black is beautiful

COMSTOCK, Mich. – Bell’s Brewery is proud to announce that it has joined the Black is Beautiful initiative; an effort to help bring awareness to the injustices many people of color face daily.

The Black is Beautiful initiative originated with Marcus Baskerville, founder and head brewer at Weathered Souls Brewing based in San Antonio. Originally planned as a Weathered Souls-only release, Baskerville was encouraged to expand his reach and make the recipe and label artwork available to all.

“We all have some work to do, Bell’s included, and we are committed to that. It starts on an individual level. We all have a responsibility to do what we can to continue this conversation and help drive real change,” Larry Bell, president and founder of Bell’s Brewery said.

There are currently more than 700 breweries from across the globe committed to this initiative.

Bell’s version of the Weathered Souls Imperial Stout recipe will be released in 6-pack bottles exclusively at Bell’s General Store in downtown Kalamazoo and Upper Hand Brewery Taproom in August.

“Our mission is to bridge the gap that’s been around for ages and provide a platform to show that the brewing community is an inclusive place for everyone of any color. We are asking for all breweries and brewers far and wide to raise a glass with us in unison and participate in this collaboration,” a statement on the Black is Beautiful website reads.

As part of this initiative, Bell’s will make donations to two local Black-led organizations; the Kalamazoo NAACP and Face Off Theatre.

This collaboration brew, while sharing some of the same values, is not part of Bell’s Celebration Series. That series, which empowers different groups within the company that makes Bell’s what it is, will continue later this year with another beer designed and brewed by Bell’s employees.

That next release, which will come from and celebrate Bell’s Black and African American employees, will be released in the fall.

Previous brews have celebrated International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day, the LGBTQ+ community and veterans.

Additional details about Bell’s participation in the Black is Beautiful initiative will be announced as they become available on Bell’s website and social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Upper Hand Brewery is a division of Bell’s Brewery, located in Escanaba, Michigan.

 

ABOUT BELL’S BREWERY

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 distributes to 41 states, 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. For more information, please visit bellsbeer.com.

cerise

Available exclusively throughout Michigan in late June

 

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– Founders Brewing Co. has announced Cerise as the next release in the ‘Brewed for MI’ Series. Cerise is a ruby red, cherry ale brewed with 100% tart, Michigan cherries. Brewed as a celebration of the official state fruit, Cerise is as close you’ll get to tasting the real thing without picking it off the tree. This Michigan-exclusive release will raise awareness for Fair and Equal Michigan, a growing coalition of grassroots citizens, LGBTQ groups, business, political and philanthropic leaders that have joined together to help prohibit discrimination against the LGBTQ community.

cerise“We’re absolutely thrilled to bring back one of our first fruit forward beers,” said Co-Founder and President, Dave Engbers. “Cerise isn’t one of those subtle, just a hint, fruit beers – it’s packed full of Michigan cherries. It’s well-balanced with the perfect amount of sweet and tart. We’re proud that this beer celebrates people and from all backgrounds and beliefs and helps raise awareness for Fair and Equal Michigan.”

Cerise (5.7% ABV) has long been a favorite taproom by employees and fans alike. It was last released in 2019 as a Mothership Series. It will be available for $10/6-pack cans in our Grand Rapids and Detroit taprooms in late June/early July (final date TBD). Cerise will be available in limited quantities in Michigan accounts beginning in late June.

Each release in the Brewed for MI Series aims to raise awareness for Michigan-based non-profits through Founders corporate giving platform, The Big Pitcher. All causes Founders supports fall under three categories: Social Justice, Environment and Arts & Culture and range from local, MI-based organizations to those that operate on a national-level. The ‘Brewed for MI’ Series is Michigan-exclusive series include a lineup of three different beer releases throughout the year. The Brewed for MI Series beers have included Red’s Rye IPA. One more release in the series will be announced later this year.

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.

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

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.

 

pizzapalooza

COMSTOCK, Mich. – Bell’s Brewery is teaming up with restaurants and bars across the country to celebrate two things everyone loves: pizza and beer.

This virtual celebration will coincide with National Pizza Party Day, at 7 p.m. EDT on Friday, May 15, 2020.

Bell’s Pizzapalooza will be a live guided beer tasting hosted by Bell’s streamed live on the brewery’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Four different and unique pizzas and how they each pair with a different Bell’s beer will be featured.

“This event combines two things that should be readily available no matter where you live. Comfort food meets delicious beer in a way that will hopefully help people feel a little connected, something we’re all looking for these days, and help support nearby restaurants and bars,” Larry Bell, President and Founder of Bell’s Brewery said.

The featured beers are Bell’s Official Hazy IPA (6.4% ABV), Light Hearted (3.7% ABV), Porter (5.6% ABV) and Lager of the Lakes (5% ABV). All are available year-round and widely available throughout Bell’s distribution footprint.

Bars and restaurants across the country are participating with a special quad pizza with the pairings. Additional details will be posted at bellsbeer.com.

Short on supplies or can’t order a pizza? Can’t find the exact beers, just their styles? Everyone (21 and up) is invited and welcome to join Bell’s and others to learn about how pizza and beer work together!

Pizzapalooza

 

PIZZAPALOOZA PAIRINGS

Here are the full pairings for the pizza party:

  • Light Hearted Ale with a chicken, bacon and ranch pizza; or a seafood and citrus pizza.
  • Official Hazy IPA with hot Hawaiian pizza or a pizza with goat cheese, hot pepper and peach.
  • Porter with sweet sausage crumbles and mushroom pizza or a pizza with peppers.
  • Lager of the Lakes with a Margherita pizza or a pizza with prosciutto and arugula.

PICKY EATER PAIRINGS / DIY

Don’t like to have a complex pizza or ordering one to share with some picky eaters? Here’s a list of alternative pairings:

  • Light Hearted with a pepperoni pizza.
  • Official Hazy IPA with a ham pizza.
  • Porter with a sausage and mushroom pizza.
  • Lager of the Lakes with a classic cheese pizza.

About the pizza party host:

Jacki Hannon, is a self-proclaimed beer nerd and lover of the culinary arts. The daughter of two bartenders, she brings almost 25 years of experience working in the hospitality industry at independent restaurants along with regional and national chains. As Bell’s On-Premise Key Accounts Manager for the northern U.S., she continues that journey helping to prove that: “Beer is delightful and food is delicious, but together they are epic!”

 

ABOUT BELL’S BREWERY

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 distributes to 41 states, 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. For more information, please visit bellsbeer.com.

 

grand lager

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

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

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

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

grand lager

 

About Brewery Vivant

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

city built

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

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

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

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

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

 

About City Built Brewing Company 

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

winter beer fest

(LANSING, Mich) – Attendees at this year’s 15th Annual Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival on Saturday, February 22 will find more than 130 breweries offering samples of 840-plus different beers. Admission to the festival is for those 21 years of age or older, with valid I.D. required.

Tickets for the one-day event, held from 1-6pm outside at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park just north of downtown Grand Rapids, are available online for $55 (plus a $5 online service fee from EventBrite). Each ticket comes with 15 tokens which are exchanged for a 3 oz. sample of beer (certain higher-priced specialty selections may require additional tokens per sample). The detailed Beer List can be viewed online or is available in the official app from BeerFestList (iTunes and Google Play).

Those wishing to enter the festival an hour before the general public – when a handful of special beers will be available for sampling – should look at becoming an Enthusiast Member at an annual rate of $55. Other benefits include VIP ticket pre-sales for all festivals, members only events and MiBeer swag (a t-shirt, hat or bag).

This year’s entertainment includes Slumlord Radio on the stage from 1:30-3pm, followed by the ceremonial tapping of the festival keg and singing of the Michigan Beer Fight Song, then rounding out the day with Stone Soup and the Broken Teeth from 4-5:30pm.

For more about Winter Beer Festival, especially for those new to the event, the FAQ page provides details about everything from parking to designated driver tickets to what is allowed to be brought into the festival.

The MBG 2020 festival schedule includes:

  • Winter Beer Festival – Saturday, February 22 at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park
    Tickets on sale now
  • Spring Beer Festival – Saturday, May 16 at Turtle Creek Stadium in Traverse City General admission tickets go on sale on Thursday, March 5 at 10am
  • Summer Beer Festival – Friday, July 24 & Saturday, July 25 at Riverside Park in Ypsilanti
    General admission tickets go on sale on Thursday, April 30 at 10am
  • U.P. Fall Beer Festival – Saturday, September 12 at Mattson Lower Harbor Park in Marquette
    General admission tickets go on sale on Thursday, June 25 at 10am
  • Detroit Fall Beer Festival – Saturday, October 24 at Eastern Market in Detroit
    General admission tickets go on sale on Thursday, August 6 at 10am

For more on each festival, visit MiBeer.com/events.

The Michigan Brewers Guild was formed in 1997 and held its first festival in July 1998. Today, the Guild hosts five festivals dedicated exclusively to Michigan craft beer produced by its more than 290 member breweries (a number that increases on a monthly basis).

The Michigan Brewers Guild is the network of innovative and passionate brewers that serves as the recognized advocate for the Michigan craft beer industry. The mission of the Michigan Brewers Guild is to promote and protect the Michigan craft beer industry with an overarching goal to help craft beer acquire 20% of the market by 2025.

Michigan’s thriving 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 #4 in the nation—supporting its title as “The Great Beer State.”