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

kalamazoo beer week

Breweries, bars, restaurants and other venues will provide unique programming all week

 

KALAMAZOO, MI – The first community in Michigan to host a “Beer Week” celebrating its craft beer culture will toast to a decade in January. 

Kalamazoo Beer Week will be held Jan. 11-18 with a variety of new and unique events as well as some fan favorites for the beer-loving traveler and local alike. The week-long program will feature new beer releases, food pairings, meet-and-greet opportunities, behind-the-scene glimpses, recreational activities and more. 

“For the past ten years, we have seen significant growth in the craft beer industry throughout the Kalamazoo region. From support of the annual celebration of Kalamazoo Beer Week to the launch of the Give-A-Craft ® Beer Trail, Discover Kalamazoo has invested in the promotion of craft beer as one of many reasons to discover Kalamazoo,” Discover Kalamazoo President and CEO Greg Ayers said. “We are excited to be the presenting sponsor of this annual event.” 

One of the other highlights of this year’s events will be the introduction of a digital presentation of Discover Kalamazoo’s popular “Give A Craft® Beer Trail” program where visitors receive a reward for visiting at local breweries. Launched to coincide with Beer Week, the digital passport will allow visitors to check in on their mobile devices to receive the reward. 

Discover Kalamazoo took over management of the event from Imperial Beverage in recent years and continues to promote the events around the region. Among the more popular events offered at Kalamazoo Beer Week are: Bell’s Brewery’s Snow Jog; Tibbs Brewing Co.’s CANtucky Derby; Beer vs. Wine battles, beer dinners, specialty tappings and many others. 

Kalamazoo Beer Week was imported here by local distributor Imperial Beverage in 2011 and inspired by a similar concept held in Philadelphia. Imperial Beverage, fronted by the Cekola family, had been named Craft Beer Distributor of the Year by the Brewers Association in 2010 and decided a “Beer Week” would be an appropriate way to celebrate the title. 

The annual event expanded after 2011 to include more area distributors and local breweries, as well as nontraditional venues. Other communities around the state have replicated the program. In previous years, Kalamazoo Beer Week featured more than 250 events.

 

speciation

The natural brewery and winery will open a new tasting room on Wealthy Street in 2020

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH.– Speciation Artisan Ales and Native Species Winery will have a new home at 928 Wealthy Street in Grand Rapids.

The new tasting room for the nature-inspired brewery and winery will open later in 2020 pending licensing and approvals.

Co-owners Mitch and Whitney Ermatinger say the move from Comstock Park will bring their products closer to their customers.

“It’s time to get more of our product directly into people’s hands,” said Mitch Ermatinger. “We have always looked at Wealthy Street for a potential taproom location because of the area’s strong sense of community and identity. We are excited to play a part in the growth of one of the best and most exciting business corridors in the city!”

Speciation Artisan Ales is a “mixed culture” brewery, which specializes in wild ales and ciders inspired by the variations that can be found in nature. Native Species Winery extends those concepts to wine, using foot-crushed grapes and natural fermentation techniques. Both businesses source Michigan-grown ingredients for their products.

Moving the businesses to the new location near the intersection of Wealthy and Diamond will enable them to stay on top of industry trends, Ermatinger said.

“The craft beer movement is shifting significantly—away from distribution and toward tasting room and direct sales,” Ermatinger said. “We would like to stay ahead of the changes in the industry and position ourselves for long-term stability with a wide range of house-made small batch beverages, including beer, natural wine, wine spritzers, seltzers and cider.”

The Comstock Park taproom will close when the new taproom opens, after which the Comstock Park location will be used for production only.

“Our current location in Comstock Park served its purpose to get us started, but it’s time to get more of our product directly into people’s hands. We believe the best way to do that is to move to a more central location,” Ermatinger said. “The many excellent businesses on Wealthy and Cherry Street complement each other so well, and we think that we will be a strong asset to that community.”

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.

Local Petoskey brewing company opens full-state distribution in Michigan this month

Beards Brewery has distributed throughout most areas of Michigan up until this time, growing their Charlevoix production facility gradually as demand increases; but they will be opening distribution in Southeast Michigan for the first time, effectively making Beards available state-wide. 

Flagship beers include Luna, Oh! The Citranity!, Serendipity Porter, and Owlmadillo. Consumers will also be able to find their infamous and fun Fall seasonal, Deez Nutz, on the market. Their portfolio offers quality, balanced beers that are approachable for all drinkers. Look for them in craft-centric, independent stores and bars and restaurants. 

Beards Brewery, opened by Petoskey locals Ben Slocum and Peter Manthei in 2012, has grown both their hometown pub as well as their distribution these past seven years. Beginning as a 50-person capacity brewery operating on a one barrel brewing system, the company has always offered an atmosphere of quality beer through community, starting at home in Northern Michigan. 

In 2017 Beards Brewery moved their home pub into a larger facility in downtown Petoskey where they now offer up to 24 taps, all beers (and one cider!) of their own creation and recipe. Alongside the growth in beer offerings, they also offer a full food menu–recognizable pub fare, but done in a quality way using local ingredients, innovation, and creativity. The space also boasts a large music stage and outdoor patio, regularly hosting local musicians and artisans as well as monthly concert series and artist spotlights. 


beer city brewers guild

The festival will feature new and exclusive beer selections from more than 20 Grand Rapids breweries

 

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. — The Beer City Brewers Guild has announced it will host a new beer festival celebrating the craft brewing community of Grand Rapids this fall. “Brews in the Grove” will take place on Saturday, October 19 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Riverside Park in Ballpark 4. The festival will feature never-before-tasted offerings from a diverse selection of breweries.

“This will not be a fest filled with beers from our regular beer lineups,” said Mitch Ermatinger, vice president of the guild and co-owner of Speciation Artisan Ales.

The Beer City Brewers Guild is a group of Grand Rapids brewers working in collaboration with beer-centric businesses to celebrate, promote and raise awareness for the craft brewing culture of Grand Rapids.

For the last three years, the guild has hosted a Pro-Am competition, which pairs local award-winning homebrewers with microbreweries to craft unique recipes. Entries in the 2019 Pro-Am competition will be available to taste at the festival.

“These are all one-off beers, but many of them become so popular that they make it into regular lineups for breweries,” Ermatinger said.

The winner of the 2019 Pro-Am competition will be announced at the festival.

Over 20 Grand Rapids breweries will be represented at “Brews in the Grove,” and each participating brewery will have at least one new beer made especially for the festival on tap.

“We are requiring every brewery to debut a new beer at this fest,” Ermatinger said. “That can be either a one-off keg, or a whole new brand or batch of beer.”

Unlike many beer festivals, which are often hosted by third parties, “Brews in the Grove” will be hosted by the brewers of Grand Rapids.

“The sole purpose of this festival is to celebrate and promote beer made in Grand Rapids, so the brewers of GR are coming together to throw a unique event,” Ermatinger said.

Tickets to the festival are $45 each and include 10 tokens. Each token purchases one 3-ounce sample of any beer at the festival. Additional tokens will be available for purchase for $1 each. Tickets will available to purchase on Eventbrite.

The festival promises to be a celebration of the one-of-a-kind craft beer community that has earned Grand Rapids nationwide recognition.

“I’m excited to have one event for the brewers and beer fans of Grand Rapids to come together and show the world why we are consistently named in publications as being one of the best beer cities in the country!” Ermatinger said.

About Beer City Brewers Guild

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

draft beer

(LANSING, Mich) – The Michigan Brewers Guild, in partnership with the Michigan Department of Agricultural and Rural Development, is presenting a series of free seminars this fall throughout the state geared toward effective draft line system cleaning and maintenance. Any brewery, microbrewery, brewpub or retail establishment serving draft beer (including front line staff, managers and owners) is encouraged to attend one of these sessions and get their program certified as managers of quality draft beer delivery systems.

The 2.5-hour seminars will focus on four key areas:

  • Knowing your site’s draft system (equipment and design)
  • Proper draft beer storage and service
  • Cleaning and maintaining a safe and sanitary draft beer delivery system
  • Troubleshooting your site’s draft system

Upon completion of the seminar, each attendee will also receive a copy of the Brewers Association Draught Beer Quality Manual as well as certification that they are trained in proper management, sanitation and quality of draft beer delivery systems.

While there is no charge to attend the seminars, pre-registration is required through the official Eventbrite channel. Upcoming dates include:

As additional events are scheduled this fall, they’ll be posted on the Guild’s Facebook events page.

The seminars are being facilitated by Garry Boyd, a long-time member of the local craft beer community. Garry’s last adventure was as the VP of Food, Beverage & Cultural Innovation at BarFly Ventures (the parent company for HopCat, Stella’s Lounge and Grand Rapids Brewing Company). During his 10 years with BarFly, he oversaw all food and beverage menu development, including the expansive beer program as well as the sustainability and charity initiatives for the company’s brands. From 2016 until 2019, Garry served on the board of the Michigan Brewers Guild where he chaired both the Sustainability and Quality committees.

Anyone interested in hosting a seminar should contact Garry at Draft.Quality@MichiganBrewersGuild.org.

 

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.