territorial brewing

 

Springfield, MI — After a year of planning to relocate their taproom, Territorial Brewing Company 

has announced a date. 

The new restaurant and taproom will be hosting a grand opening on Tuesday, December 17 at 1600 Avenue A, 

Springfield. The building has been refurbished since taking ownership from Springbrook Italian Bistro earlier this 

year. 

The microbrewery plans to close their current location with a bang. Territorial’s annual anniversary party, 

Dezemberfest, will take place on Saturday, November 30 and will mark their last day of business at 256 Helmer 

Road North, Springfield. 

territorial brewing

 

 

“This is a big one for us this year,” said Tim Davis, Co-owner and Head of Brewing Operations at Territorial 

Brewing Company. “It’s going to be bittersweet. We’re celebrating our five-year anniversary but also saying 

goodbye to Helmer.” 

Territorial has been growing steadily since opening November 2014. In December 2017, they moved their 

seven-barrel brewing operation into a new production facility in Springfield. Now, they’re moving the restaurant 

to a larger facility allowing for more parking and additional growth opportunities. 

“The new restaurant will accommodate twice as many people with almost five times the parking of the old one,” 

said Chelsea Olmstead, General Manager at Territorial Brewing Company. 

This is only one step in the brewery’s expansion plans. They plan to open a sprawling beer garden and add on 

to the outdoor activities on site. 

“We currently have an 18-hole disc golf course and we’d like to add more.” Olmstead said. “We’re also exploring 

mountain bike trails, an outdoor concert venue and even weddings. We have this beautiful natural space and we 

want our guests to really be able to enjoy it.” 

cedar springs

The brewery is bringing its German-inspired brews to Grand Rapids’s West Side

 

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. — Cedar Springs Brewing is bringing its German-inspired beers to a historically German neighborhood in Grand Rapids.

The brewery has announced plans to develop a second location on the city’s West Side at 642 Bridge Street NW.

Küsterer Brauhaus will join New Holland Brewing Company, Harmony Hall, Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales and the soon-to-come Arktos Meadery on Bridge Street.

The new location is named after Christoph Kusterer, who immigrated to Grand Rapids from Germany in 1844. Kusterer started a brewery in 1847 less than a mile away from what will become Küsterer Brauhaus in 2020.

“We’re excited to return Küsterer Bier to its historical roots, just down Bridge Street from the location of their original brewery and into the evolving ‘Brewery Row’ on the West Side,” said David Ringler, founder and Director of Happiness at Cedar Springs Brewing.

Cedar Springs Brewing opened its doors in Cedar Springs, Michigan in 2015. Heavily inspired by the German tradition of beer brewing, its menu features a mix of Bavarian-inspired food and drink and American pub fare and craft beer.

The new location promises a traditional and authentic German beer hall experience. It will serve the brewery’s signature Küsterer Biers, including traditional Bavarian hefeweizens and lagers, as well as Cedar Springs brand ales and location-specific beers.

“This area was home to several German and Central European beer halls prior to Prohibition, so we look forward to creating a traditional, Munich-style hall as a positive contribution to this vibrant neighborhood,” Ringler said.

Küsterer Brauhaus will have its own three-barrel brewery on site, manufactured in the U.S.A. by Fronhofer Design. The project is being developed by Weber Developments, LLC.

safe haven

The producers will sell specially crafted drinks and merch to benefit Safe Haven Ministries

A group of Grand Rapids craft beverage producers has come together to support Safe Haven Ministries’ mission of solving the problem of domestic abuse in the community.

The 22 businesses have rallied around the proclamation that “Love Shouldn’t Hurt.” 

safe haven

Participating breweries, wineries and distilleries have each created a new beverage named “Love.” The unique brews, ciders and cocktails will be sold at each business with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Safe Haven Ministries.

The project kicks off on November 25 and will run through the remainder of the year.

The Mitten State, an apparel company based in Grand Rapids, will also donate a portion of sales of its Michigan “Love” apparel series. A few participating locations will sell limited edition “Love” pint glasses to benefit the nonprofit.

“First and foremost, the goal of this project is to support Safe Haven in their mission to solve the problem of domestic abuse in our community,” said Dana Mate Dones, operations manager of The Mitten Brewing Company. “But a secondary goal is to prove that when responsibly enjoyed, alcohol can be a force for good and actually be a part of breaking the cycle of domestic abuse, despite its long negative association with the issue.”

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.

“It’s an important consideration for our industry to think about how what we produce affects individuals in our community,” said Edwin Collazo, co-owner of City Built Brewing. “We have taken great care to practice responsibility as it pertains to our environment, our service and training, as well as how those things affect the most vulnerable. Better drinking culture is a real thing!”

safe haven

Participants include Founders Brewing Company, The Mitten Brewing Company, Speciation Artisan Ales, Long Road Distillers, City Built Brewing, The People’s Cider Co., Vander Mill Grand Rapids, Gray Skies Distillery, Cedar Springs Brewing Company, Broad Leaf Local Beer, Harmony Brewing, Harmony Hall, Trail Point Brewing, Rockford Brewing, Thornapple Brewing, Railtown Brewing, TwoGuys Brewing, Wise Men Distillery, Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery, Brewery Vivant, Atwater Brewing, Coldbreak and Better Drinking Culture.

“We are honored to be a part of the ‘Love Shouldn’t Hurt’ project, along with many of our friends in the Grand Rapids brewing community to support survivors of domestic abuse,” said Mitch Ermatinger, owner of Speciation Artisan Ales.

Seasonal favorite Ichabod returns this month with flavors of real pumpkin and spice

 

HOLLAND, Mich. – One of fall’s most legendary pumpkin ales rides again this month with the limited-release batch of “Ichabod” by New Holland Brewing Company, a West Michigan-based craft brewer and distiller.

Ichabod sets the mood for the season with the perfect blend of malted barley, real pumpkin and bewitching notes of cinnamon and nutmeg for a delicious and inviting brew. The result is an approachable and enjoyable beer with an alcohol content of 4.5%. The brew will be offered on tap at pubs across the Midwest and sold in six-pack cans ($9.99 MSRP) at major and specialty craft beer retailers. Ichabod’s label depicts the iconic and spooky “Headless Horseman” character with a wicked pumpkin in hand.

“We released Ichabod for the first time more than twenty years ago and it was one of the first beers we ever brewed,” said Joel Petersen, Vice President of Beer Sales. “The anticipation of this limited-batch ale remains one of our most anticipated releases every fall. For the second year, fans can find Ichabod in six-pack cans.”

To celebrate the Halloween season, New Holland Brewing will host two screenings of Tim Burton’s film, “Sleepy Hollow,” while tapping Ichabod at the events:

Oct. 12 – The Park Theatre in Holland, Mich.
Oct. 30 Halloween Eve – The Wealthy Street Theater in Grand Rapids, Mich.

For event details and more information about New Holland Brewing, visit newhollandbrew.com and follow along for news on upcoming announcements on Facebook and Instagram.

 

 

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.

 

hawaii

Hawaiians can expect to see select Founders releases in cans and draft as soon as the end of July 2019

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., – Founders Brewing Co. has announced that they have partnered with Odom Hawaii – of the Odom Group and the GAB network of wholesalers – to bring their beer to the Aloha State. This marks the 50th state of distribution and successfully completes nationwide coverage for the 22-year-old brewery. Customers can expect to see select releases in draft and cans (as applicable) of All Day IPA, Solid Gold, Rubaeus and Breakfast Stout as early as the end of July.

“My partner Dave and I are very excited to announce that Founders will be heading to Hawaii!” said CEO and Co-Founder Mike Stevens. “It’s always a special time whenever we add a state of distribution and the fact that Hawaii is our 50th state makes it all the more worthy of celebration. It’s long been a dream of ours to see our beer across the US, and the fact that 22+ years later we’ve accomplished this is a testament to our Founders team and our amazing wholesaler partners. Tonight, we raise a glass to the Aloha state and thank everyone throughout America who’s helped us get to where we are today.”

“We’re thrilled to be a part of such a monumental milestone in the Founders Brewing Co. business,” said Vice President of Corporate Sales, Brandon Odom. “We value their partnership and are looking forward to the exciting times to come. Congratulations to Founders on the tremendous success of expanding their business across the entire United States. A truly well-deserved accomplishment!”

Launch events will be taking place as soon as the end of the month. To review information on the Founders lineup and release calendar, visit foundersbrewing.com

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.

 

oberon

COMSTOCK, Mich. – Bell’s Brewery signature summer beer, Oberon Ale, will get a new, temporary look to close out the summer.

Inspired by the 2019 Oberon mini-keg design, limited edition Oberon packaging has started shipping from the brewery. This refreshed look will be reflected across all Oberon packaging: 16 oz. cans (4-packs), 12 oz. cans (6-packs and 12-packs) and 12 oz. bottles (6-packs and 12-packs).

“This is a fun way to celebrate the different parts of the summer season… rest assured, it’s the same beer you’ve grown to know and love,” said Larry Bell, founder and president of Bell’s Brewery.

Oberon is available seasonally beginning in late March through August (Arizona and Florida are year-round distribution states).

 

oberon

One of Bell’s most popular beers, Oberon (5.8% ABV) is an American Wheat Ale fermented with Bell’s signature house ale yeast, mixing a spicy hop character with mildly fruity aromas. The addition of wheat malt lends a smooth mouthfeel. A classic summer beer, Oberon is only brewed with water, malt, hops and yeast.

This same beautiful imagery has also inspired some brand-new Bell’s merchandise that can be purchased online and in person from the Bell’s General Store.

For more information about where to enjoy those last few months of summer, check out Oberon cooking recipes, learn more about the history of the beer and more, visit bellsbeer.com.

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 employs more than 550 people over a 41 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.

bells brewery

Bell’s Brewery makes a lot of beer. During a tour of their sprawling facility in Comstock, Michigan, Austin Giles, our guide and the biggest bear hug of a person, spouts trivia at a mile a minute to drive that point home. Here are a few facts that stuck. Every second, two pints of Two Hearted are sold in Michigan. Every ninety minutes, during three different shifts a day, the team starts a new batch, and to get through one four-hundred barrel fermenter, of which they have sixty-six, it would take a person sixty years while drinking a six-pack a day. Giles smiles as though he’s up for the challenge. 

So yeah, Bell’s makes a lot of beer, but that doesn’t mean they’ve lost touch with their roots. At the beginning of a timeline tracking the brewery’s milestones, there hangs a soup pot—Larry’s first brewing vessel—that could double as a sacred idol. “You look back at the pot and it’s like, oh my gosh, we were the original nanobrewery,” Bell said. It’s true and frankly insane to see how much has changed. When Bell opened up shop his competition included twenty-five other American breweries—only nine of which remain—and by 2020 we’re on track for upwards of eight thousand. Looking at the soup pot, these numbers leave an impression. This humble cauldron ushered in one of the nation’s largest and most successful breweries.

Despite his stature as a beer titan, Bell comes off disarmingly

down-to-earth and easy to get along with.

 

While moseying among the steel tanks, stories high and warehouses long, it’s hard not to feel awestruck by this empire Bell has built. Now distributed in 40 states, the Bell’s footprint goes toe-to-toe with many big box brandsand on its own terms no less. As AB-InBev continues to gobble up craft breweries, and craft breweries merge into conglomerate fortresses, Bell’s remains one-hundred percent independent and family owned. “Big brewers can say all they want that people don’t care who makes their beer, where it comes from, whether it’s independent,” Bell said. “I happen to know that they do.”  

 

I believe we’d all agree. Still, for as much as they care about their consumer, when I think about Bell’s I think about a pair of leather bootsworn in, trusty, but tucked away in a closet and taken for granted. At times, Bell feels forgotten too, “The number one question we get on tours is, is he still with us?”

He most certainly is, and to share a conversation with him now is to get lost in an aura of enigmatic energy. Despite his stature as a beer titan, Bell comes off disarmingly down-to-earth. We ricochet between his dreams of Bollrathian aliens, admiration for Walt Whitman, and musings on baseball. “When my brain has nothing to do, the place it goes is Cubs,” Bell said. Admittedly, his folkish veneer dissolves when he takes a call regarding his new Aston Martin. The sportscar will accompany his collection of eight Jaguars. Hippy turned tycoon, I can’t name another auteur in the industry quite like Larry Bell. I like to imagine he keeps a copy of Leaves of Grass stashed in every glove box. 

That said, when discussing the company, Bell is lucid. “I feel really good and excited about where we are right now,” Bell said. “We have a lot of energy behind innovation and new brands.” Take Flamingo Fruit Fight, Sparkleberry, and Pooltime for example. There’s a noticeable uptick of fun seeping into the portfolio. The Leaves of Grass series embodies the brewery’s free spirit too, breathing life into one of our country’s most nourishing poems. To borrow from verse, “the human race is filled with passion. So medicine, law, business, engineering… these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love… these are what we stay alive for.” Whether the beer takes off or not, it’s touching that Bell would risk sales to indulge a deeply personal project. 

 

Bell’s charters an intriguing way forward during a time when the future of craft beer isn’t entirely clear. Some argue there’s plenty of pie left for newcomers. Others worry how small the slivers are getting. “Let’s face it, we’re seeing the plateau,” Bell said. “Those heady days of 20% growth are gone. A third of the top 50 breweries had negative numbers this year.” 

From the sidelines, it seems like a good time for Bell’s to dig in their heels and pump out Oberon year-round, pile on surplus and see how things shake out, but they refuse to rest on their laurels. In fact, they’ve done the opposite. They’ve invested in a new pilot system to nurture creative recipes on a larger scale, revamped their beer garden to welcome nationally touring acts, and tinkered with their flagships to better reflect a drinker’s taste in 2019. It seems to be working. 

Unfortunately, a lot of press has focused on Bell’s trademark disputes and shifting leadership, but there’s an untold story in how they’re quietly adapting to a changing landscape. As consumer behavior shifts constantly, careful planning has gone into striking a balance between innovation and tradition, and hopefully what this amounts to is Bell’s meaning a little something important to everyone.

Let’s start with the enthusiast, perhaps the hardest to please, because no sooner does Oberon get tapped than it gets maligned on untappd as “worse than last year’s,” or for those who really want to flex their troll cred, “better when it was Solsun.” This vocal minority views Oberon as a scapegoat representing all that’s wrong with mainstream taste. It feels unfair to levy all this anger on one beer. While Oberon does taste mild, even compared to some of its seasonal competition, that’s its intentionto enhance experiences, not distract from them. Ultimately, if it bores, don’t drink it, there’s a wealth of choices to satisfy. Bell’s recently caged and corked The Wild One with raspberries, an open-fermented fruited sour that directly appeals to a beer nerd’s palate. But even these experimental offerings are beside the point. 

“Beer geeks get in their own echo chambers, whether it’s on Beer Advocate or other related groups. From where I sit, the world of beer is quite different,” Bell said. “I look at how much Two Hearted we sell.” As I’m sure you could guess, it’s a lot. “If Two Hearted were its own craft brewery it’d be the 13th largest brewery in the country.” No buts about it, Two Hearted mints cash, but maybe we’re lucky to enjoy this elephant in the brewhouse.  

For the third consecutive year, Zymurgy magazine, the homebrewer’s holy text, voted Two Hearted as the best beer, full stop, ousting the likes of Pliny the Elder and Heady Topper. Bell’s placing could derive from how cozy they are with homebrewers—what other major brewery packages their house yeast for commercial use?—but Matt Moberly, VP of sales and marketing, sees it differently. “Two Hearted’s beauty is in its simplicity,” Moberly said. “I think that sometimes the complexity of trying to innovative and utilize cool-kid hops can overpower the beauty of a balanced beer.” Single-hopped, aromatic, endlessly drinkable, it’s absolutely the six-pack I reach for after getting burned by another New-England murkbomb.

 

This brings us to Official, Bell’s foray into the hazy IPA market, which on a surface level looks like analytics pandering to what’s hot. I’ve caught myself accusing Bell’s of bandwagoning on the hazy train, but Bell anticipated these criticisms from the jump, “Look, we’ve been brewing unfiltered beer for decades,” he said. “If there’s something that’s trendy, how do we do it the Bell’s way, within our ethos and standards.” That means no flour and no shortcuts. While light on haze, the bouquet on Official is huge, and the tasting notes hit requisite citrus flavors without overwhelming the senses.  

A recurring motif from my conversations is the brewery’s insistence on quality. Bell’s gets first pick of centennial hops out west, their foeders are some of the finest in the biz, their brewing and packaging equipment is state of the art and environmentally friendly. They take pride in being a jack of all trades. “We define our brewery based on the breadth of our portfolio, not any single area,” Moberly said. “We strive to be a brewers brewery: let’s be really really good at everything we try.” The Bell’s logo has become synonymous with integrity.

bells brewery

Matt Moberly

So why have some brands like Roundhouse and Quinanan Falls disappeared into the ether? While beer speaks for itself, Moberly has noticed that to capture a younger audience, good liquid on its own doesn’t always cut it. “It’s so crowded now you have to have the total package when you put something out,” he said. “You have to not only have good beer but good branding and imagery for a chance to be successful.” Visually refreshing classics like Porter and Kalamazoo stout shows a willingness to bend even when it hurts. The new typography doesn’t quite match the original’s charm, but the consistent look should block well on store shelves. 

Ultimately, it’s about getting great beer into the hands of those who have overlooked it. For a majority of their brands, this isn’t a problem. Their portfolio has become iconic, slipping into the unexpected cracks of our lives. “I don’t know who climbs a mountain with a can of Coke,” Moberly said. “But they love to carry an Expedition Stout or a Two Hearted, take us along to their favorite places, and share their experiences with us. That’s pretty awesome.” 

Questions of succession remain as Bell reckons with his mortality, “I know I won’t live forever,” he said. I wouldn’t expect a funeral any time soon. His faculties remain acute, and his vision clear as day as a member of the old guard, Bell doesn’t see the craft beer tide reversing any time soon. “The revolution has already won,” he said. “We cracked the cosmic egg.” Whatever the future holds, all signs point to the cosmic scramble turning out in Bell’s favor.