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Grand Rapids, Mich. – Broad Leaf Local Beer, the alter ego of the largest independently owned brewery in Grand Rapids, Brewery Vivant, is preparing to launch its beer into the market through self distribution in early 2020. Since late summer, the brewery has been quietly operating in its new tap room at 2885 Lake Eastbrook Blvd, just around the corner from Trader Joe’s. During this time, the brewery has been experimenting with beer and food recipes. It has already carved out a reputation for its progressive offerings being recently voted as a 2019 Best New Brewpub by Revue Magazine readers.

They recently teamed up with Grand Rapids based Koeze Company to make a beer version of their famous Cream-Nut Peanut Butter Cluster candy. The beer is part of a pre-launch of the brewery’s beers into the marketplace where the public is invited to vote on which of the four beers will be distributed. The kick-off party will include a ‘Rube Goldberg’ inspired machine that through a series of pulleys, ramps and match box cars will automatically bag the first four-pack sold to a lucky customer. 

“As we approach our 110th anniversary as a Grand Rapids based company, we were excited to work with a brewery who has such a great reputation for both beer and food and its connection to the community,” says Koeze Nut Company President Jeff Koeze. “It seemed like a difficult task to re-create our specialty candy in beer form. However we tried the beer and the Cream-Nut Peanut Butter Cluster side-by-side and it was amazing!” 

“Koeze is well known for their high quality products, it seemed like a natural fit for our brands to work together,” says Brewery Vivant CEO Jason Spaulding. “Broad Leaf is our outlet to pilot new and creative beers and this project was the perfect fit. We achieved just the right balance of flavors and are excited to share it with the public.” 

Broad Leaf Local Beer’s launch event is on December 27 with four exciting beers; Hazy J, a taproom favorite New England style juicy IPA, Koeze Cream Nut Cluster, the Koeze Cream-Nut inspired peanut butter-chocolate beer, Vanilla-zilla a vanilla milkshake IPA, and Banan-Appeal a rich stout made with 200 pounds of bananas and blended with bourbon barrel aged beer. 

“We are looking for guest feedback on these beers. Based on what people think, we will select which ones to scale up and put out in the marketplace,” says Broad Leaf taproom manager Jared Rader. “Our owner Jason has a few tricks up his sleeve to make this a mind-blowing event. He loves Rube Goldberg machines and has been working on an overly complicated beer delivery system with pulleys, ropes, and matchbox cars that will drop a four-pack from the ceiling into a grocery bag for the first retail customer whenever we launch a new packaged beer.” 

“Part of what has made Broad Leaf beers sought after is that they have only been available at the brewery itself since we opened,” says Brewery Vivant President Kris Spaulding. “We look forward to sharing our beers with a wider audience through working directly with some of the industry friends we have made over the years. A select number of retailers and bars will soon have the beer available to sell at their locations. Even though the window of opportunity is short for public input, it will be fun to see what people think,” she adds. 

According to current liquor laws, Broad Leaf Local Beer will only be able to self distribute into the first few months of the year. Existing as two brands under one umbrella, once Broad Leaf and Brewery Vivant aggregate 1,000 barrels of production between the two entities, self distribution will cease. “Broad Leaf hasn’t been in the market before,” says CEO Jason Spaulding. “While our Vivant brands will continue to be sold through our trusted wholesale partners, this little bit of self distribution will allow us to see what the market thinks without having to commit to long-term wholesale contracts,” he adds. 

Launch event details: Doors open at 11:00 AM on Friday, December 27 at Broad Leaf Local Beer. The four new beers will be available on draft and customers are encouraged to vote for their favorites throughout the day and the following weeks until supply runs out. The main event begins at 4:00 when the “Beer-Delivery” machine will be activated and one lucky customer will be able to take home the 4-pack of that drops from the ceiling. Also starting at 4:00 Koeze Nut Company will be on hand with Cream-Nut peanut butter clusters to sample alongside the collaboration beer. Live music by local band “Cheap Emotion” begins at 9:00 PM. 

 

foreigner

WLAV presents a very special Grand Rapids event when legendary rock band Foreigner members will stop at a local brewery to try beer, meet the area people and play a short acoustic set.

 

Kentwood, MI – The newly opened Broad Leaf Local Beer will welcome Foreigner band members on Saturday August 10 from 6-9:00 PM for a ticketed event ahead of their sold-out Sunday concert at Frederik Meijer Gardens. The evening is billed as a VIB (Very Important Beer) event where attendees can enjoy a beer with band members, pose for photographs, and enjoy a short acoustic song set. 

Foreigner band members Michael Bluestein and Bruce Watson are big fans of beer, and love to try the local beer in the towns they visit. “Michael and I especially try to get out and see what craft beers are being made in the area,” said Watson. “We always ask bartenders, ‘Do you have anything local on tap?’ That’s the first thing we always ask,” he added. The two band members are such big beer fans that they have taken the first step into the Cicerone beer program and are both Certified Beer Servers. 

Foreigner is responsible for some of rock and roll’s most enduring anthems including “Juke Box Hero,” “Feels Like The First Time,” “Urgent,” “Head Games,” “Hot Blooded,” “Cold As Ice,” “Dirty White Boy,” “Waiting For A Girl Like You,” and the worldwide #1 hit, “I Want To Know What Love Is”. 

broadleaf“We are really excited and honored to host the band at the brewery. I grew up listening to their songs and having a chance to share a beer with these guys is a brewer’s dream come true.” says owner Jason Spaulding. “I understand Michael loves Pilsner beer and our ‘Cult Pils’ is one of the beers we are most proud of from our new brewery. It is only available at our two locations so it is as local as it gets” adds Spaulding. “I can’t wait to pour one for him”. 

“The Foreigner show at Meijer Gardens sold out in less than ten minutes” says tap room manager Jared Rader. “The people of the area definitely love this band. We have the last tickets available for this show along with a chance to meet the band members in person. It is going to be a great night” he adds. 

 

Event Details:

Tickets for the VIB event go on sale July 18 only through the brewery’s website. There are 28 premier tickets ($199) which include admission to both the Saturday VIB event at Broad Leaf Local Beer and the sold-out concert on Sunday August 11 at Frederick Meijer Gardens. There will be an additional 100 tickets ($50) available for the Saturday VIB event.

All tickets will go on sale on a first come first serve basis at 6:00 PM Thursday July 18. Broad Leaf Local Beer will be closed to the public starting at 4:00 the night of the event. Tickets are only available online and purchasers must be 21 years or older for the Saturday event. 

Broad Leaf Local Beer’s tap room is open now with beer, cider & wine service and guests are allowed to bring in take-out food from other area restaurants. The Grand Opening is scheduled for Wednesday August 7, 2019 when their kitchen will be fully operational. Expanded hours including lunch service are planned and will be announced ahead of the Grand Opening date. 

 

About Us

Broad Leaf Local Beer is a Certified B Corporation and one of the first brewpubs in the city of Kentwood. At our tasting room, we focus on flavor exploration, building community and finding the connections between industry and the natural environment. Broad Leaf will explore what it means to be a modern American craft brewery with a wide range of classic and boundary pushing beer. Broad Leaf Local Beer is under the same ownership as Brewery Vivant. The two breweries operate with a similar ethos but have different beer and food focuses.