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north peak cans

 

(Dexter, Michigan) — North Peak Brewing Company is thrilled to announce the installation and commissioning of their first canning line.

“With our Up North motto and lifestyle, canning our beer was inevitable and the time has finally come,” North Peak CEO Tony Grant explains the brewery’s decision on changing their packaging, “Cans pair with a more active lifestyle of dynamic activity and leisure, whether you are biking, kayaking, fishing, golfing, or simply relaxing watching the sunset from a hammock.” This portable, more environmentally friendly packaging lends itself to the outdoor way of life represented throughout the North Peak brand.

North Peak is launching their new packaging with Hail and Sparta cans. Last year, North Peak released rivaled beers Hail Pale Ale and Sparta IPA, because the brewery itself is divided with University of Michigan and Michigan State University alum.

Hail Pale Ale is the perfect tailgate beer. This American Pale Ale is golden in color, light-bodied and delicious. It is dripping with hoppy goodness with notes of citrus, apricot, and peach. Hail is a well-balanced beer made with maize and blue to celebrate all things Michigan.

Sparta IPA is a bold IPA with a dank, assertive hop character. Its aggressive profile of Summit, Simcoe, Citra, Cascade and Amarillo hops give this IPA the hop character to make you shout “Go Green!” Well balanced with a malt backbone, it has flavor notes of tangerine, grapefruit, peach and apricot all backed with a hint of pine.

The release of these two beers in cans is sure to be the talk of the tailgate this upcoming football season. The brewery is releasing 6-packs of 12-ounce cans throughout the state of Michigan.

 

Dexter City, MI— New Year, New Beer. Headed your way this month is a new style of IPA for North Peak, an East Coast IPA called Stormy.

The brewery staff boasts this beer quickly became a favorite among them. “It’s a perfect beer for the wintery stormy weather we get here in Michigan,” says Northern United Brewing Company Production Manager Sean Brennen. “The malty, oat backbone balances the assertiveness of the six hop varietals leaving you with a fresh, hazy beer we all can’t get enough of.”

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Coming in at 6.7% ABV and 35 IBU, Stormy Oat IPA is full of haziness along with dry/late hop additions to create a juicy mouth feel with citrus, piney notes unlike any other IPA. Stormy is now available in draft and North Peak’s signature stubby bottle 6-packs.

All North Peak beers are represented by a character and accompanying folklore tale (most famously Diabolical and the jackalope). Stormy is depicted by an underwater panther deep in the Great Lakes.

In the deepest depths of Lake Superior lives the most powerful being in the underwater world. The murky, dark, churning waters of its surroundings inspired our unfiltered IPA, Stormy.  A mysterious creature with a body of a wild feline, horns of a deer, a scaled back and a tail so long it wraps around its body ending with a fish tail. With a warning hiss like the sound of rushing water, the underwater panther lives as protector of the vast amounts of copper in the Great Lakes. It’s been said that anyone who tries to steal copper from the lakes has grave misfortune befall them. Strangely, the metal has been found on numerous Great Lakes shipwrecks. Perhaps a mere coincidence, but it might behoove you to carry nothing of copper aboard your ship when crossing the Great Lakes.

North Peak is part of Northern United Brewing Co. NUBC’s philosophy focuses on a dedication to conservation, inspiration and locally sustainable practices.

Find NUBC products at stores, restaurants and bars all throughout Michigan, including: North Peak Brewing Company, Mission Table and Jolly Pumpkin, in Traverse City; Jolly Pumpkin and Grizzly Peak, in Ann Arbor and Jolly Pumpkin in Detroit. North Peak can also be found outside of Michigan, in select markets.

 

Traverse City, MI—Northern United Brewing Company, parent company to North Peak and Jolly Pumpkin, is pleased to announce a yearlong sponsorship with TART Trails, a Traverse City non-profit organization that works to enrich the Traverse region by providing a network of trails, bikeways and pedestrian ways; and encouraging their use. Since 1998 TART Trails has provided this region with world-class trails linking people to the beauty of the Traverse area year round.

The sponsorship is part of North Peak and Jolly Pumpkin’s dedication to Traverse City and it’s up north, outdoors lifestyle.  “The sponsorship just made sense to us, says Northern United Brewing Company partner Jon Carlson, “several of our staff members are die-hard outdoor enthusiasts who actively use the TART Trails for running, biking, and cross country skiing. We also see the trail system has a pivotal asset to this community. Not only are the trails used for outdoor recreation but they serve as a sustainable means of transportation for the area.”

“TART Trails is thrilled to be North Peak and Jolly Pumpkin’s nonprofit partner for the year. Northern United Brewing appreciates our efforts to make the Grand Traverse region a better place to live, work and play in all seasons.” Pam Darling, Development Director.

Throughout the year the breweries will help raise awareness of TART Trails and play a key role in several of their year-round events and initiatives.  Recently, Jolly Pumpkin hosted their annual Fall Pumpkin Pedal; a free organized group ride on Old Mission Peninsula with donations benefited TART Trails. The past two Pumpkin Pedal events have raised over $2300 for Tart Trails.

Up next this year will be a TART Trails Happy Hour at North Peak on Tuesday November 29 for the National Day of Giving. North Peak will match any donations made to Tart Trails on that day, up to $2500.

tart trails

Northern United Brewing Co. encompasses the North Peak, Jolly Pumpkin and Grizzly Peak craft beer brands, as well as Nomad Cidery, Civilized Spirits, and Bonafide Wines. NUBC’s philosophy focuses on a dedication to conservation, inspiration and locally sustainable practices. Find NUBC products at stores, restaurants, and bars all throughout Michigan, including: North Peak Brewing Company, Mission Table and Jolly Pumpkin Brewery, all in Traverse City; Jolly Pumpkin and Grizzly Peak, in Ann Arbor.

 

north peak

At the corner of Front and Hall Streets sits a building that has been a part of Traverse City since 1899. It was first the Big Daylight Candy Company, then later became an auto parts factory, and now houses a staple neighborhood brewery.

In September 1997, two locals, Greg Lobdell and Jon Carlson, teamed up with Shelde Enterprises to open North Peak Brewing Company. It quickly became a cornerstone restaurant on the west end of downtown. And, as breweries have continued to open in the area, North Peak has continued to grow and flourish while remaining a downtown standard.

north peak

Lobdell and Carlson have continued to expand their reach, refurbishing old buildings throughout the state. Each new brewery and restaurant continues to make its own impression on the craft market. North Peak, which opened at the beginning of the boom, has continued to evolve, furthering its position as a community staple.

North Peak is now a part of Mission Management, which has a reach throughout Michigan, and even distributes outside of the state. Despite this, North Peak does not feel like a large incorporated brewery. It remains unique to the Traverse City area, grounded in its old architecture and local community.

“You can get things here that you can’t find elsewhere. We want to wow everyone and not only meet the standard, but exceed it,” said Mike Lloyd, General Manager of North Peak.

In order to exceed that standard and continue to make an impact, North Peak has set itself apart with a strong commitment to its beer, food, and community. North Peak does have a bottling facility in Dexter, but continues to brew on-site for its taproom, remaining connected to its roots. There are ten local taps: five remain consistent with local favorites, and five are rotating. Brews like Northern Light, Siren Amber, and Diabolical IPA offer the variety many locals desire.

Likewise, North Peak’s food menu offers a unique variety of high quality dishes.

“We continue to grow as time goes on. We now have a culinary experience to match our brewery experience,” said Lloyd. “Roughly 70% of our menu incorporates our beer.”

Menu items include a variety of meat dishes incorporating sauces, brines, and batters made from North Peak beer as well as an array of hearth baked pizza made from hand-stretched dough incorporating its ale.

The last pillar in North Peak’s success is perhaps one of its most important: its people. With a strong commitment to community, North Peak puts an emphasis on taking care of its staff and giving back to the community.

“We’re fortunate to have a great staff. We have the right people and ensure they are properly trained,” said Lloyd. Many of North Peak’s staff have been employed for over ten years, Lloyd included.

Likewise, North Peak helps the local community whenever it can. Earlier this Spring, it hosted Mohawks for Munson, which directly raised funds for the new Cowell Family Cancer Center at Munson. North Peak has long been a supporter of the now popular St. Baldrick’s campaign, and has hosted a variety of other community fundraisers and events, including for local schools.

“We are a local place that’s doing well, and we want to help where we can. We’ve been fortunate, and want to give back,” said Lloyd.

TRAVERSE CITY — Summertime in Northern Michigan means spending as much time along the water as possible. And even with rain looming overhead, hundreds took to the water on Saturday for a unique paddling adventure.

Paddle for Pints, now in its second year, is a TC Ale Trail event and combines some of Traverse City’s best features: fresh water, craft brews and delicious food. Similar to a pub crawl, this pub paddle takes attendees to six downtown breweries all while paddling down the Boardman River.

Starting at the Filling Station, paddlers launch across Boardman Lake to get to Right Brain Brewery. A paddle back across the lake winds into the river, which paddlers take to the Union Street portage point. The next stops include Brewery Ferment and Rare Bird Brewpub. After hopping back into kayaks, participants complete the paddle at Clinch Park, with stops at North Peak and Workshop Brewing.

The concept was successful in its first year and is in even higher demand this year. This year started with eight events, each with three waves. Each of these eight events sold out before summer really even started. In an effort to stay on top of demand, TC Ale Trail co-founder Troy Daily added Paddle for Pints 2.0, which added eleven paddle dates. The 2.0 events are smaller, with just one wave and four breweries.

Expanding at such a great capacity takes a tremendouseffort to keep things running smoothly. Building from last year, Daily and his team were able to coordinate with breweries and other local officials to ensure a positive experience for attendees.

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“The success this year is in the people and my team. Eighteen paid employees help out for each of the big events which makes things run a lot more smooth,” said Daily.

And things did run smooth and efficiently. The Paddle for Pints team ensured everyone arrived safely at each stop, helped portage kayaks, and blew whistles to keep everyone moving on time. They were even on hand to keep supervise kayaks at the end. This led to an enjoyable experience for all, and it is what has groups sharing their experiences and/or planning trips with friends and family.

“For each event, at least 85% of the people have been from out of town,” said Daily.

In fact, there have been some events where nearly 97% of the attendees were not from Traverse City. Groups from Chicago, Indiana and Ohio were present at Saturday’s event and many had plans to explore the surrounding area.

“The power of social media is why it is so popular this year and will continue to be,” stated Daily.

As the event becomes more popular, the local economy continues to benefit. From food specials at the breweries to having time at the end to further explore downtown, attendees were able to experience more than just unique brews. Visiting the six breweries through a unique experience gives those from the area and from outside the area a taste of what downtown can offer.

While all of this year’s events are sold out, be sure to stay tuned to PaddleforPints.com for more information about next year’s offerings.

COMSTOCK PARK — The end of winter in Michigan means only one thing — Winter Beer Fest. Despite the coldest February on record (we checked), the additional organization required to shape the first ever two-day version of the event and brief issues with frozen tap lines, the 10th annual Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival was one to remember.

Over 100 breweries from around Michigan descended on Fifth Third Ballpark on Friday and Saturday.  Easily navigable rows of breweries were flanked by merchandise and tokens, food and an ample amount of porta johns (very important).

The flow of this year’s fest was wonderful, and even though it was packed with a sell-out crowd on Saturday, it never seemed like the lines were too long or any one tent too crowded. The Michigan Brewers Guild festival teams did an excellent job making sure everything moved smoothly in all aspects.

Navigating and visiting with all of our favorite breweries was almost impossible, but we did get the opportunity to talk to the good folks from many wonderful places across the state.

Brewery Vivant: Kate Avery, designated Abbess of Beer was on hand. She poured the brewery’s newly tapped ‘Sous Chef’ — a Red Wine Barrel Aged Belgian Inspired Strong Ale — essentially their popular ‘Escoffier’ base, but not aged on a brett yeast.

“This beer is super complex, and even despite the cold temperatures, you’re able to taste the bold flavors,” shared Avery.

Another popular favorite was the Wizard Burial Ground, a Bourbon Barrel Aged Quad that comes in at 10.4% ABV. Notes of vanilla and oak from the long cellaring are pleasantly present, and, lucky us, it’s now available in cans.

BarFly Ventures — Grand Rapids Brewing Company (GRBC) and HopCat: Grand Rapids staples, both HopCat and GRBC brought some award winners for the crowd. Distinguished Eagle from GRBC, which won a silver medal at the World Beer Cup, is a totally organic imperial stout, aged in Woodford Reserve barrels. Strong notes of vanilla, and cherry are readily assessable, and it was a tasty treat and a nice warm up on a cold (very cold) day.

Another award winner was HopCat’s Red Nymph, a Flanders Red with a nice slightly sour, tart cherry note.

Jake Brenner, Head Brewer for BarFly, said the pubs made sure to select tasty, high gravity beers to help keep everyone warm. The cold did present some problems though. “It’s been really laid back and a lot of fun, but one of the jockey boxes froze up Friday. So far, today everything is looking gorgeous.”

Northern United Brewing — Jolly Pumpkin and North Peak: Jolly Pumpkin always brings something unique to the table, and this year was no exception. Sour beers are its game, and some include its variety of Sasions — Sasion X, brewed with candied ginger, orange and lemon peel, and a blend of peppercorns was a standout — a nice citrusy, ginger flavor with that wild yeast, Jolly Pumpkin signature ‘funk’, we know and love.

North Peak brought a lot of signatures, and Maylem — a Midwest heavy/old ale from its Grizzly Peak Imperial Series. North Peak’s taproom will host this particular beer, aged in run barrels, soon, so that’s something to look forward to.

Folks in Detroit should also be on the look-out for a Jolly Pumpkin build-out sometime in April.

Newer breweries were showcasing its wears as well, and MittenBrew had the chance to visit three of the WBF newbies.

Railtown Brewing: This might be the newest of the new; this brewery in Caledonia opened its doors in December of 2014. Jim Lee, Co-Founder, let us explore the selection and gave us some insight in to what Railtown is all about.

“We brought a lot of our mainstays to show off what we do on a normal basis, along with some fun one-offs,” says Lee. “Our Citra Warrior (an imperial IPA) is very popular in our tap room right now. We are stylistic brewers, and don’t do a lot of heavy adjuncts — clean flavored, medium-style beers, nothing over the edge. We are definitely a small town brewery with a loyal local clientele, and that’s what we want to be.”

Pigeon Hill: Who doesn’t want to drink something called Wild Rumpus? A barrel aged Flanders Red, this beer has a wonderful complexity, fruit notes and sour notes have a great balance.

Chad Doane, co-owner and head brewer, let us in on Pigeon Hill’s philosophy.

“We want to make delicious beer. We keep it simple, but use that classic base and do something funky with it. Pigeon Hill is about community, and our pub has a coffee shop feel. The space is for adults and their families. We want it to be a place the community (of Muskegon) can come and hang out in.”

Other interesting riffs on classics include the Walter Goes to Bang Coq Blonde Ale, brewed with Thai chilies and lemongrass — a little heat, peppery bite and gingered spice.

Territorial Brewing: This very new, Battle Creek-centric German influenced brewery brought a lot of their staples to showcase at their first WBF. Nick Yuill, Brewer at Territorial, shared its Spedunkel, a traditional style Munich Dunkel and their Red Headed Rauchstar, a ginger Rauchbier — a little twist on the classic.

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The consensus by attendees? Great beer, all around, with IPAs and Imperial Stouts ruling the day.

Some standouts mentioned frequently included White Flame’s Black Flame, an Imperial Stout and perennial favorites by Kuhnhenn and Griffin Claw, so we had to visit a few of those booths too.

Griffin Claw Brewing Company: Its booth was hopping, so apparently word got around. Project Clementine seemed to be a favorite of the weekend — a double IPA with clementines added during the mash.

The Birmingham brewery plans to double in production in the next year, and also distribute state-wide.

Kuhnhenn Brewing Company: “It’s amazing,” says Eric Kuhnhenn, co-owner. “For being so cold out and this many people attending. There’s over a thousand different beers here, the camaraderie — it’s great.”

Kuhnhenn likes to do a lot of aged beers, and brings at least one every year to WBF. This time, it was a Russian Imperial Stout.

“It’s a big robust stout aged on bourbon barrels for almost a year,” explains Eric.

The Crème Brule Java Stout was also well received by many people we talked to. Kuhnhenn tends towards the higher ABV, and Eric shares why. “We found out we could get more complexity, more flavors, this way.”

Kuhnhenn wants to put in the time, the effort, to take the old stylistic types of beer and take it one step further. Recall its ever-popular Raspberry Eisbock?

If you weren’t able to attend this year, we leave you with the words of Brad and Kevin — home brewers and frequent festival attendees.

“This is the first year that we came in with an Enthusiast membership pass. We were always jealously looking at the people who got in early. Everyone should do that, you have time to get in and don’t feel rushed.”

Other, timely advice: “Get your ticket as early as you can. Dress warm. You can never have enough clothes on, and, of course, wear shoes that don’t get wet! If you are coming from out of town, book your hotel in advanced and stay safe — arrange for transportation to get you here.”

Despite the cold and ever pervasive Michigan wild winters, the WBF continues to be one of the most well attended. Perhaps Vivant’s Kate Avery best sums up the popularity of the event: “The Michigan Beer Scene conquers all.”

Michigan’s own Madonna once sang that “some boys kiss me, some boys hug me, I think they’re okay…” She went on to divulge that Mr. Right was always that man with the cold hard cash. Money is great, but I want to tweak those lyrics a little to say that the man with the beer is (usually) Mr. Right. And he is even more likely to be the right one if he comes to you on Valentine’s Day bearing beer and candy. To help out those wannabe Mr. and Ms. Rights, I offer the following suggestions for Valentine’s gifts.

Life is like a box of chocolates…

Ah, those lovely heart shaped boxes full of chocolate goodies! Unless you cheat and get the Whitman’s Samplers, you are in for a lovely surprise with each chocolate that you pick. Here are some of my personal favorite pieces that can be paired with a delicious Michigan beer!

Vanilla in the middle: Whenever my dad would get my mom a box of candy, I would always insist on getting the ones with the vanilla cream in the center. This often meant that I would bite into or at least poke a few pieces before finding what I wanted. Ah, youth! Nowadays, I would still really love that vanilla cream interior, but I would pair it with Saugatuck Brewing Companys’s Neapolitan Stout. You could also use this beer if you accidentally grab the strawberry cream interior, as well. The beer is quite versatile.

Caramel: I’ve always had a problem with caramel — specifically, it sticks to my teeth and will not come off unless I pry it off with a chisel. Fortunately, I can use Odd Side Ales Granny’s Apple Pie to wash it down with! The apple flavor in this beer is not overpowering, and just tart enough to balance the caramel’s sugar.

Toffee crunch: The long, flat candies in the box tend to be the toffee crunch ones. I love any food that makes noise, so I usually go for these after I find my vanilla ones. A good winter warmer would balance out that sugary crunch — Arbor Brewing Company’s Jackhammer Old Ale would complement the taste of toffee perfectly.

Chocolate in the middle: Every once in a while, you will grab what I call the “chocolate chocolate” piece. You know, that one with the pure chocolate inside and out? If that happens, just go whole hog and grab a Detroit Beer Company’s Sanders Chocolate Stout. It is made with Sanders chocolate and what better way to honor the cocoa bean?

Raspberry in the middle: I mentioned above that I would often get to my mom’s chocolate box first. She was okay with this, so long as I left the raspberry creams for her. Raspberry was and is my mom’s favorite flavor, and I was a nice enough kid to share her own chocolates with her! Given the sweetness and sometimes overpowering taste of raspberry, I would suggest pairing these candies with the best chocolate beer out there, Atwater Brewery’s Decadent Dark Chocolate Ale. The beer has the pure taste of chocolate, but isn’t overly sweet and doesn’t have any coffee or oatmeal undertones.

Chocolate covered cherries: How cool would it be to pair with these gooey, fun candies than a beer actually made with cherries? Fortunately, we have just such a beer that is made right here in Michigan: North Peak’s Archangel! This nicely hopped, well balanced beer will wash down the tasty chocolate.

Other Valentine’s Day treats

Marketers love dying things red, white and pink and calling them Valentine’s Day treats. I have absolutely no problem with this, and to celebrate that creativity, I suggest the following beers be paired with these fun Valentine’s Day treats.

M&Ms Dark Chocolate with New Holland Brewing’s Dragon’s Milk with Raspberries: This creamy stout with its touch of raspberries makes for a nice combination with M&M’s Dark Chocolate (or any dark chocolate, for that matter).

Reese’s Peanut Butter Hearts with Tri City Brewing Company’s Giant Slayer: The strong peanut butter taste will need an equally strong beer, and there are few better than this imperial stout from Tri City Brewing.

Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses with Dark Horse Brewing Company’s Tres Blueberry: It’s a pity that chocolate covered blueberries aren’t more of a thing, because the two tastes really taste great together. Until the candies become more common, make your own with the classic Kisses paired with a tasty blueberry beer.

Conversation Hearts (Kiss me! Love me! Text me!) with a lager from Wolverine State Brewing Company: Nobody does lagers better than this Ann Arbor based brewery, and a nice, crispy lager will balance out the sugary fun of these chatty hearts.

Red Hots and Bell’s Two Hearted Ale: Traditionally, IPAs have been paired with hot foods. Thus, I think that the spiciest of candies will pair nicely with one of Michigan’s finest IPAs. (In a perfect world, there would be another batch of Red Hot beer brewed at the Arbor Microbrewery!)

Peeps with Jolly Pumpkin’s La Roja: Peeps aren’t just for Easter anymore, and thank goodness for that! If you are going to ingest these gelatinous globs of sugar, just go for it! Balls to the wall! Eat the sugar, drink the sour and let the tastes mingle in your mouth.

These 12 beer and candy pairings should win your way into anyone’s heart. Happy Valentine’s Day!

ANN ARBOR — Big changes are underway at Northern United Brewing Company (NUBC) — the maker of Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, North Peak and Grizzly Peak beers. The company announced that it will open a new 70,000 square foot brewing facility in Dexter, where Ron Jeffries will oversee all brewing operations for Jolly Pumpkin and North Peak.

The new site allows for expansion up to 150,000 square feet in the future.

“I’m very excited to be making the 1.5 mile move to our new plant.  More sour beer can only be a good thing!” says Jeffries. “And did I mention IPAs?  Taking over the brewing of the North Peak line with those fantastic hoppy beers — are you kidding me, it’s a(nother) dream come true!”

The move means that NUBC’s 5,600 square foot facility on the Old Mission Peninsula in Traverse City will be dedicated to the production of Civilized Spirits and North Peak’s Nomad Hard Cider, under the auspices of Mike Hall.

“We’re excited for the North Peak and Jolly Pumpkin brands to have a new home to continue to meet our growing demand.  This will allow us to focus on our micro distillery, and expand our production of Civilized Spirits,” says Hall.  “We will continue to create the highest quality craft spirits, and we are also looking forward to knocking out some exclusive experimental brews at the JP pub.”

NUBC has also announced the hiring of Tony Grant as the company’s chief financial and chief operating officer, effective July 1. His primary focus is working with the executive team to develop the near and long-term strategies for the company.

Tony has more than 10 years of Fortune 500 experience in strategic finance, operations and executive management in retail, commercial and industrial real estate and manufacturing operations. Most recently, he served as director of corporate development with Owens Corning where he focused on all aspects of global acquisition and divestiture activity and various strategic projects for the company.

“We are extremely excited to add a person of Tony’s caliber to our executive management team,” according to Jon Carlson and Greg Lobdell, who along with Ron Jeffries and Mike Hall are managing partners of NUBC. “His experience along with his tremendous work ethic and ability to lead will allow NUBC to continue on the path of growth that we have been experiencing and allow the company to reach its full potential.”


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