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

Brewers from five West Michigan breweries have joined forces to create a beer and a band, and they’re going on tour to ring in Michigan Beer Month.

Catch them at various places around West Michigan from Wednesday, June 29-Sunday, July 3.

The event is called “Mashpaddle,” and it’s a celebration of West Michigan beer and collaboration.

Ten brewers—Steve Berthel, Jesse Jett, and Fred Bueltmann from New Holland Brewing; Melissa Brolick from Old Boy’s Brewhouse; Adam Engleman and Evan Keller from Lake Charlevoix Brewing; Tina Schuett from Rare Bird Brewpub; and Phil Thomson, Teo Watson-Ahlbrandt, and Dan Bouzis from Big Hart Brewing—teamed up to brew an IPA with all Michigan-grown ingredients.


Evan Keller, Dan Buozis, Teo Watson-Ahlbrandt, Phil Thomson, Fred Bueltmann, Steve Berthel, Adam Engleman

It includes a mix of caramel, vanilla, pale, and pilsner malts from Pilot Malt House, Motor City Malting, and Empire Malting. The brew’s cascade, centennial, chinook and crystal hops were grown in Empire, Michigan.

“It has lots of late hop additions to contribute to citrusy aromas,” said Bueltmann, New Holland Brewing’s Vice President of Brand and Lifestyle.

The culminating product is a bright, citrus-forward IPA that also bears the name Mashpaddle. It will be served at all participating locations.

A few members of the brew crew also happen to be musicians, so they’ve formed a band called Mashpaddle. The group includes three musicians from New Holland Brewing—Berthel on pedal steel, Jett on vocals, and Bueltmann on bass and sousaphone—as well as Lake Charlevoix’s Engleman on guitar.

“It’s really exciting to kind of combine passions,” Bueltmann said. “I think the idea that a group came together to make a beer and a band is really unique.”

The group will perform Jett’s original pieces along with a few “eclectic covers,” on a tour of participating breweries’ pub locations. They’ll perform between anchor sets with The Strapping Owls, a trio including Bueltmann as well as Larry Beers and Nicholas Barron. Attendees can expect “Americana roots and soul music,” Bueltmann said. In other words, good Fourth of July music.

“There’s a lot of enthusiasm for what we do and where we live,” Bueltmann said. “It’s a very feel-good event.”

See Mashpaddle and try the brew at one of the following dates and locations:



It was a triumphant week for the Michigan craft scene in Charlevoix this weekend. Building on the success of Lake Charlevoix Brewing Company’s grand opening at the beginning of the week, the town hosted the second annual Charlevoix Craft Beer Festival on Saturday.

The venue was spectacular, located on a patch of green space right inside the Round Lake boat harbor.  The day was helped along by blue skies and sunshine.

With over 15 breweries in attendance, including a few cider producers, it was a smaller Michigan festival than most, but there was still plenty to discover and enjoy.

“We were just passing through town on our weekend trip up north, saw the tent setup and made an impulse decision to stop in for a bit,” said a couple from downstate.

They were joined by lots of enthusiastic attendees from all over the state. Plenty were supportive locals from the up north region, but everyone driving through Charlevoix that day seemed to make it inside the tent for a few afternoon beers.

“It’s a beautiful day for beer. Why not change plans and slow down the day a little bit?” said a member of a wedding party (the wedding started at 4 p.m. — as far as I know, they made it on time).

Some highlight beers garnering many happy mentions were Gravel Bottom Brewery & Supply’s Bucketfoot Black IPA and Short’s Brewing Company’s Power of Love shandy. While the Bucketfoot was deliciously dark and bitter, the shandy was extremely pink, fruity and frothy. The startling differences between these two revealed the wide range of craft beer available as well as the creativity supported by the Michigan craft industry.

Framed by the Bridge Street Tap Room and Lake Charlevoix Brewing Company, the festival definitely showcased the growth of the Charlevoix craft scene. For its second year, the festival grew in every aspect — more brewery options, the addition of ciders, more food trucks and music hosted and sponsored by a local radio station.

“Much more commotion,” said Adam Engelmann, part-owner of both the taproom and brewery. “It’s been a crazy week. Busy! And actually, I have to get back to the kitchen and help out,” Engelmann said, running back to the taproom next door.

Along with his partners and Lake Charlevoix team, Engelmann had a pretty hectic week opening the brewery while celebrating the anniversary of both the Bridge Street Tap Room and second successful year hosting the craft beer festival. This didn’t stop Rich Bergmann, Charlevoix businessman and another part-owner of the taproom and brewery, from making sure everyone was having a great time.

“You having a good time? Yes? Good! Thank you so much for coming out and enjoying our great town,” Bergmann said.

Lake Charlevoix Brewing Company (LCBC) has opened its doors just in time for the summer season. The new brewery boasts a lakefront location, where customers can enjoy craft beverages and food in its harbor-side outdoor seating.

LCBC offers five taps devoted to their own brews alongside three guest taps. Wine, cider and spirit options are also available for those less beer-inclined.

“Michigan craft is a lifestyle. We have people of all ages in here tonight — because everyone loves a good drink,” said Phil Parr, part-owner of LCBC and its neighbor Bridge Street Tap Room.

Its aim was to appeal to everyone.

“We wanted to provide more vibrancy for the city. People go to Petoskey or Traverse City, but we have a lot of good stuff here. So we are working towards creating a better draw for all ages to come and stop and visit. We have to give them something to do.”

Tucked into the boat harbor in the heart of downtown, LCBC represents a creative re-working of space. Before it was a brewery, the space belonged to the Coast Guard for years, and even after that it was only community storage. It took determination and vision to totally transition it into a usable and enjoyable atmosphere.

The successful progression of time between opening the Bridge Street Tap Room to opening LCBC — just one year — shows how quickly Michigan’s craft industry is evolving, even in smaller, up-north communities such as Charlevoix.

“We opened this location because it’s next to the Bridge Street Tap Room. It’s something that’s going to give us more seating, but offer the same great views and allow us the ability to brew our own beer,” said Parr.

With two customized 2.5 barrel systems made by Psycho Brews from Greenville, LCBC looks forward to working with more Michigan companies in the future to brew all-Michigan made beer.

“Right now we just want to make sure we’re brewing good beer for good people.”

LCBC aims to have four flagship beers, with Michigan Beach Blonde expected to be the most popular. Its craft beer menu also includes a British-style red, a smoky porter, a pale ale and a grapefruit saison. Most of its recipes have been adapted from homebrew concepts, which were then adjusted to be brewed on a larger, more sophisticated system.

“It was good to start there — to be able to experiment with smaller batches before trying it on a larger scale,” said Parr.

Besides creating and experimenting with their own beer and food menu, LCBC also hopes to create its own sustainability practices. They want to work with the city and Charlevoix community as a whole to continue to make improvements and learn about all the opportunities the craft industry offers.

“There’s a lot of community pride in here tonight, and we are all a huge support system for the city of Charlevoix.”

The Lake Charlevoix Brewing Company’s grand opening is followed by the second annual Charlevoix Craft Beer Festival, which takes place Saturday. LCBC will be joined by about 20 other breweries to celebrate summer and Michigan craft beer in the city of Charlevoix.