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gray skies distillery

Grand Rapids, Mich – Gray Skies Distillery will release their first straight bourbon whiskey March 22. It will be available for purchase exclusively in their downtown Grand Rapids tasting room. Subsequent releases beginning fall 2018 will be available through licensed retailers, bars and restaurants around Michigan via statewide distribution. Michigan Straight Bourbon Whiskey was aged in charred new, oak barrels for over two years and bottled at 90 proof. Following their Breakfast Rye and Single Malt Whiskey, Michigan Straight Bourbon Whiskey is the third American whiskey Gray Skies Distillery has released.

Michigan Straight Bourbon Whiskey, like all Gray Skies whiskey, is crafted from grain, double pot distilled, and aged in their Grand Rapids, MI distillery. Michigan Straight Bourbon Whiskey is truly a craft whiskey created from scratch in 500 gallon batches.

“Michigan Straight Bourbon Whiskey is simply named to highlight what it is – straight bourbon distilled and aged in Michigan” said Steve Vander Pol, co-owner of Gray Skies Distillery. “The straight designation signifies the bourbon was aged at least two years and has no additional flavors added. Grain, water, yeast, oak and time were the only ingredients used to create this exceptional whiskey. Our recipe is 70% corn, 15% rye and 15% malted barley creating a classic bourbon profile that uses time to balance grain with oak and produce hints of caramel and vanilla familiar to bourbon enthusiasts. The increased presence of barley in the recipe adds notes of coffee and chocolate that make for a versatile whiskey that drinks well neat and stands out in cocktails.”

“This is one of many whiskey releases planned in 2018,” said Vander Pol. “As our whiskey stock continues to mature we are excited to follow our straight bourbon with a straight rye release. The second batch of our Single Malt Whiskey was bottled in March and our popular Breakfast Rye returns this summer. We plan to follow Breakfast Rye with a rich maple flavored Breakfast Bourbon for the holidays.”

Gray Skies Distillery was named Michigan Distillery of The Year in 2016 at the 7th annual New York International Spirits Competition on the strength of its gold medal winning Barrel Finished Gin. The Gray Skies Distillery line up of spirits are available in hundreds of licensed retailers, bars and restaurants around Michigan. Distribution is currently limited to Michigan but the distillery plans to expand into additional states with future whiskey releases.

 

About Gray Skies Distillery:

Grain to glass, locally made in Grand Rapids.

At Gray Skies Distillery, we don’t try to be everything to everyone. Instead, we focus our attention on our process, flavors, environment and those looking for the unexpected. We take pride in introducing traditional spirits – like gin, whiskey and rum – with a surprising flavor twist, making them unique to Gray Skies Distillery. Our small-batch process is married with traditional methods to create a spirit that is innovative and exceptional in quality. We are committed to working with local businesses whenever possible to craft our flavor-forward spirits. From local malted barley to repurposing Michigan maple syrup barrels, our innovative ingredients push the limits on what good spirits truly embody.

 

Grand Rapids, Mich – Grand Rapids-based Long Road Distillers will release a new, limited-release liqueur on Valentine’s Day, Wednesday, February 14, beginning at 4 pm. The release of Long Road Raspberry Liqueur coincides with several other special offerings at the distillery for the holiday, including cocktail and chocolate pairings, and featured food and drinks.

long road distillers raspberry liqueurLong Road Raspberry Liqueur is made with Michigan raspberries from DeLange’s Redberry Farm in nearby Hudsonville, Michigan. It will be available in limited quantities at the distillery in Grand Rapids next week, and at select retailers and restaurants beginning at the end of the month.

“We’re beginning to experiment more and more with liqueurs and other specialty spirits,” says Jon O’Connor, co-owner of Long Road Distillers. “With the diversity and abundance of agriculture that we have access to all around us in West Michigan, we have plenty of opportunities to partner with local farmers to try something new.”

For the Valentine’s Day release, Long Road will be offering half-off pours of the Raspberry Liqueur, in addition to half-off cocktails featuring the new spirit, all evening. Visitors will also have the opportunity to bring a bottle home with them.

“The timing for this release worked out perfectly,” according to Kyle VanStrien, co-owner of Long Road Distillers. “We can’t imagine a better spirit to highlight on Valentine’s Day and to pair with the chocolates we’re featuring that evening.”

In addition to the release of Long Road Raspberry Liqueur, the distillery is hosting a Cocktails, Chocolates and Spirits Pairing featuring Mokaya chocolates that were handcrafted using Long Road Spirits. Two seatings are available – at 7:00 and 8:30 pm – and the event will be hosted in the Rickhouse, the second floor special events space at the distillery. Mokaya chocolates will also be available to purchase in 4-packs to bring home, or as a pairing with your food and drinks in the restaurant.

 

michigan craft distillers associationTRAVERSE CITY, Mich—The Michigan Craft Distillers Association has announced its inaugural Michigan Distilled festival, featuring craft spirits and cocktails made around the Great Lakes State. The event will be held on Friday, September 15 from 6-10pm, under the pavilion at Fulton Street Farmers Market in Grand Rapids. Tickets are on sale now at MiDistilled.com.

A VIP Hour (5-6pm) offers guests an enhanced experience with handcrafted cocktails and a chance to meet with local bartenders and mixologists. VIP tickets are $75 each and include five (5) 3-ounce batch cocktails (or ¼-ounce samples of spirits available from each respective distillery), one handcrafted cocktail (available only during the 5-6pm hour) and one food item, along with a swag bag and commemorative logoed cup.

General Admission tickets are $40 and include five (5) 3-ounce batch cocktails or ¼-ounce samples of spirits available from each respective distillery.

Tickets can be purchased online here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/michigan-distilled-tickets-36687658775.

Additional tasting tickets will be available at the festival for $20 (for five (5) 3-ounce samples). Food trucks, specialty food / non-alcoholic beverage vendors and handcrafted items will be available for added costs. The festival will also feature a full line-up of live music (a schedule of which will be released by the end of August).

Attendees must be 21 and valid photo ID is required for entry (no exceptions) and the event will be held, rain or shine. No refunds will be offered for this festival; no pets, weapons, outside alcohol or glass of any kind will be permitted.

The Michigan Craft Distillers Association was formed in 2014 as a non-profit organization charged with marketing the individual member businesses, their products and events, but also help bring a voice for the industry when it comes to legislative issues that affect the overall beverage industry. Currently, the organization represents two dozen craft distilleries with nearly 40 individual locations and tasting rooms around the state.

 

michigan craft distillers associationTRAVERSE CITY, Mich—The Michigan Craft Distillers Association has announced its inaugural Michigan Distilled festival, featuring craft spirits and cocktails made around the Great Lakes State. The event will be held on Friday, September 15 from 6-10pm, under the pavilion at Fulton Street Farmers Market in Grand Rapids. Tickets are on sale now at MiDistilled.com.
A VIP Hour (5-6pm) offers guests an enhanced experience with handcrafted cocktails and a chance to meet with local bartenders and mixologists. VIP tickets are $75 each and include five (5) 3-ounce batch cocktails (or ¼-ounce samples of spirits available from each respective distillery), one handcrafted cocktail (available only during the 5-6pm hour) and one food item, along with a swag bag and commemorative logoed cup.
General Admission tickets are $40 and include five (5) 3-ounce batch cocktails or ¼-ounce samples of spirits available from each respective distillery.
Tickets can be purchased online here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/michigan-distilled-tickets-36687658775.
Additional tasting tickets will be available at the festival for $20 (for five (5) 3-ounce samples). Food trucks, specialty food / non-alcoholic beverage vendors and handcrafted items will be available for added costs. The festival will also feature a full line-up of live music (a schedule of which will be released by the end of August).
Attendees must be 21 and valid photo ID is required for entry (no exceptions) and the event will be held, rain or shine. No refunds will be offered for this festival; no pets, weapons, outside alcohol or glass of any kind will be permitted.
The Michigan Craft Distillers Association was formed in 2014 as a non-profit organization charged with marketing the individual member businesses, their products and events, but also help bring a voice for the industry when it comes to legislative issues that affect the overall beverage industry. Currently, the organization represents two dozen craft distilleries with nearly 40 individual locations and tasting rooms around the state.
 

new holland spiritsThe 17th annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC) took place April 20th through April 23rd. This year’s competition was the biggest in its history featuring more than 2,100 entries. A SFWSC medal has become a recognized affirmation of high quality and one of the most reliable and universal indications of spirits excellence.

New Holland submitted two spirits, achieving high marks for both. Knickerbocker Gin took home a double gold medal in its category, followed by Beer Barrel Bourbon, which was awarded a Gold Medal in its category.

“We are thrilled to receive such a great response from the judges in San Francisco,” stated Brett VanderKamp, President and co-founder of New Holland. “This competition is held in such high regard by drinkers and distillers alike.”

Knickerbocker Gin is infused with more than a dozen herbs and spices, and has been a staple for New Holland since the initial release in 2008. “This gin is so balanced and approachable,” says Ryan Cioffi, who runs the gin program at The Knickerbocker facility in Grand Rapids. “If you don’t like gin, you have not tried Knickerbocker Gin.”

Beer Barrel Bourbon is aged in new American Oak before being finished in beer casks. It was first released in 2012, and quickly became the most popular spirit made by New Holland. “Finishing in a beer barrel, especially a beer as special as Dragon’s Milk, makes our Bourbon unique to us,” says Shaun McLarty, Head Distiller at the Holland location, who manages the whiskey program. “The rich malt sweetness found in our Bourbon is simply amazing.”

New Holland Spirits awards:

Double Gold Medal: Knickerbocker Gin
Gold Medal: Beer Barrel Bourbon

Medal Interpretation:

Double Gold: Awarded to the very few entries that receive a Gold medal rating by all members of the judging panel; among the finest products in the world.
Gold: An exceptional spirit that is near the pinnacle of achievement; sets the standard for its category.

New Holland Spirits has proudly distilled spirits since 2005.

 

long road distillers

Grand Rapids-based Long Road Distillers will release a new seasonal gin, MICHIGIN®, on Monday, February 6 when their doors open at 4 pm. The gin was crafted from 100% Michigan ingredients, starting with water fresh from Lake Michigan, red winter wheat from Heffron Farms and juniper harvested by hand on Beaver Island.

The limited-release MICHIGIN is the first gin to use all Michigan ingredients. While the distillery works regularly with local farms to source ingredients, juniper, the ingredient that distinguishes gin from other spirits, proved challenging to find. “We’ve been planning MICHIGIN since before we opened our doors two years ago, but we were struggling to find a source for Michigan-grown juniper, a non- negotiable ingredient when it comes to gin,” said Kyle VanStrien, Long Road Co-owner and Co- Founder.

MICHIGIN’s base spirit is distilled from red winter wheat from nearby Belding, Michigan, milled on site at the distillery on Grand Rapids’ West Side. It was then redistilled with a variety of Michigan botanicals, including lemon verbena and fennel from Visser Farms in Zeeland, lemon balm from Creation Farms in Beulah, and Galena hops from the Michigan Hop Alliance in Northport. The resulting gin is unlike any other and offers a fresh taste of Michigan from start to finish.

Juniper is commonly sourced through spice purveyors and originates from Europe or the Pacific Northwest. It wasn’t until sitting around a campfire with family over the summer, discussing different botanicals used in Long Road spirits, that a Michigan source for juniper was revealed to VanStrien.

“I mentioned in passing that we were on the hunt for local juniper,” said VanStrien, “and my cousin stopped me and said that it was everywhere on Beaver Island where she grew up!”

Less than a month later, VanStrien and business partner Jon O’Connor were on a small plane headed to Beaver Island, Lake Michigan’s largest island, 30 miles northwest of Charlevoix, Michigan. After a short scouting visit, it was clear finding enough juniper wouldn’t be a problem. The bushes are so prevalent on parts of the island, they’ve become a nuisance for many residents.

During the last week of September, 2016, a dozen members of the Long Road staff set out from Grand Rapids to harvest juniper berries on the island, collecting nearly 200 pounds over a two-day period. The team weathered 15-foot waves on the two-hour ferry ride and chilly rain while picking, but according to O’Connor, the journey was well worth it.

“What started out as strictly a juniper-picking trip turned out to be a great opportunity for our team to work together on a product that epitomizes our core values and our shared vision for crafting world class spirits from local ingredients,” said O’Connor. “Not only that, the finished product is unlike any

other gin on the market due to the unique flavors we were able to extract by using local juniper and distilling it fresh.”

MICHIGIN, initially, has the familiar aroma of fresh pine and juniper berries, but quickly transitions into scents of cucumber, cedar, vanilla and tropical fruits. The rich juniper flavors lead the way at first taste and gradually shift to notes of melon, vanilla, and hints of bright citrus. It’s sure to please in a gin cocktail, on the rocks, or all by itself.

On Monday, February 6, the distillery is hosting a MICHIGIN Release Party to celebrate the new spirit. From 4 pm to midnight, guests will be able to enjoy 50% off gin cocktails and have their first opportunity to purchase bottles of Long Road MICHIGIN to take home.

Long Road MICHIGIN will also be available in statewide distribution for licensed retailers, bars and restaurants beginning the week of February 6.

 


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