprofits and community outreach, tying it into the regional and national programs that New Belgium is running as a whole.

“We always feel at the size we are, when we go into a new state, it is going to make an impact. And the last thing we ever want to see is a negative impact.  Beer is a competitive business––that is never going to change. We feel it is important going into communities and lending a helping hand to make positive change.  Especially when it is something we strongly believe in as a brewery, like climate change,” stated Attick.

The two brands together with their pints are encouraging communities to write letters to their Governors about the importance of  climate change––not only what may become of our climate in the future, but how it is impacting each and every one of us today.

“Right now in Michigan, there is major climate legislation that is about to come to the forefront, and the only way the politicians care is if you tell them they care. The Fruit Ridge in Michigan was devastated two years ago, and Michigan has already had six 1,000 year floods in the last several years,” Occhipinti said.

With a climate continuing to have patterns of freeze, thaw, freeze, thaw, our crops will suffer.  That means there could be no hops, there could be no apples and there could be no grapes for the libations we love dearly.  As much as we may all love mild winters and dry summers, our crops do not.  No crops means no beer.  No beer means lots of unhappy locals.

Monday night’s event held letter stations, where people were encouraged to fill out a Mad Lib-styled letters to send to Governor Snyder about what is important to them about climate change and the issues that matter specifically to Michigan. At the end of the program, Attick is taking the handwritten letters and mailing them to the Governor Snyder.  Right now there are over 200 letters that will be mailed and end up on the desk of Governor Snyder.  

The donations from the event went directly to benefit WMEAC but from a national standpoint, for every pint of ice cream sold and every 6-pack, a dollar from each benefit #ProtectOurWinters. Buy both to make some beer floats at home and protect our four seasons!

Sponsored by New Belgium – Michigan

Two nanobreweries from opposite sides of the Detroit-Windsor border have teamed up to revisit a long-forgotten American beer style.

Together with Motor Craft Ales, Batch Brewing Company launched the Canucky Common. The beer is a spin on the Kentucky Common, an obscure historical beer brewed in Kentucky from the Civil War through Prohibition.

“There is an undeniable sisterhood between our two cities,” said Gino Gesuale, owner of Motor Craft Ales in Windsor, Ontario. “Both Detroit and Windsor have a working-class feel, they are tied to automotive, and they reside along a shared border.”

The idea to collaborate came when Gesuale visited Batch Brewing Company and learned that the brewers were already fans of Motor Craft Ales. The brewing teams exchanged ideas, and settled on a style.

“We brewed one batch on the Windsor side, and one batch on the Detroit side,” said Gesuale. “In addition to avoiding the headache of trying to transport beer across the border, we had the added benefit of getting to work on another brewer’s equipment.”

The resulting beer is described as a porter-like cream ale. It is distinguished by roasty, caramel notes and a sweetness due to the large amount of corn included in the recipe.

The Kentucky Common style was rediscovered through word-of-mouth and was registered to the Beer Judge Certification Program style guide just this year.

“Customers love the idea of discovering a new indigenous American beer style,” said Stephen Roginson, owner and head brewer of Batch Brewing Company in Detroit, Mich.

“I’ve sat in classes where the instructor has stated that the Steam beer or the California Common is the only indigenous American style, so there is an educational component to this beer,” Roginson added.

The Canucky Common is poured with a special tap handle which features both the Canadian and American flag. It is available on draught at Batch Brewing Company, but you will have to get there fast to try it.

“We had it on tap at Motor, as well,” said Gesuale. “But we blew through the keg pretty quickly.”

For those who missed out, there could already be another collaboration beer in the works.

“We’re trying to get over there to brew something for the Windsor Craft Beer Festival,” said Roginson.

In addition to collaborating on beer, Batch Brewing Company is known for teaming up with community partners that are focused on the city of Detroit.

“We got a lot of support from the community to get our doors open,” said Roginson. “In return, supporting the community has been part of our business model from the start.”

With this mindset, Batch developed the Feelgood Tap. Each month, Batch partners with a local non-profit, creates a unique beer to honor that partner, and donates $2.00 from every pint sold. Recent partners include the Motown Museum and Hostel Detroit, with next month’s featured tap benefiting the Riverfront Conservancy.

Seven months after opening, Batch is now looking to expand.

“We want to get our beer outside these four walls,” said Roginson. “We started hand-bottling this week, and we’re adding 15-bbl tanks.”

“I guess that means we will no longer be considered ‘nano’,” Roginson added.

Canucky Common is available at Batch Brewing Company while supplies last.


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