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atwater brewery

Detroit, Mich — Atwater Brewery, Detroit’s hometown brewer for 20 years, has grown from a small brew pub in Detroit’s historic rivertown district into one of Michigan’s largest brewers. And it’s targeting further growth in the state in 2018.

During 2017, Atwater added a host of new products to compliment its robust portfolio and meet growing customer demand. It also signed a new distribution agreement with M1 Network and completed its re-branding with renowned Detroit artist Tony Roko. “2017 was a year of transition for Atwater,” says Atwater owner Mark Rieth. “Our new distribution network alone should help us to expand our current markets, enter new markets and ultimately increase retail sales in Michigan by up to 30%.”

Rieth said 2018 will be a year of focus. “Our expanded reach and new packaging encourage us to concentrate our growth across Michigan, which has always been our home and our strongest market. We believe we’ll push our production capacity to its limits.” Rieth suggests that this time next year, Atwater will be producing at a 50,000 barrel annualized rate.

Atwater’s sales continue to be led by its popular Dirty Blond, Vanilla Java Porter, and Atwater Lager brands, but its brew masters are always innovating new styles as well. Atwater’s celebrated Christmas Ale is back this season and starting in 2018, Atwater will offer Vanilla Java varieties beginning with Bavarian Cream VJP in the first quarter followed by coconut, raspberry and hazelnut VJP coming throughout the year. Fans of Atwater small batch productions will learn about an exciting new barrel aged product in mid January.

The company’s largest brew facility remains on Joseph Campau in Detroit’s warehouse district where Atwater continues to build on its heritage of brewing world class German style lagers and innovative and fresh ales. Over the past twenty years, Atwater’s has expanded its portfolio to include 26 styles of beer and select seasonal flavors that are distributed to 21 states and three international markets.

Atwater will continue to scout new locations to expand its line of award-winning Taphouse and Biergarten projects. “We say that we’re ‘bringing Detroit everywhere,’ and our Taphouse and Biergarten venues have been an incredibly fun, successful way to do so. In 2018, we’ll be looking at new sites in Michigan and beyond to complement our existing venues in Detroit, Grosse Pointe and Grand Rapids,” says Rieth.

“We’re so grateful to our customers, partners and employees for helping Atwater grow and thrive for 20 years. It hasn’t been easy, and with wine and spirits now dipping into beer sales, it’s not getting any easier,” says Rieth. “But that’s our focus — staying the course, brewing our world-class lagers and other customer favorites from right here in Detroit, and distributing them conveniently throughout the state.”

 

About Atwater Brewery

Atwater Brewery. Born in Detroit. Raised Everywhere. Atwater offers 40 styles of beer led by its popular Purple Gang Pilsner, Better Life Choices IPA, Vanilla Java Porter, Dirty Blonde and its “World Beer Cup” award winning Decadent Dark Chocolate Ale. Atwater distributes its beer to 21 states plus select international markets and offers a proprietary line of craft spirits. Atwater operates three full-service tap house and biergarten locations in Detroit, Grosse Pointe and Grand Rapids.

 

Founders

Founders Brewing has released a preview of their 2018 Calendar. Check out the initial lineup!

Some notable changes of particular interest:

  • Breakfast Stout and Backwoods Bastard will be available year-round. Yep, that’s right, you won’t have to wait for either of these going forward! Well, sort of. Breakfast Stout will not go away and will continue through the New Year, while Backwoods Bastard will make its timeless debut in just a few months. Not bad!
  • It’s not indicated on this first availability calendar, but they will be offering Solid Gold, All Day IPARubaeus and all of their seasonal beers, which include Mosaic PromiseAzacca IPA and PC Pils, in 6-pack cans.
  • DOUBLE TROUBLE RETURNS! By popular demand, they’re delivering. This notorious Imperial IPA will make its return in May 2018.
  • They are launching the “Mothership Series,” a brand-new taproom carryout. These beers will range from classics like the inaugural release, Red’s Rye IPA, to experimental new styles. These will only be available for carryout in 6-pack bottles at the taproom locations.
  • Saying goodbye to some favorites, like Imperial Stout, Curmudgeon and reDANKulous although we’d like to think of it as ‘until we meet again.’ Because, let’s be real, Founders’ brings back old faves all the time!
  • Green Zebra was such a hit it’s coming back around. This gose-style ale, brewed with watermelon and sea salt, was named one of VinePair’s 50 best beers of 2017!
  • The Barrel-Aged Series returns and, with it, four new releases that we look forward to sharing with you in 2018.

 

founders detroit

Founders Brewing Co. announced today that, for the first time in their 20-year history, they will open a second taproom. The new facility will feature a fully-operational brewery and retail taproom located in the lower Cass Corridor neighborhood in Midtown Detroit, Michigan, a burgeoning cultural hub adjacent to sports arenas, music venues and more.

founders detroit“Having been born and raised in the metro area, Detroit has long held a special place in my heart,” said Mark Dorich, Founders’ Vice President of Retail Operations. “It’s a hard working, no-nonsense, culturally diverse and musically-inspired town, which happens to have the best sports teams in the country. Some of our strongest support has come from the east side of Michigan, and we could not think of a better place to expand our taproom experience. We anticipate creating a taproom that is inspired by what we do in Grand Rapids, but unique in its own Motown way. We’re excited to be a larger part of ‘the D’!”

Based in Grand Rapids since 1997, Founders’ decision to open a second taproom in Detroit reaffirms their longstanding commitment and pride in their home state of Michigan. The new location will include a full-service taproom serving unique menu items and locally-made Founders beers from the on-site brewery, in addition to the classic Founders lineup. Founders plans to staff the facility primarily with Detroit-area employees in an effort to contribute to local job growth and economic revitalization. Hiring will begin in summer 2017.

The 14,000 square foot building is located at 456 Charlotte St. and will undergo construction beginning in summer 2017. The grand opening is targeted for winter of 2017. Founders has partnered with Midtown Detroit Inc. and Invest Detroit on the development of the property.

“The introduction of a brand like Founders Brewing Co. to the South Cass neighborhood will have a catalytic impact and attract others to invest,” said Sue Mosey, executive director, Midtown Detroit, Inc.

Midtown Detroit Inc. has partnered with Invest Detroit to bring the development to life.  

“We are again pleased to partner and co-invest with Midtown Detroit, Inc. to facilitate the redevelopment of a building in this emerging district,” said Dave Blaszkiewicz, President and Chief Executive Officer of Invest Detroit. “Sue Mosey and her team have done an amazing job of attracting new businesses to the community. This location for the highly recognized Founders Brewing Co. will be a critical asset to encourage additional investment to revitalize the surrounding area.”

 

founders detroit

 

Founders explains further, and answers a few more questions before they’re asked:

Why are we opening a taproom in Detroit?

Our commitment to our home state of Michigan was established long ago and we intend to continue fulfilling it, even as our reach elsewhere increases. We have toyed with the idea of opening another taproom for years now and, when finally moving forward, it was a no-brainer choosing Detroit as the city to host it.  Not only do we have tons of fans on the east side of the state, we also have a personal history and love for Detroit. Both our Culinary Director and Vice President of Retail Operations hail from metro Detroit and have long been petitioning that we deepen our roots there.

While our Grand Rapids taproom is and always will be home to us, we feel it is important to spread the Founders love and allow even more of our fans the opportunity to experience drinking from the source themselves.

What will the taproom experience be like?
We are in the initial planning stages so there is not much information to share at this point, but we will keep you all updated as the project progresses.

Will the taproom be modeled after the Grand Rapids taproom?
The Detroit taproom will certainly take inspiration from the Grand Rapids location, but it isn’t intended to feel like a duplicate of it. We recognize and appreciate that Detroit and Grand Rapids, despite being in the same state, have a number of distinctions and our intention is to celebrate and embrace those. Every effort will be taken to ensure that the Founders culture represented in the Grand Rapids taproom comes through just as passionately in our Detroit location.

Will we brew at this location?
Yes, we plan on brewing at this location and will create beers unique only to it. In addition to those, we will also offer our year-round, seasonal and specialty beers on tap as well. Our Barrel-Aged Series beers will be on tap depending on availability.

How are we staffing this location?
We will open up a select number of positions internally to our current staff however the vast majority of jobs will be new hires and filled locally – we anticipate over 100 new jobs total. This process will extend from summer 2017 through winter 2017.

How will this impact the local economy?
Not only will the presence of this taproom create jobs in Detroit, we anticipate it will drive in more traffic to the lower Cass Corridor neighborhood. Located adjacent to arenas and music venues, the location is already seeing the beginnings of revitalization and we strive to be at the forefront of it. Our Grand Rapids location helped to spur the revitalization of the downtown neighborhood it is located in and we anticipate the same will happen in the lower Cass Corridor.

 

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.

 

Detroit, Mich — Spring is in the air and “Whango” mango wheat fruit ale from Atwater Brewery is in the bottles.

Whango is Atwater’s popular seasonal beer and one of its fruitiest, most flavorful brews. Softly sweet and tropically aromatic, Whango is an American-style wheat beer similar but less yeasty than its German Weizen (or wheat ) cousins.

In 2016, the Whango product had completely sold out just a couple of months into its run.  For 2017, Atwater owner Mark Rieth has committed to increasing production five-fold, although he said even much of this run is already committed via retail purchase orders.

whangoRecognizable to taste buds through its unique mango flavor, Whango is recognizable to the eye through its unique packaging – a shaggy-haired surfer dude with only his paddleboard standing between him and the salmony/pinky/orangey/yellow Detroit skyline.  (The paddleboard pays homage to their growing presence on the Belle Isle shoreline in Detroit; the colors pay homage to spring and summer.)

“Spring’s coming and we think Whango is a great reflection of the fun and freshness of spring and summer days,” says Rieth.  “Whango is one of our eight special seasonal brews that are now available in 24 states, ready for people everywhere who are ready to get outside and enjoy the weather.  Whango is the beer to pack for whatever they want to do.”

Atwater’s Whango

  • ABV 4.90% IBU:14
  • Style: Fruit Beer  Color: Straw

German Pale Wheat malt lends this clean offering a lightly citric crispness at the back of the palate. The addition of real mango adds a soft, sweet roundness to the body and natural mango flavoring lifts the aroma to match.

Whango and Atwater’s other beers and ales are available throughout Michigan and in 24 other states with new distribution being added on a regular basis.   Whango is already joining Atwater’s Vanilla Java Porter and Dirty Blond among the Atwater’s most popular flavors.

Atwater is hosting a Whango release party on Wednesday, March 1 at Slow’s BBQ from 5pm – 8pm with a host of give-aways and raffle prizes on hand.

 

detroit fall fest

Beer festivals happen several times a year. From fest to fest, some things are different—the weather, the breweries, the food. But many things are exactly same from year to year—the 15 tokens in the plastic glass, the good beer, and at least one discovery of a fantastic new-to-me brewpub. This year, I discovered not one, not two, but three new-to-me breweries. It was a good fest.

First, the top five brews from pubs I knew about.

Big Lake’s Leroy Brown appealed to me because of the name and the fact that there were dice on the can. It would have been cool to have the custom Continental and the El Dorado, but the dice were a nice touch. The beer was very nice too! An English brown ale made with four malts and chocolate, it had a smooth finish of toasty bread.

Schmohz Gingerbread Brown was great as always, as was the Mad Tom’s Porter. Brewer Gabi Palmer explained that this beer “is a solid porter—smoky, some chocolate. No hype, no b.s., just a solid beer.” And it was! Slightly bitter with a hint of smoke made for a tasty beer.

The Smoke on the Porter from ROAK was another excellent porter. An imperial smoked porter by style, this beer hit all the right notes. Roasty, dark, and perfectly balanced. But I would expect no less from this outstanding pub.

Unruly Brewing had the Orange Julius beer, which my husband described as “smelling like an Orange Julius, tasting like it, but then finishing like a bourbon barrel aged Belgian wheat.” Orange peel and vanilla beans make this beer what it is.

Lake Charlevoix Double Cookie Stout is one of the tastiest stouts I have had. Made with ten pounds of Oreos, it manages to not be overpowering or too sugary sweet. This is a solid, hearty beer.

The first of the big discoveries at this fest was One Well from Kalamazoo. Their Sweet Water Street was billed as a “coffee and donut” beer and it delivered. Much like the breakfast of champions itself, this beer had a hint of the sugary taste of donut plus all the roasted coffee taste one could want. They also had a Root Beer Stout that—unlike some root beer beers I could mention—managed to not just taste like thick, sappy syrup. It actually had a taste of root beer but never forgot it was a beer—absolutely wonderful!

The second new-to-me pub was Grand Armory from Grand Haven. Their Nutter Your Business Stout tasted like an honest-to-God peanut butter cup. My husband was so thrilled that he got three separate tastes of this beer, just so he could dance around delighting in the peanut butter and chocolate deliciousness (okay, he really didn’t dance around, but it’d be fun to pretend he did).

The top discovery this year was Railtown Brewing Company from Dutton. The brewery won a bronze medal at the recent Great American Beer Fest for its Good Mooed Milk Stout. And to be sure, this solid stout hit all the right notes. We also had their Peanut Butter Cocoa Time porter which conveyed the peanut butter taste while remembering it was a porter, and thus not too heavy or overpowering. The absolute hit for me was their Coffee Blonde, one of the best coffee beers I have ever had. Until this fest, I couldn’t find Dutton on a map but I can now, and I can’t wait to go there.

As I always do, I kept another tradition—ending the fest with Liberty Street’s Punkin Pie Ale. It is still the best pumpkin ale I have ever had, and nothing I’ve had since has changed my mind.

Some things change, some things stay the same, but Michigan beer remains far ahead of all the rest. It was a good fest.

 

Photography: Erik Smith

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.

 

batch brewing

Detroit is the home of Batch Brewing, a culinary and fermentation loving brewery that is a gem for the east side city.

I had the pleasure of tasting a couple of their beers and wanted to share my tasting notes with you all.

Anton’s Animal’s II is a Berliner Weisse, which had me excited (yet skeptical) at first, because everyone and their mother is brewing some sort of sour beer and things can go wrong quickly when diving into this realm of suds. So? What did Batch have in store for me?

batch brewing

It was a very cloudy beer. It’s color reminded me of tan/yellowish grapefruit peel. Muted and pale yellow, the beer looked like the style I was expecting. The head left me rather quickly and morphed into a ring of bubbles on the outer edges of the glass.

Curious, I sniff the “Animal’s” and first get a brief whiff of a grassy aroma before the citrus element, which serves as a sort of aromatic backbone, sets in. Nectarine skin, brioche bread, and a floral note reminiscent of honeysuckle breezes past my nostrils as I sit and take my slow breaths and fill my face with beer scent. Delicious smelling I’d say.

Though I know this wasn’t brewed with coriander, the aromas of that particular spice dart out at times, adding another layer to the beer. Overripe, sweet lemon and under ripe grapefruit notes linger throughout.

I sip the beer and it’s so pleasant. The floral note rides up first, hand in hand with the bright acidity. That under ripe grapefruit and nectarine skin notes I mentioned? They appear in the flavor as well, just before bready notes take over and dominate the finish. This isn’t to say the beer tastes “strong”, but rather the malt notes take over in a way that wasn’t present in the aroma. I’m reminded of brioche bread once again and of eating crackers, which is attributed to the addition of wheat in the grain bill. These strong malt characteristics in particular make it a good food pairing beer.

As expected, this beer is very bright to start but thankfully reduces itself into a simply refreshing beer with background acidity that spritzes up the beer and leaves me feeling a little twinge of sour in my cheeks.

At the brewery, the lovely bartenders there will gladly serve their house-made Blueberry Anise Hyssop syrup into your “Animal’s” Berliner Weisse, should you desire it. I’d suggest trying it both with and without the syrup to compare, which means getting two beers.

Yes, I’m giving you drinking homework.

Ready for the big guns? Batch decided to make sure you needed a DD by producing the big and boozy Antwerp’s Placebo II — a Belgian Strong Dark clocking in at a whopping 15.4% ABV.

batch brewing

The beer is mostly clear and hickory in color with bright red highlights. Next to no head is left for me as it’s dissipated almost immediately. Did the alcohol break down the proteins for it?

Strong sweet plum, raisin, and an “almost burn your nose hair” kind of alcohol aroma wafts forth. I’m actually reminded of Twizzlers candy, so a licorice note is appropriate I’d say. Luxardo and black cherries also come to mind, as well as unripe blackberries.

It tastes like it smells in that the sweet raisin, licorice, and hot alcohol notes all came back for me. The alcoholic nature is startling, but not taking me away from wanting to drink it. You know, this beer reminds me of eating a sweet bread pudding! I love that stuff. Maraschino cherry and the luxardo cherry notes become more prominent as it warms up.

The mouth-feel is as expected. It’s a hot beer due to the alcohol, and it’s sweetness slides across my tongue. It feels big and bold, that’s for sure. In the end I’m left with an aftertaste of cherries, bread pudding, and a recurring “whiskey shivers” effect.

Batch Brewing, you’ve peaked my interest. Will I ingest more of their beer? You bet. Do I think you, dear reader, should as well? Absolutely. Get out to their taproom to taste through their selection and be sure to grab a glass of their “feel good” beer of the month as well, which donates $2 from every sale to a local nonprofit. I understand why they call it “feel good,” because this concept is really rad. For more details, check it out here.

 

Photography: Steph Harding


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