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eastern kille

GRAND RAPIDS – Eastern Kille Distillery participated in the world’s largest spirits competition for the first time and both of their entries earned awards.

The West Michigan based spirits distiller earned a gold award for their 4 year bottled-in-bond bourbon and a silver award for their 4 year aged rum at the 20th annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

The San Francisco World Spirits Competition is the world’s largest, with entries and judges from all over the world. More than 40 judges are split among tables or panels, while volunteers cart nearly 3,000 spirits to the panels. San Francisco has a history of bringing attention to relatively unknown brands, such as St. Germain and Tito’s.

Eastern Kille’s bourbon was among only 4 bourbons in the craft distillery whiskey category to receive a gold level award and the only from Michigan.

eastern kille“We are proud to receive recognition from San Francisco, which is widely regarded as the most important spirits competition in the world, for our bottled-in-bond bourbon”, shared Steve Vander Pol, cofounder of Eastern Kille Distillery. “This gold award represents over 4 years of a truly craft process; the process we founded our distillery on.”

Bottled-in-bond dates back to the 1800’s and is one of the earliest forms of a consumer protection law. The bottled-in-bond designation mandates that brands clear numerous rigorous hurdles. The spirit must be aged for at least four years and bottled at precisely 100 proof (50% abv). It must be made by one distiller at a single distillery in one season, then aged in a bonded warehouse.

This is the first bottled-in-bond bourbon that the distillery released. It was aged 4 years and 14 days and produced 234 bottles which sold out the day it was released on March 17, 2020. Ten bottles were held for when the tasting room reopens. Another small batch of bottled in bond will be released in October 2020 and it will hit store shelves in the summer of 2021. The “little brother” of the bottled-in-bond was released last year, Michigan Straight Bourbon Whiskey is 90 proof vs the 100 of bottled-in-bond and is widely available.

During this time of crisis, Eastern Kille is offering to-go bottles and cocktail kits. They have also shifted production to hand sanitizer in the short term.

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.

 

new holland spirits

The Michigan distillery announces plans to expand with new tasting room in scenic Lake Michigan town

 

SAUGATUCK, MICH. — New Holland Spirits has announced it is starting the construction of a new tasting room at 201 Culver Street in the heart of Saugatuck, Michigan. Pending regulatory approvals, the new location is scheduled to open in time for the July 4th celebration downtown.

“New Holland is thrilled to open up our first spirits-focused tasting room in Saugatuck.” said David White, Vice President of Retail Operations and Partner. “As neighbors along the lakeshore, we appreciate the unique atmosphere of Michigan’s coastal communities as destinations for great food and drinks. We can’t wait to become a part of Saugatuck’s vibrant downtown.”

The new tasting room is located across the street from Bowdie’s Chophouse and around the corner from The Butler restaurant. Its prime location in walkable downtown Saugatuck will make it an ideal destination for happy hour cocktails or an after-dinner nightcap.

new holland spiritsGuests will be able to taste and purchase New Holland’s award-winning spirits, including Knickerbocker Gin, Beer Barrel Bourbon and Lake Life Vodka, at the new location. The new space will serve some of New Holland’s most popular cocktails, as well as wine and cider. Select cocktails and limited run spirits will be available on draft. The tasting room will offer some light food options in the form of appetizers brought in from New Holland’s Pub on 8th in Holland, Michigan, including their Famous Beer Cheese and Crackers, Woodsman Platter, Spice Roasted Nuts and Hummus Platter.

Seating for 30 will be available indoors, and there will be 12 seats on the outdoor patio. The new space will be available to book for private events and parties for up to 35 people.

Visitors to the tasting room will be able to take home New Holland spirits in a variety of bottle sizes. Merchandise and cocktail bar essentials will also be available for sale in the retail space, making it a must-stop for the traveler in need of supplies.

New Holland Spirits has been creating fine craft spirits since 2005. The new tasting room in the popular lakeshore vacation destination allows the distillery to expand its footprint and reach a new audience.

“We are very excited to bring our own artistic expressions of craft spirits to Saugatuck’s vibrant art community. Our storefront at 201 Culver Street is easily accessible by car or by boat, and we will provide guests with a wide variety of bottles to go, handcrafted cocktails and a selection of wine and cider,” said Brett VanderKamp, president of New Holland.

gray skies

 

Grand Rapids, Mich – Gray Skies Distillery released their first straight rye whiskey November 7 and will follow shortly with a limited-edition release of their Breakfast Bourbon on November 20. Both spirits will be available for purchase in their tasting room and through licensed retailers, bars and restaurants around Michigan via statewide distribution. Michigan Straight Rye Whiskey was aged in charred new, oak barrels for over two years and bottled at 90 proof. Breakfast Bourbon was aged over two years and bottled at 87 proof. Breakfast Bourbon spent time in two different barrels, starting in in charred new, oak barrels before it was finished for 9 months in maple syrup casks. These two whiskeys bring the total number of American whiskeys Gray Skies Distillery offers up to five: Michigan Straight Rye Whiskey, Breakfast Bourbon, Breakfast Rye, Single Malt Whiskey and Michigan Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Each Gray Skies Distillery whiskey is painstakingly made from grain in 500-gallon batches. Gray Skies proudly uses an inefficient pot still for its whiskeys to maintain maximum flavor at the expense of productivity. Each whiskey is double distilled before resting in barrels on-site for years. With five premium American whiskeys available and a growing, aging whiskey stock Gray Skies Distillery continues to define Michigan craft whiskey.

“Michigan Straight Rye Whiskey is a perfect complement to the coming cold weather. It’s the ultimate cocktail whiskey with a strong rye backbone that stands up to other ingredients” said Steve Vander Pol, co-owner of Gray Skies Distillery. “Because this is a straight whiskey, no additional flavors were added. My tasting notes include figs, chocolate, black pepper and cinnamon. This flavor profile was created using only grain, water, yeast and time in oak barrels.”

“Breakfast Bourbon offers a playful twist on a typical bourbon whiskey. Unlike our rye, this is not a straight spirit. We infused maple flavor into the whiskey by taking a traditional bourbon and finishing it for 9 months in a barrel that was previously used to age maple syrup,” Vander Pol continued. “The maple finish amplifies the sweetness inherent in bourbon whiskey and imparts a creamy mouthfeel to the viscous finished spirit. These whiskey releases expand our craft whiskey offerings to five distinct spirits, highlighting what a small batch distillery can do.”

Gray Skies Distillery was named Michigan Distillery of The Year in 2016 at the 7th annual New York International Spirits Competition on the strength of its gold medal winning Barrel Finished Gin. The Gray Skies Distillery line up of spirits are currently available in hundreds of licensed retailers, bars and restaurants around Michigan. Distribution is currently limited to Michigan, but the distillery hopes to expand into additional states with future whiskey releases.

 

About Gray Skies Distillery:

Grain to glass, locally made in Grand Rapids.

At Gray Skies Distillery, we don’t try to be everything to everyone. Instead, we focus our attention on our process, flavors, environment and those looking for the unexpected. We take pride in introducing traditional spirits – like gin, whiskey and rum – with a surprising flavor twist, making them unique to Gray Skies Distillery. Our small-batch process is married with traditional methods to create a spirit that is innovative and exceptional in quality. We are committed to working with local businesses whenever possible to craft our flavor-forward spirits. From local malted barley to repurposing Michigan maple syrup barrels, our innovative ingredients push the limits on what good spirits truly embody.

 

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.

 

 

fermenta

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — Fermenta: Michigan Women’s Craft Collective, is co-hosting a spirits event at New Holland Brewing‘s The Knickerbocker Sunday, April 22 from 2-4pm.

For this “Shaking & Sipping” hands-on event, attendees will learn how to properly taste gin, rum, and bourbon while also making historically significant cocktails with each base spirit.

The event is open to the public, welcoming both Fermenta members and non-members to participate and partake. Ticket price includes samples of each liquor, three cocktails attendees will prepare and a light snack.

Limited tickets are available for purchase here: https://shakeandsip.eventbrite.com

Prices are $25 for non-members and $20 for members.

With each event Fermenta hosts, the non-profit raises money towards their scholarship fund to further women’s education in the craft beverage industry. This allows members to apply for and attend workshops, classes, and seminars around the state.

 

About
Fermenta is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit trade group initiated by Michigan women, committed to diversity, camaraderie, networking, and education within the craft beverage industry. The organization hosts events with an educational focus and networking opportunities and provides a network that encourages conversation about the importance of diversifying the craft alcohol industry, ways to foster progress, and provide opportunities for a variety of voices and visions

 

cocktail week gr

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich – Get ready to toast the return of Cocktail Week GR, November 8-19, celebrating Michigan craft spirits. The third annual event is hosted by Experience Grand Rapids and will highlight local distillers, specialized Cocktail Week GR Menus, and feature events organized by the U.S. Bartending Guild (USBG) – Grand Rapids chapter.

Throughout the 12-day event, participating local restaurants will offer two Michigan cocktails and an appetizer for $25 or less. Many local distilleries and restaurants will also offer special events and distillery tours, including the USBG Cocktail Contest at Stella’s Lounge and a “Sunday Funday” trolley tour to participating Cocktail Week GR bars.

Cocktail Week GR culminates with the annual Grand Rapids Wine, Beer and Food Festival at DeVos Place Convention Center, November 16-18. The event is the perfect complement to the festival’s Hemingway Hall venue, where craft producers and mixologists will showcase their finest spirits, mixers, garnishes and cocktails.

A full list of Cocktail Week GR events and happenings will be updated regularly at http://www.CocktailWeekGR.com. Participating restaurants and menus will be posted on October 31 with continued updates throughout the event.

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.