perrin brewing

West Michiganders are beer-loving, hardy, and generous souls. Attendance at Perrin Brewing Company’s 1st Ice Jam Winter Festival pretty much proves that. An event designed to showcase specialty and collaborative beers and benefit Kids Food Basket, whose purpose is “attacking childhood hunger to help young people learn and live well”, definitely drew crowds to Comstock Park Saturday afternoon.

perrin brewing


Starting at 1:30 p.m. with the Frostbite 5k, approximately 500 bundled up, PJ-clad folks of all ages made their way around Perrin Brewing Company for a good cause. The $25 registration fee for the 5k was donated directly to Kids Food Basket, and served as admittance to the Ice Jam, starting at 2 p.m..

Others arrived later, with boxes of granola bars, fruit juice, and more to serve as entrance fee directly to the Ice Jam. Piles of requested food items grew inside the brewery and outside the Ice Jam tent entrance. That, or a $10 fee (with proceeds also going to Kids Food Basket) got you into the heated tents in Perrin Brewing’s back forty.

Food and drink tickets were a dollar a piece, with most brews at about 4 tickets each, well worth the price for the variety of beers available. Beers available on tap from Perrin included:

-98 Problems – IPA

-Bullet Tooth – barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout

-No Rules – Vietnamese Imperial Porter

-Poop Your Pants – Chocolate Bock

and more.

Some unique treats on tap were available as well, including Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale; distributed locally in MI in cans, but not on tap;  and Cigar City’s Jai Alai IPA, which is not available at all in Michigan. These very special batches were actually brewed in Michigan, at Perrin, when brewers Tim Matthews of Oskar Blues and Wayne Wambles of Cigar City were in town to brew an Imperial Oatmeal Stout named ‘Triangulation’ with Perrin’s head brewer John Stewart.

In addition to the collaborative Triangulation each guest brewer brewed up a batch of their signature beers for us lucky Michiganders.

Connor Klopic, Brewer and Cellar-man at Perrin, shared the inspiration behind the event with MittenBrew. “We wanted to do something fun to bring people out during the winter when they are usually staying indoors, so we decided to partner with Kids Food Basket [for the Ice Jam]. We also have a bunch of speciality beers we are tapping and pretty excited about. And food, of course.”

The food tent offered brats and hot dogs, hot chocolate and cupcakes from The Salted Cupcake for little humans in attendance and those needing some protein or a winter warmer between their beers. Two Scott’s BBQ was also on hand with their food truck, for those craving pulled pork sandwiches.

In addition to a killer lineup of beer and food, the Ice Jam scored high points for their musical selections as well. Serving as a precursor to WYCE’s Jammie Awards, live music from some amazing West Michigan bands started at 3 p.m.. MC’d by reps from WYCE and Local Spins, The Mainstays opened the show, followed up Jesse Ray & The Carolina Catfish, Heaters,  I Believe in Julio, and ended with headliner Mustard Plug. The heated tent and hundreds of dancing bodies (and the internal warmth provided by the beer) kept everything pretty cozy as the temperatures dropped throughout the evening.

Plenty of bonfires were scattered along the grounds outside of the tents, including a pretty massive one at Perrin’s Cigar Lounge out back. I do enjoy a good cigar, and I enjoy things more when I know a portion of proceeds go to charity. RRR Cigars headed up by Rick & Lisa Reynolds, provided hand-rolled cigars to attendees for $10, with donations also going to Kids Food Basket. Just one more unique aspect to this off-season backyard bash, and a pretty good pairing with hearty stouts like Bullet Tooth and Triangulation, too.

perrin brewing

Kyle and Chris, Grand Rapids locals who were sharing cigars with us at the fire pit, shared their take on the day, “We had some friends running in the 5K today, and we came to support them. We didn’t run, we’re just here for the festivities,” Kyle laughed.

As far as the beers on tap, Chris mentioned that he was pretty excited to try Cigar City’s Jai Alai again, since the last time he had it was when he was in Tampa. Perhaps it invoked a feeling of sunshine and warmer days?

perrin brewingThe charitable aspect had some pull too, and the uniqueness of the actual items being donated provided a concrete visual to the volume of attendance and the generosity of the attendees. “It think it’s fantastic that you have the option of bringing in actual items for donation for an entrance fee,” said Kyle. “Watching the pile of food grow, you end up feeling more a part of the event. You get to actually see the giving spirit of the people here today. It’s pretty awesome.”

We all know the feeling of the dragging, dreary, after-holidays winter season. No one wants to do anything but have the season end. The Ice Jam Festival might just be the good excuse we need to get out of the house between New Year’s and Winter Beer Fest. Because any time is a good time for delicious food, sweet music, charitable giving, and, of course, amazing beer.


Photography: Amee Rutan


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.


Comstock Park, Mich. – On Saturday, January 28th, 2017 dig up your warmest winter suit and mittens to join Perrin Brewing and Kids’ Food Basket at the “Perrin Ice Jam Winter Festival” from 2pm – 8pm featuring live music, barrel-aged brews, and a specialty draft release of Triangulation, Imperial Oatmeal Stout collaboration brew with Cigar City Brewing and Oskar Blues Brewery. Admission is donation based including cash donations or food items from Kids’ Food Basket wish list.

The festival will feature sets by Kalamazoo funk and soul band The Mainstays, Grand Rapids rockabilly/roots duo Jesse Ray & The Carolina Catfish, Grand Rapids punk band I Believe in Julio and Grand Rapids psych-rock group Heaters. A fifth “mystery” band will be announced for the festival by the end of December.

Brave the cold and kick-off the festival with a Frostbite 5k Run/Walk on January 28th. We encourage to wear your winter onesies and pajamas! All proceeds during the event will be donated to Kids’ Food Basket of West Michigan. The 5K Run/Walk is $25 for Adults and $15 for Kids 12 and under. Packet pick-up will be from noon-1pm and the race begins at 1:30pm.

Register online: Frostbite 5K Run

Join Perrin in attacking child hunger by supporting Kids’ Food Basket in their efforts to provide kids in the community with nourishment they need to reach their full potential. Every donation provides a child with a nutritious evening meal so they can be their best in school and life.

Beat the line the day of the event and purchase pre-sale tickets online: Perrin Ice Jam Winter Festival pre-sale online tickets

In the Perrin Pub pre-sale tickets are available per donation. Perrin Brewing has started to collect food donations in the front foyer from the Kids’ Food Basket wish list:

  • 100% Fruit Juice Boxes
  • Cracker Packs
  • Granola Bars
  • Individual Fruit or Pudding Cups
  • Cheerios
  • Creamy Peanut Butter
  • Bulk Pretzels
  • Bulk Cheez-Its or Goldfish Crackers
  • Snack Size Zipper-Lock bags
  • Decorated 8lb bags

Stay updated with beer releases, registration 5k run details, band line-up and more on the: Perrin Ice Jam Facebook page

Perrin brewing