mitten brewing

The latest Mitten Foundation project will benefit Safe Haven Ministries

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — This winter, The Mitten Brewing Company and The Mitten State have teamed up to proclaim “Love Shouldn’t Hurt.” The companies’ Mitten Foundation collaboration will raise funds and awareness for victims of domestic abuse.

Sales of LOVE IPA, a red India Pale Ale brewed for the cause, or a LOVE tee, hoodie or glass will support Safe Haven Ministries: a Grand Rapids organization dedicated to serving women and children who have suffered domestic abuse.

“Helping families in our area this winter is as easy as enjoying the Michigan beer and apparel you already love,” said Scott Zubrickas, co-owner of The Mitten State.

mitten brewing

The fundraiser kicks off on November 21 and will continue until the companies have raised $10,000 for Safe Haven Ministries. The funds will underwrite shelter costs for area women and children seeking safety from domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse is a prevalent issue nationwide: one in three women have been victims of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime, according to a national report from the CDC. The problem pervades Grand Rapids, too.

“Last year, our two companies came together to grant money to our Westside neighbors in need of heating assistance. We noticed that the bulk of the applications came from women, but more interesting was that they were all survivors of domestic abuse,” said Dana Mate Dones, president of Mitten Foundation, Inc. “This year we understood that the best approach to helping was through the experts in the subject, Safe Haven.”

Safe Haven Ministries provides emergency shelter, case management, support groups and more to women and children suffering from domestic abuse. The organization also provides education and prevention programs for businesses, schools, healthcare providers and other members of the community.

mitten brewing

LOVE IPA will be sold only at The Mitten Brewing Company’s Grand Rapids location at 527 Leonard St NW. LOVE branded apparel and goods will be available for purchase online at or at The Mitten State shop at 415 Bridge St NW.

“We’re confident that with the help of our amazing customers we can meet our goal and ensure that area women and children in crisis are safe and warm this winter season,” said Chris Andrus, co-owner of The Mitten Brewing Company.


bonsai project

CINCINNATI, OH – MadTree Brewing Company and Short’s Brewing Company are launching The Bonsai Project collaboration (Get it? Short trees…) this November. After sharing a couple gin and tonics, they decided to take brewery collaboration to a whole new level. Similar to a traditional black and tan, each brewery developed a recipe intended to be layered together resulting in the ultimate collaboration and gin and tonic experience.

MadTree is brewing and canning, OH, a gin-inspired specialty ale with lemon peel, juniper berry, hibiscus, and coriander with raspberry and peach added. Short’s is brewing and canning, MI, a tonic-inspired specialty ale with lemon, lime, and orange zest, allspice, cinchona bark, lemongrass, and cubeb pepper with lemon, lime, and orange juice added. When layered together both are sure to make beer drinkers say, “oh my!”

bonsai project


Each six-pack will contain three cans of OH and three cans of MI in a carton-wrap package format. Best served layered, consumers can layer at home or get the full layering experience at MadTree and Short’s events at bars and restaurants across the Midwest. The breweries will provide each event location with a custom layering spoon to create the Bonsai Project on-site.

“When we decide to collaborate with another brewery, it’s because we have a genuine relationship with them and we inspire each other to create innovative beers” said Brady Duncan, MadTree co-founder. “Hanging out with Joe and the team from Short’s, with a few cocktails added, got us thinking about doing something different.”

“Everything about this project is rad. From concept to package design, all the way through recipe development and promotional brainstorming. I think it’s awesome to offer up two uniquely different beers in both color and flavor, that also complement each other. The layering element takes it to a whole new level adding a third flavor experience at the consumers discretion. I’m stoked to see this project come to fruition. It’s going to be a game changer.” said Short’s CEO and Creative Engineer, Joe Short.

Collaboration six-packs and draft will be distributed throughout Ohio and Indiana by Cavalier Distributing and across Michigan by Imperial beverage beginning on November 12, 2018.


About MadTree Brewing Company

Cincinnati’s MadTree Brewing made history when they opened in 2013 by becoming the first modern craft brewery to can its beer in Ohio. When it comes to brewing, they have carved their own path. They mix. They mash. They methodically bring quality beer to life, and have fun doing it. Demand from the growing community keeps MadTree motivated and moving. In return, they make nothing but the best beer. They are founded and continue to grow on the notion that beer builds community and community builds beer. MadTree distributes its beers throughout Ohio, Kentucky, and Middle and Eastern Tennessee.

About Short’s Brewing Company

Located in the heart of Downtown Bellaire, MI, Short’s Brewing Co. was established in 2004 by Joe Short.  In 2009, Short’s began keg and bottle distribution in Michigan via their Elk Rapids Production Facility. Starcut Ciders is a division of Short’s Brewing Company born out of a desire to celebrate the bounty of Michigan orchards. The brewery is known widely for their flagship and experimental brews including Huma Lupa Licious and Soft Parade. Short’s prides themselves on producing fearlessly creative beers, handmade by people who care in Northern Michigan.



Detroit, MI: Two breweries along the Detroit and Windsor riverfront, Batch Brewing Company (Detroit, MI, USA) and Motor Craft Ales (Windsor, ON, Canada), have released their latest collaboration beer, Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree. The rosemary and chestnut pale ale is brewed with Michigan malt and chestnuts. Motor City Malthouse’s German-style malt and Treeborn’s chestnuts are accompanied with a clean yeast profile, allowing the rosemary’s herbal and piney qualities to shine, while the chestnut sweetness provides depth to the beer.

The name of the beer, Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree, comes from the first part of the seventh chapter of George Orwell’s novel, 1984. It reads as;

“Under the spreading chestnut tree

I sold you and you sold me:

There lie they, and here lie we

Under the spreading chestnut tree.”

“The collaboration beer symbolizes a place where revolutionaries, patriots, and lovers of craft beer can come together,” said Stephen Roginson Owner of Batch Brewing Company. “No walls, only bridges and tunnels. No irony, only ideals and art.”

This is the second collaboration beer Batch Brewing Company and Motor Craft Ales have crafted and according to the owners of both breweries, there will be many more in the future.

“For us these collaboration beers really celebrate what our countries share, in terms of both beer and culture,” said Gino Gesuale, Owner of Motor Craft Ales.


Traverse City, MI – Not many industries thrive on collaboration. In the brewing industry, however, working together can lead to amazing beer for everyone. In this spirit, Right Brain Brewery is excited to share details of its upcoming 3rd annual Collaboration Day, taking place on February 11, 2017. The event celebrates the collaborative nature of the brewing industry, and will feature unique beers on tap that Right Brain brewed with local Michigan companies such as Storm Cloud Brewery, Tapistry Brewery, Starving Artist Brewery, Lake Charlevoix Brewery, BeeWell Meadery, and Cultured Ferments. 

right brain

“This year, we teamed up with breweries we’ve never worked with before and also used ingredients we’ve never brewed with before, including peach fritters, pineapples, ground ginger, and Kombucha,” says owner Russell Springsteen. “The collaboration brews don’t just occur at Right Brain. We provide great learning opportunities for our brew crew to travel to the other breweries we’re working with and brew the same exact beer at their facility. It’s a win-win because our partner brewery’s fans get to enjoy a unique collaboration beer, and our brewers get to learn from some of the best breweries in the state!” Right Brain will also release barrel-aged brews using barrels from Two-Lads Winery and Grand Traverse Distillery. 

In addition to Collaboration Day, Right Brain’s tap room will host the Grand Traverse Art Bomb’s second artist reception, featuring live music and performance art throughout the day. Both events are family-friendly and there is no cover charge to attend. Doors will open at 11 AM

right brain

COMSTOCK, MI & TAMPA, FL – Partnership, innovation and celebration are all terms that come to mind when discussing the latest creative endeavor between Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing and Comstock Park’s Perrin Brewing Company, a Michigan brewed Jai Alai IPA. Born out of the desire to celebrate this partnership, this brew, overseen by Cigar City’s Brewmaster Wayne Wambles, is scheduled to be released January 28th at Ice Jam Winter Festival and in the Perrin Pub.  This will be the first time Cigar City has served it’s beer in Michigan and will be the first and only scheduled batch of Michigan-brewed Jai Alai IPA. This famous IPA will only be available for consumption at Ice Jam and in the Perrin Pub. There will be no to-go sales of any type.

Perrin Cigar City

John Stewart and Wayne Wambles

Wayne personally travelled to Perrin’s Comstock Park facility in early January to reproduce his award-winning Jai Alai recipe alongside Perrin’s Director of Brewing operations John Stewart.  Translating Cigar City’s iconic IPA to be brewed in Michigan was no easy task; Wambles meticulously recreated Tampa’s mineral-rich water profile using Perrin’s reverse osmosis system and sent lot-specific hops from Cigar City’s Tampa facility to Perrin to match every facet of his citrus-forward ale.  “I feel really good about the results,” said Wambles. “After seeing the pH of the mash and kettle and the color post-boil, I think we hit this brew out of the park. Beer lovers in Michigan will be able to enjoy Jai Alai as fresh as they would if they were in Tampa.  John and his team are superbly talented brewers and I’ve been excited to work alongside them.”

jai alaiClocking in at 7.5% ABV, Jai Alai IPA features an intense bouquet of tangerine and candied orange peel that entice the nose while flavors of clementines, Valencia orange and subtle caramel provide counterpoint to an assertive bitterness and rich malt character. Bold hop flavor and aroma from six different hop varietals is front and center in this flavorful American IPA.

The Perrin Pub will be the only place to try this limited release brew. This is a small 30 barrel batch and will only be available until the brew is consumed by Jai Alai fans.



About Perrin Brewing Company:
Established in 2012, Perrin Brewing Company of Comstock Park, MI is committed to crafting high quality and consistent brews among each of the products with a focus on a classic look backed with a revolutionary taste. Offering over 20+ beers in the taproom, Perrin intends to find a brew fit for everyone. Through the Oskar Blues/Perrin/Cigar City ownership team, Perrin has experienced exponential growth among package offerings, out-of-state distribution and an increase in barrel production. Perrin Brewing brewed over 23,500 barrels in 2016, a 60% increase over 2015.

About Cigar City Brewing:
Cigar City Brewing, makers of Jai Alai IPA and Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout, was founded in 2009 by Joey Redner with the goal of creating quality beer that reflected the flavors and history of the Tampa region.  This unique perspective resonated with the local and national markets alike and the brewery has quickly grown from 1,000 barrels of beer in 2009 to an excess of 65,000 barrels produced in 2016. The 2016 partnership with Oskar Blues of Lyons, Colorado ushered in a new era of growth for this Florida-based organization, with new markets and technologies on the horizon.


Detroit, MI — All of the breweries in Detroit, including Atwater Brewery, Batch Brewing Company, Brew Detroit, Detroit Beer Company, Granite City, Motor City Brewing Works, and Traffic Jam and Snug have again partnered in collaboration to celebrate the burgeoning beer industry in Detroit, as well as the Michigan Brewers Guild Fall Beer Festival in Detroit’s Eastern Market on October 21 and 22.

detroit beer experiment

The Detroit Beer Experiment brings together all of the breweries in Detroit to collaborate on a beer theme, which changes every year. Each brewery creates a beer based on the theme and debuts that beer in their taproom, as well as at the Fall Festival in Eastern Market.

This year, each brewery is pairing with non-beer food or drink purveyors from across Detroit to create a collection of food-inspired beer collaborations. All of the beers are made with ingredients or inspired by these non-beer establishments.

Batch Brewing Company has partnered with Bon Bon Bon to create a dessert- inspired after-dinner beer called ‘Tres Bon’, as well as a special beer and bon bon-pairing event on November 21st.

“Bons and beer go together like bons and beer!” said Alexandra Clark, founder of Bon Bon Bon. “We’ve had so much fun collaborating with Batch Brewing Company for the Detroit Beer Experiment and can’t wait for our pairing event.”

Brew Detroit has partnered with three establishments to make three different beers: Mystery Beer (sumac wit) for Green Dot Stables, an English Bitter for Huron Room, and an experimental Ponzu Pilsner, brewed with barrel aged fish sauce for Johnny Noodle King.

“The beer enthusiast ownership of Green Dot Stables, Johnny Noodle King and Huron Room, having known Robert Orler (Brew Detroit) for years, has been looking forward to this type of collaboration. To say we’re excited about these beers would be an understatement,” said Jacques Driscoll.

Atwater has partnered with Slow’s BarBQ to create ‘Smokebox’, a malty smoked ale featuring pilsner malt smoked at Slow’s facility in Midtown.

“Great with BBQ or perfect on its own, like bacon dipped in a glass,’ said Tara Garrity from Slows BBQ.

Detroit Beer Co has partnered with Sweet Potato Sensations on a ‘Sweet Potato Porter’ that includes spiced sweet potato puree Sweet Potato Sensations.

Granite City has partnered with Anthology Coffee to create a coffee infused lager.

Motor City Brewing Works has partnered with GoGo’s Hawaiian Street food to create ‘Gogo’s Coconut Porter’ made with roasted coconut.

Traffic Jam and Snug has partnered with Avalon Bakery to brew a Carrot Cake Dubbel beer called ‘Don’t Care at All’ inspired by Avalon’s vegan Carrot Cake.

“We’re excited to see the growth of the Detroit Beer Experiment in 2016, with the inclusion of Traffic Jam and Snug and Granite City. The nature of the craft beer industry is incredibly collaborative, so this annual partnership is not only natural, but a highlight of what we do every year,” said Stephen Roginson, cofounder of Batch Brewing Company in Corktown.

The Detroit Beer Experiment will debut at each brewery on Thursday, October 20th and will be featured at the Michigan Brewers Guild Fall Beer Festival in Eastern Market on Friday October 21st and Saturday October 22nd.


“White Noise” is a collaboration Imperial White IPA made by the Brewers from Perrin Brewing Company and our new partners from Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, Florida. John Stewart of Perrin and Wayne Wambles of Cigar City teamed up to create a collaboration Imperial White IPA.

This monster Imperial White IPA is packed with lemondrop, denali and chinook hops paired with lemonpeel, juniper berries and lemon grass spices and fermented with a Belgian yeast. Wheat and oat malts creates a silky smooth body leading to a deceptively easy drinking Imperial beer that’s sure to pull you into another dimension of IPAs.

Get a re-cap of our interview with John and Wayne during the White Noise brew day back in June. Read here.

white noiseWhen you can grab the beer:

– Draft of “White Noise” will be tapped Thursday, July 21 at Perrin Pub
– 22oz. bottles available at Perrin Saturday, July 23 for $10.99
– Bottles hit market distribution on Monday, July 25


Perrin Cigar City

Perrin Brewing Company has been under the West Michigan craft beer microscope since Oskar Blues Brewery acquired them in early 2015. Perrin then raised eyebrows with their playful, controlled disruption instigated by their literal No Rules bottle release. Most recently, Oskar Blues made headlines by purchasing Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, Florida, earlier this year. The second acquisition in their “against the grain” expansion strategy could’ve easily created a potentially awkward extended family.

However, rather than step-brothers fighting for top bunk, both breweries are already playing nice with each other. Cigar City, please meet Perrin.

As soon as Cigar City’s acquisition was public, Keith Klopcic, President of Perrin, reached out to Cigar City to pitch the idea that the breweries should collaborate.

I sat down with John Stewart, Director of Brewing Operations at Perrin, alongside his guest, Wayne Wambles, Head Brewer at Cigar City, to talk about their collaboration—White Noise, an imperial white IPA.

MittenBrew: How did the conversation start between both breweries?

Wayne Wambles: I remember the first email from Keith, trying to gauge my interest. He gave me his number, so I called him while I was driving back home either from a trip back to where I’m from in southeast Alabama or after another beer event in Florida, and we talked for a while. I told him, “Yeah, this’ll be great.” Then, Keith put John and me in touch with each other right after.

John Stewart: As soon as we knew that the partnership with Oskar Blues was locked in, we were super eager to get Wayne out here. It was definitely pre-Craft Brewers Conference — late March, early April. [Aside to Wayne, chuckling] I think I shot you just a few emails out of excitement at the very beginning to see what we could do to help make the collaboration happen.


John, since this is the first time Perrin and Cigar City have worked together, what was it like opening your doors to a guest? And, Wayne, what was it like for you to brew on their system?

WW: For me, it’s really common. I know for a fact that I probably work on other people’s systems more than on our own. I do a lot of collaborations annually — I’m at home with it, and actually really enjoy it. I enjoy being able to look at different systems to see how they work, getting to walk away with new insight on technology, processes. I don’t mind walking into someone else’s house [Aside to John, laughing like new best friends] — as long as they don’t mind me being here.

JS: That’s the cool part. I’ve gotten to learn from Wayne, too — particularly with the formation of the recipe. The whole process is just very fresh, and a fun change of pace. And, with us partnering together, after I get to show Wayne our brewery, I get to take him around to have some beers and show off Beer City.


Let’s talk about the recipe. How’d you settle on an imperial White IPA, and how’d you each contribute to its ingredients?

JW: When we first started tossing ideas back-and-forth, it was clear that [Wayne is] usually asked to collaborate on a certain few styles, and we just wanted to not do that — and do something a little bit different.

WW: At first, we were considering doing a sour, but ended up changing our minds. I think your guys were talking, and thought it would be a good idea to do a white IPA. Since I’ve never done one before, I thought it would be a great idea — at least for the experience alone. We also wanted to put a unique spin on it as well.


How do you expect the Belgian yeast to play into it?

JS: Hopefully, with the spices and hops, it’s going to be all layered together nicely. Part of the creative process was using some of the spices that are a little different from a Wit or whiter beer — thinking about how the yeast, the spices, the hops will all layer together for a complex sensory combination.


What variety of hops are you using?

WW: In order to discuss the hops, I also want to discuss the spice because in the way we’re laying it all out we want to create layers between both. As John was saying, the nontraditional aspect of it is the fact that you don’t find juniper in a Belgian White. So, there’s juniper in there. Maybe you might find lemon peel and lemongrass, but I think that’s probably not as common. Traditionally, you’re going to see corriander and orange peel in those beers, but we’re playing to the hops.

One of the hops is Denali, a Hopsteiner hop. It has some mango elements, some tropical fruit elements. We’re also using a hop called Lemondrop, which comes across like Lemon Drops candy, literally. It’s super clean, super bright.

Then, Chinook ties the juniper berry to the beer because it has those piney notes.

So, then, with the lemon peel we’re using and the lemongrass, which both work well with the Denali, and, of course, the Lemondrop hops — we’re just trying to create complex layers. So, as you’re drinking it, you just get layers and layers and layers throughout every sip you take.


Wayne, did you bring any of the ingredients up with you from Florida?

WW: No… We did originally discuss a hop variety at first, but John had everything in house we needed.


I’ve got to ask about the beer’s name…

JS: Wayne told me he likes sleeping with a white noise machine.

Perrin Cigar CityJust as John says this, I stop hearing the noticeable shutter clicks from  Steph Harding, MittenBrew owner, and photographer for this interview. Laughing, she chimes in over my shoulder, “Oh, seriously?! That’s too funny — I do, too!” Then Wayne proceeds to show her the app on his phone he uses to help soothe him to sleep. His favorite is Tropical Storm. Steph has Ocean Waves on hers.


What’s your day been like so far, and how do you think you’ll wrap up?

JS: We came in at 6:00 a.m. to get the brew going. We’ll probably be done around 5 or so. Last night, we were able to sneak out and have a couple beers around town, so I think the game plan tonight is to do more of the same in GR.

WW: I actually wouldn’t mind seeing The American Horse [at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park].

Is this the first time you guys have met?

JS: We’ve been in the same room before, but yeah, this is the first time we’ve really gotten to know each other.


Has it been like Step Brothers [the movie]? Are you getting along? Is there room for activities in the brewery?

JS: For me, after having some beers and talking to Wayne — there are a lot of key brewing principles we click on — quality and consistency. When you have other guys in the industry who are like that… You know, after the first couple of beers you’re like, “Is this guy cool?” Yeah, it’s been awesome.

WW: There’s a lot of common ground, definitely.


You’re aiming for a July release for White Noise, with Perrin Pub and limited local distribution. Will any variation of it find its way down to Florida?

JS: Oh, yeah. Well… for Wayne to drink. [Laughing]


How much are you producing?

JS: For this brew, we’re doing a 150-barrel batch.


Can we expect a follow-up collaboration where John visits you in Florida?

WW: Absolutely.

JS: Yeah, hopefully during a cold month here. [Laughing]


After the formal interview wrapped, I asked both guys how much of this collaboration had to do with Oskar Blues acquiring both breweries. They both had creative freedom in the process, were not under any pressure to collaborate, and used their recent familial relationship to create a positive, independent dialogue between Perrin and Cigar City. They’ve used this opportunity to understand each other’s philosophies and stance on issues that now apply to both of them — all three when you include Oskar Blues. What it came down to was one brewery simply asking another if they wanted to make a beer together — the way it should be.


Photography: Steph Harding