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

brewers association

 

Boulder, Colo. —To educate beer lovers about the craft brewing community and what it means to be independent, the Brewers Association—the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent craft brewers—is launching a new national awareness campaign, “That’s Independence You’re Tasting.” This integrated advertising campaign is part of the Brewers Association’s ongoing efforts to distinguish and promote America’s small and independent craft brewers. The videos will be presented across a variety of media platforms.

“That’s Independence You’re Tasting” takes a proud and positive tone, focusing on independence and choice—both key tenets of craft brewing culture—and tells the story of the country’s more than 6,600 independent craft brewers. These hard-working women and men are entrepreneurs, innovators, collaborators, risk takers and underdogs who advance the beverage of beer.

“Independent craft brewers are a success story for American industry,” said Bob Pease, president & CEO, Brewers Association. “Each of the over 6,600 U.S. craft breweries is a unique contributor to its community and should be celebrated. As a national campaign, ‘That’s Independence You’re Tasting’ generates awareness beyond any one individual brewery or beer and touches the spirit of independence that is a core American value. We are proud to be able to do for all our BA members what would be extremely difficult for them to do individually. Together we are united in independence.”

The initial phase of the awareness campaign launched in June 2017 with the introduction of the independent craft brewer seal. Featuring an iconic beer bottle shape flipped upside down, the seal indicates that a brewery is certified to be independently owned. The seal has been adopted by more than 3,700 craft brewing companies—representing more than 80 percent of the volume of craft brewed beer.

“‘That’s Independence You’re Tasting’ is designed to keep independent craft brewers and their beers top of mind. Our hope is that after being exposed to these stories, beer lovers are moved to support independent breweries and seek the seal when making their beer purchases,” added Pease. “By choosing a beer that has the independent craft brewer seal, the beer drinker knows that they are supporting a brewery with ties to the community.”

To learn more about “That’s Independence You’re Tasting” and the independent craft brewer seal, visit CraftBeer.com—the Brewers Association’s website for beer lovers—follow along and join the discussion at #SeektheSeal.

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

Lansing, Mich. — The 6th Annual Lansing Beer Fest is coming back to REO Town, Lansing on Saturday, June 16th on Washington Ave. between South St. and Elm St. from 4-9pm, with special VIP entry starting at 3pm.

This year’s festival features live music, just like years past. Headlining this year is Heart of Jordan , a local Lansing Hard Rock/Alt-Metal band, with supporting acts by the Jonestown Crows and Handsome Pete.

In addition to great music, this year’s festival is hosting 25 different breweries, cideries, and distilleries with 80 different selections to choose from. There will be several beer specific vendors.

Like last year, there will be a Giant Chess and Checkers set for more entertainment, and a Giant Connect Four has been added for extra fun.

The food choices are to be just as excellent with options from Shove It Pizza Truck, featuring the hottest pizza options, Ms. K’s Kitchen, with gluten-free options, and From Scratch Food Truck, serving fresh Mediterranean options. There’s sure to be a delicious option for everyone.

General Admission tickets (4pm entry) can be purchased in advance for $32 and $37 at the door, and includes a Logo Sampling Glass as well as 10 Sampling Tickets. VIP tickets (3pm entry) can be purchased in advance for $42 and includes a Logo Sampling Glass plus 15 Sampling Tickets.

Must be 21 to attend. Designated Driver tickets can be purchased for $10.

The festival proceeds benefit the REO Town Commercial Association.

Grand Rapids, Mich. — Grand Rapids’s Harmony Brewing is expanding. The addition of a second kitchen and an indoor/outdoor beer garden has more than doubled the brew pub’s seating capacity at its Eastown location. The new space opens June 13.

harmony

“We will be able to welcome more people to Harmony,” co-owner Heather VanDyke-Titus said. “We’ve prioritized nice big tables. People will know if they want to come with a big group on a Friday, there will be room.”

The expansion will center Harmony Brewing at the “pinnacle of Eastown,” on the corner of Wealthy Street and Lake Drive. The new space promises to maintain the character people have loved about the original Harmony.

“We’re still working within the fabric of what was already there,” Barry VanDyke said. “What people love about that coziness of that side of town–it’s still going to feel that way.”

The expansion also comes with a new feature: pizza and beer delivery. Harmony Brewing will start delivering their wood-fired pizzas, craft beer and retail merchandise this June.

Alcohol delivery has become increasingly popular in recent years. Drizly, an alcohol e-commerce platform, started delivering beer, wine and liquor in select cities in 2012. A variety of Chicago craft breweries started delivering growlers in 2016. More recently, major pizza companies like Pizza Hut and Papa Johns have experimented with delivering alcohol with their pizzas.

But Harmony Brewing is unique in delivering its own craft beer alongside its signature wood-fired pizza.

Delivery will be first available to the neighborhoods surrounding Harmony Brewing, including East Grand Rapids, Eastown and Downtown Grand Rapids.

“We’re going to start fairly small with our delivery footprint until we get our wheels underneath us, so to speak, then we’ll hopefully be expanding from there,” co-owner Barry VanDyke said.

Customers will be able to order pizza, beer and merchandise over the phone and online through Harmony’s new website. Each order must simply meet a $20 minimum. Payment will only be accepted in the form of credit or debit cards and can be processed online or in person.

Harmony Brewing delivery drivers will be equipped with an app to check IDs. During the transaction, the driver will take a photo of the customer’s ID, and the app will store it with the driver’s name and the date and location of the delivery.

“This is a way to bring your whole Harmony experience to your door,” Barry VanDyke said. “Seeking Harmony? Have it delivered.”