Currents events, gatherings, tastings, all around good times.

7 monks

Traverse City, Mich. – Seven years ago Matt Cozzens and Jim Smolak had a dream to bring great beer and great food to Traverse City. They dreamed big, opening their craft beer bar with an almost unheard of 46 taps; wine, cider, local mead; and an ever changing bottled beer selection. Fast forward to today and 7 Monks Taproom – thrice named to Draft Magazine’s 100 Best Beer Bars in America – is celebrating a monumental anniversary.

According to co-owners Matt Cozzens and Jim Smolak, it’s time to party. And they plan to do just that on Sept. 22 as they present the “7 Monks Experience” from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Back Abbey.

“This celebration captures the best of our past 7 years of friendships created through beer,” said Cozzens.

Those friendships will be highlighted with 7 different brewery tents:

  • Short’s Brewing Company Tent featuring multiple past 7 Monks Taproom  anniversary ales/lagers plus this year’s edition; Gratitude – a hoppy farmhouse ale

  • Odd Side Ales Tent featuring the 7 Monks 7th Anniversary Dank Juice IPA

  • Local’s Tent featuring Low Bar, Filling Station and Earthen Ales

  • Schilling Beer Co./Resilience Tent featuring Travese City friends who operate these great breweries out in the White Mountains of New Hampshire

  • Trappist Tent featuring Chimay, Rochefort, and other Trappist gems

  • Founders Brewing Co. Tent

  • Left Foot Charley Winery and Tandem Ciders Tent

Taqueria Las Lagunas food truck will be on site in the Back Abbey, and Timed Tappings will take place throughout the event, including:

4 p.m.: Transient Artisan Ales (Bridgman, MI)

6 p.m.: Speciation Artisan Ales (Grand Rapids, MI)

8 p.m.: HOMES Brewery (Ann Arbor, MI)

10:30 p.m.: Mystery Tapping

No party is complete without live music, and 7 Monks is ready to serve up the best.

“We are thrilled that we will be joined by Jesse Ray and the Carolina Catfish and The Go Rounds,” said Smolak.

Tickets are $7 each and include your first pour (12 oz.) of any draft beer featured in the Back Abbey. Event tickets may be purchased by visiting 7 Monks Taproom in Traverse City or by going online to ?. Additional drink tickets will be available to purchase on-site for $5 per 12 oz. draft pour. Attendees must be 21+ to enter the Back Abbey.

 

About 7 Monks Taproom:

7 Monks Taproom is a craft beer bar and gastropub that has twice been named one of America’s Best Beer Bars by Thrillist and to Draft Magazine’s 100 Best Beer Bars in America for three consecutive years. With a heavy focus on Belgian Ales, especially Trappist beer, European ales and lagers, 7 Monks also offers a variety of wine, cider, and the best craft beers from Michigan, the United States, and the world. 7 Monks-Traverse City is located at 128 S Union St and 7 Monks-Grand Rapids. Visit them online at 7MonksTap.com.

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.

 

north peak cans

 

(Dexter, Michigan) — North Peak Brewing Company is thrilled to announce the installation and commissioning of their first canning line.

“With our Up North motto and lifestyle, canning our beer was inevitable and the time has finally come,” North Peak CEO Tony Grant explains the brewery’s decision on changing their packaging, “Cans pair with a more active lifestyle of dynamic activity and leisure, whether you are biking, kayaking, fishing, golfing, or simply relaxing watching the sunset from a hammock.” This portable, more environmentally friendly packaging lends itself to the outdoor way of life represented throughout the North Peak brand.

North Peak is launching their new packaging with Hail and Sparta cans. Last year, North Peak released rivaled beers Hail Pale Ale and Sparta IPA, because the brewery itself is divided with University of Michigan and Michigan State University alum.

Hail Pale Ale is the perfect tailgate beer. This American Pale Ale is golden in color, light-bodied and delicious. It is dripping with hoppy goodness with notes of citrus, apricot, and peach. Hail is a well-balanced beer made with maize and blue to celebrate all things Michigan.

Sparta IPA is a bold IPA with a dank, assertive hop character. Its aggressive profile of Summit, Simcoe, Citra, Cascade and Amarillo hops give this IPA the hop character to make you shout “Go Green!” Well balanced with a malt backbone, it has flavor notes of tangerine, grapefruit, peach and apricot all backed with a hint of pine.

The release of these two beers in cans is sure to be the talk of the tailgate this upcoming football season. The brewery is releasing 6-packs of 12-ounce cans throughout the state of Michigan.

 

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.

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.


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