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international women's collaboration brew dayREGIONAL—The days until the International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day (IWCBD) are being counted down all over the world. March 8, 2016 will be a day when breweries globally come together in the name of beer and women in the industry. Coinciding with International Women’s Day, the day will embrace the cultural, social, economic, and political achievements of women everywhere.

As interest and passion for the brewing culture grows globally, progress and opportunity are also flourishing. Beer encompasses so many different contexts and backgrounds—all it takes is a curiosity and passion for learning. Brewing is a social event as much as it’s a science. It’s quietly beautiful and intricate and creative. It celebrates innovation, community, and camaraderie. Beer is the bridge across many different practices, and on this day, it connects the world together.

The inaugural IWCBD took place in 2014. The recipe was a Pale Ale and the first participant to brew hailed from Australia. Last year breweries put their own twist on a Red Ale recipe born out of England. Michigan breweries celebrated by not only brewing, but also with a friendly competition and tasting at different locations around the state.

This year there is no recipe. No guidelines. No rules. The craft beer world will unite under the theme of “Expression.” To best represent the craft industry, brewers will simply create their own unique recipe to brew, share, and enjoy.

international women's collaboration brew dayIf interested in participating—and please, everyone is invited (21 years and older please)—you can find IWCBD events on Facebook through Fermenta: Michigan Women’s Craft Collective. This year, quite a few regions are hosting open, interactive events. Griffin Claw Brewing Company (Birmingham) will be kicking off the the international celebrations early, hosting a brew day March 5 starting at 9 A.M.. The recipe will be a Gose and the brewery staff will also be offering short seminars on tank cleaning, yeast harvesting, and other various lab procedures. For northern Michigan residents, consider attending Beards Brewery’s (Petoskey) brew day on March 6 starting at noon, the recipe to be announced. On March 7th, EagleMonk Pub and Brewery (Lansing) will be brewing their own recipe beginning at 8 o’clock in the morning. Batch Brewing Company (Corktown) has decided to open their doors on the actual day of international celebration, March 8, starting at 7:30 A.M.. To learn further details, check the Fermenta events page.

Alongside these breweries, Grand Armory Brewing (Grand Haven) will also be brewing a IWCBD recipe to honor the celebrations, but will be keeping their brew day closed to staff only.

These Michigan breweries will be joining other breweries across the nation and across the world to support this day of awareness. Even if one cannot attend a brew day, the IWCBD encourages interested parties to homebrew their own recipe or simply raise a glass to toast the occasion. Either way, you will be toasting women in the craft industry with the entire world.

DETROIT – An homage to traditional German beer, food, and music was served up at Batch Brewing Company in Detroit this past weekend. Many guests donned Dirndl and Lederhosen as they drank from commemorative beer steins at the brewery’s first Oktoberfest celebration.

“We have a lot of love for German beer, and this is the time of year that you get to worship at that altar,” said Stephen Roginson, Founder and Head Brewer at Batch Brewing Company.

Roginson, inspired by a 2010 trip to Munich’s Oktoberfest, set out to create an alter ego for the brewery for the duration of the festival. The transformation into Batch Brauerei was complete with themed decor, a take on Oktoberfest food by Chef Matt Johnson, and four German-style beers on tap: a Fest Bier, Dunkel, Hefeweizen, and Kolsch.

One hundred forty tickets were pre-sold for each day, and the brewery saw 300 people in attendance on Saturday, and 225 people on Sunday. Ticket-holders began their celebration as early as 1 p.m. and carried on until the festival closed at 1 a.m. Saturday and 10 p.m. Sunday.

Fest-goers gathered outside the brewery in a large beer tent that was decked out in Bavarian blue and white decor. They dined on a traditional menu of Bavarian pretzels, roast chicken, spaetzle with Gruyere cheese, sauerkraut, and spiral sliced radishes. In addition to a meal, ticket-holders received a commemorative one-liter stein and a fill-up of their choice.

Dick Wagner & Die Rhinelander band provided a soundtrack of lively German classics throughout both days, and a DJ carried the party atmosphere late into the night.

Though the weekend’s celebration is over, Batch will host an Oktoberfest Stein Club through Oct. 2, offering stein fills at a reduced cost for those who purchased traditional glassware at the festival.

As for next year, Roginson hinted at plans for a bigger celebration.

“I am excited for how Oktoberfest will be developing in Detroit for the broader beer community,” he said.

Two nanobreweries from opposite sides of the Detroit-Windsor border have teamed up to revisit a long-forgotten American beer style.

Together with Motor Craft Ales, Batch Brewing Company launched the Canucky Common. The beer is a spin on the Kentucky Common, an obscure historical beer brewed in Kentucky from the Civil War through Prohibition.

“There is an undeniable sisterhood between our two cities,” said Gino Gesuale, owner of Motor Craft Ales in Windsor, Ontario. “Both Detroit and Windsor have a working-class feel, they are tied to automotive, and they reside along a shared border.”

The idea to collaborate came when Gesuale visited Batch Brewing Company and learned that the brewers were already fans of Motor Craft Ales. The brewing teams exchanged ideas, and settled on a style.

“We brewed one batch on the Windsor side, and one batch on the Detroit side,” said Gesuale. “In addition to avoiding the headache of trying to transport beer across the border, we had the added benefit of getting to work on another brewer’s equipment.”

The resulting beer is described as a porter-like cream ale. It is distinguished by roasty, caramel notes and a sweetness due to the large amount of corn included in the recipe.

The Kentucky Common style was rediscovered through word-of-mouth and was registered to the Beer Judge Certification Program style guide just this year.

“Customers love the idea of discovering a new indigenous American beer style,” said Stephen Roginson, owner and head brewer of Batch Brewing Company in Detroit, Mich.

“I’ve sat in classes where the instructor has stated that the Steam beer or the California Common is the only indigenous American style, so there is an educational component to this beer,” Roginson added.

The Canucky Common is poured with a special tap handle which features both the Canadian and American flag. It is available on draught at Batch Brewing Company, but you will have to get there fast to try it.

“We had it on tap at Motor, as well,” said Gesuale. “But we blew through the keg pretty quickly.”

For those who missed out, there could already be another collaboration beer in the works.

“We’re trying to get over there to brew something for the Windsor Craft Beer Festival,” said Roginson.

In addition to collaborating on beer, Batch Brewing Company is known for teaming up with community partners that are focused on the city of Detroit.

“We got a lot of support from the community to get our doors open,” said Roginson. “In return, supporting the community has been part of our business model from the start.”

With this mindset, Batch developed the Feelgood Tap. Each month, Batch partners with a local non-profit, creates a unique beer to honor that partner, and donates $2.00 from every pint sold. Recent partners include the Motown Museum and Hostel Detroit, with next month’s featured tap benefiting the Riverfront Conservancy.

Seven months after opening, Batch is now looking to expand.

“We want to get our beer outside these four walls,” said Roginson. “We started hand-bottling this week, and we’re adding 15-bbl tanks.”

“I guess that means we will no longer be considered ‘nano’,” Roginson added.

Canucky Common is available at Batch Brewing Company while supplies last.