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new hollandHolland, Mich. — New Holland Brewing will release a new addition to theirDragon’s Milk Reserve program in April. This time, brewers tried a classic flavor pairing on Dragon’s Milk’s bourbon barrel stout canvas: Cherry Chocolate.

The beer will be available in New Holland pubs starting April 13. It will hit store shelves and across their bar and restaurant distribution footprint on April 16. Consumers can look forward to a rich stout that balances creamy chocolate flavors with a delightful cherry tartness.

“Chocolate is a flavor that is already present in Dragon’s Milk when it comes out of the barrel, but we’re able to play that up and really bring out the wonderful chocolate smoothness. Obviously, that just couples extremely well with the cherry flavor,” said New Holland Vice President of Sales Joel Petersen. “That combination plays nicely against the backbone of this beer.”

For most breweries, a bourbon barrel stout clocking in at 11 percent ABV is a limited release. New Holland Brewing works hard to make Dragon’s Milk available year round. The Reserve series is a chance for brewers and consumers alike to see the favorite beer in a new light.

“I think Dragon’s Milk speaks for itself. It’s a strong beer that our customers love on its own,” said Petersen. “The Dragon’s Milk Reserve program gives us the platform to build on that strong base and create a variety of exciting new flavor experiences.”

“The Reserve series allows our brewers to express their creativity,” said New Holland Brewing President Brett VanderKamp. “We continue to be amazed at the ways Dragon’s Milk can play with different flavors.”

New Holland Brewing welcomes those interested in learning more about Dragon’s Milk or the process to attend a tour where Dragon’s Milk is being brewed and cellared.

new holland

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Founders Brewing Co. has announced the fifth annual KBS Week in Grand Rapids and the first-ever KBS Week in Detroit in honor of the 2018 release of Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS). KBS will be on tap at various Grand Rapids and Detroit locations from March 5 – 10, as well as at Founders taproom release parties on March 10 in both cities. KBS will be available in Michigan as of March 12 and across the remainder of Founders’ 46-state distribution on March 30.

“When we started brewing KBS about 16 years ago, very few other breweries were doing anything like it,” said Co-Founder and President, Dave Engbers. “The first few packaged runs were difficult to get off of our hands as there wasn’t much interest in a bourbon barrel-aged coffee-chocolate imperial stout, which seems pretty crazy these days. It has since become a phenomenon and we are happy to celebrate its annual release with the people of Grand Rapids and now, for the first time ever, our loyal fans in Detroit. Here’s to continuing beloved traditions and starting new ones!”

KBS is an imperial stout brewed with massive amounts of coffee and chocolate before aging in oak bourbon barrels in caves beneath Grand Rapids and at an offsite barrel-aging facility. KBS is the first installment of Founders Barrel-Aged Series, a lineup of six barrel-aged beers set to release throughout 2018. Newly announced year-round Backwoods Bastard, ranked as one of the highest rated beers in the world according to Ratebeer, will follow KBS in the series.

Celebrate KBS Week 2018

Where to Find: KBS Week began in response to the beer’s overwhelming global notoriety and a desire to share that with the West Michigan beer-loving community. This year, ten loyal bars and restaurant in the Grand Rapids and Detroit areas will tap a keg of KBS during a designated time slot the week of March 5-10. KBS Week will culminate with official release parties in both the Grand Rapids and Detroit taprooms on Saturday, March 10. KBS will be poured all day.

Visit Grand Rapids for KBS Week: In addition to the taproom release parties and keg tappings around Grand Rapids and Detroit, a handful of Grand Rapids-area hotels will be offering KBS week packages—including discounted room rates, limited edition gear in rooms and more—with information available on the Experience Grand Rapids website. For full KBS Week details, head to kbsweek.com.

COMSTOCK, Mich. – Bell’s Brewery is proud to announce a new addition to its seasonal specialty lineup for release this fall.

Arabicadabra, a coffee milk stout with an ABV of 5.5%, will debut on draught and in 12-ounce bottles, packaged in six-packs, this October.

“When we announced this year’s release calendar late last year, we knew there were a few more surprises to come. This is one of them,” said Bell’s CEO Laura Bell.

“It’s really fun to see new favorites move to a wider audience. This is another example of how we continue to explore new ingredients and flavors. The spirit of innovation that set us on this path is still a huge part of who we are and we will continue to look for ways to showcase that innovation across our distribution area,” Bell said.

Brewed with 100% Arabica coffee beans roasted by Ferris Coffee in Grand Rapids, Michigan, this beer will stand in for Java Stout, another Bell’s specialty coffee stout, for 2017.

“Java Stout will always have a special place in our portfolio and isn’t being permanently retired. This year, we are changing things up a bit. Arabicadabra is a different take on a coffee stout and very similar to a local favorite that was released at our pub and at some events. It’s time to share it with an even larger audience,” she added.

Arabicadabra is brewed with a cold coffee extract made at the brewery using a combination of fair trade, organic Nicaraguan coffee beans and Sumatra coffee beans. Lactose is also used for creaminess (those with dairy allergies or sensitivities should take note). It was inspired by Milchkaffe, another specialty Bell’s beer. That sweet, milk stout, was only available on draught and debuted in 2015.

Arabicadabra will ship to Bell’s entire distribution footprint, including New Mexico which Bell’s will begin distributing to in the fall.

Additional details will be shared online at bellsbeer.com and on Bell’s social media as they become available.

 

Grand Rapids, Mich. – Founders Brewing Co. is happy to announce the fourth annual KBS Week, in honor of the release of KBS this year. The beer will be available starting March 13 in Michigan and April 1 across the remainder of the brewery’s distribution footprint, which includes 42 states. Visitors and residents of Grand Rapids will be able to enjoy it March 6-11 when it is tapped at various local establishments as well as the taproom release party.

KBS Week

KBS is an imperial stout brewed with massive amounts of coffee and chocolate and then aged in oak bourbon barrels in the caves beneath Grand Rapids. KBS is the second installment in the brewery’s Barrel-Aged Series, a lineup of 6 different barrel-aged beers released throughout the year. It is consistently ranked as one of the highest rated beers in the world, according to Ratebeer.

KBS Week began in response to the overwhelming notoriety KBS has developed over the years and a desire to share that with the West Michigan beer-loving community on a broader scale. This year will mark the 4th annual KBS Week and fifteen Founders-supporting bars and restaurants in the Grand Rapids area will each tap a keg of KBS during a designated timeslot between March 6 and 10. KBS Week will culminate with the Founders taproom release party, where KBS will be poured all day on Saturday, March 11.

“Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS) is a quintessential representation of who Founders is as a company and the legacy we’ve established in the industry,” said Co-Founder and President Dave Engbers. “Fifteen years ago it debuted as an experiment with no agenda; a beer that no one asked for and, at first, no one wanted. The outcome was and is magical and we think it’s a perfect example of the innovation that is central to craft beer culture. We love the chance to celebrate the phenomenon of KBS each year and to share it with the West Michigan community first in gratitude for their support. ”

Bottles of KBS available for pickup in the Founders taproom will be released using a pre-ticketed reservation process via Ticketfly. Bottles can be reserved beginning on Saturday, February 18, at 11am EST, and they will be available for pickup March 7-12, 2017.

A handful of area hotels will be offering KBS week packages—including discounted room rates, limited edition gear in rooms and more—with information available on the Experience Grand Rapids website.

KBS will be available throughout Michigan on Monday, March 13 and throughout the rest of the Founders’ distribution footprint on April 1.

For full KBS Week details, head to kbsweek.com.

Traverse City, MI – This November, Right Brain Brewery will debut their 2016 CEO Stout Boardroom Series brews. The series is based on Right Brain’s flagship brand CEO Stout, which is a light bodied, sessionable stout brewed with real coffee from Roaster Jack’s (Traverse City).rightbrain_boardroom

This year’s line-up will include Bourbon Barrel-Aged CEO, Imperial CEO, Peanut Butter CEO, and Pumpkin Spice CEO, all brewed with real natural ingredients made in house, or locally sourced. “The idea for the Boardroom Series came out of the love of pairing beer with food. Peanut butter and chocolate are amazing, and who doesn’t love having coffee with their pumpkin pie? There are so many things you can pair with rich chocolate and coffee flavors, which made it hard to narrow down the series to four beers,” says Right Brain owner Russell Springsteen.

The CEO Boardroom Series will be released November 25th (Black Friday) at Right Brain Brewery’s tap room in Traverse City, and will be available in 22 oz bottles and on draft. The series will also be released into distribution around Michigan in very limited quantities.

 

kbs weekFounders Brewing Co. is happy to announce the third annual KBS Week, in honor of the release of Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS) this year. The beer will be available starting March 14 in Michigan and April 1 across the remainder of the brewery’s distribution footprint, but visitors and residents of Grand Rapids will be able to enjoy it March 7- March 12.

KBS is an imperial stout brewed with massive amounts of coffee and chocolate and then aged in oak bourbon barrels for a year in the caves beneath Grand Rapids. It is consistently ranked as one of the highest rated beers in the world, according to ratebeer.

KBS Week began in response to the overwhelming notoriety KBS has developed over the years and a desire to share that with the West Michigan beer-loving community on a broader scale. This year will mark the 3rd annual KBS Week and fifteen Founders-supporting bars and restaurants in the Grand Rapids area will each tap a keg of KBS on a day and time of their choosing between March 7 and 11. KBS Week will culminate with the Founders taproom release party, where KBS will be poured all day on Saturday, March 12.

“Mike and I look forward to this week every year,” said co-Founder and President Dave Engbers, “It is fantastic working with our wholesalers and retail partners to create a community-centric week centered around the release of KBS. We are so grateful to our West Michigan community for the support throughout the years and it makes sharing KBS with all of them that much more special.”

A handful of area hotels will be offering KBS week packages—including discounted room rates, limited edition gear in rooms and more—with information available on the Experience Grand Rapids website.

KBS will be available throughout Michigan on Monday, March 14 and throughout the rest of the Founders’ distribution footprint on April 1.

 

For full KBS Week details, head to kbsweek.com

Stout ChallengeTRAVERSE CITY–The TC Ale Trail and Little Fleet have once again teamed up to present a local beer competition. The inaugural Stout Challenge will be held Friday January 29 at Little Fleet.

Ten Traverse City area breweries will be bringing their “Best Stout,” and 200 beer lovers will have the opportunity to taste and vote on their favorite. All tasting will be blind. Ticket holders will get the description of the beer, ABV, and other facts, but the brewery will remain a secret.

Troy Daily, organizer of the event, is excited about the challenge. “Our team has produced the IPA Challenge for the past two years and has attracted a lot of attention. With this success and overwhelming feedback from attendees, the Stout Challenge was born out of demand. It’s a great way to get all of the area breweries together during a relatively slower month of the year.”

The challenge will start at 5:30 p.m., with the last ballots being handed out around 9 p.m. Attendees should give themselves at least an hour for tasting. The unveiling of breweries and awards will be presented at 10 p.m. The winning brewery will win a trophy and the privilege of saying their brewery has “The Best Stout in the Traverse City area.” Mike Moran, of Drink My Brewcast, will be the Master of Ceremonies.

The ten breweries that are participating in the event include: The Filling Station Microbrewery, The Workshop Brewery, Brewery Ferment, Old Mission Beer Co.(at Jolly Pumpkin), Brewery Terra Firma, Right Brain Brewery, Lake Ann Brewing Company, Hop Lot Brewing, and Short’s Brewing Company. Rare Bird Brewpub has a limiting license and will be collaborating with The Filling Station to brew a stout just for the event.

Ticket prices will be $25 in advance and $30 at the door, only 200 tickets will be available. Ticket price includes: custom taster glass, 10 sample tickets (1 taste per beer), two wild card additional tastes, description and rating sheet, and one voting ballot. Additional tastes can be purchased for $1 and pints will also be for sale. New to this event, there will be limited VIP Tickets. These will be $50 and will include reserved seating, table side service, snacks and all of general ticket amenities.

The Stout Challenge event is sponsored by MI Local Hops and Drink My Brewcast.

For more information or to purchase tickets please visit MyNorthTickets.com or find the event on Facebook.

New Holland Brewing

Holland, MI — A tricked out beer trailer? An eight foot tall metal dragon that will be looming over you as you sip deliciousness? A crazy ambitious series from New Holland that provides 16 variations of Dragon’s Milk? Um, yes. Count me in New Holland Brewing. Your presence at the 11th Annual Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival is worth squealing with excitement about.

It’s no secret that Dragon’s Milk, a bourbon barrel aged stout, has stolen the hearts of many, and for good reason! It’s a solid, damn good product. So, how can New Holland Brewing up their game with the beer? By making it an “Unlimited Release” of course. The company has announced that, “We are all in on Dragon’s Milk this year and truly view it as an “Unlimited Release”. We strive to make it “unlimited” by being available year round (no easy feat), everywhere (working towards contiguous US), available to everyone (not just the “geeks”) and now with unlimited variants and flavor possibilities.”

New Holland BrewingBefore I go any further, let’s check out what exactly the selection from New Holland Brewing will be at Winter Beer Fest 2016…

Dragon’s Milk
Dragon’s Milk Coconut Rum Barrel
Dragon’s Milk Mexican Spice Cake
Dragon’s Milk Peanut Butter
Dragon’s Milk Mint Chocolate
Dragon’s Milk Maple Coffee
Dragon’s Milk Brandy Barrel Apple Pie
Dragon’s Milk Bacon
Dragon’s Milk Chocolate & Orange
Dragon’s Milk Sarsaparilla
Dragon’s Milk Black Cherry
Dragon’s Milk Hazelnut
Dragon’s Milk Vanilla Chai
2015 Dragon’s Milk Reserve Triple Mash
2014 Dragon’s Milk Reserve with Raspberries
2015 Dragon’s Milk Reserve with Toasted Chilies

I know I know. A pretty robust list, right? After taking a peek I had a few questions for Fred Bueltmann,  Vice President of Brand and Lifestyle and Partner of New Holland, and Joel Petersen, Vice President of Marketing of New Holland Brewing about these new brews.

AS: It appears that the Dragon’s Milk variants have several options that mesh together beer (of course) with other beverage types (root beer, apple pie brandy, etc). Have you found that creating these new flavor relationships resulted from organic curiosity in production or have you found that listening to and observing the consumer trends (Not Your Father’s Root Beer comes to mind immediately) inspired these variants? Or possibly both?

FB & JP: In this particular case, they were dreamed up by our team of brewers in a very explorative, freestyle manner. Creating variants for the festival, removes some of the common barriers that come with our normal obligation to volume, and commitment to recreate flavors consistently. In this instance, they were charged with creating fun, one-off flavors in small, festival-sized batches, that may never exist again.

AS: Which ingredient(s) in the group of Dragon’s Milk variants was the most difficult to brew with? Anything that gummed up or got stuck in the mash tun or proved to be too powerful of a flavor in too little quantities? Essentially, which variant provided the most challenging brewing experience?

FB & JP: Bacon and peanut butter are currently the big question marks in terms of methodology, as well as cleanup.

AS: Acquiring barrels is never easy nowadays. How do you stay ahead of the pack in terms of collecting barrels for flavor and aging, especially less common ones in the beer scene such as rum and brandy barrels?

FB & JP: We have been barrel-aging beer since 2001, so we have learned a lot and developed many relationships. We have a great relationship with our cooper, who also serves as a bourbon-barrel broker, and we project our needs well ahead of time.  Our barrel cellar also produces a large amount of second-use barrels, so the relationship is reciprocal at times.  Our barrel sourcing efforts are as important and serious to us as our grain and hops.  

AS: Speaking of rum and brandy, could you give us an idea of the flavor differences you noticed between using rum or using the brandy barrels for the Dragon’s Milk?

FB & JP: This is the first brandy barrel we’ve used for Dragon’s Milk, so time will tell.  Rum is made from molasses and cane sugar, and typically expresses the darker flavors of it’s distillate and sugars.  Caramel, molasses and toffee are common to the flavor profile, which is a delicious connection to the dark and roasty malts, as well as the vanilla component found in Dragon’s Milk.  We expect the barrel that held brandy, which is fruit-based distillate, to have more fruit-like sweetness and play a bit brighter, accenting more of the toasty notes from the oak.

AS: What was the method used for including the bacon characteristics in the beer? Allowing full pieces of cooked bacon to hang out in the fermentation tanks? Were they included during boiling? Or was it some sort of steeping method towards the end? I bet the facilities smelled amazing that day…

FB & JP: We are conditioning the beer with bacon, post-brew and post-barrel.  Finished Dragon’s Milk will be transferred to a tank where crispy cooked bacon will be added. This allows us to manage the ingredients well and gauge conditioning time. Bacon brings lots of flavor as well as mouthfeel, so this should be velvety smooth, with tremendous porcine flavors.

AS: What advice would you give enthusiasts out there who are looking to pair these new variants with food? There are numerous pairing options, but perhaps some stood out in particular during your trial period?

FB & JP: Our advice is always to Stop & Taste.  Trust your intuition and think about what flavor you’re picking up, more than any given technique.  Also, since these are Winter Beer Festival only, we suggest, they should be paired with giant turkey legs and whatever chocolate you can get your hands on while enjoying the fest.

AS: You’ve created a purpose-driven program for the Dragon’s Milk series. Allowing the beer to be available year round in all your distribution networks and launching the “Unlimited Release” idea is incredibly difficult and I think will be received very well by your fans. What is the most challenging aspect of this idea? Do you think it’ll push other breweries to attempt this line of thinking with their rare or specialty items?

FB & JP: Our decision to go year round several years ago has definitely changed the face and footprint of the brewery. The need for dedicated blending tanks, refrigerated barrel storage, re-orienting how our barrels are stored, projecting the cash flow for all of those barrels to hang out for three months and having a robust quality control program to make shelf-stable barrel-aged beer, are all challenges that have been discovered and met at one point or another. Who knows whether other breweries will follow suit, but you have to look at it two different ways. Making rare or specialty items more widely available is one thing, and it should be in concert with demand.  Dragon’s Milk has grown in response to our customers demonstrating that they want more and will buy more. The second point is that taking barrel aged beers to market has significant technical challenges to assure that the bottles will be shelf stable and will age gracefully. Once beer is in contact with wood, it has met potential souring and/or staling agents, and we go to great pains to protect our barrel aged beer from preventable negative consequences to that exposure. Both of these points should be considered before breweries expand specialty lines, and are challenges that may keep some rare or specialty beer closer to home and in more limited contexts and volume. 

#unlimitedrelease

Photography: Steph Harding

 


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