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bottled in bond

Grand Rapids’ first craft distillery celebrates fifth anniversary with limited-edition whisky release

Grand Rapids, Michigan – Grand Rapids-based Long Road Distillers will celebrate their fifth anniversary this weekend with a limited release of a brand-new offering, Long Road Bottled-In-Bond Bourbon Whisky.

“Obviously, we never expected to celebrate our five-year anniversary under the circumstances we find ourselves in,” said Jon O’Connor, co-owner and co-founder of Long Road Distillers. “All of our locations are closed to dine-in service, and we’ve been producing more hand sanitizer over the past 8 weeks than craft spirits. We can’t throw the party this birthday deserves, but we’re grateful for the opportunity to still offer take-out service of spirits, cocktail kits and food.”

Unique environment aside, the distillery wanted to mark the anniversary with something special. The Bottled-In-Bond designation is a significant milestone in the life of a distillery, and carries with it certain requirements that go above and beyond the average bourbon.

bottled in bondA bottled-in-bond whisky must be distilled in a single distilling season for a single distillery, aged in a federally bonded warehouse for at least 4 years, and bottled at 100 proof. All these requirements were established by the Bottled-In-Bond Act of 1897. As the label on Long Road’s Bottled-In-Bond expression calls out, this bourbon is quite literally “Bottled-In-Bond Under U.S. Government Supervision”.

Only a single barrel of Long Road Bottled-In-Bond Bourbon will be available this week, less than 180 bottles in total.

Since Governor Whitmer issued an Executive Order on March 16 to shut down dining rooms of bars and restaurants, the team at Long Road Distillers has shifted gears to produce hand sanitizer and to offer take-out of Cocktail Kits, craft spirits, and more recently food from their Grand Rapids kitchen.

Orders for Long Road Bottled-In-Bond Bourbon and a variety of other spirits and kits can be placed through the Take-Out section of the company’s website www.LongRoadDistillers.com, and picked up at any of their three tasting room locations this weekend. A full list of days and hours of operation are available on the site.

 

About Long Road Distillers:

Long Road Distillers was born from the belief that making world-class spirits means never taking shortcuts along the way. After becoming the first craft distillery in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Long Road Distillers formed relationships with local farmers to bring that mission to Grand Rapids’ West Side neighborhood. Each spirit produced at Long Road Distillers is milled from locally sourced ingredients, fermented, and distilled on-site. The result is an uncompromised lineup of spirits including Vodka, Gin, Whisky and more. Their spirits, along with a handcrafted collection of cocktails and a wide variety of food can be enjoyed at their Grand Rapids and Grand Haven Tasting Rooms, and visitors can enjoy samples of their spirits and purchase merchandise and bottles to-go at their Boyne City Tasting Room.

 

hand sanitizer

Grand Rapids distillery has converted from producing craft spirits to Michigan-made hand sanitizer

 

Grand Rapids, Michigan – Over the course of the last month, Long Road Distillers has shifted from producing Michigan-made craft spirits to Michigan-made hand sanitizer in order to help meet the tremendous needs of the community during the current outbreak. To help speed up the process, the Grand Rapids distillery has partnered with several Michigan breweries to provide beer that can be distilled and converted into ethyl alcohol, the primary ingredient in hand sanitizer.

“We have all of the equipment on site to produce hand sanitizer from scratch,” said Jon O’Connor, co-owner of Long Road Distillers. “Our two large stills allow us to take fermented grain or fruit and turn it into 190 proof neutral spirit, much like we do in the process of producing our vodka.”

For Long Road, the pinch point in speeding up production is fermentation capacity. To overcome that roadblock, they are now working with several Michigan breweries who are providing beer that can be run through the still. To date, Long Road has partnered with The Mitten Brewing Company, Founders Brewing Company, Perrin Brewing Company and Shorts Brewing Company. Some of the beer had been kegged for restaurant use, while some was brewed by the companies specifically for the purpose of distilling into sanitizer.

hand sanitizer

“The craft beverage world has always been about creativity, excellence and service,” said Chris Andrus, co-owner of The Mitten Brewing Company. “This effort is just a natural extension of that; quickly working together to solve problems and meet a need in our community.”

So far, Long Road Distillers has worked with nearly 300 health care providers, nursing homes, grocers, social service agencies and other essential businesses to provide sanitizer to keep patients, residents, employees and customers safe. Their ability to offer this is due in large part to those who have come to the support of the distillery at this time.

“We’re fortunate to have such a collaborative beverage community in Michigan!” exclaimed Kyle VanStrien, co-owner of Long Road Distillers. “The willingness of our friends to step up and help us in this effort has certainly been one of the brightest silver linings during these difficult days.”

Long Road Hand Sanitizer is available for purchase in individual spray bottles and in bulk refill jugs, with primary focus given to front-line providers and essential businesses and their employees at this time. Interested organizations may submit inquiries about procuring sanitizer through Long Road’s website: www.LongRoadDistillers.com/handsanitizer/

A limited number of individual spray bottles are being sold to the public through the distillery’s weekly take-out service, and orders must be placed in advance through the takeout link on their website. Pick-up of sanitizer, as well as cocktail kits and bottles-to-go are offered Thursdays (12-5p) and Fridays (12-6p) in Grand Rapids, and Saturdays (10a-2p) from their Grand Haven location. Long Road Hand Sanitizer can also be found at several local retailers.

About Long Road Distillers:

Long Road Distillers was born from the belief that making world-class spirits means never taking shortcuts along the way. After becoming the first craft distillery in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Long Road Distillers formed relationships with local farmers to bring that mission to Grand Rapids’ West Side neighborhood. Each spirit produced at Long Road Distillers is milled from locally sourced ingredients, fermented, and distilled on-site. The result is an uncompromised lineup of spirits including Vodka, Gin, Whisky and more. Their spirits, along with a handcrafted collection of cocktails and a wide variety of food can be enjoyed at their Grand Rapids and Grand Haven Tasting Rooms, and visitors can enjoy samples of their spirits and purchase merchandise and bottles to-go at their Boyne City Tasting Room.  For more information, visit www.LongRoadDistillers.com or find Long Road Distillers on Facebook or Instagram @longroadgr.

 

long road distillers

They captured a total of 8 medals at the American Craft Spirits Association’s annual event

 

Grand Rapids, Michigan – Long Road Distillers captured eight new honors at the 2020 American Craft Spirits Awards, presented by the American Craft Spirits Association, including 2 Gold medals for Long Road Aquavit and Long Road Raspberry Liqueur.

Under normal circumstances, the winners of the American Craft Spirits Awards are announced at the annual convention for the American Craft Spirits Association, the national non-profit association representing the country’s craft spirits producers. However, with events around the country being cancelled or postponed, this year’s winners were announced via livestream with distillers and spirit enthusiasts tuning in to hear the results.

In addition to Gold medals for Aquavit and Raspberry Liqueur, Long Road won Silver medals for Long Road Grand Absinthe, Long Road Amaro Pazzo, and Long Road Old Aquavit, and Bronze medals for Long Road Rum, Long Road Nocino, and Long Road Apple Brandy.

“The annual ACSA conference and awards banquet is always a highlight of the year,” said Jon O’Connor, co-owner and co-founder of Long Road Distillers. “It’s truly an honor to have the hard work of our team recognized again this year, despite the circumstances that postponed the event.”

The ACSA Annual Convention was scheduled to be held this week in Portland, OR, but will now be rescheduled for later in the year. The judging process is chaired by distiller and industry phenom Maggie Campbell, President of Privateer Rum in Ipswich, MA. A carefully selected group of more than 30 expert judges evaluated more than 500 entries in seven different categories.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to be part of an organization is member owned and member driven,” said co-owner and co-founder Kyle VanStrien. “These awards don’t come easily – those of us in the craft spirits industry are our own harshest critics.”

Long Road’s no-shortcuts approach to crafting spirits and a dedication to using locally sourced ingredients has earned them numerous honors and awards, as well as international acclaim for some lesser-known spirits categories, such as Aquavit. Their spirits can be found at the distillery on Grand Rapids’ West Side, at tasting rooms in Grand Haven and Boyne City, and at over 2,500 retailers, bars, and restaurants throughout the state of Michigan.

 

About Long Road Distillers:

Long Road Distillers was born from the belief that making world-class spirits means never taking shortcuts along the way. After becoming the first craft distillery in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Long Road Distillers formed relationships with local farmers to bring that mission to Grand Rapids’ West Side neighborhood. Each spirit produced at Long Road Distillers is milled from locally sourced ingredients, fermented, and distilled on-site. The result is an uncompromised lineup of spirits including Vodka, Gin, Whisky and more. Their spirits, along with a handcrafted collection of cocktails and a wide variety of food can be enjoyed at their Grand Rapids and Grand Haven Tasting Rooms, and visitors can enjoy samples of their spirits and purchase merchandise and bottles to-go at their Boyne City Tasting Room.

About the American Craft Spirits Association: The American Craft Spirits Association is the only registered national non-profit trade group representing the U.S. craft spirits industry. Members vote for the 15 democratically elected representatives who make up the Board of Directors, and this Board collectively works to govern the ACSA in a transparent, responsive manner and in accordance with association bylaws. Their mission is to elevate and advocate for the community of craft spirits producers. Learn more by visiting www.americancraftspirits.org.

long road distillers

Vivant Big Red Coq Malt Whisky is the fifth release in the Beer City Whisky Series by the distillery

 

Grand Rapids, Michigan – On Thursday, September 26, Grand Rapids craft distillery Long Road Distillers will release Vivant Big Red Coq Malt Whisky made in partnership with Brewery Vivant. This is the fifth release of the Long Road Beer City Whisky Series, a line-up of whiskies collaboratively made with local breweries who have helped earn Grand Rapids the title of “Beer City USA”. Vivant Big Red Coq Malt Whisky is distilled from the same mash as Big Red Coq Red IPA, a flagship beer from the Grand Rapids-based brewery.

“We’re excited for people to try out this latest collaborative release,” said Kyle VanStrien, co-owner and co-founder of Long Road Distillers. “Brewery Vivant has always been one of our favorite local brewers and they create some of the most unique and enjoyable beers around.  We think this beer-turned-whisky is the perfect representation of their craftsmanship in spirit form.”

Grand Rapids has won the title of “Beer City USA” for several years running, and has also been named “Best Beer Town” and “Best Beer Scene” by USA TODAY readers. These titles are an acknowledgement of the many world-class breweries that call Grand Rapids home, but also a nod to the passionate beer lovers that support them.

The idea behind the Beer City Whisky Series stemmed from shared base ingredients between beer and whisky – namely, malted barley. To create the whiskies in this ongoing series, Long Road acquires brewers mash from local breweries and distills it into malt whisky on their 500 gallon Vendome Pot Still. After each beer is distilled into whisky, it is aged in new American Oak barrels for 12-24 months.

So far, Long Road Distillers has partnered with five Grand Rapids breweries for the Beer City Whisky Series and distilled some of their most popular beers: The Mitten Brewing Company (Mitten Country Strong IPA), Perrin Brewing Company (Perrin Black), Harmony Brewing Company/Harmony Hall (Harmony Black Squirrel Peated Porter), Greyline Brewing Company (Greyline Solshine), and Brewery Vivant (Big Red Coq Red IPA). A sixth release in the series is coming in late October, made in partnership with Creston Brewing Company.

Each whisky is released in-house at the distillery’s Grand Rapids tasting room in extremely small batches ranging from 100 to 200 bottles per batch.

Vivant Big Red Coq Malt Whisky will be released on Thursday, September 26 beginning at 4 pm at the distillery on Leonard Street.

In addition to having Vivant Big Red Coq Malt Whisky available for tastes, cocktails, and bottles to take home on Thursday, the culinary teams at Long Road and Brewery Vivant have put their heads together to create unique food pairings to enjoy alongside the whisky and drinks. The goal for the night is to have fun, but also to raise awareness about the collaborative spirit that exists in West Michigan.

Event details and menu descriptions can be found at www.longroaddistillers.com.

“We owe a lot of credit to the craft beer community for leading the way in elevating consumer expectations when it comes to quality, flavors, and a deeper understanding of how products are made and who is making them,” said Jon O’Connor, co-owner and co-founder of Long Road Distillers. “This project continues to give us the opportunity to work more closely with our friends and peers in the craft beverage industry who share a deep commitment for doing things the right way – and we’re confident it shows in this whisky!”

 

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.

 

long road

 

New distillery Tasting Room to open in the heart of Downtown Boyne City retail district

Grand Rapids, Mich – Grand Rapids-based Long Road Distillers announced on Wednesday that they will be opening a new distillery tasting room in Boyne City, Michigan. The northern Michigan outlet will be the company’s first offsite tasting room apart from their headquarters on the West Side of Grand Rapids where they house their production facility, cocktail bar and restaurant. Visitors to the new Boyne City location will be able to sample Long Road’s line-up of handcrafted spirits, participate in special tasting events, and purchase merchandise and bottles to-go.

“The Long Road team is thrilled to join the Boyne City community,” said Kyle VanStrien, Long Road Distillers Co-Founder and Co-Owner. “It’s a beautiful town with a thriving retail district, engaged business community, and countless activities for residents and visitors to enjoy throughout the year.”

The Long Road Tasting Room will be located at 118 Water Street in the heart of the Central Business District in Downtown Boyne City. It will share a storefront with The Outdoor Beerdsman, a befitting partnership considering the handcrafted nature of the retailer who designs and prints their own apparel, and creates custom jewelry, all in-house.

“We’re excited to have Long Road Distillers join our downtown business community,” said Ashley Cousens, Executive Director of the Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce. “We think they’ll be a great compliment to the many options we have for residents and visitors to enjoy – our retail shops, brewpubs, restaurants, wineries and bars. This will add another unique attraction and a line of handcrafted products that help highlight the agricultural bounty of Michigan.”

Northern Michigan has become a vital part of the Long Road story and holds a special place in the hearts of VanStrien and fellow Co-Owner and Co-Founder Jon O’Connor.

“We are committed to using Michigan-grown ingredients in our spirits whenever possible,” said O’Connor. “MICHIGIN, our 100% Michigan ingredient gin, depends on ingredients grown in Northern Michigan. Our team spends several days each fall harvesting juniper on nearby Beaver Island, and we’ve incorporated galena hops from the Michigan Hop Alliance in Northport to add a citrus component to the gin’s botanical makeup.”

“As we’ve done in West Michigan, we’re excited to build partnerships with Boyne area farmers to develop new products that highlight the unique terroir of the region,” adds O’Connor.

While an official open date has not been announced, Long Road Distillers is actively seeking applicants for a Tasting Room Manager and Retail Associate team members.

To learn more about employment opportunities or to stay up to date on the Long Road – Boyne City location, visit fb.me/LongRoadBoyneCity.

 

 

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.

 

Michigin

Grand Rapids, Mich – Grand Rapids-based Long Road Distillers will release Batch No. 2 of their award-winning MICHIGIN® on Wednesday, November 1 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.

In July, MICHIGIN® was named “Best Gin in the World” and awarded a Double Gold Medal at the Fifty Best Competition in New York City. Just a week after the double-blind tasting award was announced, interest and sales spiked, and the gin sold out. The re-release has been eagerly anticipated not only by the distillery but by retailers and bars throughout Michigan.

“We get calls and e-mails on regular basis asking when we’ll have MICHIGIN® back,” says Jon O’Connor, co-owner and co-founder of Long Road. “It’s definitely helped us reach new consumers and new retail and restaurant accounts.”

MICHIGIN’s base spirit is distilled from red winter wheat from nearby Heffron Farms in Belding, Michigan that was milled on site at the distillery on Grand Rapids’ West Side. It is then redistilled with a variety of Michigan botanicals, including Beaver Island juniper, lemon verbena and fennel from Visser Farms in Zeeland, and Galena hops from the Michigan Hop Alliance in Northport. Batch No. 2 includes the addition of mint from Ham Family Farm in Allendale, Michigan. 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 was a family connection late last year that tipped off the Long Road team to the abundance of the berry on Beaver Island, the largest island in Lake Michigan approximately 30 miles northwest of Charlevoix. Despite the extra work that goes into producing MICHIGIN®, the team insists the resulting gin and the connection to Michigan farmers and Beaver Island make it all worthwhile.

“Picking juniper is a hard job – but there’s no better place to do it that on the Island,” according to Kyle VanStrien, co-owner and co-founder of the distillery. “It’s one of the most beautiful places in Michigan and the residents of the Island have offered a warm welcome each time our team visits!”

MICHIGIN®, initially, has the familiar aroma of fresh pine and juniper berries, but quickly transitions into scents of cucumber, cedar, 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 and mint. It’s sure to please in a gin cocktail, on the rocks, or all by itself.

On Wednesday, November 1, 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 October 30.