lake life seltzer

Cranberry Lime and White Peach Honey debut as first flavors

Holland, Mich. — Michigan’s proximity to fresh water is no secret, even the state’s name derives from the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning large lake. For many Michiganders, lake means life, and now New Holland Spirits has introduced a line of hard seltzers that reinforces that philosophy. Lake Life Seltzers arrive in Michigan this May with Cranberry Lime and White Peach Honey debuting as the first flavors.

Crushable and clean, the seltzers deliver a welcome switch up for when the palate needs a break from craft beer. Brand Manager Adam Dickerson believes the new products will fit perfectly into the coastal lifestyle.

“Lake Life embodies the idea of letting loose,” Dickerson said. “Unplugging from the daily grind to step back and enjoy the weekend, the day or even just a moment of carefree vibes.”

lake life seltzerMade with Lake Life Vodka and fruit flavors, the two new seltzers allow you to drink by the lake without the hassle of extra ingredients or supplies—a cooler and some ice will do. The house-distilled vodka is what truly separates this seltzer from the pack. Lake Life Vodka launched in 2019, inspired by Michigan’s West Coast and savored moments spent on the water. Flavorwise, the spirit is smooth and subtly sweet, providing the perfect base to build a seltzer upon.

Head Distiller Brad Kamphuis sees the utility of both the spirit and the seltzer in different situations.

“If you enjoy mixing yourself a drink, Lake Life vodka has you covered, but we are stoked to be able to offer the ease of a ready-made beverage with Lake Life Seltzers,” Kamphuis said. “Both recipes are refreshing, crisp and balanced with just the right amount of fruit flavor.”

The boon for those watching their beer bellies: Lake Life Seltzer contains just 80 calories and less than 1 gram of sugar. They’re a guilt-free alcoholic alternative and gluten free to boot.

Carefully crafted near the shores of Lake Michigan by New Holland Spirits in Holland, Lake Life reflects a connection between spirit and season.

“Whether you are relaxed in an adirondack chair, dipping your toes in the water or doing cannonball off the raft, these are the moments that we look forward to all year,” Dickerson said.

This summer, pair these moments with Lake Life and let’s coast.

 

About New Holland Spirits
In early 2002, New Holland Brewing Co-Founder & President, Brett VanderKamp visited the Caribbean with the intention of enjoying sun, sand and waves. Instead, he found world-class rum, and a lifelong obsession with fine craft spirits was born. He returned to Holland, MI with a mission; to create spirits that live up to his artful way of life and to share them with the world. For more information, visit their website or follow on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram

catoctin creek

PURCELLVILLE, Va. – Becky Harris, co-founder and chief distiller of Catoctin Creek Distilling Company, has been appointed the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) President of the Board of Directors. Harris has served as a member of the Board of Directors since last May, where she was charged with appointing leadership to its governing committees.

“The craft distilling industry has never faced such challenging times,” said Harris. “It’s an incredible honor to be chosen as president by my fellow board members, a group of incredible leaders within our craft distilling community. I’m excited to build on ACSA’s technical and legislative leadership to help our community of more than 2,000 craft distilleries in any and every way possible to recover and thrive.”

catoctin creek

Becky Harris

As head of the ACSA COVID-19 task force, Harris has been instrumental in helping to build and implement sanitizer best practices. By working with the EPA and FDA to understand and streamline bureaucracy, she has been able to swiftly educate distillers across the nation, while making sure her own distillery team stays compliant and safe.

Following her graduation from the University of Wisconsin, Harris worked as a chemical engineer for companies including Amoco, YDK America, and CIBA, specializing in industrial processes and production systems before opening Catoctin Creek with her husband, Scott, in 2009. As the first distillery in Loudoun County since Prohibition, Catoctin Creek’s flagship Roundstone Rye has won top prizes internationally.

Catoctin Creek Distilling’s distribution footprint includes the following 26 markets in the United States: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming, and internationally in Finland, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, Italy, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

 

About Catoctin Creek Distilling: At Catoctin Creek Distilling Company, 120 West Main St., True Craft is Inspired by Tradition.℠ Founded by Scott and Becky Harris in 2009, Catoctin Creek made a name for itself as the first legal distillery since prohibition in Purcellville, Virginia’s Loudoun County. The craft distillery is home to Virginia’s most-awarded whisky, Roundstone Rye, which has been presented gold medals across the globe and stands out through its old-world production methods. Catoctin Creek prides itself on sourcing rye whisky, gin, and seasonal brandy from local and organic grains and fruits, with spirits available in 26 states and 3 continents. The Harris’ intricate attention to detail results in high quality internationally-acclaimed products, including seasonal releases and private cask offerings, that recognize the true craft of Virginia spirits.

 

bottled in bond

Grand Rapids’ first craft distillery celebrates fifth anniversary with limited-edition whisky release

Grand Rapids, Michigan – Grand Rapids-based Long Road Distillers will celebrate their fifth anniversary this weekend with a limited release of a brand-new offering, Long Road Bottled-In-Bond Bourbon Whisky.

“Obviously, we never expected to celebrate our five-year anniversary under the circumstances we find ourselves in,” said Jon O’Connor, co-owner and co-founder of Long Road Distillers. “All of our locations are closed to dine-in service, and we’ve been producing more hand sanitizer over the past 8 weeks than craft spirits. We can’t throw the party this birthday deserves, but we’re grateful for the opportunity to still offer take-out service of spirits, cocktail kits and food.”

Unique environment aside, the distillery wanted to mark the anniversary with something special. The Bottled-In-Bond designation is a significant milestone in the life of a distillery, and carries with it certain requirements that go above and beyond the average bourbon.

bottled in bondA bottled-in-bond whisky must be distilled in a single distilling season for a single distillery, aged in a federally bonded warehouse for at least 4 years, and bottled at 100 proof. All these requirements were established by the Bottled-In-Bond Act of 1897. As the label on Long Road’s Bottled-In-Bond expression calls out, this bourbon is quite literally “Bottled-In-Bond Under U.S. Government Supervision”.

Only a single barrel of Long Road Bottled-In-Bond Bourbon will be available this week, less than 180 bottles in total.

Since Governor Whitmer issued an Executive Order on March 16 to shut down dining rooms of bars and restaurants, the team at Long Road Distillers has shifted gears to produce hand sanitizer and to offer take-out of Cocktail Kits, craft spirits, and more recently food from their Grand Rapids kitchen.

Orders for Long Road Bottled-In-Bond Bourbon and a variety of other spirits and kits can be placed through the Take-Out section of the company’s website www.LongRoadDistillers.com, and picked up at any of their three tasting room locations this weekend. A full list of days and hours of operation are available on the site.

 

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.

 

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.

 

long road distillers

They captured a total of 8 medals at the American Craft Spirits Association’s annual event

 

Grand Rapids, Michigan – Long Road Distillers captured eight new honors at the 2020 American Craft Spirits Awards, presented by the American Craft Spirits Association, including 2 Gold medals for Long Road Aquavit and Long Road Raspberry Liqueur.

Under normal circumstances, the winners of the American Craft Spirits Awards are announced at the annual convention for the American Craft Spirits Association, the national non-profit association representing the country’s craft spirits producers. However, with events around the country being cancelled or postponed, this year’s winners were announced via livestream with distillers and spirit enthusiasts tuning in to hear the results.

In addition to Gold medals for Aquavit and Raspberry Liqueur, Long Road won Silver medals for Long Road Grand Absinthe, Long Road Amaro Pazzo, and Long Road Old Aquavit, and Bronze medals for Long Road Rum, Long Road Nocino, and Long Road Apple Brandy.

“The annual ACSA conference and awards banquet is always a highlight of the year,” said Jon O’Connor, co-owner and co-founder of Long Road Distillers. “It’s truly an honor to have the hard work of our team recognized again this year, despite the circumstances that postponed the event.”

The ACSA Annual Convention was scheduled to be held this week in Portland, OR, but will now be rescheduled for later in the year. The judging process is chaired by distiller and industry phenom Maggie Campbell, President of Privateer Rum in Ipswich, MA. A carefully selected group of more than 30 expert judges evaluated more than 500 entries in seven different categories.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to be part of an organization is member owned and member driven,” said co-owner and co-founder Kyle VanStrien. “These awards don’t come easily – those of us in the craft spirits industry are our own harshest critics.”

Long Road’s no-shortcuts approach to crafting spirits and a dedication to using locally sourced ingredients has earned them numerous honors and awards, as well as international acclaim for some lesser-known spirits categories, such as Aquavit. Their spirits can be found at the distillery on Grand Rapids’ West Side, at tasting rooms in Grand Haven and Boyne City, and at over 2,500 retailers, bars, and restaurants throughout the state of Michigan.

 

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.

About the American Craft Spirits Association: The American Craft Spirits Association is the only registered national non-profit trade group representing the U.S. craft spirits industry. Members vote for the 15 democratically elected representatives who make up the Board of Directors, and this Board collectively works to govern the ACSA in a transparent, responsive manner and in accordance with association bylaws. Their mission is to elevate and advocate for the community of craft spirits producers. Learn more by visiting www.americancraftspirits.org.

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.

long road distillers

New distillery Tasting Room to open in the heart of Downtown Grand Haven

 

Grand Haven, Mich. – Grand Rapids-based Long Road Distillers is set to open a new distillery tasting room in Grand Haven, Michigan this week. The lakeshore location will be the company’s second offsite tasting room apart from their headquarters on the West Side of Grand Rapids where they house their production facility, cocktail bar and restaurant. They also have a retail location in Boyne City.

Visitors to the new Grand Haven location will be able to enjoy an extensive lakeshore-inspired cocktail menu and a full food menu featuring snacks, share-ables, salads, sandwiches and more. Guests will also be able to sample Long Road’s line-up of award-winning spirits, participate in special tasting events, and purchase merchandise and bottles to-go.

long road“Our team is excited to finally join the Grand Haven community,” said Kyle VanStrien, Long Road Distillers Co-Founder and Co-Owner. “We’ve been working on a location here for nearly two years, and it’s certainly been a long road. We can’t wait to share what we’ve been able to build!”

Long Road Grand Haven is located at 18 Washington Ave, in the heart of the downtown business area, and less than a block from the waterfront. It features a new 6-seat bar and 40-seat dining area that opens to a 10-seat patio on the sidewalk with large, sliding glass doors.

“We’re excited to bring our curated experience to the lakeshore,” said Jon O’Connor, Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Long Road Distillers. “We look forward to adding something new and unique for the residents and visitors of Grand Haven to enjoy.”

An official grand opening and ribbon cutting will be held at 5:30 pm on Thursday, July 18. Going forward, the distillery will be open daily from 11a to 11p.

See the Cocktails and Kitchen menus, and to stay up to date on the Long Road – Grand Haven.

 

gray skies

 

Grand Rapids, Mich – Gray Skies Distillery released their first straight rye whiskey November 7 and will follow shortly with a limited-edition release of their Breakfast Bourbon on November 20. Both spirits will be available for purchase in their tasting room and through licensed retailers, bars and restaurants around Michigan via statewide distribution. Michigan Straight Rye Whiskey was aged in charred new, oak barrels for over two years and bottled at 90 proof. Breakfast Bourbon was aged over two years and bottled at 87 proof. Breakfast Bourbon spent time in two different barrels, starting in in charred new, oak barrels before it was finished for 9 months in maple syrup casks. These two whiskeys bring the total number of American whiskeys Gray Skies Distillery offers up to five: Michigan Straight Rye Whiskey, Breakfast Bourbon, Breakfast Rye, Single Malt Whiskey and Michigan Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Each Gray Skies Distillery whiskey is painstakingly made from grain in 500-gallon batches. Gray Skies proudly uses an inefficient pot still for its whiskeys to maintain maximum flavor at the expense of productivity. Each whiskey is double distilled before resting in barrels on-site for years. With five premium American whiskeys available and a growing, aging whiskey stock Gray Skies Distillery continues to define Michigan craft whiskey.

“Michigan Straight Rye Whiskey is a perfect complement to the coming cold weather. It’s the ultimate cocktail whiskey with a strong rye backbone that stands up to other ingredients” said Steve Vander Pol, co-owner of Gray Skies Distillery. “Because this is a straight whiskey, no additional flavors were added. My tasting notes include figs, chocolate, black pepper and cinnamon. This flavor profile was created using only grain, water, yeast and time in oak barrels.”

“Breakfast Bourbon offers a playful twist on a typical bourbon whiskey. Unlike our rye, this is not a straight spirit. We infused maple flavor into the whiskey by taking a traditional bourbon and finishing it for 9 months in a barrel that was previously used to age maple syrup,” Vander Pol continued. “The maple finish amplifies the sweetness inherent in bourbon whiskey and imparts a creamy mouthfeel to the viscous finished spirit. These whiskey releases expand our craft whiskey offerings to five distinct spirits, highlighting what a small batch distillery can do.”

Gray Skies Distillery was named Michigan Distillery of The Year in 2016 at the 7th annual New York International Spirits Competition on the strength of its gold medal winning Barrel Finished Gin. The Gray Skies Distillery line up of spirits are currently available in hundreds of licensed retailers, bars and restaurants around Michigan. Distribution is currently limited to Michigan, but the distillery hopes to expand into additional states with future whiskey releases.

 

About Gray Skies Distillery:

Grain to glass, locally made in Grand Rapids.

At Gray Skies Distillery, we don’t try to be everything to everyone. Instead, we focus our attention on our process, flavors, environment and those looking for the unexpected. We take pride in introducing traditional spirits – like gin, whiskey and rum – with a surprising flavor twist, making them unique to Gray Skies Distillery. Our small-batch process is married with traditional methods to create a spirit that is innovative and exceptional in quality. We are committed to working with local businesses whenever possible to craft our flavor-forward spirits. From local malted barley to repurposing Michigan maple syrup barrels, our innovative ingredients push the limits on what good spirits truly embody.