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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 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

 

Perrin Cigar City

Perrin Brewing Company has been under the West Michigan craft beer microscope since Oskar Blues Brewery acquired them in early 2015. Perrin then raised eyebrows with their playful, controlled disruption instigated by their literal No Rules bottle release. Most recently, Oskar Blues made headlines by purchasing Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, Florida, earlier this year. The second acquisition in their “against the grain” expansion strategy could’ve easily created a potentially awkward extended family.
However, rather than step-brothers fighting for top bunk, both breweries are already playing nice with each other. Cigar City, please meet Perrin.
As soon as Cigar City’s acquisition was public, Keith Klopcic, President of Perrin, reached out to Cigar City to pitch the idea that the breweries should collaborate.
I sat down with John Stewart, Director of Brewing Operations at Perrin, alongside his guest, Wayne Wambles, Head Brewer at Cigar City, to talk about their collaboration—White Noise, an imperial white IPA.


MittenBrew: How did the conversation start between both breweries?
Wayne Wambles: I remember the first email from Keith, trying to gauge my interest. He gave me his number, so I called him while I was driving back home either from a trip back to where I’m from in southeast Alabama or after another beer event in Florida, and we talked for a while. I told him, “Yeah, this’ll be great.” Then, Keith put John and me in touch with each other right after.
John Stewart: As soon as we knew that the partnership with Oskar Blues was locked in, we were super eager to get Wayne out here. It was definitely pre-Craft Brewers Conference — late March, early April. [Aside to Wayne, chuckling] I think I shot you just a few emails out of excitement at the very beginning to see what we could do to help make the collaboration happen.
 
John, since this is the first time Perrin and Cigar City have worked together, what was it like opening your doors to a guest? And, Wayne, what was it like for you to brew on their system?
WW: For me, it’s really common. I know for a fact that I probably work on other people’s systems more than on our own. I do a lot of collaborations annually — I’m at home with it, and actually really enjoy it. I enjoy being able to look at different systems to see how they work, getting to walk away with new insight on technology, processes. I don’t mind walking into someone else’s house [Aside to John, laughing like new best friends] — as long as they don’t mind me being here.
JS: That’s the cool part. I’ve gotten to learn from Wayne, too — particularly with the formation of the recipe. The whole process is just very fresh, and a fun change of pace. And, with us partnering together, after I get to show Wayne our brewery, I get to take him around to have some beers and show off Beer City.
 
Let’s talk about the recipe. How’d you settle on an imperial White IPA, and how’d you each contribute to its ingredients?
JW: When we first started tossing ideas back-and-forth, it was clear that [Wayne is] usually asked to collaborate on a certain few styles, and we just wanted to not do that — and do something a little bit different.
WW: At first, we were considering doing a sour, but ended up changing our minds. I think your guys were talking, and thought it would be a good idea to do a white IPA. Since I’ve never done one before, I thought it would be a great idea — at least for the experience alone. We also wanted to put a unique spin on it as well.
 
How do you expect the Belgian yeast to play into it?
JS: Hopefully, with the spices and hops, it’s going to be all layered together nicely. Part of the creative process was using some of the spices that are a little different from a Wit or whiter beer — thinking about how the yeast, the spices, the hops will all layer together for a complex sensory combination.
 
What variety of hops are you using?
WW: In order to discuss the hops, I also want to discuss the spice because in the way we’re laying it all out we want to create layers between both. As John was saying, the nontraditional aspect of it is the fact that you don’t find juniper in a Belgian White. So, there’s juniper in there. Maybe you might find lemon peel and lemongrass, but I think that’s probably not as common. Traditionally, you’re going to see corriander and orange peel in those beers, but we’re playing to the hops.
One of the hops is Denali, a Hopsteiner hop. It has some mango elements, some tropical fruit elements. We’re also using a hop called Lemondrop, which comes across like Lemon Drops candy, literally. It’s super clean, super bright.
Then, Chinook ties the juniper berry to the beer because it has those piney notes.
So, then, with the lemon peel we’re using and the lemongrass, which both work well with the Denali, and, of course, the Lemondrop hops — we’re just trying to create complex layers. So, as you’re drinking it, you just get layers and layers and layers throughout every sip you take.
 
Wayne, did you bring any of the ingredients up with you from Florida?
WW: No… We did originally discuss a hop variety at first, but John had everything in house we needed.
 
I’ve got to ask about the beer’s name…
JS: Wayne told me he likes sleeping with a white noise machine.
Perrin Cigar CityJust as John says this, I stop hearing the noticeable shutter clicks from  Steph Harding, MittenBrew owner, and photographer for this interview. Laughing, she chimes in over my shoulder, “Oh, seriously?! That’s too funny — I do, too!” Then Wayne proceeds to show her the app on his phone he uses to help soothe him to sleep. His favorite is Tropical Storm. Steph has Ocean Waves on hers.
 
What’s your day been like so far, and how do you think you’ll wrap up?
JS: We came in at 6:00 a.m. to get the brew going. We’ll probably be done around 5 or so. Last night, we were able to sneak out and have a couple beers around town, so I think the game plan tonight is to do more of the same in GR.
WW: I actually wouldn’t mind seeing The American Horse [at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park].

Is this the first time you guys have met?
JS: We’ve been in the same room before, but yeah, this is the first time we’ve really gotten to know each other.
 
Has it been like Step Brothers [the movie]? Are you getting along? Is there room for activities in the brewery?
JS: For me, after having some beers and talking to Wayne — there are a lot of key brewing principles we click on — quality and consistency. When you have other guys in the industry who are like that… You know, after the first couple of beers you’re like, “Is this guy cool?” Yeah, it’s been awesome.
WW: There’s a lot of common ground, definitely.
 
You’re aiming for a July release for White Noise, with Perrin Pub and limited local distribution. Will any variation of it find its way down to Florida?
JS: Oh, yeah. Well… for Wayne to drink. [Laughing]
 
How much are you producing?
JS: For this brew, we’re doing a 150-barrel batch.
 
Can we expect a follow-up collaboration where John visits you in Florida?
WW: Absolutely.
JS: Yeah, hopefully during a cold month here. [Laughing]

 
After the formal interview wrapped, I asked both guys how much of this collaboration had to do with Oskar Blues acquiring both breweries. They both had creative freedom in the process, were not under any pressure to collaborate, and used their recent familial relationship to create a positive, independent dialogue between Perrin and Cigar City. They’ve used this opportunity to understand each other’s philosophies and stance on issues that now apply to both of them — all three when you include Oskar Blues. What it came down to was one brewery simply asking another if they wanted to make a beer together — the way it should be.
 
Photography: Steph Harding

Perrin Cigar City

Perrin Brewing Company has been under the West Michigan craft beer microscope since Oskar Blues Brewery acquired them in early 2015. Perrin then raised eyebrows with their playful, controlled disruption instigated by their literal No Rules bottle release. Most recently, Oskar Blues made headlines by purchasing Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, Florida, earlier this year. The second acquisition in their “against the grain” expansion strategy could’ve easily created a potentially awkward extended family.

However, rather than step-brothers fighting for top bunk, both breweries are already playing nice with each other. Cigar City, please meet Perrin.

As soon as Cigar City’s acquisition was public, Keith Klopcic, President of Perrin, reached out to Cigar City to pitch the idea that the breweries should collaborate.

I sat down with John Stewart, Director of Brewing Operations at Perrin, alongside his guest, Wayne Wambles, Head Brewer at Cigar City, to talk about their collaboration—White Noise, an imperial white IPA.

MittenBrew: How did the conversation start between both breweries?

Wayne Wambles: I remember the first email from Keith, trying to gauge my interest. He gave me his number, so I called him while I was driving back home either from a trip back to where I’m from in southeast Alabama or after another beer event in Florida, and we talked for a while. I told him, “Yeah, this’ll be great.” Then, Keith put John and me in touch with each other right after.

John Stewart: As soon as we knew that the partnership with Oskar Blues was locked in, we were super eager to get Wayne out here. It was definitely pre-Craft Brewers Conference — late March, early April. [Aside to Wayne, chuckling] I think I shot you just a few emails out of excitement at the very beginning to see what we could do to help make the collaboration happen.

 

John, since this is the first time Perrin and Cigar City have worked together, what was it like opening your doors to a guest? And, Wayne, what was it like for you to brew on their system?

WW: For me, it’s really common. I know for a fact that I probably work on other people’s systems more than on our own. I do a lot of collaborations annually — I’m at home with it, and actually really enjoy it. I enjoy being able to look at different systems to see how they work, getting to walk away with new insight on technology, processes. I don’t mind walking into someone else’s house [Aside to John, laughing like new best friends] — as long as they don’t mind me being here.

JS: That’s the cool part. I’ve gotten to learn from Wayne, too — particularly with the formation of the recipe. The whole process is just very fresh, and a fun change of pace. And, with us partnering together, after I get to show Wayne our brewery, I get to take him around to have some beers and show off Beer City.

 

Let’s talk about the recipe. How’d you settle on an imperial White IPA, and how’d you each contribute to its ingredients?

JW: When we first started tossing ideas back-and-forth, it was clear that [Wayne is] usually asked to collaborate on a certain few styles, and we just wanted to not do that — and do something a little bit different.

WW: At first, we were considering doing a sour, but ended up changing our minds. I think your guys were talking, and thought it would be a good idea to do a white IPA. Since I’ve never done one before, I thought it would be a great idea — at least for the experience alone. We also wanted to put a unique spin on it as well.

 

How do you expect the Belgian yeast to play into it?

JS: Hopefully, with the spices and hops, it’s going to be all layered together nicely. Part of the creative process was using some of the spices that are a little different from a Wit or whiter beer — thinking about how the yeast, the spices, the hops will all layer together for a complex sensory combination.

 

What variety of hops are you using?

WW: In order to discuss the hops, I also want to discuss the spice because in the way we’re laying it all out we want to create layers between both. As John was saying, the nontraditional aspect of it is the fact that you don’t find juniper in a Belgian White. So, there’s juniper in there. Maybe you might find lemon peel and lemongrass, but I think that’s probably not as common. Traditionally, you’re going to see corriander and orange peel in those beers, but we’re playing to the hops.

One of the hops is Denali, a Hopsteiner hop. It has some mango elements, some tropical fruit elements. We’re also using a hop called Lemondrop, which comes across like Lemon Drops candy, literally. It’s super clean, super bright.

Then, Chinook ties the juniper berry to the beer because it has those piney notes.

So, then, with the lemon peel we’re using and the lemongrass, which both work well with the Denali, and, of course, the Lemondrop hops — we’re just trying to create complex layers. So, as you’re drinking it, you just get layers and layers and layers throughout every sip you take.

 

Wayne, did you bring any of the ingredients up with you from Florida?

WW: No… We did originally discuss a hop variety at first, but John had everything in house we needed.

 

I’ve got to ask about the beer’s name…

JS: Wayne told me he likes sleeping with a white noise machine.

Perrin Cigar CityJust as John says this, I stop hearing the noticeable shutter clicks from  Steph Harding, MittenBrew owner, and photographer for this interview. Laughing, she chimes in over my shoulder, “Oh, seriously?! That’s too funny — I do, too!” Then Wayne proceeds to show her the app on his phone he uses to help soothe him to sleep. His favorite is Tropical Storm. Steph has Ocean Waves on hers.

 

What’s your day been like so far, and how do you think you’ll wrap up?

JS: We came in at 6:00 a.m. to get the brew going. We’ll probably be done around 5 or so. Last night, we were able to sneak out and have a couple beers around town, so I think the game plan tonight is to do more of the same in GR.

WW: I actually wouldn’t mind seeing The American Horse [at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park].

Is this the first time you guys have met?

JS: We’ve been in the same room before, but yeah, this is the first time we’ve really gotten to know each other.

 

Has it been like Step Brothers [the movie]? Are you getting along? Is there room for activities in the brewery?

JS: For me, after having some beers and talking to Wayne — there are a lot of key brewing principles we click on — quality and consistency. When you have other guys in the industry who are like that… You know, after the first couple of beers you’re like, “Is this guy cool?” Yeah, it’s been awesome.

WW: There’s a lot of common ground, definitely.

 

You’re aiming for a July release for White Noise, with Perrin Pub and limited local distribution. Will any variation of it find its way down to Florida?

JS: Oh, yeah. Well… for Wayne to drink. [Laughing]

 

How much are you producing?

JS: For this brew, we’re doing a 150-barrel batch.

 

Can we expect a follow-up collaboration where John visits you in Florida?

WW: Absolutely.

JS: Yeah, hopefully during a cold month here. [Laughing]

 

After the formal interview wrapped, I asked both guys how much of this collaboration had to do with Oskar Blues acquiring both breweries. They both had creative freedom in the process, were not under any pressure to collaborate, and used their recent familial relationship to create a positive, independent dialogue between Perrin and Cigar City. They’ve used this opportunity to understand each other’s philosophies and stance on issues that now apply to both of them — all three when you include Oskar Blues. What it came down to was one brewery simply asking another if they wanted to make a beer together — the way it should be.

 

Photography: Steph Harding

no rules

All bets were off when Perrin Brewing Company announced this year’s No Rules bottle release would have no limits.

The attendance for the No Rules Release Boondoggle on Saturday, March 26 reaffirmed the hype the beer earned after its first bottle release in 2015. The event’s name suggests Perrin might’ve been a little surprised by what they had gotten themselves into.

no rulesNo Rules’ overnight success last year was backed by a 100-point score on RateBeer and a world-class, near-perfect rating on BeerAdvocate. Its fame owned the secondary market with a national trade value that was so surprising it earned its own hashtag, #tynr (thank you, No Rules), from the Facebook group West Michigan Craft Beer Enthusiasts.

Connor Klopcic, Perrin’s Assistant Brewer and PR point man, confirmed No Rules was brewed with the same recipe as last year, which highlights a sweet combination of coconut, cinnamon, and turbinado sugar. This 15% Imperial Vietnamese Porter did undergo one change, however. The difference this year is that more first-use barrels were used to aged the beer during its 4-to-6-month nap, in addition to reusing a small selection of barrels from the last batch. Klopcic wasn’t at liberty to share what brand of bourbon barrels are part of their formula. “That’s on our double secret probation list,” he said.

Klopcic knew it’d be a double-edged sword to disclose the volume of No Rules produced for this year’s release. “We made a little bit more than last year, but probably not enough.” The challenge to satisfy demand is complicated by one variable in the process. Klopcic said, “It’s the people. We just don’t know how many were going to show up.”

When asked the obvious, Then why no limits?, Klopcic relayed Perrin’s simple and effective marketing approach — “To be consistent with the beer’s name.” Without any intention of instigating the no-holds-barred chaos that might ensue, Klopcic sincerely advocated Perrin’s position, “People should be able to buy as much as they want.” He qualified that by adding, “We actually want the beer to be drank.”

Is there a silver bullet solution for managing high-profile bottle releases — one that satisfies everyone? Or, are breweries damned if they do, damned if they don’t? Winning over public commentary across social media can be daunting, regardless of whether it’s a pre-sale ticketed event, entry via lottery, capped allotment or as daring as a no limit free-for-all.

There’s almost always going to be someone in line behind the person who buys the last bottle. If you haven’t already been that person, you probably will be eventually. And, when that time comes, being gracious and constructive always looks better on us than being quick to criticize with a counterproductive rant. For the premature skeptics, Perrin accomplished with tact and effortlessness what many condemned them for even attempting. If you disagree, let The Dude remind you, “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

Perrin rewarded their Pub Club members with a one-hour head start, giving them the opportunity to purchase their bottles starting at 10 a.m. Memberships spiked the week of the release after word got out that they could be purchased over the phone. Klopcic lost count of how many new members joined just days before. He said one group of ten guys, who all bought in, arrived together on Friday, with many others coming in from out of state. The consensus among general admission guests, queued in a separate line, was the hope that they wouldn’t be limited to only enjoying draft pours of No Rules, which were also available. They wanted the bottles.

Pub Club members and friends, Eric Sertyn and Larry Bishop, who traveled from Shelby and Troy, respectively, made the 160-mile plus drive to be the first in line at 9:30 p.m. – the night before. They both intended to buy six cases each. Sertyn, who had never experienced No Rules before, said, “I heard how awesome it is, and have been chasing it ever since.”

When asked what they were going to do with their bottles, Bishop shared, “We’re going to spread the love with friends in and out of state.” Sertyn added, “We treat this like we’re all in the same community.” When the doors opened at 10 a.m., both guys humbly walked over a red rug Perrin laid down that really tied the taproom together, and successfully got their beer.

Back outside, Chris Klein, of Chelsea, was the first person in the general admission line. Klein made the two-hour drive, and was in line at 12:30 a.m. He said he survived on beer until the 28-degree temperature forced him to thaw out in his car around 6:00 a.m. He planned to buy four cases – two for himself, and two to share with friends in Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, “…that is, if there’s any left,” he said with some apprehension.

Greg H made the drive from Chicago — first on Monday to join the Pub Club in person, then again on Saturday morning. Mr. H secured his place in line at 8 a.m. He intentionally traveled by himself in case he needed the passenger seat for beer. He wasn’t sure whether he was going to buy eighteen or twenty cases, and even tried to remove his back seats as an extra precaution. He said he’d even drive home with a case on his lap, if he needed to.

Mr. H joked sarcastically at first that he was going to “swim in it,” when asked what he intended to do with his No Rules. Then, as if he was trolling live, he said he was actually muling for friends, “going to keep forty bottles to drink out of a goblet with my name on it,” and then trade the rest.

Mr. H’s said he’d consider selling one bottle to the next person in line if in the scenario Mr. H happened to be the last guy to get any bottles. When asked what his thoughts were about anyone else who might miss out on the chance, he said, “Well, maybe if they didn’t stop on the way here this morning for breakfast or whatever they could’ve got in line before me.” I asked if that meant he was essentially giving everyone else the proverbial middle finger. He shrugged and said, “Yeah, pretty much.”

It’s to be noted that Greg H willingly agreed to have his full name published at the time of this interview. He was even advised, “You know I’m going to print this, right?” He acknowledged with approval. He has since reached out asking that we don’t publish his last name.

Mr. H’s smug humor was transparent, and his indifference for his fellow enthusiasts is disappointing. It’s precisely what the craft beer scene could use less of.

no rulesIn direct contrast to Mr. H, and contrary to what it may have looked like from afar, Stu Tingley, of Warren, and his friends, had a refreshingly positive attitude. By the time this story gets published, many will have already seen (and commented on) the photo circulating on the internet of their haul: twenty-four cases, stacked neatly in front of them and their SUV. That’s $5,215.51 in No Rules.

The first thing Tingley said, aware that he made his last name public, was, “Trust me, I’m not some mad man who’s trying to destroy his own life today.” His friend, Ben Rios, of Shelby, backed him up, “I promise, we’re not black market guys. It’s just that SO many people we know wanted a bottle.”

Tingley was serious in making clear that all 288 bottles were being divided among approximately fifty of their friends, and not being hoarded. He swore they were not marking up the price either. “Everyone is paying exactly $18 a bottle, that’s it,” he said.

Marc Alberda, of Hudsonville, might’ve been the most well-liked guy in line. This was his first beer release. He said, “I simply came out because of the buzz I’ve heard about the beer, and just wanted to have a good time.” Alberda got a hilarious round of applause from everyone in line as they watched a Perrin rep wheel out his beer on a hand truck. He bought one bottle.

no rules

The Perrin staff were a well-oiled machine. Whether it was Alberda’s modest bottle, the average guest’s few cases, or Tingley’s twenty-four case haul — the men and women of Perrin worked in sync to get as much beer out as possible, managing no limits with no problem.

“With so much hype this year, we can’t be anything but excited and anxious,” Klopcic said of the vibe among the staff leading up to the release. Angela, Perrin’s newest employee on the floor and seasoned server in the industry, wasn’t intimidated by the turnout. “I think it’s amazing. The energy in here right now is perfect,” she said.

No Rules bottles finally sold out minutes before 1 p.m. For anyone planning ahead, Perrin teased in their press release for the Boondoggle that there would likely be more bottles of No Rules in 2017. In the meantime, No Rules hit retail distribution March 28.

Party World and Rishi’s International Beverage both offered the relatively unconventional opportunity to call ahead and pre-reserve No Rules. Each bottle shop planned to receive a generous allocation, sharing a percentage of that at their discretion to those quick on the dial.

David Castor, manager at Party World, said they maxed out their list in about four hours. “Multiple cases were reserved by people out of state, who told me they were sending local proxies to pick them up,” he said.

Rishi, owner of Rishi’s International Beverage, said, “I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity, that I wanted to do whatever I could to share the love with those who follow us on social media. Everyone who I talked to over the phone seemed genuinely excited to have the chance to get some bottles.” Rishi, who posted the offer on his store’s Facebook page, maxed out his reservations in two hours. Any bottles that Rishi’s receives over and above what was reserved in advance will be available first come, first serve.

In an effort to continue celebrating its release, Perrin also sent representatives to three stores on March 28 to autograph bottles of No Rules.

Bryan Bastow, Quality Control Specialist, and Anthony Parker, Shipping & Receiving, were to visit Rishi’s International Beverage.

Eamon McCarthy, Cellarman, and Charlee Weatherwax, Brand Manager, were to visit Party World.

Connor Klopcic, Assistant Brewer, was to visit Ric’s Food Center, in Rockford.

Please contact each store directly to inquire about whether any bottles of No Rules might still be on their shelves.

 

Photography: Steph Harding

perrin brewingComstock Park, Mich. – Michigan’s Perrin Brewing plans to take the first step towards out-of-state distribution. Shipments of Perrin beer are expected to hit stores in Colorado late March/early April.

The growth for Perrin Brewing is expected to continue after a collaborative partnership with Oskar Blues Brewery, in Longmont, Colorado, took place in 2015. Part of this continued growth is from the addition of canned packaging, making Perrin beer available in most major retailers across the state of Michigan. Since the rollout of can distribution last fall, Perrin is prepared to offer canned beer outside of Michigan. Perrin will send draft and packaged options of its core beers, such as 98 Problems IPA, No Problems “A Session IPA”, Perrin Black Ale, and Grapefruit IPA, Perrin’s current seasonal beer which will be followed by Blackberry IPA on August 1.

“Through the partnership with Oskar Blues Brewery, the jump into the Colorado market seemed like a logical step towards out-of-state distribution for Perrin,” stated Keith Klopcic, President of Perrin Brewing. “The recent addition of canned packaging is right in tune with the Oskar Blues mindset in the craft industry and we are excited to open up to a whole new market”.

Perrin Brewing is excited for the opportunity to take Michigan craft beer to the great state of Colorado. Out of state distribution in Colorado will begin end of March/beginning of April.

CANd Aid

FLINT– The need for safe clean drinking water in the city remains high and so does the dedication of Oskar Blues Brewing’s CAN’d Aid Foundation.

They were one of the first organizations to publicly act when the scope of the disaster became clear, and their commitment hasn’t stopped since their initial shipment. More canned water has been delivered to the troubled city. Additionally, benefits have been planned by the organization to raise cash for the Flint’s Got Grit community fund. The fund was created to help residents obtain health exams and follow-up care related to the lead contamination crisis.

The first event will take place on Thursday, January 28 from noon to 6 p.m. at Torch Bar and Grill in Flint. Oskar Blues representatives will be there grilling beer can chicken and serving root beer at no cost, although a cash donation will be accepted from those who wish to give back.

Taps will be flowing with many rare Oskar Blues beers brought in specially for the benefit. Cases of canned water will be given to residents on site.

Several bars and restaurants in surrounding cities from Lake Orion to Bay City have joined in to donate one dollar per pint of Oskar Blues Brewery beer sold during the event hours. A full list can be found here.

On Friday, February 5 the Tasty Weasel taprooms of Oskar Blues locations in Colorado and North Carolina will hold simultaneous throw-downs featuring live music and specialty brews. Ten percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Flint’s Got Grit fund.

oskar blues

FLINT – Unsafe lead levels in the city of Flint’s municipal water supply is in the national news media spotlight as the depth and severity of the crisis is realized. An official state of emergency has been declared, prompting action from humanitarian groups, including a generous donation through the philanthropic project of an internationally distributed brewery with a strong Michigan presence.
Colorado-based Oskar Blues Brewery, who recently acquired Perrin Brewing in the Grand Rapids area, has spearheaded the donation of 50,000 cans of fresh safe drinking water to help alleviate the immediate need.
oskar blues
Aaron Baker from Oskar Blues Brewing Brevard said “Perrin is a part of the Oskar Blues Brewery family and having strong ties to Michigan through Perrin definitely made this effort even more meaningful to everyone at the brewery. We learned of a need and had the ability to help out so we made it happen.”
CAN’d Aid Foundation, the nonprofit “do goodery arm” of Oskar Blues Brewery, arranged for the water to be canned and shipped from their closest full-service production facility in Brevard, North Carolina, to Food Bank of Eastern Michigan for distribution to Flint’s residents. Denver-based Ball Corporation donated the cans used in this project. CAN’d Aid was formed in 2013 as a response to floods in Colorado and has evolved into a 501(c)(3) nonprofit doing good deeds across the United States.


Oskar Blues Brewery, known for pioneering the canned craft beer movement, was founded by Dale Katechis in 1997 in Lyons Colorado. Their flagship brew Dale’s Pale Ale, initially hand-canned, lead the revolution.