ichabod

Holland, Mich. — It may not feel like it yet, but the crisp breezes, changing leaves and chilly nighttime bonfires of autumn are fast approaching. So signals the return of Ichabod, New Holland Brewing Company’s classic pumpkin beer, which is slated to appear in bars and restaurants starting August 13.

The beer will be tapped in New Holland’s Grand Rapids and Holland pubs startingSeptember 4.

IchabodIchabod is a pumpkin ale brewed with real pumpkin, malted barley, cinnamon and nutmeg. This marks the beer’s twenty-first year in New Holland’s lineup. In that time, it has become a heavily anticipated seasonal release.

“Ichabod was one of the first beers we ever brewed,” said Brett VanderKamp, Founder at New Holland Brewing Company. “It’s been an absolute favorite for us at the brewery, and our fans in Michigan and beyond, ever since.”

For the first time this year, consumers will be able to enjoy Ichabod in six packs of cans.

“We’re excited to have Ichabod come out in a can. This will be a perfect beer for sipping around the campfire and for tailgating,” Joel Petersen, Vice President of Sales at New Holland Brewing Company said.

Ichabod will be a limited release this year, making it available for a shorter period of time within the season. Petersen said this decision aims to make room for other fall flavors to shine and to allow Ichabod to be in the market during the peak of Fall.

“Fall, with all of its grandeur, offers many flavor profiles, including pumpkin, and we think people can and should explore,” Petersen said.

Many locations pouring New Holland’s Ichabod will also serve Filthy Pumpkin, a 60/40 combination of Ichabod and Dragon’s Milk that Petersen says is a mug club member favorite at New Holland’s pubs.

“When Ichabod comes out, it kicks off the anticipation for the amazing fall season we have here in the midwest,” Petersen said. “This is a beer that pairs well with sweatshirts, sunny days, cool nights and the smell of smoke from the fire pit.”

burning foot

Muskegon, Mich -– Muskegon’s Pere Marquette Beach will ignite on August 25, 2018, for the 4th Annual Burning Foot Beer Festival. Serving as Michigan’s only barefoot beer festival on the beach, festival goers can enjoy some of the finest craft beer found in the Great Lakes region, revel in local art and food, groove to local and national music acts, and take in the beautiful shoreline of Lake Michigan. Burning Foot will feature 70 breweries this year from Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin.

A stellar lineup of music acts will be gracing the main stage with this year’s headliner to be Eve 6. The last two years, Burning Foot has featured the Sublime tribute band Badfish on the main stage. This year the festival will feature two of Sublime’s contributing members Michael “Miguel” Happoldt and Marshall Goodman “Ras MG” performing with the The Long Beach Dub Allstars. Local bands Mustard Plug and Flexadecibel will be returning to the festival this year, having both previously shared the Burning Foot stage in 2016. A new waterfront stage will be featured at the festival this year, with acoustic performances by Brett Dame and Brother James.

Another new aspect to the festival for 2018 is the approach to its food. In years past, they’ve curated some delicious custom menus, but now they’ll be getting 4 local restaurants involved to take the reigns. The official food vendors will be Hamburger Mikey, Rad Dads’ Taco & Tequila Bar, Bone Ends, and Fatty Lumpkins Sandwich Shack.

Burning Foot Beer Festival loves the community it’s located in, and in addition to working with local restaurants will also be involved with some wonderful non-profit organizations. Coming back again is Habitat for Humanity, who runs our Bike Valet, as well as Noah’s Project who operates the Shoe Check-In. (No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem!) The latest addition, Kid’s Food Basket, will be taking care of the new Pretzel Necklace area of the festival.

Brewery List:
Michigan:
Arbor Brewing Company
Arcadia Brewing Company Kalamazoo
Arclight Brewing Company
Atwater Brewery
Beards Brewery
Bell’s Brewery
Big Hart Brewing Co.
Big Lake Brewing
Brewery 4 Two 4
Brewery Vivant
Cedar Springs Brewing Company
Cellar Brewing Company
City Built Brewing Company
Craft House
Cranker’s Brewery
Dark Horse Brewing Co.
Distant Whistle
Draft Horse
Drafting Table Brewing Company
Elk Brewing: Grand Rapids
Fermenta
Fetch Brewing Company
Final Gravity Brewing Company
5 Lakes Brewing Company
Founders Brewing Co.
Grand Armory Brewing
Gravel Bottom
Greenbush Brewing Co.
Greyline Brewing Co.
Griffinclaw
Lansing Brewing Company
Latitude 42 Brewing Company
The Livery
Mountain Town Brewing Company
New Holland Brewing Co.
Newaygo Brewing Company
North Channel Brewing
North Pier Brewing Company
Odd Side Ales
Old Nation Brewing Co.
One Well Brewing
Open Road Brewing
Our Brewing Company
Paw Paw Brewing Company
Perrin Brewing Company
Pigeon Hill Brewing Company
Hudsonville Pike 51 Brewing Co.
Railtown Brewing Company
Right Brain Brewery
River’s Edge Brewing Co.
Rochester Mills Beer Co.
Rockford Brewing Company
Saint Ambrose
Saugatuck Brewing Company
Schmohz Brewing Co.
Short’s Brewing Company
Silver Harbor Brewing Company
Starving Artist Brewing Co
Stormcloud Brewing Company
Thornapple Brewing Company
Trail Point Brewing Company
Tri City Brewing Company
Triple Root
Unruly Brewing
Vander Mill
White Flame Brewing Co.

Wisconsin:
Sprecher Brewery
Milwaukee Brewing Company

Illinois:
Lagunitas Brewing Company Chicago
Revolution Brewing

 

ABOUT LAKESHORE BREWERS GUILD

The Lakeshore Brewers Guild promotes the local craft beer industry and the lakeshore’s natural beauty. As a supplement to the Michigan Brewers Guild, the Lakeshore Brewers Guild is focused on counties that touch Lake Michigan. States included are Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Throughout these counties, the guild is working with its members to build the “Lakeshore Ale Trail,” a region rich in craft breweries, natural beauty, and the economic benefits that flow from successful locally-owned and oriented businesses. Through these collaborative efforts, the Lakeshore Brewers Guild is becoming a driving force in supporting both its members and local economies.

 

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., – Founders Brewing Co. announced today that they will release Curmudgeon’s Better Half as the fifth installment in the 2018 Barrel-Aged Series. Curmudgeon’s Better Half, an old ale brewed with molasses and aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels, is preceded by Dankwood, Backwoods Bastard, KBS and Barrel Runner in the series. This marks the first time the beer has been bottled since 2012.

What tames an old ale like Curmudgeon? The tender embrace of oak and sweet maple, that’s what. That’s right, Curmudgeon’s Better Half features the brewery’s recently retired old ale, Curmudgeon, as the base beer. Aged for months in bourbon barrels that have previously held maple syrup, the result is sweet, rich and utterly delicious.

“We’re tasked with bringing out a handful of new barrel-aged beers a year and some of them may be new inventions and others, like Curmudgeon’s Better Half, will be hits from the past,” said VP of PPIL/ Barrel Maestro, Jason Heystek. “This was a beer that needed to get back into the rotation.”

Curmudgeon’s Better Half will be available in 4-packs of 12oz bottles, 750mL bottles and on draft in the Grand Rapids and Detroit taproom beginning on August 24 and everywhere else later that month. It will have an SRP of $16.99/4-pack and $12.99/750mL bottle although prices will vary by market. 12.7% ABV and 35 IBUs.

“The flavor profile of Curmudgeon’s Better Half has lots of rich specialty grains, toasted malts, caramel malts, and, of course, the perfect hop balance” said Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki. “After that it spends some time in bourbon barrel which gives you vanilla and coconuts tones and the maple gives you the perfect amount of sweetness.”

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 proud member of the Michigan Brewers Guild.

About the Barrel-Aged Series
Crafting legendary barrel-aged beers is an exercise in patience. We start by brewing complex, world-class beer worthy of time in a barrel. Then, our experience and years spent mastering our craft means we know exactly when it’s been aged to perfection. After one sip, you’ll know – it was worth the wait.

 

beer city pro-am

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH.  — The Beer City Brewer’s Guild is hosting the second annual Beer City Pro-Am, a competition that pairs local award-winning homebrewers with microbreweries to create unique recipes to be brewed and shared with the public.

This year’s event brings together 25 of the area’s best homebrewers with Grand Rapids microbreweries. Qualifying homebrewers were selected from the winners of local homebrewing competitions.

“It’s a good chance to connect the homebrewing community and the craft brewing community, because there’s a lot of commonality there,” said Nick Rodammer, co-founder of the event and Pro-Am Committee chair. “It’s also a good chance for local homebrewers to get a little bit of exposure for the quality of the beer they are making.”

Entries will be tapped in participating microbreweries’ taprooms for public enjoyment starting July 30 through August 3.

“I think we have a lot of really interesting releases this year,” Rodammer said. Lagers, ales and a variety of fruit-infused styles make the list, which can be found on the Beer City Brewer’s Guild website.

The beers will be judged by a panel of local, qualified judges based on aroma, appearance, flavor and mouthfeel. The winner will be announced at the Beer City Brewer’s Guild’s annual summer picnic on August 11.

Competing brews will also appear in two tap takeovers. Horrocks Market Tavern will have five Pro-Am entries on tap on August 3 from 5-8 p.m. Logan’s Alley will have 18 of the collaborations on tap from August 10-13, including last year’s winning entry from City Built Brewing Company and homebrewer Paul Arends: Monroe Weiss.

City Built Brewing Company had only recently opened its doors when its collaboration with Arends won last year’s competition. Edwin Collazo, co-founder of City Built Brewing Company, said he was still very involved with the Grand Rapids homebrewing community at the time. Collazo said he can see how maintaining a connection with local homebrewers can benefit the larger brewing community.

beer city pro-am

“How much better will our beer get and how much more innovative will our breweries continue to be because we’re brewing with people who are doing five-gallon batches, reading Zymurgy and other homebrew magazines,” Callazzo said. “[Homebrewers are] super passionate about they do too, so I think the chance to collaborate with them is a great thing for Beer City as a whole.”

And because the Pro-Am competition pairs the best of the best with the professionals, team members have plenty of knowledge to offer.

“It’s truly a collaboration. We really learn from each other,” Rodammer said.

cedar springs

Cedar Springs, Mich. — Cedar Springs Brewing is proud to announce a new partnership with West Side Beer Distributing. The brewery’s historical and traditional Küsterer Bier brand lagers and ales are now available on tap at bars and restaurants in Kent County.

“We are very excited to partner with Cedar Springs Brewing Company and help grow the Küsterer brands’ distribution throughout the Kent County market,” said West Side Beer Distributing Key Account Manager Kyle Klopcic.

West Side Beer Distributing is a beer wholesaler based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The company provides Anheuser Busch products as well as over 40 craft and import beer brands to customers in the Grand Rapids, Lansing, Kalamazoo and Romulus areas.

In June, the distributor began providing Cedar Springs brews on draft at its retailers within Kent County.

“We are fortunate to have some outstanding wholesalers available within our home market, but we felt West Side was the best fit for us and will allow us to service our retail customers more efficiently,” said David Ringler, director of happiness at Cedar Springs Brewing Company.

cedar springs

Cedar Springs Brewing Company’s Küsterer Bier line is named for Christoph Kusterer, a German immigrant who arrived in West Michigan around 1844. One of the earliest brewers in Grand Rapids, Kusterer helped establish a brewing legacy that lasted over a century.

Cedar Springs Brewing Company pays homage to that legacy with their eponymous brand. The beers in the Küsterer Bier brand are brewed following German and Bavarian traditions and include a variety of Weissbiers (Hefeweizens), Pilsner, Märzen, Bocks, Dunkels and other lagers. Find them on draft throughout Kent County now.

“As evidenced by the numerous awards the beers have won, Küsterer brands are brewed to the highest standards, and we feel the traditional German styles fill a current void in the local craft beer market,” Klopcic said.

mushroom head

I’ll admit, sometimes I rest on my laurels when describing any brown beer I’m drinking: “I don’t know, I guess it’s malty?” Malty. Like calling something “interesting,” it’s a cop-out that implies flavor while hardly saying anything at all. Maybe notes of toffee? A rye spiciness and a clean mouthfeel? The breadth of characteristics malt can impart is as wide as it is complex. Still, I can see why drinkers struggle to place what makes malt so special. Suffering from a case of middle child syndrome, malt lacks the panache of palate blasting hops and fails to rile the zeitgeist like wild yeast does—but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. At the foundation of every good beer is its grain, and while malt remains an unsung ingredient in the public eye, there are some passionate maltsters out there looking to change its reputation.

Enter Mushroom Head Malt Company. The brainchild of husband and wife duo Richard and Danni Vierzen, Mushroom Head represents a merging of its founders talents—Danni’s scientific mind and Richard’s ability to harvest just about any crop on Earth in full. A hand on his father’s dairy farm since he could swing a rake, Richard has grown into a man who understands and loves land. He affectionately refers to his own with feminine pronouns, “A heavy rain and her soil will spill into the pond,” and “She’s gonna put out a great harvest this year.” From the looks of it, she most certainly will.

mushroom head

Richard and Danni’s malting journey began a few years back after a bad farm deal. We’ll spare the nitty gritty. Essentially they were forced to shift from their normal farming practices and turn lemons to lemonade—or barley to malt if you will. “We first attended the Great lakes Hops and Barley convention in 2016 thinking that hops would be a good idea,” Danni said. “We quickly saw a need for Michigan barley and we had already been growing top grade cereal grains for the last 10 years.”

So they erected a barn to germinate and kiln grain and then, bingo, a malt farm was born.

Recently, I paid a visit to the Vierzen’s farm in Saranac, MI and spent the day learning more about the process from seed to grain sack. Mostly though, I moseyed about the grounds marveling at their field of barley that stretched into infinity. The Calypso Winter barley with its waist-high stalks swaying in the breeze looked like hairs wisping off an impressionist’s paintbrush. We took a hay ride to the edge of the plot and Richard let me pluck a couple kernels for taste. Plump and healthy, they burst with a sweetness like a grass jellybean. The symmetry and size of the plant suggested a yield that might exceed even Richard’s expectations. Last year the Vierzens harvested about 100,000 pounds of barley. This year the bounty could double, a win-win for Michigan’s agriculture and its craft breweries alike.

The way Danni sees it, there’s a sense of pride to incorporating locally sourced crop. “When I go drink a beer made with Mushroom Head malt, I know I am drinking something one-of-a-kind,” she said. “It has a flavor unlike anything you can buy online. The freshness that comes from buying local cannot be matched!”

Early adopters of Mushroom Head agree. The boys at Thornapple Brewing used some of their cracker malt for a SMASH (single malt and single hop) saison and were impressed by a level of quality not usually seen in our state. In another case, Gravel Bottom tinkered with their Hoppy Bliss wheat IPA recipe to include 2-row pilsner malt from Mushroom Head. Onsite expert Ben Darcie found that the malt gave the beer a bigger body and a better platform for the Michigan grown hops to shine too. “It’s an exciting reflection of where we are,” Darcie said. “It’s our soil and sun encapsulated. We’ve put Michigan in a glass.”

For now, you can find Mushroom Head malt popping up for wholesale at homebrew shops like Siciliano’s and in Michigan beers made by some of our best breweries. That said, it’s well worth the field trip to meet the Vierzens and hear their story firsthand. They’re a tight-knit family, charming and hospitable, and I’m sure they’d welcome you with open arms and beer in hand. While they continue to make a name for themselves with their exceptional product, watch as they grow like their namesake fungus.

 

Dutton, Mich. — Railtown Brewing Company will open the doors to its newly constructed expansion on July 16.

The new building is located at 3595 68th Street SE, Dutton, Michigan—next door to the brewery’s original location. It boasts two floors and an outdoor patio, and it will seat over twice as many guests as the original space.

railtown brewing

The new location’s second floor will eventually be available for private events and beer dinners.

Hungry guests of Railtown Brewing previously had to bring their own food, but the new space has a kitchen that will serve American pub grub with some cultural flavor. Dishes will take inspiration from Chinese, Korean and Dutch cuisine, to name a few.

Exposed ceilings and duct work lend an industrial feel to the new building. It will seem familiar to those who visited the original location, said Justin Buiter, co-owner of Railtown Brewing Company. Popular dart boards will still hang on the walls, and the decor will follow a similar theme.

“It takes a lot of the feel from our current space, it’s just bigger,” Buiter said.

Buiter said the expansion was built by the local community—both literally and figuratively.

In the literal sense, much of the construction on the new building was completed by local businesses.

“Most everybody involved in the project is Michigan based, but we had a lot of trades that came specifically out of Dutton,” Buiter said.

Figuratively, the expansion was built on support received from the Dutton community. When the brewery opened in 2014, Buiter said he wasn’t sure what to expect. Dutton was a dry town until 2005.

“The support from the residents and businesses of Dutton has been absolutely unbelievable,” Buiter said. “Our growth thus far has really been fueled by the local community.”

The brewery’s growth will continue, Buiter said. Railtown Brewing has also doubled their production capacity with new equipment from Psycho Brew, a Michigan-based brewing equipment company. Sights are set on distribution for Railtown Brewing in the near future.

“As we get our feet underneath us and make sure we have our taproom taken care of, we’re going to start looking at opportunities within the distribution market,” Buiter said.

The brewery will celebrate its last hurrah at the original location on Saturday, July 14. The event  will feature special beers on tap.

“All our staff will be present to reminisce about all the stuff we accomplished over here, and the future next door,” Buiter said.

Grand Rapids, Mich. — Grand Rapids’s Harmony Brewing is expanding. The addition of a second kitchen and an indoor/outdoor beer garden has more than doubled the brew pub’s seating capacity at its Eastown location. The new space opens June 13.

harmony

“We will be able to welcome more people to Harmony,” co-owner Heather VanDyke-Titus said. “We’ve prioritized nice big tables. People will know if they want to come with a big group on a Friday, there will be room.”

The expansion will center Harmony Brewing at the “pinnacle of Eastown,” on the corner of Wealthy Street and Lake Drive. The new space promises to maintain the character people have loved about the original Harmony.

“We’re still working within the fabric of what was already there,” Barry VanDyke said. “What people love about that coziness of that side of town–it’s still going to feel that way.”

The expansion also comes with a new feature: pizza and beer delivery. Harmony Brewing will start delivering their wood-fired pizzas, craft beer and retail merchandise this June.

Alcohol delivery has become increasingly popular in recent years. Drizly, an alcohol e-commerce platform, started delivering beer, wine and liquor in select cities in 2012. A variety of Chicago craft breweries started delivering growlers in 2016. More recently, major pizza companies like Pizza Hut and Papa Johns have experimented with delivering alcohol with their pizzas.

But Harmony Brewing is unique in delivering its own craft beer alongside its signature wood-fired pizza.

Delivery will be first available to the neighborhoods surrounding Harmony Brewing, including East Grand Rapids, Eastown and Downtown Grand Rapids.

“We’re going to start fairly small with our delivery footprint until we get our wheels underneath us, so to speak, then we’ll hopefully be expanding from there,” co-owner Barry VanDyke said.

Customers will be able to order pizza, beer and merchandise over the phone and online through Harmony’s new website. Each order must simply meet a $20 minimum. Payment will only be accepted in the form of credit or debit cards and can be processed online or in person.

Harmony Brewing delivery drivers will be equipped with an app to check IDs. During the transaction, the driver will take a photo of the customer’s ID, and the app will store it with the driver’s name and the date and location of the delivery.

“This is a way to bring your whole Harmony experience to your door,” Barry VanDyke said. “Seeking Harmony? Have it delivered.”


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