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

Founders Brewing Co. announced today that Pale Joe, a pale ale brewed with coffee, will be released on draft and in 6-pack bottles this September. Proceeds from the sale of Pale Joe will go to benefit ArtPrize 2016, the world’s largest art competition held annually in Grand Rapids, MI.

Most coffee beers begin with a dark, stout or brown ale base. Not this one. Your eyes will tell you one thing, but your palate will tell you another. Light in color but full in flavor, this golden ale features notes of gently roasted, fruit-forward coffee. Pale Joe features a special blend of high-end Ethiopian coffee expertly roasted by our hometown neighbors at Ferris Coffee and Nut. It’s the lovechild of your favorite iced coffee and, well, beer. Pale Joe comes in at 5.4% ABV.

Founders Brewing“Pale Joe came out of my current infatuation with pale, sessionable beers,” says Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki, “Being the ArtPrize beer, I wanted to play with expectations so I experimented with adding coffee to a lighter, pale ale. Turns out, using gently-roasted, fruit-forward coffee adds a nice roasty flavor that does not complete with the malts in the beer.”

This is the fourth beer brewed to benefit ArtPrize. Previous releases include Inspired Artist Black IPAMosaic Promise and Spectra Trifecta.

Founders Family members were given the opportunity to submit their portfolios to find an artistic match for the Pale Joe label, without knowing anything about the beer. Lead Cellar Operator and Kendall College of Art & Design graduate, Aaron Rossell, was chosen for his striking character illustrations and unexpected use of color. Aaron developed the character of Pale Joe, a leathery, dirty-overalled man as a symbol of  blue-collar, hardworking, coffee-sipping Midwestern farmers with the hope that he can help bridge the gap between artists and common-folk.

ArtPrize, an international art competition, promotes critical dialogue and collaboration through new, creative ideas among a large and diverse population of people. As an innovator in redefining what beer can be, Founders believes that experimentation is central to the human experience—whether one experiments with grains and hops or markers and watercolors—and that sharing one’s creation with the public is a brave act worth celebrating.

“We’ve always been thrilled with our strong relationship with Founders, the official brewery of ArtPrize and one of the best craft brewers in the United States,” noted Christian Gaines, ArtPrize Executive Director. “Our partnership, now in its fourth year, is built upon a mutual passion for our community, and a shared commitment to challenging the familiar — exemplified in Founders’ latest special release for ArtPrize Eight, Pale Joe.”

This year marks the eighth edition of ArtPrize, which will take place September 21–Oct. 9, 2016. The Founders taproom will be a venue for the eighth year running.

Pale Joe will hit shelves beginning September 13 in Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, New York City and Boston, MA with limited availability on draft across our remaining distribution network.

spelling beer

B.O.B.’s Brewery, the oldest microbrewery in Grand Rapids, and DrinkGR, a local online community of like-minded individuals who promote Grand Rapids’ microbrewery and cocktail cultures, will host the second annual Spelling Bee(r) on Thursday, July 21 from 6-10 p.m. at The B.O.B.

Participants and spectators alike will enjoy an evening of craft beer from Gilmore Collection’s Brewmaster John Svboda, a multi-round spelling bee with words no harder than a 5th-grade reading level, and good-natured fun from the night’s hosts from local improvisation group, Funny Girls. The cost to enter the spelling bee is $5 per person and registration will take place on the day of the event at B.O.B.’s Brewery. Ticket proceeds will benefit the Grand Rapids Public Library’s Summer Reading Program—a program that encourages and provides ways for local youth to keep up with their reading skills during the summer academic break.

“We’re thrilled to partner with the great people at B.O.B.’s Brewery and DrinkGR again this year,” said Shirley Gagnon Allen, manager of Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation. “This is such a fun, easy way to help us help the kids of our city with keeping their reading skills sharp while they’re away from school for summer vacation—and we greatly appreciate their support.”

The first place winner of the spelling bee will get a $200 Gilmore Collection gift card; 2nd place will get a $100 gift card, and 3rd place will receive a $100 gift card.

Psychedelic cat grass

Elk Rapids, Mich. – Short’s Brewing Company of Bellaire and Elk Rapids, MI announces distribution of Psychedelic Cat Grass, a triple dry hopped American India Pale Ale. Billed as a “Without Delay IPA,” Short’s plans to package and distribute the beer within 24 hours; allowing customers to enjoy this beer on the same day it was packaged, resulting in out-of-this world freshness.

The brewery describes Psychedelic Cat Grass as a triple dry hopped American India Pale Ale first brewed for HopCat. Aromas of pineapple, mango, and grapefruit accompany the brew’s slightly hazy, pale orange color and lasting white head. A dry finish is preceded by balanced flavors of tropical fruit and bitter hops.

The idea to package and distribute a beer in one day came from Short’s Partner, Scott Newman-Bale. “We originally talked about executing this at our pub only, but in true Short’s fashion we decided to push ourselves further and extend this to the state of Michigan and beyond. Why not go all in and see just how psychedelic we can get?!”

According to Newman-Bale, the company plans to send Psychedelic Cat Grass to any of their current distributors willing to take on the challenge of same day distribution. So far this includes Short’s longtime Michigan distributor, Imperial Beverage. Full distribution information will be posted on Short’s website at a later date. Psychedelic Cat Grass will also be served on tap at Short’s Bellaire pub and for sale in bottles at the pub and Short’s Mart, Short’s Bellaire “brewtique.”

Psychedelic Cat Grass will be distributed in six-packs of 12 oz bottles and a limited number of kegs on August 17th, 2016. The label artwork for this IPA is three dimensional and each six-pack includes its own pair of 3D glasses. An earlier batch of Psychedelic Cat Grass will be served on tap at the Michigan Brewers Guild 2016 Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti, MI on July 22nd and 23rd, at Tribes Beer Fest held at Tribes Alehouse in Chicago, IL on July 23rd, and at HopCat locations.

Psychedelic cat grass

Elk Rapids, Mich. – Short’s Brewing Company of Bellaire and Elk Rapids, MI announces distribution of Psychedelic Cat Grass, a triple dry hopped American India Pale Ale. Billed as a “Without Delay IPA,” Short’s plans to package and distribute the beer within 24 hours; allowing customers to enjoy this beer on the same day it was packaged, resulting in out-of-this world freshness.

The brewery describes Psychedelic Cat Grass as a triple dry hopped American India Pale Ale first brewed for HopCat. Aromas of pineapple, mango, and grapefruit accompany the brew’s slightly hazy, pale orange color and lasting white head. A dry finish is preceded by balanced flavors of tropical fruit and bitter hops.
The idea to package and distribute a beer in one day came from Short’s Partner, Scott Newman-Bale. “We originally talked about executing this at our pub only, but in true Short’s fashion we decided to push ourselves further and extend this to the state of Michigan and beyond. Why not go all in and see just how psychedelic we can get?!”
According to Newman-Bale, the company plans to send Psychedelic Cat Grass to any of their current distributors willing to take on the challenge of same day distribution. So far this includes Short’s longtime Michigan distributor, Imperial Beverage. Full distribution information will be posted on Short’s website at a later date. Psychedelic Cat Grass will also be served on tap at Short’s Bellaire pub and for sale in bottles at the pub and Short’s Mart, Short’s Bellaire “brewtique.”
Psychedelic Cat Grass will be distributed in six-packs of 12 oz bottles and a limited number of kegs on August 17th, 2016. The label artwork for this IPA is three dimensional and each six-pack includes its own pair of 3D glasses. An earlier batch of Psychedelic Cat Grass will be served on tap at the Michigan Brewers Guild 2016 Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti, MI on July 22nd and 23rd, at Tribes Beer Fest held at Tribes Alehouse in Chicago, IL on July 23rd, and at HopCat locations.

brewery vivant

Brewery Vivant will celebrate another milestone in sustainability efforts with their recent installation of a 192 solar panel array atop their production brewery and adjoining pub. A ribbon cutting is planned for “Monk Club” Tuesday, July 19 at 4pm at the Pub. Mayor Bliss and other public officials will join owners, staff, monk club members and the public at large for ribbon cutting and official toast.

Renewable energy has been a goal since opening in December 2010, with the hope of achieving 10% from onsite sources. This installation projects Brewery Vivant will be able to produce 20% of its energy needs using the sun, in addition to purchasing renewable energy through Consumers Power and its Green Generations program. The 54kw system covers the chapel (pub) roof and adjacent brewery facility. Brewery Vivant partnered with nonprofit Green Brewery Project and with Michigan based Renovo Energy, LLC for this project, who have also helped breweries like Short’s, Dark Horse, and Arbor reach sustainable energy solutions.

Brewery Vivant’s solar power sustainability measure comes in addition to its LEED silver certification, B­Corp certification, and Bicycle Friendly Business status. “It has been a process.” Owner & Sustainability Director, Kris Spaulding says, “With this most recent expansion, we felt ready and more able to invest in solar.” The brewery recently installed three new 60 ­barrel fermentation tanks at 925 Cherry Street which will bring their annual capacity from 5,000 barrels (31 gal/barrel) to 9,000. “We make craft beer [and from ­scratch cooking], but we also want to make a positive impact on our community.” Spaulding says, “Investing in our collective future with sustainable energy is one way we can do this.”

The announcement comes as a part of several major projects Brewery Vivant has been working toward and has achieved:

  • 192 Solar Panels Array on the roof, to produce 20% of energy needs onsite
  • Squeeze in a few more brew tanks, to increase capacity of neighborhood brewery from 5000 bbl to 9000 bbl;
  • Release sour & wood aged beers at a distributable scale via new Plein de Vie series (June 5th);
  • Source burger beef from local Michigan farm, family ­owned Wernette Beef (enough to supply the 10,000lbs of beef to grill up over 20,000 burgers annually at the pub);
  • Re-­certify as a B-­Corporation via Philadelphia ­based nonprofit B­Lab (In 2014 Brewery Vivant became the 4th West Michigan B­Corp with 86 points of the 80 necessary. After an onsite audit for re­certification, BV achieved a score of 110);
  • Partnering for the second year in a row with Kids Food Basket and neighboring Congress Elementary School to underwrite the Sack Suppers program (for each Brewery Vivant kids meal purchased, BV will donate 5 sack suppers)

The solar power ribbon cutting ceremony will take place next Tuesday July 19 at 4pm at Brewery Vivant, located in the East Hills neighborhood at 925 Cherry Street, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506. All are welcome.

Grand Rapids, MI  — Jason Ley, craft beer enthusiast and modest underdog from Grand Rapids, MI, has been quietly brewing an idea for a TV show for almost the last two years. Now, it’s ready to crack open.

modern ahabs

The show, titled Modern Ahabs, explores the hunt for the world’s most elusive craft beer. With this generation’s boom in brewing, craft beer has become more than a casual pastime hobby. Like rookie cards in mint condition or vintage toys still in their original packaging, craft beer is a worldwide phenomenon — a drinkable collector’s item. Modern Ahabs dives into the unique fanaticism that steers the pursuit for these highly sought-after, coveted trophies — known to enthusiasts as “whales.”

The pilot episode features Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS) by Founders Brewing Company, of Grand Rapids, MI.

Ley, who created the show, wrote and produced the episode. He enlisted the help of director, Ben Wilke and his video production company, Deep End Films, to film and edit Modern Ahabs. Modern Ahabs is a non-staged, reality-style episodic series.

Filming took place in Grand Rapids, MI in March 2016 during KBS’s city-wide release festivities, KBS Week. Locations featured in the pilot episode include HopCat, Derby Station, The Winchester, The Meanwhile, and Founders Brewing Co.

Ley will host the premiere of the pilot episode of Modern Ahabs on Thursday, July 21, 2016. It will take place at Wealthy Theatre, 1130 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. This free event is open to the public. KBS will be available on draft. *Membership to Wealthy Theatre is not required to purchase KBS for this special, general admission event.

Ley’s ultimate goal for Modern Ahabs is to partner with a major TV, cable or streaming network — to develop a series of multi-episode seasons, with each episode featuring a different national or international craft beer whale.

upper hand brewery

Escanaba, Mich — ­Upper Hand Brewery is throwing a BBQ ­Yooper Style  in the backyard of their brewery this summer. The brewery¹s First-Ever Backyard BBQ will take place on Saturday, July 23, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 3525 Airport Rd, Escanaba, MI.

Tickets to the BBQ are $25 in advance and $30 day of. Admission includes first beer, commemorative pint glass, all the BBQ you can eat, free lawn games and music by local U.P. favorites Driver, Conga Se Menne and Grassfire. To celebrate the occasion, Upper Hand will also be tapping a number of specialty beers during the event.

“Our fans and the local Escanaba community have been amazing with their support of the brewery and we wouldn’t be here without them,” commented Larry Bell, President and Founder of Upper Hand Brewery and Bell¹s Brewery, Inc. (Upper Hand is a division of Bell¹s). “The BBQ is a chance to not only celebrate summer in the U.P., but even more so, everyone who has helped us get where we are today.”

For more info or to purchase tickets, visit the brewery’s taproom in Escanaba or go to www.uppperhandbrewery.com. All attendees must be 21 or over.

ABOUT UPPER HAND BREWERY

Brewed on a 20-barrel system in Escanaba, Michigan, our beers celebrate the beauty and uniqueness of the north and our community. We may be a young brewery, but our roots run deep. Upper Hand beers are available throughout the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin. We brew our beer in the North, where it is meant to be enjoyed. We invite you to visit and enjoy not only our beer, but the wonder and beauty of Michigan¹s Upper Peninsula.

You can also stay in touch with Upper Hand on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

New Belgium

Ft. Collins, Colo. – New Belgium Brewing’s annual Clips Beer & Film Tour is coming to Grand Rapids on Friday, July 15. This free event, now in its seventh year, features short films and a selection of small-batch beers with 100 percent of the proceeds from beer sales going to Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition. In total Clips has raised more than $659,000 for nonprofits, with close to $10,000 coming from Grand Rapids in 2015. The event kicks off at Ah-Nab-Awen Park at 8:00 p.m., with the films starting at 10:00 p.m.

“This year is actually New Belgium’s 25th anniversary, so we’re doing things a little differently,” said Christie Catania, Clips national special events manager. “We asked ten filmmakers to incorporate the year 1991 into their film, as a way to salute the year that New Belgium got its start. The films do a great job of bringing us back to the glory days of big hair, questionable fashion, and outdated technology!”

In addition to a night of films under the stars, Clips offers a venue where guests can try New Belgium’s most esoteric beer offerings. Many of New Belgium’s Lips of Faith beers can be hard to come by and Clips offers the best way to try them. Eleven varieties from Lips of Faith to brewery classics will be available in 3-ounce samples, 12-ounce pours, or cans. For a complete list of beers available at the Grand Rapids stop, click here. Food from local food trucks will be available for purchase: Gettin’ Fresh and A Moveable Feast.

New Belgium, promoters of environmental stewardship, encourages attendees to think twice about throwing away trash, with a significant amount of waste diverted from landfills at each stop. In addition, all locations will have bike valet, encouraging people to ride their bike to the showings.

Clips Beer & Film Tour – Grand Rapids Stop

When:
Friday, July 15

Time:
8:00 p.m., with films starting at 10 p.m.

Where:
Ah-Nab-Awen Park

Proceeds Benefit:
Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition advocates for safer and more accessible bicycling in the Greater Grand Rapids area.

Recycling By:
High Five Program

Cost:
Admission – free
3 oz. sample –  $1.50
12 oz. beer –  $6.00

Other tips:

  • You will be asked to prove that you are old enough to enjoy an adult beverage. Please bring your government issued ID. No ID means no beer!
  • Bring low chairs or blankets – or lounge on the grass! 
  • No outside alcohol – leave the libations to us.
  • Picnics are welcome, although you might want to check out our local food vendors before you bring your own!
  • Bring your water bottle. We give water away for free. Look for the tall blue signs and stay hydrated!
  • We LOVE dogs. If you choose to bring Fido, please come prepared to keep your dog under control, on a leash, curbed, and by your side.
  • Walk, ride your bike, carpool, take public transportation…please.  

For the latest information on Clips, go to NewBelgium.com/Clips. For more information on New Belgium Brewing, visit NewBelgium.com.


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