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long road distillers

New distillery Tasting Room to open in the heart of Downtown Grand Haven

 

Grand Haven, Mich. – Grand Rapids-based Long Road Distillers is set to open a new distillery tasting room in Grand Haven, Michigan this week. The lakeshore location will be the company’s second offsite tasting room apart from their headquarters on the West Side of Grand Rapids where they house their production facility, cocktail bar and restaurant. They also have a retail location in Boyne City.

Visitors to the new Grand Haven location will be able to enjoy an extensive lakeshore-inspired cocktail menu and a full food menu featuring snacks, share-ables, salads, sandwiches and more. Guests will also be able to sample Long Road’s line-up of award-winning spirits, participate in special tasting events, and purchase merchandise and bottles to-go.

long road“Our team is excited to finally join the Grand Haven community,” said Kyle VanStrien, Long Road Distillers Co-Founder and Co-Owner. “We’ve been working on a location here for nearly two years, and it’s certainly been a long road. We can’t wait to share what we’ve been able to build!”

Long Road Grand Haven is located at 18 Washington Ave, in the heart of the downtown business area, and less than a block from the waterfront. It features a new 6-seat bar and 40-seat dining area that opens to a 10-seat patio on the sidewalk with large, sliding glass doors.

“We’re excited to bring our curated experience to the lakeshore,” said Jon O’Connor, Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Long Road Distillers. “We look forward to adding something new and unique for the residents and visitors of Grand Haven to enjoy.”

An official grand opening and ribbon cutting will be held at 5:30 pm on Thursday, July 18. Going forward, the distillery will be open daily from 11a to 11p.

See the Cocktails and Kitchen menus, and to stay up to date on the Long Road – Grand Haven.

 

odd side funk fest

A long overdue festival for Odd Side Ales finally popped its cherry on Saturday. OSA has been exploring the idea of a festival for quite a while now. They always liked the idea of having an outdoor anniversary festival, but since their anniversary falls on St. Patrick’s Day, the weather never seemed like something they would have on their side.

“So why not do it in the summer time, on the water, at a time when nothing else historically is going on downtown, while benefiting the city. We want to celebrate our success and thank our customers by throwing them a gigantic party,” said Reid Warber, OSA Tap Room Manager.

odd side funk fest

It took a bit of convincing when it came to pitching the festival to the City of Grand Haven. Warber had to firmly express that this isn’t just an ordinary beer tent—it isn’t Anheuser Busch with tall boys. OSA wanted to showcase local beer and local food. After three city council meetings, a few additional meetings with the city, a long check list and a lot of beer, they finally got the city’s blessing.

“I love watching Odd Side get better and better every year. I am excited for their first festival,” stated Brent Newville, OSA mug club member.

OSA Funk Fest was a day spent showcasing funky music—Chris Wiser-The human jukebox, Plain Jane Glory, Starmen, and Mainstays—their beer, local food and a silent disco. Silent Disco? Yeah, I had no idea either. A 60’ x 40’ tent lined one corner of the festival, where  you could only hear the DJs via headsets. Throughout the later part of the day SoundIsRed, DJ JSUPP, Clark After Dark played separate sets, then at the very end, they all played together. You could tune the headset into three different stations to pick who you wanted. From an outside perspective you could not hear any music, but could see a lot of people dancing their butts off. Someone who loves people watching, which I admit is me, could try and figure out which people were listening to the same stations by their dance moves.

The beer list had summer in mind with different variations of IPAs: The Implication Triple IPA, Mango IPA, Blood Orange IPA, Pineapple IPA, El Dankerino Double IPA; Sours: Touch of Red, Sour Grapes, Funk Soul Brother; and even some heavy hitters like Hazel’s Nuts – Barrel Aged Imperial Stout with hazelnuts, The Nihilist – Barrel Aged Double IPA, and Mayan Mocha Stout – coffee stout with cinnamon, nutmeg and habanero, to name a few. Hipster Brunch Stout – Barrel Aged Stout with coffee, maple syrup and bacon had a special unannounced tapping at around 6pm.

“This is one funky fest,” stated Joe Wallace, OSA mug club member.

Saturday was the day to just get Funky—plain and simple. Festival goers were also seen playing corn hole, conquering giant jenga, hanging with friends, meeting new friends, and checking out the Better Drinking Culture booth. Better Drinking Culture is a grassroots movement with efforts to shift our culture’s relationship with alcohol to a healthier and more positive direction. If you scored a 100% on their quiz you received a free t-shirt.

 

“This festival has good vibes and a friendly crowd,” stated Shane Timmins, local resident.

The festival itself was ran by volunteers with a love for OSA.

“They are my favorite brewery. We first poured for them awhile back at the Microbrew and Music Festival in Traverse City and now follow them wherever we go,” stated Amanda and Heather Reno, Funk Fest volunteers/ ‘groupies’.

Some people who joined in on the fun were people just walking by, curious as to what was going on.

“This is just the beginning to what I have up my sleeve for the future,” stated Reid Warber, OSA Tap Room Manager.

 

Photography: Steven Michael Holmes

Certainly its name is not a misnomer. When it comes to the eccentric, strange or just plain odd, Grand Haven’s Odd Side Ales advertises itself accurately.

Since opening its taproom doors in March 2010 — on St. Patrick’s Day weekend — the brewery hasn’t been afraid to offer products on a wide range of the odd spectrum. Hot peppers may be added to the brew. Or maybe it’s aged in tequila or wine barrels. Better yet, maybe it’s coffee flavor in a blonde ale.

“You can go anywhere and get an IPA, or a pale ale, or an amber or a brown,” said Josh Gordon, operations manager and assistant brewer. “Obviously, we have those here, but it’s kind of cool a lot of the mainstays at Odd Side have weird stuff in them as well.”

The beckoning to the odd grew as part of the brewery’s reputation even after it was first named Odd Side. According to Gordon, the moniker was first chosen because the taproom is located at 41 Washington Avenue — situated on the “odd side” of the street.

“But then it also developed into the weird beers and stuff,” Gordon said. “And that’s kind of the niche in the market for us where people expect us to have at least a beer with a hot pepper in it or other weird stuff going on like coffee Hefeweizen or crazy names or loud artwork.”

The upcoming fall release of Hipster Brunch Stout — an imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels with cooked bacon, maple syrup and coffee added directly into the barrels after the first six months of aging — adds to that repertoire. Gordon also mentioned a mojito lager (fresh mint and fresh lime) and two brews aged in tequila barrels — a lager with lime and “Josh on the Beach,” a pineapple IPA — as some of the most notable odd brews in recent memory.

The branding of “odd” has taken roots in the artwork and overall market branding for Odd Side, which opened a separate production facility south of the downtown taproom on Hayes Street in Grand Haven Township in fall 2012 and began bottling. It was soon after that time when Gordon joined the company, aligning his passion and love for craft beer with his day job.

“I’ve been coming here since Odd Side opened, and definitely the beer has gotten better — much more consistent,” Gordon said. “I think a lot of the stuff at the production facility helped that out.”

“After having the bottles out there for a year and half, the branding is way more solid. The direction all the beer is going in is a bit more defined.”

Gordon works with head brewer Kyle Miller under the direction of owner Chris Michner. Beer is still brewed in-house at the taproom/brewery in addition to beer that is either bottled, distributed in kegs to bars and restaurants throughout the state or brought to fill 17 of the taproom’s 21 tap handles.

Inside the taproom, there are many brews not available in stores and patrons shouldn’t expect the typical bar — no blaring music, televisions or other distractions. Instead, beer drinkers are invited into the Odd Side community, with couches, a long bar and shareable tables accompanied with stacks of board games, a line of dart boards and plenty of conversation.

The taproom takes on more of a coffeehouse vibe with a décor of local art and kitschy light fixtures. Summers usually have less going on in the taproom, as Odd Side is in a prime location of a summer tourist city. But most of the year, something is happening each night.

Monday is Dart Club, Tuesday is trivia, Wednesday is mug club, Thursday is for steins (fill a 32-ounce for $5) and Friday and Saturday usually feature live music. Gordon called Sunday “recovery day,” but it’s not uncommon for patrons to partake in some euchre even so.

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