summer beer fest

LANSING, Mich – Continued uncertainty and concern for the general population in the midst of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the Michigan Brewers Guild has canceled its Summer Beer Festival originally scheduled for July 24-25 in Ypsilanti. First held in 1997, this is the Guild’s original festival and the only 2-day event among five annual festivals. Earlier this year, the Guild canceled its inaugural Spring Beer Festival which would have taken place Saturday, May 16 in Traverse City.

“The health and safety of our guests, brewery staff, volunteers and the general public remain our primary focus,” says Scott Graham, Guild Executive Director. “We are disappointed that we won’t be able to gather with our fellow Michigan beer lovers this July, but given the continued uncertainty and safety protocols that remain in place, we believe this is the appropriate decision at this time.”

Given the cancellation of two of its 2020 festivals which each feature a VIP Enthusiast Hour, the Guild will be extending all Enthusiast Membership expiration dates by six months, beginning with memberships that expired March 1 onward.

“We really appreciate the ongoing support of our Enthusiast Members and are considering other ways to add value and engage with our members,” says Graham.

The Guild also wants to encourage everyone to celebrate July as Michigan Beer Month by supporting local breweries as they re-open, and with carry-out orders, to-go growler fills and gift card purchases.

“We will continue to promote Michigan breweries and the culture they create in the Great Beer State,” Graham says. “We invite you to follow our social media or visit our website for updates.”

Formed in 1997, the Michigan Brewers Guild represents nearly 300 member breweries (a number that increases on a monthly basis). The Guild is a passionate beer community that believes in quality artisanship, bold character, fun, responsibility and pushing the boundaries. The mission of the Guild is to promote and protect the Michigan beer industry with an overarching goal to help locally brewed beer attain 20% of all beer sales in the state by 2025.

Michigan’s brewing industry contributes more than 21,000 full-time jobs and $872 million in labor income, with a total economic impact of over $2.5 billion. In terms of overall number of breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs, Michigan ranks #6 in the nation—supporting its title as “The Great Beer State.”

 

hand sanitizer

Grand Rapids distillery has converted from producing craft spirits to Michigan-made hand sanitizer

 

Grand Rapids, Michigan – Over the course of the last month, Long Road Distillers has shifted from producing Michigan-made craft spirits to Michigan-made hand sanitizer in order to help meet the tremendous needs of the community during the current outbreak. To help speed up the process, the Grand Rapids distillery has partnered with several Michigan breweries to provide beer that can be distilled and converted into ethyl alcohol, the primary ingredient in hand sanitizer.

“We have all of the equipment on site to produce hand sanitizer from scratch,” said Jon O’Connor, co-owner of Long Road Distillers. “Our two large stills allow us to take fermented grain or fruit and turn it into 190 proof neutral spirit, much like we do in the process of producing our vodka.”

For Long Road, the pinch point in speeding up production is fermentation capacity. To overcome that roadblock, they are now working with several Michigan breweries who are providing beer that can be run through the still. To date, Long Road has partnered with The Mitten Brewing Company, Founders Brewing Company, Perrin Brewing Company and Shorts Brewing Company. Some of the beer had been kegged for restaurant use, while some was brewed by the companies specifically for the purpose of distilling into sanitizer.

hand sanitizer

“The craft beverage world has always been about creativity, excellence and service,” said Chris Andrus, co-owner of The Mitten Brewing Company. “This effort is just a natural extension of that; quickly working together to solve problems and meet a need in our community.”

So far, Long Road Distillers has worked with nearly 300 health care providers, nursing homes, grocers, social service agencies and other essential businesses to provide sanitizer to keep patients, residents, employees and customers safe. Their ability to offer this is due in large part to those who have come to the support of the distillery at this time.

“We’re fortunate to have such a collaborative beverage community in Michigan!” exclaimed Kyle VanStrien, co-owner of Long Road Distillers. “The willingness of our friends to step up and help us in this effort has certainly been one of the brightest silver linings during these difficult days.”

Long Road Hand Sanitizer is available for purchase in individual spray bottles and in bulk refill jugs, with primary focus given to front-line providers and essential businesses and their employees at this time. Interested organizations may submit inquiries about procuring sanitizer through Long Road’s website: www.LongRoadDistillers.com/handsanitizer/

A limited number of individual spray bottles are being sold to the public through the distillery’s weekly take-out service, and orders must be placed in advance through the takeout link on their website. Pick-up of sanitizer, as well as cocktail kits and bottles-to-go are offered Thursdays (12-5p) and Fridays (12-6p) in Grand Rapids, and Saturdays (10a-2p) from their Grand Haven location. Long Road Hand Sanitizer can also be found at several local retailers.

About Long Road Distillers:

Long Road Distillers was born from the belief that making world-class spirits means never taking shortcuts along the way. After becoming the first craft distillery in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Long Road Distillers formed relationships with local farmers to bring that mission to Grand Rapids’ West Side neighborhood. Each spirit produced at Long Road Distillers is milled from locally sourced ingredients, fermented, and distilled on-site. The result is an uncompromised lineup of spirits including Vodka, Gin, Whisky and more. Their spirits, along with a handcrafted collection of cocktails and a wide variety of food can be enjoyed at their Grand Rapids and Grand Haven Tasting Rooms, and visitors can enjoy samples of their spirits and purchase merchandise and bottles to-go at their Boyne City Tasting Room.  For more information, visit www.LongRoadDistillers.com or find Long Road Distillers on Facebook or Instagram @longroadgr.

 

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.

founders

Founders Brewing Co. has launched #CraftedinMI, a new online campaign to support the local arts community in Michigan. Founders has pledged to use their social media platforms to help promote artists that are deeply affected by Covid-19 Michigan, including makers, musicians, culinary artists, small business owners and more. Throughout the stay-at-home order, the team will be sharing some of their favorite Michigan-based craftspeople with the goal of bringing awareness to their talent and driving support during this time of need.

“Michiganders are known for their persevering spirit and relentless creativity, especially in the face of adversity,” said Co-Founder and President, Dave Engbers. “We want to celebrate and support our local makers by promoting the amazing work they continue to create, and we hope it will inspire others to do the same.”

“I’m so appreciative of the visibility that Founders provided by sharing my artwork through their social platforms,” said Dayna Walton, owner of Solstice Handmade. “Last week was tough and it’s so hard to sit back and watch everything I had been looking forward to financially and otherwise cancel, postpone, or disappear. With the help directing eyes to my artwork and online shop, I was able to recoup income lost from workshop cancelations in March and continue to move forward with projects that employ other local makers in collaboration! I hope that I can pass on joy and relief I felt with others. It’s during times like these that we realize how essential the non-essentials of life are. Art gives life to our minds, homes, and communities, even when everything else in our world is at a standstill.”

How can you get involved? Visit our site and follow us on social media (@foundersbrewing) to read #CraftedinMI stories and to find out more about lending direct support. Please consider purchasing an item, downloading an album, grabbing a coffee and other meaningful way to keep Michigan’s vibrant artistic and crafts businesses open. For MI-based makers who’d like to be considered for a feature, please reach out to social@foundersbrewing.com.

 

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. 

 

jolly pumpkin

 

Dexter, Mich. Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, the first all wild, oak-aged brewery in the United States, announces the launch of a new canning line for their wild ales. The first beers off the line will be year-round favorites, Bam Bière and Calabaza Blanca. They are also releasing Hyrrokkin, the first release of a new fruited seasonal saison series.

“I’m super excited to be able to bring some of our favorite beers, such as Bam Bière and Calabaza Blanca, and a new favorite, Hyrrokkin, into cans. They are lightweight, convenient, and environmentally friendly. Perfect for any occasion, indoors, or outdoors” said Ron Jeffries, Founder, and Chief Squeegie Operator.

Bam Bière is a low-calorie farmhouse ale that is golden, naturally cloudy, can-conditioned, and dry-hopped for a tasty & delicious balance of spicy malts, hops, and yeast. Bam Bière has won medals in numerous competitions, was named one of the top 25 beers in America by Men’s Journal, and has a RateBeer score of 95.

Calabaza Blanca is a low-calorie farmhouse witbier brewed in Belgium’s bière blanche tradition. Spiced with orange peel and coriander, it is refreshingly tart, with a wonderfully dry finish. Calabaza Blanca has won gold in the Hong Kong International Beer Awards, was named a “Top 50 Beer” by The Fifty Best, and is rated the 12th best witbier in the world by RateBeer.

Hyrrokkin is a low-calorie foeder aged saison fruited with blood orange & ginger. It is an eloquent, crisp, & tart citrus ale with attitude.

“We are excited about this monumental move for Jolly Pumpkin. Our customers have been telling us for quite a while that we needed to give them a way to enjoy our beers in different settings. We always intended for our beers to be enjoyed as part of a special, shareable consumption opportunity and didn’t realize how much Jolly Pumpkin fans wanted to have this experience on the beach, boat, golf course, you name it.  It took us a little while to “get there” but after some serious introspection and rethinking who we want to be when we grow up, we decided to take the leap. We are so excited to bring one of the world’s first barrel-aged, can/bottle/keg conditioned, wild ale breweries to you in our new 16 oz. 4-pack cans to join our beautiful Belgian bottles and draft offerings. Here we go!” said Tony Grant, CEO/CFO of Northern United Brewing Company.

Bam Bière, Calabaza Blanca, and Hyrrokkin will be available for purchase in 16 oz. four-packs at craft beer retailers in April throughout Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Florida, Texas, and Arizona.

 

About Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales: Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales was founded in 2004 as the first all wild, oak-aged brewery in the United States. They are dedicated to more than the traditions of old-world craftsmanship. Everything they do is designed to create ales of outstanding art and flavor. Focusing on traditional rustic country style beers brought to life through a labor of love creates beers that lighten the spirit and soothe the soul.

 

detroit founders

Brewery Offers Improved Customer Experience and Unprecedented Community Commitment

 

DETROIT Founders Brewing Co. announced Tuesday that its Detroit taproom will reopen to the public on Thursday, February 6 at 11:00 am. Visitors to the brewery can expect a full taplist with multiple new beer choices, an amended menu and a variety of Mothership Series and “Brewed in Detroit” bottles available for purchase.

“After three months of progress behind-the-scenes, now is the best time to honor our commitments in Detroit and reopen the Detroit taproom,” said company Co-Founder and CEO Mike Stevens. “While our intentions were good when we first launched the taproom in 2017, we need to make more efforts to connect in meaningful ways with the City of Detroit. We’re going to do this right and we look forward to sharing the journey with our fans, community partners and business partners.”

Founders also announced an addition to the team: Emily Faulkner will step into the role of Detroit taproom General Manager. Emily has extensive experience in the Detroit hospitality industry; most recently she served as Operations Manager for TopGolf in Auburn Hills and the General Manager for TAP in the MGM Grand Detroit.

The owners of Founders Brewing Co. will be contributing the income from the Detroit taproom to local Detroit charities for the next three years.

In addition to expanding its charitable giving platform, the Big Pitcher, Founders has agreed to partner with the City of Detroit and its Detroit At Work platform to hire more qualified Detroit residents. The company and Detroit At Work are collaborating to implement hiring practice that will make jobs more accessible to returning citizens and individuals with criminal records.

Additionally, the company is working with Detroit at Work to set up a hospitality training program for Detroit residents so they can earn jobs in the hospitality industry and build successful careers. Those who complete the 2-3 week training program will be rotated into employment at the taproom. The goal is to make this program permanent and to implement it in other businesses around Detroit.

Founders is also deepening its relationship with the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, establishing a health and wellness program for the community, aimed at preventing chronic illnesses, available at the Detroit taproom. This program will provide weekly programming including free health trainings/screenings and nutrition and fitness classes for local residents, as well as employee wellness programs for Founders’ staff, with the taproom serving as a hub of activity.

“Founders is exhibiting what being a good neighbor is all about,” said Interim DEI Director, Buzz Thomas, of Detroit-based Thomas Group Consulting. “Since Founders brought me on board last November, I’ve hit the ground running in helping them establish partnerships in Detroit. It’s clear that the employees’ hearts and minds are in the right place. I have no doubt in my mind that their efforts will make a significant impact in the City of Detroit and in the brewing industry by establishing a program that will serve as the model.”

With Thomas’ guidance, the brewery has also partnered with Grand Rapids-based Global Bridgebuilders. Their approach emphasizes process management, measurement and benchmarking, and continuous improvement, with a core focus on inclusion as a business discipline and Founders is well underway with the implementation of the program.

“We realize this goes beyond financial donations and we’re committed to becoming a more integral part of the Detroit community,” said Co-Founder and President, Dave Engbers. “We’re not viewing the Detroit taproom as a profit center but instead as a hub for community engagement with the residents of the city. ”

About Founders Brewing Co.

Established in 1997 by two craft beer enthusiasts—Dave Engbers and Mike Stevens—with day jobs and a dream, Founders Brewing Co. brews complex, in-your-face ales, with huge aromatics and tons of flavor. Founders ranks among the top 10 largest craft breweries in the U.S. and is one of the fastest growing. The brewery has received numerous awards from the World Beer Cup and the Great American Beer Festival and RateBeer and BeerAdvocate users often rate its beers among the best in the world. Located in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, Founders is a member of the Michigan Brewers Guild. For more information, visit foundersbrewing.com.

 

 

atwater

DETROIT – Tenth and Blake Beer Company, the U.S. craft division of Molson Coors Beverage Company, announced today an agreement to acquire Detroit-based Atwater Brewery. Atwater Brewery is highly regarded in the Michigan craft beer community for its traditional German-style lagers and unique ales. 

“The agreement with Tenth and Blake is both the culmination of our past and the catapult to our future,” said Mark Rieth, Atwater Brewery owner. “For Atwater to continue to grow, it will require both capital and brewing expertise. Tenth and Blake brings both, which makes them the ideal strategic partner to help us continue to live our mantra ‘Born in Detroit. Raised Everywhere.'” 

Founded in 1997, Atwater Block Brewery revived Detroit’s proud brewing tradition from its location in the historic Rivertown district. After investing in the brewery in 2002, Mark Rieth purchased the brewery outright in 2005, setting off several years of booming growth. Led by top- selling beers Dirty Blonde and Vanilla Java Porter, Atwater became a cornerstone of Michigan’s brewing scene. Other brands, such as Better Life Choices (an American IPA that was named a top-10 IPA by Beer Connoisseur magazine), and Decadent Dark Chocolate (which won bronze in the World Beer Cup), augment Atwater’s portfolio. 

The brewer, which also produces hard seltzers and craft spirits, also operates three unique tap house and biergarten locations in Detroit, Grosse Pointe Park and Grand Rapids. 

“Atwater has been a staple and a leader in the Michigan craft community for more than two decades, and we’re thrilled to have them join Tenth and Blake,” said Paul Verdu, vice president of Tenth and Blake. “Our priority is to make sure their beer is enjoyed by consumers throughout their core markets and eventually across the Great Lakes region.” 

Atwater Brewery joins other leading crafts in the Tenth and Blake portfolio, including the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, AC Golden Brewing Company, Saint Archer Brewing Company, Terrapin Beer Company, Hop Valley Brewing Company and Revolver Brewing. Tenth and Blake has a proven track record of success, with the organization’s regional crafts posting volume growth higher than 16% in 2019, while the overall craft segment was just above flat. 

This is the latest example of Molson Coors Beverage Company executing its revitalization plan, which was launched in October 2019 to generate savings that are being reinvested across its entire portfolio. Since announcing the plan, the company has expanded its ability to innovate in the non-alcohol space by taking a stake in beverage incubator L.A. Libations; announced it will air ads during the pro football championship for the first time in years; and launched new creative campaigns for a broad range of its brands. 

The transaction is expected to be completed within the next couple of months. Terms were not disclosed. Rieth and his management team will continue to lead Atwater’s day-to-day operations. Arlington Capital Advisors served as exclusive financial advisor to Atwater in this transaction. 

About Molson Coors Beverage Company Molson Coors Beverage Company has defined brewing greatness for more than two centuries. As one of the largest global brewers, Molson Coors works to deliver extraordinary brands that delight the world’s beer drinkers. From Coors Light, Coors Banquet, Miller Lite, Molson Canadian, Carling, Staropramen and Sharp’s Doom Bar to Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, Blue Moon Belgian White, Hop Valley, Creemore Springs and Crispin Cider, Molson Coors offers a beer for every beer lover. Molson Coors is not only committed to brewing extraordinary beers, but also running a business focused on respect for its employees, communities and drinkers, which means corporate responsibility and accountability right from the start. It has been listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index for the past eight years.