brewers grove

Tree Beer Release kicks off on Feb. 15

Grand Rapids, Mich. — From Feb. 15-Mar. 15, many of your favorite Grand Rapids breweries will be serving tree-themed beers to support increasing the city’s urban forest and tree canopy. Brewers Grove is an annual collaboration between Friends of Grand Rapids Parks and Beer City Brewers Guild that raises funds for a tree planting and tree-beer party in the fall.

Participating breweries, distilleries and cider houses have created tree-themed beers to sell during Experience GR’s Beer Month GR. When the month wraps up, they’ll make a donation to Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, a nonprofit organization working to empower people to cultivate vibrant parks, green spaces and trees in the city.

The funds raised from tree beer sales will be used for a community tree planting and tree-beer party where the public can chat with brewers, plant trees and enjoy music and yard games. The trees planted will improve tree diversity in the city, provide a source of food to wildlife and park users and replace removed ash trees lost due to the Emerald Ash Borer epidemic.

“Everyone can agree that we need great green spaces and parks and that planting trees is a good thing,” said Jackson VanDyke, president of Beer City Brewers Guild. “Planting trees is also a concrete way that we can all participate in giving back to our city and the citizens who support us.”

Tree Beer Month will kick off with a celebration at Harmony Hall on Feb. 15.

brewers groveThroughout the month, fans will be able to find tree beer at 26 participating brewers. Harmony Brewing Company will offer DePeach Mode: Peach Gose a traditional Gose brewed with coriander and salt, and fermented on fresh peaches. Brewery Vivant’s feature is Nordhouse IPA brewed with juniper berries, MI-grown Chinook hops, and their farmhouse yeast. It is made in homage to the sprawling juniper trees in the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area. Elk Brewing will offer Black Trumpet Ale brewed with wild harvested mushrooms that mainly grow on Beech, Oak or other broad leaved trees. Black Trumpet mushrooms tend to leech a blackish color and will give a nice earthiness to the beer.

Brewers Grove started in 2013 when local brewers with the Beer City Brewers Guild asked Friends of Grand Rapids Parks how they could give back to parks and public spaces. Since its inception, 159 trees have been planted and over $30,000 have been raised for Friends of Grand Rapids Parks.

The event helps the City of Grand Rapids get closer to its goal of 40 percent tree cover, adopted in 2011 Green Grand Rapids plan on the recommendation of the City’s Urban Forestry Committee.

“In addition to helping achieve the City’s tree canopy goal, we also want to increase the city’s tree canopy because of all the health, economic, safety and energy benefits trees bring to our community,” said Tori Power, development coordinator at Friends of Grand Rapids Parks.

Learn all about Brewers Grove on the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks website.

About Beer City Brewers Guild

As a group of greater Grand Rapids area brewers, in collaboration with beer-centric businesses, the Beer City Brewers Guild works to celebrate, promote and raise awareness of the craft brewing culture in the Grand Rapids community. The nonprofit guild was founded in 2016 to function as a vehicle for collaborations, charitable giving and knowledge sharing around the subject of craft brewing.

About Friends of Grand Rapids Parks

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks is an independent, citizen led, nonprofit organization founded in 2008, working closely with but separate from the City of Grand Rapids. Their mission is to empower people to cultivate vibrant parks, trees and green spaces in the Grand Rapids community. The organization envisions thriving parks and a sustainable urban forest that actively supports the community’s economic, environmental and cultural health.

railtown brewing

 

The Tale of Two Rails has closed. After duking it out privately in court since last September, Railtown Brewing Company and Byron Station LLC reached a settlement regarding the trademark infringement from the name “Railbird Taphouse and Brewery.” Today, the Byron Center brewery has unveiled its new title: “Alebird Taphouse and Brewery.” It’s hard to believe that Alebird fought tooth and nail to  a change so simple. To think this legal entanglement, the backlash from the beer community, the wasted energy that suspended their opening date, all balanced on the crux of an ‘R’ —it’s almost hilarious from an outsider’s perspective.

To Justin Buiter, co-founder of Railtown Brewing Company, I’m certain the situation’s absurdity amounted to more migraines than laughs. “In an industry where camaraderie and collaboration typically prevail, we’re disappointed that getting here had to take so long and involved attorneys,” Buiter said in their press release today.

While the craft beer market continues to welcome new members on its shelves, this story signals that friendly relationships with competition are important but brand protection comes first. If Railtown didn’t object to Railbird’s infringement, the flood gates could open for others to operate under other “Rail” names, ultimately watering down recognition for an identity they’ve worked so hard to cultivate.

Still it can prove tricky navigating that perception between bully and business owner. In this case, Railtown exits this confrontation with grace. Compromise was on the table from the jump, and Railtown had even offered to help pay for some of the rebranding fees. It’s a shame the name switch required coercion but hopefully the two breweries can avoid a lifetime grudge match. “We wish the crew over at Alebird Taphouse and Brewery well,” Buiter said. “We’re excited to see what they bring to the growing Grand Rapids beer scene and the local Byron Center community.”

For us craft beer enthusiasts, a few pints are in order to wash away the memory of this unfortunate case. I’d say a couple glasses of Peanut Butter Cocoa Time at Railtown should do the trick.

Here are the rest of the details from the press release.


 

DUTTON, Mich. — Railtown Brewing Company has reached a settlement with Byron Station, LLC, a company Railtown accused of trademark infringement. Byron Station, LLC sought to name its yet-to-be-established brewpub “Railbird Taphouse and Brewery.”

Byron Station, LLC has agreed to change its brewpub’s name to “Alebird Taphouse and Brewery,” cease using “Railbird Taphouse and Brewery” as its name, withdraw any trademarks including the word “Railbird” and refrain from seeking further trademarks including the word. The company will keep its existing logo, referred to as “the burgundy chicken.”

Railtown Brewing Company has allowed Byron Station, LLC the right to name one beer “Railbird,” which may only be sold on tap at Byron Station’s premises in Byron Center, Michigan and may not be packaged. The company may also produce merchandise relating to the “Railbird” beer, so long as the “Alebird Taphouse and Brewery” name is clearly tied to it. Railtown also agreed not to use the word “Railbird” in any manner.

Byron Station, LLC declined to agree to confidentiality or a non-disparagement clause and chose not to collaborate with Railtown Brewing Company on a joint press release regarding the lawsuit.

“All along the way, we’ve been trying to find a middle ground that would work for both of us,” said Justin Buiter, co-founder of Railtown Brewing Company.

That began when Railtown Brewing Company approached Byron Station, LLC in May 2018 to notify the company that its brewpub’s name infringed on Railtown Brewing Company’s trademark. Railtown requested that the company change its branding and offered financing to assist in covering the costs of establishing a new name and brand.

“We said, basically, ‘We just want to make sure that you guys are going to be able to open your doors, and that a name change isn’t going to be the thing that keeps you from opening,’” Buiter said.

Byron Station, LLC refused that offer and continued to use the “Railbird” name, which led Railtown Brewing Company to reluctantly pursue a lawsuit.

“We’re relieved to have reached a settlement,” Buiter said. “In an industry where camaraderie and collaboration typically prevail, we’re disappointed that getting here had to take so long and involved attorneys.”

Now that the lawsuit is in the rearview, Buiter is looking forward to re-centering on what he and co-founder Gim Lee got into the business for.

“With this behind us, we can get back to focusing on what we love: beer,” Buiter said. “We wish the crew over at Alebird Taphouse and Brewery well. We’re excited to see what they bring to the growing Grand Rapids beer scene and the local Byron Center community.”

dragon's milk white

The bourbon barrel-aged white stout’s official release is February 8

 

Holland, Mich. — New Holland Brewing Company is excited to announce the launch of Dragon’s Milk White: a bourbon barrel-aged white stout. The first Dragon’s Milk product to be enjoyed in cans, Dragon’s Milk White offers a fresh approach that builds on a strong bourbon barrel-aging tradition.

“The white stout is an entirely new Dragon’s Milk experience, pulling many of the same awesome flavor notes that our fans have come to love in our original bourbon barrel-aged stout, but presenting them in a way that is completely unique,” said Dominic Bergquist, brand manager for Dragon’s Milk. “It’s not simply a visual play. The hazy golden color is really just the first cue that this beer is going to be unique, with the aromas and flavors that follow making it something we feel is truly special to behold.”

At six percent ABV, Dragon’s Milk White brings a much lighter—but no less full-flavored—drinking experience to the table. It promises to appeal to traditional stout drinkers as well as those who simply are looking for a well crafted, full-flavored and accessible drinking experience.

Available in cans, Dragon’s Milk White can be enjoyed in more places and on more occasions, giving fans even more opportunity to “share a legend.”

“Dragon’s Milk White is made in the same proud tradition of its namesake, yet stands on its own for celebrations for all life’s savored moments,” said Brett VanderKamp, founder and owner of New Holland Brewing Company. “It is a true testament to the brewing team at New Holland, who, after 20 years, continue to push the boundaries of what a barrel-aged stout can be.”

Dragon’s Milk White will be officially released in New Holland’s pubs in Grand Rapids andHolland on February 8, and a nationwide release will follow.

bell's brewery

Double Two Hearted, Official & more

COMSTOCK, Mich. – A new year is in full-swing and Bell’s Brewery has a number of incredible releases planned for 2019.

First up is Hopslam. Cans, kegs and mini-kegs started shipping on Jan. 2. Events and special tappings continue as fresh Hopslam make its way to its final destinations after leaving the brewery.

Following Hopslam was the release of Larry’s Latest Flamingo Fruit Fight, a new tart Fruit Ale brewed with passionfruit and lime zest. Bottles, cans and kegs have started shipping and begun appearing on store shelves and on tap. Flamingo Fruit Fight is the latest packaged release in the Larry’s Latest series, beers that highlight and continue the innovation that Larry Bell started in 1985 and continues at Bell’s to this day.

In February, Bell’s Official Hazy IPA will start heading out as Bell’s newest year-round offering. Cans, bottles and kegs will head to all of its markets followed closely by the return of summer and Oberon Ale! This year’s Oberon Release Day is set for March 25. Oberon mini-kegs featuring a brand new design for 2019 will follow later this summer.

“This is just a preview of coming attractions, though not all of them are ready to share just yet. We still have a few more surprises to come,” Larry Bell, President and Founder of Bell’s Brewery said.  “A few years ago we debuted The Planets Series, beers inspired by the work of Gustav Holst. This year, we’re going to introduce a new series inspired by the arts, but this time a little closer to home.”

“Our Leaves of Grass series will kick off later this year, we’ll have more to share on that soon,” he added.

2019 will also see the return of Sparkleberry and, after a two year hiatus, Smitten will also return in bottles and on draft.

Debuting in bottles for the first time will be the highly sought after Double Two Hearted, everything Bell’s fans love about our classic Two Hearted Ale, but in a Double IPA. It will ship in July.

Also coming in 2019 will be new packaging options, some new looks for Bell’s classics and an impressive lineup of Bell’s General Store exclusives, including 750 mL bottles that are a direct result of recent investments in Bell’s innovation pipeline. Consecrator Doppelbock and Quinannan Falls will both be bottled on Bell’s Specialty Line for release at the General Store as well.

Hopsoulution, a Double IPA that was added to Bell’s year-round lineup for Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin last year will continue to be available in those states with the addition of Minnesota in April. It will remain a specialty release for the rest of Bell’s distribution footprint.

Other returning favorites include Third Coast Old Ale, Expedition Stout, Octoberfest, Arabicadabra Coffee Milk Stout and much more.

bell's brewery

2019 releases at a glance

(Specialty releases will be limited and availability will vary from area to area.)

JANUARY

  • Hopslam Double IPA (10% ABV) – 12 oz. cans packaged in 6-packs, 5L mini-kegs and draft
  • Larry’s Latest Flamingo Fruit Fight (5% ABV) – 16 oz. cans packaged in 4-packs, 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs and 12-packs plus draft

FEBRUARY

  • Official Hazy IPA (6.4% ABV) – 12 oz. cans packaged in 6-packs and 12-packs (Michigan only), 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs and 12-packs plus draft

MARCH

  • Oberon Ale (5.8% ABV) – 12 oz. cans packaged in 6-packs and 12-packs (NEW), 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs and 12-packs, 16 oz. cans packaged in 4-packs and draft

APRIL

  • Hopsoulution Double IPA* (8% ABV) – 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs and draft

MAY

  • Smitten Ale (6% ABV) – 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs and 12-packs and draft
  • Pooltime Ale (5% ABV) – 12 oz. cans packaged in 6-packs and draft
  • 5L Oberon mini-kegs
  • First release in our new Leaves of Grass series (TBA).

JUNE

  • Sparkleberry Ale (9% ABV) – 16 oz. cans packaged in 4-packs and draft)

JULY

  • Double Two Hearted (11% ABV) – 12 oz. bottles packaged in 4-packs and draft
  • Second release in our new Leaves of Grass series (TBA).

AUGUST

  • Special Double Cream Stout (6.1% ABV) – 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs

SEPTEMBER

  • Best Brown Ale (5.8% ABV) – 12 oz. cans packaged in 6-packs (NEW) and 12-packs, 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs and 12-packs, 16 oz. cans packaged in 4-packs and draft
  • Octoberfest Beer (5.5% ABV) – 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs and 12-packs plus draft
  • Expedition Stout (10.5% ABV) – 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs and draft
  • Third Coast Old Ale (10.2% ABV) – 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs and draft
  • Third release in our new Leaves of Grass series (TBA).
  • Returning Double IPA (TBA)

OCTOBER

  • Arabicadabra Coffee Milk Stout (5.5% ABV) – 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs and draft

NOVEMBER

  • Winter White Ale (5% ABV) – 12 oz. cans packaged in 6-packs and 12-packs (NEW), 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs and 12-packs, 16 oz. cans packaged in 4-packs and draft
  • Christmas Ale (7.4% ABV) – 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs and 12-packs, draft
  • Cherry Stout (7% ABV) – 12 oz. bottles packaged in 6-packs and draft
  • Fourth release in our new Leaves of Grass series (TBA).

*Hopsoulution is a year-round release for a handful of Bell’s states and a specialty release for the majority of Bell’s distribution area. 


ABOUT BELL’S BREWERY, INC.

Bell’s Brewery, Inc. began in 1985 with a quest for better beer and a 15 gallon soup kettle. Since then, we’ve grown into a regional craft brewery that employs more than 550 people over a 40 state area, in addition to Puerto Rico and Washington DC. The dedication to brewing flavorful, unfiltered, quality craft beers that started in 1985 is still with us today. We currently brew over 20 beers for distribution as well as many other small batch beers that are served at our pub in Kalamazoo, the Eccentric Cafe. Our ongoing goal is to brew thoughtfully, creatively and artistically. 100% family-owned and independent, we strive to bring an authentic and pleasant experience to all of our customers through our unique ales and lagers.

 

imperial stout

First Mothership Release of 2019

 

imperial stout

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.  Founders Brewing Co. has announced the first release of the 2019 Mothership Series. Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout (12.8% ABV) is a complex bourbon barrel-aged stout featuring the warm and roasted characteristics of a thick stout, with the added richness of oak and vanilla notes from the barrel-aging. This beautiful beast of a beer is the fifth release of the Mothership Series and will debut as a Founders taproom-exclusive on January 23.

“This is the biggest, boldest taproom Mothership Series release yet,” said Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki. “We took what’s already a huge beer, Imperial Stout, and aged it in bourbon barrels for not one, but two years. The oak from the barrel complements the cocoa and licorice notes perfectly. This one should go quick!”

The taproom Mothership Series is an ultra-limited, brew team favorite beer series only available at the Founders Grand Rapids and Detroit taprooms. Whether it is an old standby brought out of retirement or an experimental new style, it’s sure to go quickly. The previous Mothership beers have included: Panther Cub, MF Donkey Stout, Sleeper Cell and Red’s Rye IPA. The release of Mothership Series Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout coincides with the first day of Cellar Raid on Wednesday, January 23, five days of taproom exclusive, small batch, barrel-aged and never-before-tapped beers at the Grand Rapids taproom.

Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout will have a retail price of $15.00/6-pack.

 

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. A proud sponsor of chasing the American dream, Founders launched the Chase Your What If campaign in January 2019 to inspire all beer fans to live life to its fullest. Located in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, Founders is a member of the Michigan Brewers Guild.

new holland

New Seasonal Brands And Expansion Of Dragon’s Milk Stout

HOLLAND, Mich. — New Holland Brewing Company, West Michigan-based craft brewer and distiller, is kicking off 2019 with the announcement of two new seasonal brands and an addition to the Dragon’s Milk™  brand family.

“We are excited about our new line-up that focuses on innovative recipes that we feel are really going to strike a chord with our customers,” said Joel Petersen, Vice President of Beer Sales. “We know consumers continue to look for brands that push the envelope for what beer can be, and our production team has responded with some outstanding recipes this year – much like our Tangerine Space Machine we introduced last year, which became our #1 draft brand in Michigan in 2018.”

Dragon’s Milk fans can look forward to a delicious new Dragon’s Milk brand extension in a 12oz can to be released February 2019. The new addition to the Dragon’s Milk family builds upon the stout’s bold new branding and #ShareALegend campaign, which can be seen at DragonsMilk.com.

new holland

2019 New Holland Brewing Company Beer Lineup

“This announcement will be an exciting one for our team as we work to expand the Dragon’s Milk brand and initiative with a delicious new beer, inspired by the best-selling barrel aged stout. This new variety will be the first 2019 addition to our core lineup and will be available nationwide,” said Brett Vanderkamp, President and Co-Founder of New Holland. “New Holland will continue to release four Dragon’s Milk Reserve brands throughout the year.”

The first new seasonal offering is a Kombucha IPA, releasing in late February of 2019. This IPA combines the refreshing fruit forward flavor of a citra hopped IPA with the tartness and spiciness of a lemon and ginger Kombucha. As soon as the can is opened, consumers will be met with flavors of fresh ginger, tart acidity, tropical fruits and citrus.

The second new offering is “Cerveza con Limón,” a Mexican-style lager. The ideal summer beverage, releasing in July 2019, is light, crisp and refreshing featuring natural lemon and lime peel.

“To our knowledge, our Kombucha IPA is the first IPA of its kind and we are incredibly optimistic about the response it will get from our consumers,” said Petersen. “Both of our new seasonal offerings will be available in the Mid-West and other select states. In addition to these exciting new varieties, we are also shifting our popular Passion Blaster Rose Ale from a seasonal brew to a year-round offering due to its popularity in 2018.”

The 2019 sour lineup will continue with 4 brands, releasing individually throughout the year. Three of which will showcase fruits such as Concord Grape, Mango, and Plum.  As always, New Holland expects to maintain some flexibility in its lineup throughout the year, and encourages consumers to follow along for additional announcements on Facebook and Instagram.

 

rockford brewing

Rockford, Mich — Rockford Brewing Company will be hosting a weekend long party on Friday December 21 and Saturday December 22 to celebrate its 6th year of business. Attendees can expect a specialty food menu, discounts, beer releases, live music and more.

On Friday December 21 from 11 am – midnight, patrons can bring in a stein and fill it with 32 ounces of select beer for $5, enjoy a Bavarian themed menu, and also have a chance to win gift cards and mug club memberships throughout the day. Popular country/pop artist Kari Lynch will be performing at 8:30 p.m. In addition to food, beer and entertainment, Rockford Brewing Company gift cards will be discounted as followed: $20 for $25 gift card or $40 for a $50 gift card.

The following day, Saturday, December 22, will be a holiday extravaganza with holiday-themed trivia (teams of four) starting at 4 p.m. with mug club memberships for the winning team, an ugly sweater party, “A Charles Dickens Christmas” inspired menu, and a holiday set from local rockabilly band Delilah DeWylde and the Lost Boys at 8:30 p.m. Plus, all merchandise will be 50% off.

Rockford Brewing Company will be releasing two new beers: an imperial oatmeal coffee stout, and an amber ale.

Seth Rivard, Co-owner of Rockford Brewing Company, comments on their growth over the years, “We’ve had an exciting six years in the Rockford community and now we want to throw a party for all of those who supported us,“ said Rivard. “Since inception we’ve opened a kitchen, started bottling and canning our brews and putting them into statewide distribution, won awards, and more. We not only want to celebrate our business, but the customers and staff who have helped us get to where we are today.”

Rockford Brewing Company focuses on three things: quality, community, and culture. Founded in 2011 along the scenic Rogue River and White Pine Trail, RBC believes in celebrating the drinking and food culture from around the world while utilizing the best ingredients West Michigan has to offer. They are also a music and artist venue, showcasing local talent and providing a gathering space for all. Brewing beers and creating food that are both innovative and familiar, RBC is your home away from home.  


mitten brewing

The latest Mitten Foundation project will benefit Safe Haven Ministries

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — This winter, The Mitten Brewing Company and The Mitten State have teamed up to proclaim “Love Shouldn’t Hurt.” The companies’ Mitten Foundation collaboration will raise funds and awareness for victims of domestic abuse.

Sales of LOVE IPA, a red India Pale Ale brewed for the cause, or a LOVE tee, hoodie or glass will support Safe Haven Ministries: a Grand Rapids organization dedicated to serving women and children who have suffered domestic abuse.

“Helping families in our area this winter is as easy as enjoying the Michigan beer and apparel you already love,” said Scott Zubrickas, co-owner of The Mitten State.

mitten brewing

The fundraiser kicks off on November 21 and will continue until the companies have raised $10,000 for Safe Haven Ministries. The funds will underwrite shelter costs for area women and children seeking safety from domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse is a prevalent issue nationwide: one in three women have been victims of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime, according to a national report from the CDC. The problem pervades Grand Rapids, too.

“Last year, our two companies came together to grant money to our Westside neighbors in need of heating assistance. We noticed that the bulk of the applications came from women, but more interesting was that they were all survivors of domestic abuse,” said Dana Mate Dones, president of Mitten Foundation, Inc. “This year we understood that the best approach to helping was through the experts in the subject, Safe Haven.”

Safe Haven Ministries provides emergency shelter, case management, support groups and more to women and children suffering from domestic abuse. The organization also provides education and prevention programs for businesses, schools, healthcare providers and other members of the community.

mitten brewing

LOVE IPA will be sold only at The Mitten Brewing Company’s Grand Rapids location at 527 Leonard St NW. LOVE branded apparel and goods will be available for purchase online at themittenstate.com or at The Mitten State shop at 415 Bridge St NW.

“We’re confident that with the help of our amazing customers we can meet our goal and ensure that area women and children in crisis are safe and warm this winter season,” said Chris Andrus, co-owner of The Mitten Brewing Company.