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MittenBrew.com readers have come to know us as a leading resource for information about the people, places, and events in Michigan’s thriving craft beverage scene.

This time the news we’re reporting is about us. We have a new owner. Steph Harding, well known for her photography work, stepped up to the helm when legal transfer of the business occurred on August 1, 2015.

MittenBrew.com began as an idea between friends in January of 2011. Co-founders Bryan Esler, Christopher Epplett and Rob Kirkbride launched the website a few months later in May.

“We started the site with the tagline ‘Uncapping the story of Michigan beer one story at a time.’ I’m confident it will continue to do so,” Esler said.

Esler had been the only original co-founder active in ownership at the time of transfer. He will remain involved occasionally as a special consultant and event photographer.

“Bryan has put a lot of sweat equity into building MittenBrew.com to its current level,” said Harding. “I am looking forward to continuing the efforts and making it the premier website for Michigan craft beer, spirits, cider and mead information.”

Esler will shift his focus to his photography business, where he photographs corporate and community events, food and drink, commercial promotional images and more.

“I’m so proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish over the past four years,” said Esler. “While it’s bittersweet for me to move on, I know MittenBrew is left in good hands with Steph.”

Her plans for the future of the business include expanding coverage of meads, ciders and distilled spirits as Michigan’s share of those industries worldwide is rapidly increasing.

MittenBrew.com’s format will largely stay the same for the time being. A new content-based email newsletter has begun with the goal of new editions every 2-3 weeks.

Many current staff writers and photographers will remain, with a few new additions and advancements of interns.

Harding’s photography can be found on MittenBrew.com, in Roadbelly magazine, Grand Rapids’ Beer City USA campaign, on her website www.stephharding.com, and many other notable places. She will continue contributing her work in addition to ownership responsibilities.

ROCKFORD — MittenBrew.com, the leading source for Michigan craft libation news, reviews and event coverage, has announced it has teamed up with Rockford Brewing Company to release its second collaborative beer.

The beer, named Grandma’s Cookies, will be released at a Feb. 24 release party at Rockford Brewing Company beginning at 5 p.m. The party will be open to the public at no charge.

In addition to Rockford Brewing Company, the beer will be made available at the Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival, held Feb. 27 and 28 in Comstock Park. Grandma’s Cookies will also be available on tap at several beer bars throughout Michigan beginning March 2.

Additional release parties are also being planned the first week of March. Details for these parties will be finalized in the coming weeks.

“I was thinking about making an oatmeal raisin cookie beer for a long time,” said Jeff Sheehan, co-owner of Rockford Brewing Company. “We discussed it, and the suggestion came up that we make a beer that tastes like cookies without actually using cookies. That was a good direction to go.”

The oatmeal raisin cookie beer is classified as a dark amber ale, and will clock in between 6 and 7% ABV.

Members of the MittenBrew.com team joined Rockford Brewing in late January for the brew day, led by lead brewer Brian Roeters.

“We decided to use grains that contribute that dried fruit or raisiny type character to the beer so it will have that taste without actually raisins. There are oats in the beer as well, and a touch of cinnamon,” said Sheehan.

“We couldn’t be more excited to be working with RBC on this collaboration,” said Bryan Esler, partner at MittenBrew.com. “As we’ve grown over the past few years, we’ve always wanted to think outside the box on how we approach our collaborations.”

The beer follows in the footsteps of Nutter Berry Wheat, a 2013 collaboration between MittenBrew.com and Saugatuck Brewing Company.

MittenBrew.com plans to release a different branded beer twice a year, and plans are already underway for a fall release.

ROCKFORD — MittenBrew.com, the leading source for Michigan craft libation news, reviews and event coverage, has announced it has teamed up with Rockford Brewing Company to release its second collaborative beer.
The beer, named Grandma’s Cookies, will be released at a Feb. 24 release party at Rockford Brewing Company beginning at 5 p.m. The party will be open to the public at no charge.
In addition to Rockford Brewing Company, the beer will be made available at the Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival, held Feb. 27 and 28 in Comstock Park. Grandma’s Cookies will also be available on tap at several beer bars throughout Michigan beginning March 2.
Additional release parties are also being planned the first week of March. Details for these parties will be finalized in the coming weeks.
“I was thinking about making an oatmeal raisin cookie beer for a long time,” said Jeff Sheehan, co-owner of Rockford Brewing Company. “We discussed it, and the suggestion came up that we make a beer that tastes like cookies without actually using cookies. That was a good direction to go.”
The oatmeal raisin cookie beer is classified as a dark amber ale, and will clock in between 6 and 7% ABV.
Members of the MittenBrew.com team joined Rockford Brewing in late January for the brew day, led by lead brewer Brian Roeters.
“We decided to use grains that contribute that dried fruit or raisiny type character to the beer so it will have that taste without actually raisins. There are oats in the beer as well, and a touch of cinnamon,” said Sheehan.
“We couldn’t be more excited to be working with RBC on this collaboration,” said Bryan Esler, partner at MittenBrew.com. “As we’ve grown over the past few years, we’ve always wanted to think outside the box on how we approach our collaborations.”
The beer follows in the footsteps of Nutter Berry Wheat, a 2013 collaboration between MittenBrew.com and Saugatuck Brewing Company.
MittenBrew.com plans to release a different branded beer twice a year, and plans are already underway for a fall release.

Last fall, we put out a call to our Facebook and Twitter nations, in an effort to look for our next beer-terns as a part of what we call our “MittenBrew Training Program.”

Continuing to be a part of our team for 2015 are three individuals who show a love for Michigan craft beer, and also an experience in journalistic abilities. All three “beer-terns” are working on specific projects for us, and are also supporting our staff in a number of ways.

As we [hopefully] quickly move into spring, we hope that you’ll see some of our “beer-terns” out and about at beer events throughout the state, and say hi.

Tiffany Lentz (AKA Hazel Mae King)

TiffanyTiffany is a ghostwriter and cross-fitter by day, with a bit of Perrin Brewing beer slaying by night. With a Masters in Communications and an extensive background in the health and fitness industry, she is trying to show through her writing — driven by her passions of eating, writing, being active and drinking great beer — that a balance of this trifecta is the key to life.

Oh and let’s not forget about her fur baby, a French Bulldog, who’s name speaks for itself…King Romeo lV.

Jason Batts

JasonJason is a West Michigan native.  He was born in Kalamazoo and now works as a video producer at a production company in Grand Rapids.  Jason graduated from Michigan State University in 2000 with a degree in Telecommunications and has been working in television and video ever since.  He has worked in Chicago, Lansing and Grand Rapids at local TV stations and at small production companies producing commercials, promos and corporate videos.

Jason is an editor, a copywriter, a graphic artist and a photographer.  He now lives in Grand Rapids with his wife, Tami, and two young children, Otto and Eliza.  He likes to spend his free time cooking, playing basketball, biking, taking photos and traveling.  Jason joined MittenBrew in an effort to learn more about online writing, journalism and photography — and of course, to enjoy Michigan beer.  His favorite?  New Holland’s Monkey King.

Emily Hengstebeck

EmilyEmily hails from Royal Oak, Michigan, but like her preference for IPAs, she prefers a hoppy lifestyle that takes her to new places. She lives for planning trips and discovering new breweries, and has a serious t-shirt buying problem as a result.

Emily grew up on creature feature films (“Jaws” reigns supreme), Lake Charlevoix water-skiing and cold weather SCUBA-diving. In her non-existent spare time she devours comic books, hones her magical brunch-making skills and runs…a lot.

Ever since her first sip of Short’s beer on her 21st birthday, her passion for the craft industry has grown into a Godzilla-sized love and devotion. At the present, Emily not only works for MittenBrew as an extremely enthusiastic intern, but she also counts herself as an active member of Fermenta and the Detroit Draft Divas. She cannot wait to give back to an industry that has already given so much to her.

Last fall, we put out a call to our Facebook and Twitter nations, in an effort to look for our next beer-terns as a part of what we call our “MittenBrew Training Program.”
Continuing to be a part of our team for 2015 are three individuals who show a love for Michigan craft beer, and also an experience in journalistic abilities. All three “beer-terns” are working on specific projects for us, and are also supporting our staff in a number of ways.
As we [hopefully] quickly move into spring, we hope that you’ll see some of our “beer-terns” out and about at beer events throughout the state, and say hi.

Tiffany Lentz (AKA Hazel Mae King)

TiffanyTiffany is a ghostwriter and cross-fitter by day, with a bit of Perrin Brewing beer slaying by night. With a Masters in Communications and an extensive background in the health and fitness industry, she is trying to show through her writing — driven by her passions of eating, writing, being active and drinking great beer — that a balance of this trifecta is the key to life.
Oh and let’s not forget about her fur baby, a French Bulldog, who’s name speaks for itself…King Romeo lV.

Jason Batts

JasonJason is a West Michigan native.  He was born in Kalamazoo and now works as a video producer at a production company in Grand Rapids.  Jason graduated from Michigan State University in 2000 with a degree in Telecommunications and has been working in television and video ever since.  He has worked in Chicago, Lansing and Grand Rapids at local TV stations and at small production companies producing commercials, promos and corporate videos.
Jason is an editor, a copywriter, a graphic artist and a photographer.  He now lives in Grand Rapids with his wife, Tami, and two young children, Otto and Eliza.  He likes to spend his free time cooking, playing basketball, biking, taking photos and traveling.  Jason joined MittenBrew in an effort to learn more about online writing, journalism and photography — and of course, to enjoy Michigan beer.  His favorite?  New Holland’s Monkey King.

Emily Hengstebeck

EmilyEmily hails from Royal Oak, Michigan, but like her preference for IPAs, she prefers a hoppy lifestyle that takes her to new places. She lives for planning trips and discovering new breweries, and has a serious t-shirt buying problem as a result.
Emily grew up on creature feature films (“Jaws” reigns supreme), Lake Charlevoix water-skiing and cold weather SCUBA-diving. In her non-existent spare time she devours comic books, hones her magical brunch-making skills and runs…a lot.
Ever since her first sip of Short’s beer on her 21st birthday, her passion for the craft industry has grown into a Godzilla-sized love and devotion. At the present, Emily not only works for MittenBrew as an extremely enthusiastic intern, but she also counts herself as an active member of Fermenta and the Detroit Draft Divas. She cannot wait to give back to an industry that has already given so much to her.