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hand sanitizer

Grand Rapids distillery has converted from producing craft spirits to Michigan-made hand sanitizer

 

Grand Rapids, Michigan – Over the course of the last month, Long Road Distillers has shifted from producing Michigan-made craft spirits to Michigan-made hand sanitizer in order to help meet the tremendous needs of the community during the current outbreak. To help speed up the process, the Grand Rapids distillery has partnered with several Michigan breweries to provide beer that can be distilled and converted into ethyl alcohol, the primary ingredient in hand sanitizer.

“We have all of the equipment on site to produce hand sanitizer from scratch,” said Jon O’Connor, co-owner of Long Road Distillers. “Our two large stills allow us to take fermented grain or fruit and turn it into 190 proof neutral spirit, much like we do in the process of producing our vodka.”

For Long Road, the pinch point in speeding up production is fermentation capacity. To overcome that roadblock, they are now working with several Michigan breweries who are providing beer that can be run through the still. To date, Long Road has partnered with The Mitten Brewing Company, Founders Brewing Company, Perrin Brewing Company and Shorts Brewing Company. Some of the beer had been kegged for restaurant use, while some was brewed by the companies specifically for the purpose of distilling into sanitizer.

hand sanitizer

“The craft beverage world has always been about creativity, excellence and service,” said Chris Andrus, co-owner of The Mitten Brewing Company. “This effort is just a natural extension of that; quickly working together to solve problems and meet a need in our community.”

So far, Long Road Distillers has worked with nearly 300 health care providers, nursing homes, grocers, social service agencies and other essential businesses to provide sanitizer to keep patients, residents, employees and customers safe. Their ability to offer this is due in large part to those who have come to the support of the distillery at this time.

“We’re fortunate to have such a collaborative beverage community in Michigan!” exclaimed Kyle VanStrien, co-owner of Long Road Distillers. “The willingness of our friends to step up and help us in this effort has certainly been one of the brightest silver linings during these difficult days.”

Long Road Hand Sanitizer is available for purchase in individual spray bottles and in bulk refill jugs, with primary focus given to front-line providers and essential businesses and their employees at this time. Interested organizations may submit inquiries about procuring sanitizer through Long Road’s website: www.LongRoadDistillers.com/handsanitizer/

A limited number of individual spray bottles are being sold to the public through the distillery’s weekly take-out service, and orders must be placed in advance through the takeout link on their website. Pick-up of sanitizer, as well as cocktail kits and bottles-to-go are offered Thursdays (12-5p) and Fridays (12-6p) in Grand Rapids, and Saturdays (10a-2p) from their Grand Haven location. Long Road Hand Sanitizer can also be found at several local retailers.

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.  For more information, visit www.LongRoadDistillers.com or find Long Road Distillers on Facebook or Instagram @longroadgr.

 

long road distillers

They captured a total of 8 medals at the American Craft Spirits Association’s annual event

 

Grand Rapids, Michigan – Long Road Distillers captured eight new honors at the 2020 American Craft Spirits Awards, presented by the American Craft Spirits Association, including 2 Gold medals for Long Road Aquavit and Long Road Raspberry Liqueur.

Under normal circumstances, the winners of the American Craft Spirits Awards are announced at the annual convention for the American Craft Spirits Association, the national non-profit association representing the country’s craft spirits producers. However, with events around the country being cancelled or postponed, this year’s winners were announced via livestream with distillers and spirit enthusiasts tuning in to hear the results.

In addition to Gold medals for Aquavit and Raspberry Liqueur, Long Road won Silver medals for Long Road Grand Absinthe, Long Road Amaro Pazzo, and Long Road Old Aquavit, and Bronze medals for Long Road Rum, Long Road Nocino, and Long Road Apple Brandy.

“The annual ACSA conference and awards banquet is always a highlight of the year,” said Jon O’Connor, co-owner and co-founder of Long Road Distillers. “It’s truly an honor to have the hard work of our team recognized again this year, despite the circumstances that postponed the event.”

The ACSA Annual Convention was scheduled to be held this week in Portland, OR, but will now be rescheduled for later in the year. The judging process is chaired by distiller and industry phenom Maggie Campbell, President of Privateer Rum in Ipswich, MA. A carefully selected group of more than 30 expert judges evaluated more than 500 entries in seven different categories.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to be part of an organization is member owned and member driven,” said co-owner and co-founder Kyle VanStrien. “These awards don’t come easily – those of us in the craft spirits industry are our own harshest critics.”

Long Road’s no-shortcuts approach to crafting spirits and a dedication to using locally sourced ingredients has earned them numerous honors and awards, as well as international acclaim for some lesser-known spirits categories, such as Aquavit. Their spirits can be found at the distillery on Grand Rapids’ West Side, at tasting rooms in Grand Haven and Boyne City, and at over 2,500 retailers, bars, and restaurants throughout the state of Michigan.

 

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.

About the American Craft Spirits Association: The American Craft Spirits Association is the only registered national non-profit trade group representing the U.S. craft spirits industry. Members vote for the 15 democratically elected representatives who make up the Board of Directors, and this Board collectively works to govern the ACSA in a transparent, responsive manner and in accordance with association bylaws. Their mission is to elevate and advocate for the community of craft spirits producers. Learn more by visiting www.americancraftspirits.org.

eastern kille

GRAND RAPIDS – Eastern Kille Distillery participated in the world’s largest spirits competition for the first time and both of their entries earned awards.

The West Michigan based spirits distiller earned a gold award for their 4 year bottled-in-bond bourbon and a silver award for their 4 year aged rum at the 20th annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

The San Francisco World Spirits Competition is the world’s largest, with entries and judges from all over the world. More than 40 judges are split among tables or panels, while volunteers cart nearly 3,000 spirits to the panels. San Francisco has a history of bringing attention to relatively unknown brands, such as St. Germain and Tito’s.

Eastern Kille’s bourbon was among only 4 bourbons in the craft distillery whiskey category to receive a gold level award and the only from Michigan.

eastern kille“We are proud to receive recognition from San Francisco, which is widely regarded as the most important spirits competition in the world, for our bottled-in-bond bourbon”, shared Steve Vander Pol, cofounder of Eastern Kille Distillery. “This gold award represents over 4 years of a truly craft process; the process we founded our distillery on.”

Bottled-in-bond dates back to the 1800’s and is one of the earliest forms of a consumer protection law. The bottled-in-bond designation mandates that brands clear numerous rigorous hurdles. The spirit must be aged for at least four years and bottled at precisely 100 proof (50% abv). It must be made by one distiller at a single distillery in one season, then aged in a bonded warehouse.

This is the first bottled-in-bond bourbon that the distillery released. It was aged 4 years and 14 days and produced 234 bottles which sold out the day it was released on March 17, 2020. Ten bottles were held for when the tasting room reopens. Another small batch of bottled in bond will be released in October 2020 and it will hit store shelves in the summer of 2021. The “little brother” of the bottled-in-bond was released last year, Michigan Straight Bourbon Whiskey is 90 proof vs the 100 of bottled-in-bond and is widely available.

During this time of crisis, Eastern Kille is offering to-go bottles and cocktail kits. They have also shifted production to hand sanitizer in the short term.

founders

Founders Brewing Co. has launched #CraftedinMI, a new online campaign to support the local arts community in Michigan. Founders has pledged to use their social media platforms to help promote artists that are deeply affected by Covid-19 Michigan, including makers, musicians, culinary artists, small business owners and more. Throughout the stay-at-home order, the team will be sharing some of their favorite Michigan-based craftspeople with the goal of bringing awareness to their talent and driving support during this time of need.

“Michiganders are known for their persevering spirit and relentless creativity, especially in the face of adversity,” said Co-Founder and President, Dave Engbers. “We want to celebrate and support our local makers by promoting the amazing work they continue to create, and we hope it will inspire others to do the same.”

“I’m so appreciative of the visibility that Founders provided by sharing my artwork through their social platforms,” said Dayna Walton, owner of Solstice Handmade. “Last week was tough and it’s so hard to sit back and watch everything I had been looking forward to financially and otherwise cancel, postpone, or disappear. With the help directing eyes to my artwork and online shop, I was able to recoup income lost from workshop cancelations in March and continue to move forward with projects that employ other local makers in collaboration! I hope that I can pass on joy and relief I felt with others. It’s during times like these that we realize how essential the non-essentials of life are. Art gives life to our minds, homes, and communities, even when everything else in our world is at a standstill.”

How can you get involved? Visit our site and follow us on social media (@foundersbrewing) to read #CraftedinMI stories and to find out more about lending direct support. Please consider purchasing an item, downloading an album, grabbing a coffee and other meaningful way to keep Michigan’s vibrant artistic and crafts businesses open. For MI-based makers who’d like to be considered for a feature, please reach out to social@foundersbrewing.com.

 

jolly pumpkin

 

Dexter, Mich. Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, the first all wild, oak-aged brewery in the United States, announces the launch of a new canning line for their wild ales. The first beers off the line will be year-round favorites, Bam Bière and Calabaza Blanca. They are also releasing Hyrrokkin, the first release of a new fruited seasonal saison series.

“I’m super excited to be able to bring some of our favorite beers, such as Bam Bière and Calabaza Blanca, and a new favorite, Hyrrokkin, into cans. They are lightweight, convenient, and environmentally friendly. Perfect for any occasion, indoors, or outdoors” said Ron Jeffries, Founder, and Chief Squeegie Operator.

Bam Bière is a low-calorie farmhouse ale that is golden, naturally cloudy, can-conditioned, and dry-hopped for a tasty & delicious balance of spicy malts, hops, and yeast. Bam Bière has won medals in numerous competitions, was named one of the top 25 beers in America by Men’s Journal, and has a RateBeer score of 95.

Calabaza Blanca is a low-calorie farmhouse witbier brewed in Belgium’s bière blanche tradition. Spiced with orange peel and coriander, it is refreshingly tart, with a wonderfully dry finish. Calabaza Blanca has won gold in the Hong Kong International Beer Awards, was named a “Top 50 Beer” by The Fifty Best, and is rated the 12th best witbier in the world by RateBeer.

Hyrrokkin is a low-calorie foeder aged saison fruited with blood orange & ginger. It is an eloquent, crisp, & tart citrus ale with attitude.

“We are excited about this monumental move for Jolly Pumpkin. Our customers have been telling us for quite a while that we needed to give them a way to enjoy our beers in different settings. We always intended for our beers to be enjoyed as part of a special, shareable consumption opportunity and didn’t realize how much Jolly Pumpkin fans wanted to have this experience on the beach, boat, golf course, you name it.  It took us a little while to “get there” but after some serious introspection and rethinking who we want to be when we grow up, we decided to take the leap. We are so excited to bring one of the world’s first barrel-aged, can/bottle/keg conditioned, wild ale breweries to you in our new 16 oz. 4-pack cans to join our beautiful Belgian bottles and draft offerings. Here we go!” said Tony Grant, CEO/CFO of Northern United Brewing Company.

Bam Bière, Calabaza Blanca, and Hyrrokkin will be available for purchase in 16 oz. four-packs at craft beer retailers in April throughout Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Florida, Texas, and Arizona.

 

About Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales: Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales was founded in 2004 as the first all wild, oak-aged brewery in the United States. They are dedicated to more than the traditions of old-world craftsmanship. Everything they do is designed to create ales of outstanding art and flavor. Focusing on traditional rustic country style beers brought to life through a labor of love creates beers that lighten the spirit and soothe the soul.

 

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

detroit founders

Brewery Offers Improved Customer Experience and Unprecedented Community Commitment

 

DETROIT Founders Brewing Co. announced Tuesday that its Detroit taproom will reopen to the public on Thursday, February 6 at 11:00 am. Visitors to the brewery can expect a full taplist with multiple new beer choices, an amended menu and a variety of Mothership Series and “Brewed in Detroit” bottles available for purchase.

“After three months of progress behind-the-scenes, now is the best time to honor our commitments in Detroit and reopen the Detroit taproom,” said company Co-Founder and CEO Mike Stevens. “While our intentions were good when we first launched the taproom in 2017, we need to make more efforts to connect in meaningful ways with the City of Detroit. We’re going to do this right and we look forward to sharing the journey with our fans, community partners and business partners.”

Founders also announced an addition to the team: Emily Faulkner will step into the role of Detroit taproom General Manager. Emily has extensive experience in the Detroit hospitality industry; most recently she served as Operations Manager for TopGolf in Auburn Hills and the General Manager for TAP in the MGM Grand Detroit.

The owners of Founders Brewing Co. will be contributing the income from the Detroit taproom to local Detroit charities for the next three years.

In addition to expanding its charitable giving platform, the Big Pitcher, Founders has agreed to partner with the City of Detroit and its Detroit At Work platform to hire more qualified Detroit residents. The company and Detroit At Work are collaborating to implement hiring practice that will make jobs more accessible to returning citizens and individuals with criminal records.

Additionally, the company is working with Detroit at Work to set up a hospitality training program for Detroit residents so they can earn jobs in the hospitality industry and build successful careers. Those who complete the 2-3 week training program will be rotated into employment at the taproom. The goal is to make this program permanent and to implement it in other businesses around Detroit.

Founders is also deepening its relationship with the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, establishing a health and wellness program for the community, aimed at preventing chronic illnesses, available at the Detroit taproom. This program will provide weekly programming including free health trainings/screenings and nutrition and fitness classes for local residents, as well as employee wellness programs for Founders’ staff, with the taproom serving as a hub of activity.

“Founders is exhibiting what being a good neighbor is all about,” said Interim DEI Director, Buzz Thomas, of Detroit-based Thomas Group Consulting. “Since Founders brought me on board last November, I’ve hit the ground running in helping them establish partnerships in Detroit. It’s clear that the employees’ hearts and minds are in the right place. I have no doubt in my mind that their efforts will make a significant impact in the City of Detroit and in the brewing industry by establishing a program that will serve as the model.”

With Thomas’ guidance, the brewery has also partnered with Grand Rapids-based Global Bridgebuilders. Their approach emphasizes process management, measurement and benchmarking, and continuous improvement, with a core focus on inclusion as a business discipline and Founders is well underway with the implementation of the program.

“We realize this goes beyond financial donations and we’re committed to becoming a more integral part of the Detroit community,” said Co-Founder and President, Dave Engbers. “We’re not viewing the Detroit taproom as a profit center but instead as a hub for community engagement with the residents of the city. ”

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. For more information, visit foundersbrewing.com.

 

 

ice jam

Donation Will Support Kids’ Food Basket Sack Supper Program

 

Comstock Park, Mich. — Perrin Brewing Company is thrilled to announce that this year’s Ice Jam raised $20,000 for Kids’ Food Basket. The fourth annual event took place at the Perrin Pub on Jan. 25 and featured local Michigan live music, along with the Frostbite 5K event, which was attended by 635 runners and walkers. Kids’ Food Basket is a nonprofit organization that provides children living at or near the poverty level with evening meals, so they can have the nourishment they need to be successful at school and in life. A check will be presented to Kids’ Food Basket on Wednesday, Feb. 5.

Every person who registered for the race or bought a concert ticket contributed directly to the dollar amount raised for Kids’ Food Basket. Event guests also donated 765 pounds of food items like toasted oat cereal, fruit cups, dried fruit, cheese crackers, pretzels and snack-size bags. All food donations will be used in the Kids’ Food Basket’s Sack Supper program. A Sack Supper is a free, well-balanced evening meal full of nutritious food delivered to children so that they can perform their best. Sack Suppers are distributed in classrooms at the end of each school day and during summer programs, so every child in need can receive one easily and safely.

 

Kids’ Food Basket serves children who attend schools where 70% or more of the student population receive free or reduced-cost lunch. According to kidsfoodbasket.org, the organization currently serves 52 schools and 8,800 children and there are 29 schools on their waiting list. To help Kids’ Food Basket in their mission to “build a better nourished, healthier future for our community’s kids,” please consider donating here.

 

About Perrin Brewing Company

Established in 2012, Perrin Brewing Company is a young and rapidly growing craft brewery based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Perrin is committed to crafting high-quality and consistent brews and has garnered a loyal local following and a strong reputation for its unique beers. The brewery has won numerous awards including “The World’s Top New Beer Release of 2015” by RateBeer for its No Rules Vietnamese Porter. Through the 2015 partnership with CANarchy, Perrin has experienced exponential growth among package offerings, out-of-state distribution and an increase to over 25,000 barrels of production.

About Kids’ Food Basket

Kids’ Food Basket is a nonprofit organization empowering communities to attack childhood hunger so young people can learn and live well. Through the Sack Supper program, Kids’ Food Basket serves nearly 8,000 kids at 42 schools in Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Holland. More than 250 volunteers each day help prepare, pack and deliver Sack Suppers, a well-rounded evening meal that provides nutrition critical to the development of the brain and body. To learn more, or see how you can make a difference, please visit www.kidsfoodbasket.org.