eastern kille

GRAND RAPIDS – Eastern Kille Distillery participated in the world’s largest spirits competition for the first time and both of their entries earned awards.

The West Michigan based spirits distiller earned a gold award for their 4 year bottled-in-bond bourbon and a silver award for their 4 year aged rum at the 20th annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

The San Francisco World Spirits Competition is the world’s largest, with entries and judges from all over the world. More than 40 judges are split among tables or panels, while volunteers cart nearly 3,000 spirits to the panels. San Francisco has a history of bringing attention to relatively unknown brands, such as St. Germain and Tito’s.

Eastern Kille’s bourbon was among only 4 bourbons in the craft distillery whiskey category to receive a gold level award and the only from Michigan.

eastern kille“We are proud to receive recognition from San Francisco, which is widely regarded as the most important spirits competition in the world, for our bottled-in-bond bourbon”, shared Steve Vander Pol, cofounder of Eastern Kille Distillery. “This gold award represents over 4 years of a truly craft process; the process we founded our distillery on.”

Bottled-in-bond dates back to the 1800’s and is one of the earliest forms of a consumer protection law. The bottled-in-bond designation mandates that brands clear numerous rigorous hurdles. The spirit must be aged for at least four years and bottled at precisely 100 proof (50% abv). It must be made by one distiller at a single distillery in one season, then aged in a bonded warehouse.

This is the first bottled-in-bond bourbon that the distillery released. It was aged 4 years and 14 days and produced 234 bottles which sold out the day it was released on March 17, 2020. Ten bottles were held for when the tasting room reopens. Another small batch of bottled in bond will be released in October 2020 and it will hit store shelves in the summer of 2021. The “little brother” of the bottled-in-bond was released last year, Michigan Straight Bourbon Whiskey is 90 proof vs the 100 of bottled-in-bond and is widely available.

During this time of crisis, Eastern Kille is offering to-go bottles and cocktail kits. They have also shifted production to hand sanitizer in the short term.

women's day

Brewery Vivant is celebrating their tenth year in business and will be collaborating with a number of local and regional breweries throughout the year to commemorate this milestone.

 

The first collaboration is with Saugatuck-based Guardian Brewing and is a celebration of the growing presence of women in the craft beer industry. The breweries teamed up to produce Kween, dubbed a “femmehouse” ale, that will launch at both breweries on International Women’s Day, Sunday, March 8.

A majority of the ingredients for the beer were sourced from other women-owned businesses in Michigan, Empire Malting and Pure Mitten hopyard. The Jovaru yeast in the beer is a strain that was procured from the famed “Queen of Lithuanian farmhouse beer,” Aldona Udriene, by Omega Yeast in Chicago. The yeast provides a bit of complexity to the beer which complements notes of orange and a slight tartness, coming in at an ABV of 6.2%.

women's day“The idea for a women-sourced and brewed beer came to me a few years ago and once I met Kim from Guardian I knew I had a great values-aligned partner with which to make that dream a reality,” states Vivant President Kris Spaulding.

Kim Collins, Owner and Head Brewer of Guardian Brewing Company adds, “I have looked up to the team at Brewery Vivant as leaders in our industry since I began brewing in 2012. When I received the invitation from Kris to brew a beer for International Women’s Day 2020, I knew we had to make something exciting, unique, and approachable. Kris’ idea to couple the beer with food and intentional conversation surrounding women makes this collaboration something new to our industry. It’s really exciting!” 

A portion of proceeds from all sales of Kween at both locations will benefit local nonprofits that focus on empowering women. Vivant is partnering with Women’s Resource Center, a Grand Rapids based non-profit that works to eliminate the barriers often experienced by women to employment and financial independence. Guardian has partnered with the Women in Nature program at the Holland based Outdoor Discovery Center which is designed to motivate women to be more healthy, active and passionate about the natural world surrounding them.

There will be a launch event at Brewery Vivant from 3-5pm on March 8 where women leaders from both breweries and these nonprofit partners will lead a guided discussion about women empowerment. Tickets are $10 and include a Kween and light appetizers. They can be purchased at the Brewery Vivant pub or by calling 616-719-1604. 

 

About Brewery Vivant Brewery Vivant is the world’s first LEED® certified commercial microbrewery and one of a growing number of Certified B Corporations. We brew beer in the European tradition with the addition of American ingenuity. At our pub we strive to elevate the enjoyment of beer & food and the sense of community in everything we do. Brewery Vivant prides itself on being a destination brewery in the “Beer City” of Grand Rapids. We are in the list of top 30 largest brewpubs in the 

U.S. according to Brewer’s Association definitions and have limited distribution throughout the State of Michigan. 

About Guardian Brewing Guardian Brewing Company is an independent craft brewery located in Saugatuck, Michigan offering an eclectic menu of draft beer, hard cider, classic cocktails, and wine. We offer our community fresh food options that are both locally and regionally sourced. We take great pride in selecting excellent meat, foods fermented in-house, as well as vegetarian and vegan dish choices. In addition to providing phenomenal craft beer, drinks, and food, Guardian features weekly live music and events, monthly Certified Cicerone led Beer School, and a “must visit” destination for out-of-town visitors.

About Women’s Resource Center Since 1973, Women’s Resource Center has been empowering and equipping women to achieve financial stability through meaningful employment. Our gender responsive programs and services help women discover their strengths and talents while overcoming barriers to employment and economic independence. WRC serves over 600 women a year. 

About Outdoor Discovery Center The ODC Network is a non-profit organization with a mission to advance outdoor education and conservation in West Michigan. It’s made up of nine business lines including two nature centers, two river greenways, a nature-based preschool, an eco-tourism program, habitat and land management services, a water quality initiative, and an education network. In total, the ODC Network owns over 600 acres of land, manages an additional 2,000+ acres of property. Last year, over 100,000 children and families participated in ODC Network programming. 

 

grand lager

Grand Rapids, Mich. — Brewery Vivant is releasing a beer into their year-round line up that may surprise fans of the European-inspired brewery. Grand Lager, touted as “Beer that is Beer”, will be released at Vivant and cousin location Broad Leaf Local Beer on February 20. The beer will be available on draft and in 16 oz cans with a special label featuring the Calder Plaza logo. Grand Lager will be featured at the Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival over the weekend then roll into state-wide distribution beginning February 24 as a draft-only product. 

grand lager“While we love making the Belgian style beers we have been known for, sometimes we just need a regular kind of beer” says Head Brewer Jacob Derylo. As national trends push the definition of extreme, Vivant sees an opportunity to bring it back full circle. “Our industry has reached a point where putting Lucky Charms in your beer no longer seems strange so we thought we would go back to simple quality and see how that does,” Derylo adds. “I know that at the end of a hard day’s work for me, I look forward to having a beer that is beer.” 

Craft beer has made gains over the years but still accounts for only 12% of overall beer sales in Michigan. Most beer consumed in the state still comes from foreign-owned breweries like Belgium-based InBev that owns Budweiser and South Africa-based SABMIller that owns the Miller, Coors and Molson brands. “Grand Lager is a beer we hope the people of West Michigan will embrace and be willing to trade up to. Lager is a familiar style for people, but we make ours with all grain malts and no cheap adjuncts like corn or rice like the big guys do” says CEO/ Founder Jason Spaulding. “We feel that Vivant has a strong brand with a reputation for quality. Our customers know what we stand for. If people want to support a truly locally-owned company that does great things for its community, all they have to do is vote with their choice for beer” Spaulding adds. 

Also notable in the brewery’s 2020 release calendar is the “Unapologetic Fruit” line of beer. “What we set out to do is make the best fruit beer you have ever had” notes Ryan Reichle, Distribution Director. “These four releases include fruit combinations that people in the Midwest are familiar with in pies & jams. Turns out that they are great beer combinations too.” The brewery is known as one of the top local producers for sour and wood aged beer. These fruit beers are blends of their premium sour beer, with freshly brewed beer and large amounts of fruit. “The sour element really makes the fruit flavors pop. Normally beers like this would be sold in large format corked bottles. We feel great that we can release them in a convenient 16 oz can format,” Reichle adds. “Jam Jar” is making its first debut and contains blueberry, blackberry, raspberry and plum. The best known is “Strawberry Rhubarb Sour” which is released in April. The beer has been so popular and there have been so many requests that the Company is doubling production for this year.

grand lager

 

About Brewery Vivant

Brewery Vivant is the world’s first LEED® certified commercial microbrewery and one of a growing number of Certified B Corporations. We brew beer in the European tradition with the addition of American ingenuity. At our pub we strive to elevate the enjoyment of beer & food and the sense of community in everything we do. Brewery Vivant prides itself on being a destination brewery in the “Beer City” of Grand Rapids. We are in the list of top 30 largest brewpubs in the U.S. according to Brewer’s Association definitions and have distribution

The first beer’s debut coincides with the Michigan Brewers Guild’s Feb. 22 Winter Beer Festival

 

Grand Rapids, Mich. — The Fibonacci Sequence is a simple equation—the next number in the series is found by adding the two numbers before it—but strangely, from the lowliest acorn to the arms of the Milky Way galaxy, the sequence reveals itself throughout all of nature’s design.

It is also the inspiration for a new series of pastry stouts from Grand Rapids’s City Built Brewing Company, the first of which will be released Feb. 22.

When City Built Brewing Company came up with an idea to test the effects of the sequence on beer, divine providence would show how the sequence applied. Adjusting the boil times from three hours to five hours, to 13 hours and finally 21 hours produced interesting results on each stout.

The first beer in The Fibonacci Sequence, 3 Hour Stout, is a 10.5% ABV imperial stout. It will be available on draft and in cans at $20 per four pack starting Feb. 22. Smooth as velvet, with notes of caramel and coffee, the base stout is perfect without adjuncts involved.

city built

“The number three is often associated with completion or perfection,” said Ed Collazo, CEO of City Built Brewing Company. “When we see the number three, it is a reminder from the universe of our creative potential and our innately divine nature.”

As the series progresses, so does the ABV. The 5 Hour Stout with coconut and vanilla hits at 13.5% and the 21 Hour Stout at 19%. Though unannounced, Collazo hinted at coveted barrel-aged versions of these beers down the line as well.

For the art, City Built tapped Kyle DeGroff, a Grand Rapids-based artist and muralist, who helped inspire the concept for the series. His celestial, colorful and psychedelic designs look like Tool album covers come to life.

3 Hour Stout’s Feb. 22 release date coincides with City Built’s Base Camp Beer & Breakfast Buffet, a prelude to the Michigan Brewers Guild’s Winter Beer Festival. A $25 ticket covers entrance to the event, a Teku logo glass, your first drink, the buffet and first access to purchase cans. Snow on Monroe, a 6% sour wheat with blackberry and black currants, will also be available for purchase at $15 per four pack.

“I’m excited because we’ve wanted to do pastry stouts since we opened and this is our first go at it,” Collazo said. “These are beers that I like to drink and share with friends. I think our personality is really coming through in the art and beer we’re putting out.”

 

About City Built Brewing Company 

Cities are where cultures collide. Ideas get remixed. Societal shifts start. Old traditions combine and become new trends. City Built Brewing Company strives to reflect that energy in their innovative beer recipes and methods, and in their Puerto Rican inspired food served in their downtown Grand Rapids taproom. Visit them and learn how they make the strange familiar, and the familiar fresh and bold.

light hearted

COMSTOCK, Mich. – The eagerly awaited Light Hearted Ale from Bell’s Brewery is now available.

A Low-Cal IPA with only 110 calories, Light Hearted is the newest year-round release from Michigan’s largest independent craft brewery.

With a 3.7% ABV, it is the latest addition to Bell’s Hearted family (Two Hearted is available year-round; Double Two Hearted will return in August).

“We did not just set out to make a lighter version of Two Hearted. We wanted to brew the best tasting, low-cal IPA we could. It all begins with quality ingredients. Balance, hoppiness and aroma are all there,” said Larry Bell, Bell’s president and founder.

While Light Hearted may not share the exact ingredient list as Two Hearted (Bell’s flagship IPA is brewed with 100% Centennial hops), it does share many of the defining characteristics that make Two Hearted what it is.

“One thing we did not do, was take a shortcut; no corn and no rice. Our goal was to deliver the same quality you would expect from a Bell’s beer, but with a lower ABV and with less calories,” Bell said.

Light Hearted is brewed with Centennial and Galaxy hops with only 110 calories per 12 oz. serving. It cuts down on the things many beer drinkers don’t want, but keeps everything about Two Hearted they love.

This new year-round beer was the first release in Bell’s General Store Exclusive Series; limited, small batch releases only available at Bell’s pub, the Eccentric Cafe, and its General Store. Focused on innovation, the GSE series serves as a testing ground for new recipes, small batch re-releases of fan favorites and other experimental brews.

Light Hearted is now available in cans (12 oz. packaged in 6-packs) and on draft. Fans in Michigan will also be able to purchase 12-packs of 12 oz. cans later this month.

Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, the brewery’s flagship IPA, has been named the No. 1 Beer in America three years in a row by members of the American Homebrewers Association.  It has been at the top of numerous “Best of” lists and consistently ranks as one of the most popular craft beers on the market.

Keep an eye on the Bell’s website and its social media channels for the latest information and release updates.

About Light Hearted

Style: Lo-Cal IPA

Tasting notes: Citrus and pine aromas; easy-drinking

Description: Made with Centennial and Galaxy hops, and a variety of specialty malts, Light Hearted is aromatic, balanced and incredibly easy-drinking. This IPA has only 110 calories, yet all the Heart.

Nutritional information & specs

ABV: 3.7%

Calories: 110

Carbs: 8.7g

Protein: 1.3g

Fat: 0g

Availability: Year-round

Packages: Draft and cans

Shelf life: 6 months

 

lightpoint

Michigan-based Craft Brewery Develops Exemplary Low-Cal, Low Carb, High Taste Brew

 

Holland, MI — New Holland Brewing, craft brewery and distillery based in Holland, MI, is proud to announce the upcoming launch of Lightpoint Functional White Ale, its first “active pursuits” beer. Designed to provide a refreshing and responsible post-pursuit experience, uncompromising in flavor, Lightpoint will be available in 43 states on March 1, 2020.

Renowned for flavorful and unique craft beer offerings, New Holland is no stranger to the curation of regional and in-season ingredients, creating craft brews to suit a specific time of year, activity or consumer desire; and Lightpoint is no exception.

Featuring coconut water, orange peel and raw honey, just 2g of carbs and only 86 calories per 12oz can, Lightpoint White Ale is tastefully brewed with natural ingredients and local Lake Michigan water. 

lightpointLightpoint is designed to be enjoyed with friends and community, shared after a hike, bike, run, ski or yoga session and bring a more satisfying and flavorful approach to the apres experience, without the added calories, ABV or carbohydrates. “We all look forward to the light point in our day or in our workout,” said Adam Dickerson, New Holland Brand Manager. “Here in West Michigan, the sunset over Lake Michigan symbolizes that moment of rest. After a day of hard work or a lakeshore run, the setting sun provides us with a beautiful moment to breathe it in and re-energize. That’s our Lightpoint.”

Jason Salas, Brewery Operations Manager, said, “We pride ourselves on creating what we deem to be the best tasting craft beer available, from seasonal flavors, to our flagship products. Lightpoint is an exciting next step for the brand, showcasing our desire to ensure that our best moments, with friends and family outdoors, are supported by the finest beverage possible, made from premium, delicious ingredients, and pristine Lake Michigan water.”

To kickstart the launch, New Holland will be hosting the first annual Lightpoint 5k fun-run, on March 28th, starting and finishing at New Holland Grand Rapids brewpub: The Knickerbocker.  All runners will receive a complimentary 5k shirt and the run will end in the New Holland beer garden with food, games and specials on cans of Lightpoint. While this will certainly be a fun run in structure, the race will also be timed with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards for 8 separate age groups.  Follow this link to register or find more information.

Along with community-building, New Holland’s vision is to create savored moments, and they are doing so by supporting natural resources and outdoor public spaces that act as hosts for those moments. In 2019, New Holland was able to raise over $27,000 for the Michigan State Parks by developing a traveling beer dinner series that brought a new and exciting experience to the Parks. In 2020 New Holland will continue and expand support of this program with the goal to encourage conservation of the Michigan State Parks, Trails and Waterways. New Holland is also a member of the Great Lakes Business Network, committed to protecting the Great Lakes from environmental threats. 

Lightpoint is a proud evolution of the brand, embodying the passion and dedication to community and the outdoors. The light at the end of the tunnel, Lightpoint is the perfect beer for the finish line.

Lightpoint will be available in 43 States, and at leading grocery stores across the country in March, 2020, and offered in 6-packs and 12-packs of 12oz cans, as well as draft.

 

2020 release calendar

COMSTOCK, Mich. – Bell’s Brewery is proud to announce an incredible beer lineup coming to coolers, store shelves and draft lines in 2020.

The first few days of January saw the packaging and release of Hopslam Double IPA. Coming in at 10% ABV, Hopslam was again released in 12 oz. cans, packaged in 6-packs, on draft and in 5L mini-kegs. New for this year, is a brand new Hopslam mini-keg design. Cans and mini-kegs are limited, and have already arrived on many store shelves and coolers.

Each batch is packaged and shipped as quickly as possible so this beer can be enjoyed fresh.

The most anticipated release for the year is the brand new, low-calorie, Light Hearted Ale.

A Lo-Cal IPA, this member of the Hearted family shares many of the characteristics of Bell’s award-winning Two Hearted Ale. At 3.7% ABV and only 110 calories (per 12. oz serving), Light Hearted is now shipping (and in many locations, arriving) in 12 oz. cans, packaged in 6-packs and on draft. Twelve-packs of 12 oz. cans will also ship in February in Michigan.

“This is going to be another exciting year for us. In addition to our release calendar, I am also very proud to celebrate our 35th anniversary. Funvitational (2020) will be a huge part of that milestone and we’ll have other ways to celebrate throughout the year,” said Larry Bell, president and founder of Bell’s Brewery.

Bell’s Official Hazy IPA will also be back for its second-year after an incredible reception by fans and beer writers in 2019. It is available now on draft and in 12 oz. cans packaged in 6-packs. Twelve packs are also an option.

Seasonal beers, Best Brown and Bright White, will both return (Bright White is available now through March or while supplies last). Oberon, Bell’s summer flagship American Wheat, will return on March 23 with midnight release parties, special tappings and more. In May, Oberon mini-kegs will begin shipping featuring a brand new design as well.

Returning specialty offerings include: Flamingo Fruit Fight (Tart Ale brewed with passionfruit and lime zest), Octoberfest (Märzen), Special Double Cream Stout (Sweet Stout), Expedition Stout (Russian Imperial Stout), Third Coast Old Ale (Barley Wine), Cherry Stout, Christmas Ale (Scotch Ale) and Lampshade Party Ale (a Double IPA previously only released in 2018).

Double Two Hearted (11% ABV) will return in August.

New to the Bell’s specialty release lineup is another Flamingo Fruit Fight variation; a Gose-style Ale brewed with lemon and lime. Bottles and kegs of Lemon Lime Flamingo Fruit Fight will ship in July.

Incessant, a Double New England-Style IPA, will be released in 16 oz. cans, packaged in 4-packs and on draft for a wider release in May. Incessant was previously a Bell’s General Store Exclusive.

With Incessant’s release this spring, Bell’s will offer four different Double IPAs for a wide release in 2020 in addition to the year-round Hopsoulution (Great Lakes state area distribution only).

Bell’s Leaves of Grass series, seven beers each inspired by a different Walt Whitman poem, will conclude in 2020 with three remaining offerings. Song of the Open Road, a Winter Warmer Ale, is available now. Salut au Monde will ship in March and Spontaneous Me will conclude the series in May.

The General Store Exclusive Series will also continue in 2020 with a variety of new beers and possibly some old favorites returning from Larry Bell’s Recipe Library. That includes yet another member of the Hearted family, Black Hearted, which will debut in “celebration” of Valentine’s Day.

Black Hearted will only be available on draft at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe and in 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs at the Bell’s General Store.

“Now, this isn’t all we have lined up for 2020. We always like to keep a few things close to the vest. We’ll have plenty more to share in due time,” Bell said.

Bell’s fans should save Sept. 12, 2020 for Bell’s Funvitational Beer Festival. This will be Bell’s second Funvitational and will feature a variety of breweries from across the globe at Homer Stryker Field, home of the Kalamazoo Growlers, in downtown Kalamazoo. The original Funvitational was held in 2015 in celebration of Bell’s 30th Anniversary. Additional details will be announced at a later date.

Keep an eye on the Bell’s website and its social media channels for the latest information and release updates.

2020 release calendar

Bell’s 2020 release calendar

Bell’s 2020 release calendar at a glance

Year-round

Two Hearted (7% ABV), Light Hearted (3.7% ABV), Official Hazy IPA (6.4% ABV), Lager of the Lakes (5% ABV), Amber Ale (5.8% ABV), Kalamazoo Stout (6% ABV), Porter (5.6% ABV) and Hopsoulution (8% ABV – MI, WI, IN, IL, OH, MN only).

Seasonal

Bright White (5% ABV), Oberon (5.8% ABV and Best Brown (5.8% ABV)

Specialty 

Hopslam, Flamingo Fruit Fight (5% ABV), Oberon 5Ls, Incessant (8.5% ABV), Flamingo Fruit Fight Lemon Lime Gose (4.8% ABV), Octoberfest (5.5% ABV), Special Double Cream Stout (6.1% ABV), Expedition Stout (10.5% ABV), Third Coast Old Ale (10.2% ABV), Cherry Stout (7% ABV), Christmas Ale (7.5% ABV) and Lampshade Party Ale (9% ABV).

Leaves of Grass

Song of the Open Road (8.5% ABV), Salut au Monde and Spontaneous Me

General Store Exclusives

Black Hearted (7% ABV) and many others TBA.

The latest spin on the acclaimed barrel-aged stout incorporates coconut, hazelnut and chocolate

 

HOLLAND, MICH  — New Holland Brewing Company’s first Dragon’s Milk Reserve release of 2020 will be available starting in January.

The Dragon’s Milk Reserve series puts a spin on America’s number-one selling bourbon barrel-aged stout. The brewery’s newest addition to the series showcases Dragon’s Milk in a completely new way, using whole ingredients and carefully selected barrels for a truly legendary brew.

“Dragon’s Milk Reserve is meant to be an indulgent reward, and our brewers have absolutely lived up to that billing on this latest entry in our Reserve series,” said New Holland Brewing Company Founder and President Brett VanderKamp.

The beer was aged for three months in rum barrels imported from Jamaica and finished on over 2,500 pounds of coconut, 1,000 pounds of toasted hazelnut and 200 pounds of chocolate.

“The flavors of toasted coconut, hazelnut and chocolate pair amazingly with the sweet and warming flavor notes imparted by the rum barrel.” VanderKamp said.

The beer clocks in at 12.5 percent ABV. It will be available on tap and for purchase in 4-pack 12-ounce bottles at New Holland’s pubs in Grand Rapids and Holland starting January 23. It will hit shelves at retail locations in 42 states starting in February.

“We are excited to share this beer with our fans!” VanderKamp said.