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Comstock Park, Mich. – The next addition to the core beer line-up from Perrin Brewing was crafted in the true American way with the session-able beer drinker in mind.

Introducing Perrin Light Lager, a refreshingly clean, crisp beer with a perfect balance of malt and hops. This combination succinctly melds together to ensure its insatiable drinkability.
Perrin Light Lager is available in 15-packs and on draft across Michigan.
Just in time for the holidays, the 15-packs make a great dish to pass, gift to give, or the pack of beer to always have freshly stocked to share with those unexpected guest visits.
Light Lager can be purchased from Perrin Pub and grocery/liquor stores in the market.
Crisp. Clean. Craft.

green zebra

Founders Brewing Co. announced today that they will launch Green Zebra, a gose-style ale brewed with watermelon and sea salt. Debuting this August, Green Zebra will be the fifth release Founders has brewed for ArtPrize, an open international art competition which takes place each fall in the brewery’s hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Previous releases in the lineup include Pale JoeSpectra TrifectaMosaic Promise and Inspired Artist Black IPA. Green Zebra is the first gose in the series, and also the first ArtPrize release to debut in cans. Proceeds from the sale of Green Zebra go towards the sponsorship of ArtPrize.

“ArtPrize is one of the most well-attended public art events in the world, and we are proud to continue our support,” said Co-Founder and President, Dave Engbers. “We love playing with expectations when it comes to brewing our ArtPrize beers and Green Zebra is the perfect example of that. The gose style is very unique and pretty unknown, even amongst craft beer drinkers, and we wanted to bring our version of it to a larger audience. For the first time ever, our ArtPrize beer will be available across our entire distribution network so even more of our fans can get to know this style we’ve fallen in love with.”

Watermelon is the highlight of this lightly-hopped treat and gives it a hint of satisfying juiciness. The soft mouthfeel and dry finish comes courtesy of the addition of sea salt, a traditional gose ingredient. Green Zebra comes in at 4.6% ABV and 10 IBUs.

In keeping with the artful tradition established with Spectra Trifecta and Pale Joe, the Green Zebra label is an original work of art designed by a member of the Founders team. Jacob Wiseheart from the Founders taproom created the label artwork, a stand-out for its striking and intense use of color and dimension, perfectly suited to the lively, bright nature of the beer.

Green Zebra will be available in the taproom beginning on August 15, 2017 with the remaining 46-state distribution area receiving it by the end of the month in limited quantities. In addition to draft, Founders Green Zebra will be available in 6-packs of 12-oz cans with a suggested retail price of $9.99.

 

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 20 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 proud member of the Michigan Brewers Guild. For more information, visit foundersbrewing.com.

About ArtPrize

ArtPrize is an open, independently organized international art competition which takes place for 19 days each fall in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  More than five hundred thousand dollars in prizes are awarded each year, which include a $200,000 prize awarded entirely by public vote and another $200,000 prize awarded by a jury of art experts. For more information, visit artprize.org.

 

COMSTOCK, Mich. – Bell’s Brewery is proud to announce a new addition to its seasonal specialty lineup for release this fall.

Arabicadabra, a coffee milk stout with an ABV of 5.5%, will debut on draught and in 12-ounce bottles, packaged in six-packs, this October.

“When we announced this year’s release calendar late last year, we knew there were a few more surprises to come. This is one of them,” said Bell’s CEO Laura Bell.

“It’s really fun to see new favorites move to a wider audience. This is another example of how we continue to explore new ingredients and flavors. The spirit of innovation that set us on this path is still a huge part of who we are and we will continue to look for ways to showcase that innovation across our distribution area,” Bell said.

Brewed with 100% Arabica coffee beans roasted by Ferris Coffee in Grand Rapids, Michigan, this beer will stand in for Java Stout, another Bell’s specialty coffee stout, for 2017.

“Java Stout will always have a special place in our portfolio and isn’t being permanently retired. This year, we are changing things up a bit. Arabicadabra is a different take on a coffee stout and very similar to a local favorite that was released at our pub and at some events. It’s time to share it with an even larger audience,” she added.

Arabicadabra is brewed with a cold coffee extract made at the brewery using a combination of fair trade, organic Nicaraguan coffee beans and Sumatra coffee beans. Lactose is also used for creaminess (those with dairy allergies or sensitivities should take note). It was inspired by Milchkaffe, another specialty Bell’s beer. That sweet, milk stout, was only available on draught and debuted in 2015.

Arabicadabra will ship to Bell’s entire distribution footprint, including New Mexico which Bell’s will begin distributing to in the fall.

Additional details will be shared online at bellsbeer.com and on Bell’s social media as they become available.

 

grand river brewery

While growing up in Jackson, MI, I saw tons of businesses come and go in the downtown area. It was always sad watching a memorable place close, but it was intriguing to see what comes next.

grand river breweryAbout 4 years ago Jackson’s next big thing was the opening of Grand River Brewery. They brought a new kind of spunk to Jackson by reviving an 85 year old building and giving it a new unique style. Grand River renovated the entire place and added a kitchen, column still, and a 15-barrel steam powered brew house.

“We see downtown as having a lot of potential and being up and coming,” said John Burtka, owner of Grand River Brewery. “We wanted to be one of the first ones here to help establish new investment in downtown Jackson.”

Grand River’s brew house is home to the award winning Monkey Mouth IPA and several other delicious beers. They also have wine that they make with Michigan grapes grown at local vineyards. Not only that, they also are a craft distillery that distills whiskey, vodka, gin, and rum.

“We didn’t want customers not coming to our taproom because one person out of four in that party wanted a mixed drink. So we started distilling too,” said Burtka

grand river brewery

Grand River Brewery is also planning to expand their beer distributing within Michigan so more people can enjoy their tasty beers.

But don’t wait for the beer to come to you! Go to the beer and bring all your friends because there is something for everyone. Grand River Brewery is a great place to grab some amazing food and drinks, and a great place to see how hard work and determination can have such a positive influence on a city.

On June 28, celebrate GRB’s 4 year anniversary at their Annual Pig Roast and beer release. They’ll be debuting the new Pinky ‘N Da Grain Raspberry Gose. Billy Lewis and The Soulbacks will be playing a live set from 6PM-9PM.

Plates are $16 and include a 1/2 lb. of pork, bbq sauce, slaw, potato salad, corn on the cob, and a slice of watermelon.

grand river brewery

 

Rockford, Mich — Since the beginning, Rockford Brewing Company has worked to deliver quality, delicious beers that are true to style. There is hardly a better example of this thoughtful craftsmanship than the Hoplust IPA.  

hoplust

With a focus on bright hop flavors with minimal bitterness, this West-coast style IPA appeals to a wide array of beer drinkers.  An intense bouquet of fresh hops will greet your senses followed by bursting tropical citrus with little lingering bitterness and a smooth crisp mouth feel.

6-Packs of Hoplust will be available for $10.99 at the RBC Taproom this Thursday, June 29 for drinkers who are looking for a new beer to share during the holiday weekend.

Following the in-house release, Hoplust 6-packs are scheduled to be released in Kent and Ottawa counties. Keep your eyes open for 6-packs to start appearing on shelves in West-Michigan!

 

About Rockford Brewing Company

Rockford Brewing Company focuses on three things: Quality, Community, and Culture. Founded in 2011 along the scenic Rogue River and White Pine Trail, RBC believes in celebrating the drinking and food culture from around the world while utilizing the best ingredients West Michigan has to offer. They are also a music and artist venue, showcasing local talent and providing a gathering space for all. Brewing beers and creating food that are both innovative and familiar, RBC is your home away from home.  

 

creston brewery

Opened in August 2016, Creston Brewery is planting an impression on their neighborhood. Rooted in a commitment to their community and all things local, Creston has transformed an old furniture showroom and warehouse into a welcomed destination for the northeast side of Grand Rapids.

Co-owned by Scott Schultz, Brewmaster, his wife Molly Bouwsma-Schultz, Vince Lambert, CFO, and his wife Cailin Kelly, and bonded by their friendship, Creston has already established itself as an inclusive taproom, inviting both dedicated locals and the craft curious.

I sat down with Jarrod Napierkowski, General Manager, and Andrea Bumstead, Sales and Events Manager, who kept generously feeding me beers, to talk about what it means to be a new brewery growing up in front of their neighbors.

creston brewery

Andrea Bumstead & Jarrod Napierkowski

Editor’s note: After this interview was conducted, Schultz tipped us off that they’re getting ready to release a brand new beer, and their first lager ever—Creston Lager, on Sat, April 22 in celebration of Earth Day—made exclusively with all Michigan ingredients. Since we kinda dig our planet (and The Mitten State) too, we asked him to tell us more about this day of firsts.

Scott Schultz: Creston Lager, at 4.7%, is brewed with water from Lake Michigan, malts from Pilot Malt House, and hops from West Michigan Hopyards and Michigan Hop Alliance. It’s my idea of a perfect beer: easy to drink, hugely flavorful, and supports the growers of damn fine ingredients in our great state. Earth Day is the perfect day to celebrate that. Basically, it’s the lager that AB-InBev could never brew.  

 

Mittenbrew : Thanks for keepin’ it real, Scott. Can you break down the profile a little more?

SS: It’s a loose hybrid of a pils and a marzen. The menu description could read: Pale yellow with medium body, low bitterness. Bready, toasty, and with a citrus-dominated flavor and aroma from Nugget, Cascade, Chinook, and Crystal hops. Clean, crisp, and complex.

 

Ok, I’m sold. So, Creston’s first lager?

SS: Yeah. It’s our first time brewing it, too. We always have a house yeast strain for mainstays, but switch specialty yeast strains with the season. Spring is lager season. The ingredients perfectly showcase how good we have it in MI—as far as quality, availability, and affordability. I designed the brew system to easily handle lagers, and this beer gets an extra-long conditioning process to be as clean and crisp as possible.

 

What are your plans for its release?

SS: We tap it on Earth Day, and will have collectible Creston Lager glassware. It’ll be available to-go in crowlers and growlers as well. We’ll also be debuting our outdoor patio, unveiling all new awesome local art on the taproom walls, have brunch and dinner features, and the first-ever taproom performance from indie-soul band, Vox Vidorra. Stay tuned to Creston’s website for more details to be announced soon.

creston brewery

Scott Schultz

 

Now, back to our regularly scheduled interview…

What was the motivation for opening a brewery?

Jarrod Napierkowski: Molly and Cailin were friends first, who both knew Scott and Vince, who had never met, shared the same goal of wanting to open their own brewery. After telling them, “You guys have to meet. You’ve got to be friends,” both couples ended up sitting around a campfire over beers together. Scott, already a professional brewer, and Vince, a finance whiz, asked each other, “What do we have to do to make this happen?” Before they knew it, they were looking at our building.

 

How did Scott and Vince want to position their brewery compared to the others in Grand Rapids?

Andrea Bumstead: I feel with Scott’s experience in the industry, he seemed like he just automatically wanted to do things differently. Scott’s idea from the very beginning was that he wanted to brand everything with its own identity. He wanted to brew beers that weren’t necessarily true to style, but brewed to flavor first in such a way that their guests could identify with the beer as a whole experience.

JN: Part of it was the opportunity to bring this incredible building to life, and exposing the other side of the beer industry—the femininity and beauty behind brewing beer and operating a brewery. They were tired of seeing all these breweries that were metal and wood and raw—man caves by default. With the building and the beer, they wanted to express the natural beauty that is everything this industry can do.

 

Did either of the wives have any input on honing in on that femininity?

JN: Absolutely. They’ve been very hands-on, integral in the dialogue—exchanging advice with Scott and Vince. All four of them work in a cohesive partnership to create this thing, including building our team of employees as well. They give everyone a voice, and are very receptive when there are things we want to see happen. I really think Molly and Cailin helped build this as much as Scott and Vince did—they all came to the table with complementing skillsets.

 

There’s an gentle uniqueness to the ambiance of the building. What was it, in particular, that made them commit to this location? Was it the building or the neighborhood?

JN: I think it goes beyond both. This actually wasn’t the first place they looked at. The most important thing I sensed was the vibe and feeling of what went into the dream to do something for a community. Originally, they had planned on being across town on Wealthy Street, and that fell through, but it didn’t disrupt their vision to open a brewery that focuses on the community, that makes the people in the community feel valued. All of that intention just transferred naturally to Creston. The goal of everyone here has been to bring up this community, and to make the brewery feel like we’re a part of it.

 

Assuming all things went well when the brewery opened, it would become an anchor destination in the community, so what came first—the brewery impacting the community or vice versa?

AB: Our neighbors have been very supportive. In the very beginning, it was difficult to do as much outreach as we had intended, but that’s only because everyone was working so hard to get us up and running. Since, I’d like to think that we’ve had a very positive effect on the neighborhood. Once a month, we host community workshop events either at the brewery or on location outside to help better the community, which have been really well received.

 

Were there any concepts you tried to implement at the beginning that looked good on paper, but didn’t get the traction you had hoped?

JN: The biggest challenge so far has been coming to the realization that we can’t take our entire staff out of the brewery to clean the parks or plant trees for an entire day. Business has been so good that many of us need to hold down the fort here. So, in order to have active interactions with the community, we’ve had to scale back our efforts just a bit, or be a little more creative while still being meaningful. We donate proceeds from events to local charities, and we employ people from Grand Rapids Urban League when we need extra hands out there. If there’s something we want to do, we find a way to make it happen, even if we have to do it in incremental steps to make the larger dream come true.

 

How have you accomplished that with the Creston Crew?

AB: Similar to the concept of a “mug club,” Creston Crew goes way beyond just getting a traditional discount on a beer. Members can actually choose their own day of the week, Sunday-Thursday, to take advantage of the Crew’s benefits. And, even if you come in and it’s not your day, you still get taken care of. We send out a monthly Crews News email newsletter to keep our members informed about what’s coming up, how they can get involved at events, and even what they missed since the previous month. To a certain degree, we put some of the onus on the members, too, to participate and take some ownership of their community, too.

 

Let’s talk about the beer. Why did Scott’s vision for the beer program resist a true-to-style portfolio?

JN: He knew he wanted to get close, but more than anything else—he wanted to be ingredient-driven. When we were first conceptualizing the brewery, we all talked together about how to best represent the beers. So, rather than beers with descriptions limited exclusively to style, we developed a custom scale to quantify Scott’s vision.

 

creston breweryEditor: The Creston Brewery Beer Scale, designed in the shape of the letter C, expresses the following characteristics of each of their beers: color via Standard Reference Method (SRM), malt, bitterness, and hoppiness. In the middle of the C, the centerpiece of the scale, is a simple icon to indicate the beer’s “primary flavor and aroma” or to highlight a unique ingredient. Visit to see it applied on their menu. It’s clever.

 

 

 

For craft beer novices, how do you think the Creston Brewery Beer Scale has contributed to people interacting with you?

JN: It’s a way to help people visually recognize what they may (or may not) like in a particular beer, with the hope that they’ll seek out others based on their preference. We wanted to re-teach people how they learn about beer.

AB: The scale has also been a really nice way for our servers and bartenders to engage with our customers. It’s been an intriguing aspect of the guest experience so far.

JN: It’s also a great way level the playing field for people who may just want a beer. It helps eliminate the intimidation factor.

AB: Maybe half of the people who visit us don’t know much about beer. They come in for dinner with their family or friends, and with the Scale, we’re able to guide them on their discovery. We also get a ton of people who want to get their Brewsader Passport stamped, who end up hanging out a little longer to study what we do because of the Scale.

JN: People definitely seem to connect with the culture here. From the building, to the staff, to the beers, its menu, and to the food—we provide this nice little starter pack for people looking to explore what craft beer is all about.

As the sole brewer, what challenges, or successes, has Scott experienced?

JN: Having worked at Founders for 4 years, Scott witnessed them struggle if they wanted to go local for ingredients. They couldn’t do it because of the sheer volume they did. The nice thing here is that Scott can do that on a smaller scale, so he really focuses on that. If it’s not Grand Rapids local, it’s Michigan local. Whenever possible.

 

How has your draft list evolved since you opened?

JN: We started with about a dozen, and now we’re consistently at having 20 on.

 

What are your plans for distribution?

AB: On pace to do 1,000 barrels per year, it’s all self-distribution at this point. We’re currently on at 12 accounts between Grand Rapids and Lansing, and that’s all just happened within the last month.

 

Do Scott and Vince have intentional plans to increase volume or expand distribution?

AB: There’s always a plan. As long as things are growing organically and the best way possible. With all of us moving toward the same positive goal, then slowly or quickly we’ll get to where we’re supposed to be. It’s a matter of just dipping our toe in right now to gauge how we’re received. If the growth is steady and healthy, we estimate we might need to move beyond self-distributing by summer 2018.

JN: Fortunately, we’re set up in this building with the opportunity to expand our brewing operations footprint if we need to increase production. But, if you jump the gun too much, you won’t be able to fill your own shoes.

In addition to the draft list growing over the last couple months, I’ve noticed that the food menu has done the same. It’s pretty eclectic, Mexican-inspired. How come?

JN: Scott and Vince knew they definitely wanted to have a full-service kitchen, and liked the idea of tacos, burritos, empanadas… We hired our chef, Dan Cook, formerly of The Gilmore Collection, to come in and push the limits of the original menu’s vision, which he’s done. He experiments with features regularly, creating dishes that you wouldn’t expect from a brewery—often inspired by ideas Vince and Cailin bring back from their international travels. And, Dan does an amazing job bringing those cultural inspirations to life, sourcing his ingredients from a number of MI farms and farmers markets.

 

Creston seems like a welcoming community for artists. It sounds like you’ve also started to scratch the surface by hosting live music, too?

AB: Molly actually curates all the artwork that’s on the walls, refreshing it every 3-4 months, showcasing different Grand Rapids artists. And, we’ve started with hosting live music. The current plan is to feature them weekly, stripped down acoustically. And, it’ll be in the round, staged in the middle of the dining room floor.

JN: We’re also hosting live comedy nights, a rotating lineup of local DJs spinning vinyl, and guest speakers doing interactive spoken word. It’s going to be a really nice, engaging environment for anyone who enjoys our beer, our food, or the building’s ambiance.

 

Final last words?

JN: Although we’ve already touched on it, we’re just excited at the opportunity to create something the neighborhood needs. Regardless of where our growth takes us, whether that includes expansion, it’s important to us that we continue to contribute to developing this community, making the entire area thrive as much as it deserves.

creston brewery

 

Photography: Steph Harding

shortsElk Rapids, Mich. – In true Short’s fashion, just one month in advance of their biggest party of the year, Short’s Brewing Company announces the addition of the Salvacious Planemo Sour Series and Slurm to their 2017 Release Schedule. The Salvacious Planemo Sour Series will begin with the release of Anni Ale 13irteen, a dry hopped American Sour Ale with black currants. Slurm, Short’s first New England style India Pale Ale, will be distributed in May. Both new releases will be served on tap at Short’s Anni Party 13irteen.

A departure from Short’s Anni Ale ‘09 – ‘16, Anni Ale 13irteen will be released first at Short’s thirteenth anniversary party. This American Sour Ale will head to shelves and taps in Michigan and throughout Short’s expanded distribution footprint (Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin) beginning May 1st.

Fans of past Short’s releases Peachy Pom Pom and Wishful Sinful have much to look forward to. Subsequent Salvacious Planemo Sour Series releases include Exeter, a new American Sour Ale with strawberry and lemon and the eventual return of Critterless. First released in the fall of 2016, Critterless is an American Sour Ale with mango and cherry that quickly proved to be a fan favorite.

shortsOn the other end of the beer spectrum, Short’s Slurm, a juicy, hazy, New England style IPA will also make it’s debut on tap at Short’s Anni Party 13irteen. Packaged in six-packs of 12 oz bottles and kegs, Slurm will only be available in Michigan. According to the company, distribution will take place in May.

Taking place on April 29th, 2017, Short’s Anni Party 13irteen will feature 30 Short’s brews and Starcut Ciders, local food, two specialty Private Stache bottle releases (Terr Bear, a barrel aged sour Wheat Ale fermented with Northern Michigan raspberries and Bourbon Wizard, a barrel aged Barleywine), and performances by Laith Al-Saadi, May Erlewine & The Motivations, and the first ever winner of Short’s Battle of the Bands.

Tickets to Short’s Anni Party 13irteen are available now. Order today at: shortsbrew.com/anniparty.

shortsElk Rapids, Mich. – In true Short’s fashion, just one month in advance of their biggest party of the year, Short’s Brewing Company announces the addition of the Salvacious Planemo Sour Series and Slurm to their 2017 Release Schedule. The Salvacious Planemo Sour Series will begin with the release of Anni Ale 13irteen, a dry hopped American Sour Ale with black currants. Slurm, Short’s first New England style India Pale Ale, will be distributed in May. Both new releases will be served on tap at Short’s Anni Party 13irteen.

A departure from Short’s Anni Ale ‘09 – ‘16, Anni Ale 13irteen will be released first at Short’s thirteenth anniversary party. This American Sour Ale will head to shelves and taps in Michigan and throughout Short’s expanded distribution footprint (Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin) beginning May 1st.

Fans of past Short’s releases Peachy Pom Pom and Wishful Sinful have much to look forward to. Subsequent Salvacious Planemo Sour Series releases include Exeter, a new American Sour Ale with strawberry and lemon and the eventual return of Critterless. First released in the fall of 2016, Critterless is an American Sour Ale with mango and cherry that quickly proved to be a fan favorite.

shortsOn the other end of the beer spectrum, Short’s Slurm, a juicy, hazy, New England style IPA will also make it’s debut on tap at Short’s Anni Party 13irteen. Packaged in six-packs of 12 oz bottles and kegs, Slurm will only be available in Michigan. According to the company, distribution will take place in May.

Taking place on April 29th, 2017, Short’s Anni Party 13irteen will feature 30 Short’s brews and Starcut Ciders, local food, two specialty Private Stache bottle releases (Terr Bear, a barrel aged sour Wheat Ale fermented with Northern Michigan raspberries and Bourbon Wizard, a barrel aged Barleywine), and performances by Laith Al-Saadi, May Erlewine & The Motivations, and the first ever winner of Short’s Battle of the Bands.

Tickets to Short’s Anni Party 13irteen are available now. Order today at: shortsbrew.com/anniparty.


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