Detroit, Mich — In the days leading up to Kalamazoo Beer Week, the Feelgood Tap, along with fundraising partner HopCat, are hosting the first ever Feelgood Tap Takeover. Ten breweries from throughout the state will each be featuring two different beers during the event, set to take place January 11th at the newest HopCat location in Kalamazoo.

“We’re both thrilled and grateful that HopCat was willing to host the event. They’ve been great partners since joining our efforts early in 2016,” said Stephen Roginson, founder of the Feelgood Tap, as well as Detroit brewery Batch Brewing Company. “This is a fun way to not only highlight the great beer being made by our partners, but to generate more awareness about the Feelgood Tap and its mission.”

feelgood tap

This month, the Feelgood Tap is raising money for THAW, The Heat and Warmth Fund. Every establishment’s Feelgood Tap contribution will go towards helping THAW provide utility assistance for Michigan residents in need.

feelgood tapThe Feelgood Tap is a 501c3 started in 2016. Shortly after Batch Brewing Company won Hatch Detroit and opened its doors in 2015, it started an in-house initiative called the Feelgood Tap, where they partnered with a different nonprofit every month, contributing a portion of sales from one specific beer for the month. Less than a year after beginning the initiative, they made the Feelgood Tap a 501c3, allowing other breweries, bars, and restaurants to participate, helping to grow the fundraising efforts.

The complete list of Feelgood Tap establishments:

Ascension, Batch Brewing Company, Brewery Ferment, Bridge Street Tap Room, Clubhouse BFD, Drafting Table Brewing Company, Falling Down Beer Company, Green Dot Stables, Grand Rapids Brewing Company, HopCat Ann Arbor, HopCat Detroit, HopCat East Lansing, HopCat Grand Rapids, HopCat Kalamazoo, Jolly Pumpkin Ann Arbor, Jolly Pumpkin Detroit, Jolly Pumpkin Dexter, Jolly Pumpkin Traverse City, Kickstand Brewing Company, Kuhnhenn Brewery Warren, Kuhnhenn Brewery Clinton Twp, Lansing Brewing Company, La Rondinella, Motor City Brewing Works, One Eyed Betty’s, Pete’s Place, River Rouge Brewery, River’s Edge Brewing Company, Slow’s BBQ Detroit, Tap 30, TriCity Brewing Company.

Dark Horse Brewing

DETROIT – HopCat Detroit and Dark Horse Brewing Co., of Marshall joined forces this weekend to produce a World Record Tap Takeover featuring 130 unique Dark Horse brews.

The event, dubbed Dark Saturday, broke a record set at HopCat Detroit’s grand opening on Dec. 13, 2014, which featured 120 Short’s Brewing Company beers.

By 11 a.m., a line wrapped around the front of the building as fans waited to try the huge variety of Dark Horse brews.

For HopCat and Dark Horse staff, the day began much earlier.

“It was all hands on deck to get this event together,” Trevor Mapes, captain of beer research at Hopcat, said. “A lot of the logistical elements were planned early on, and barbacks and food runners provided muscle late into the night and early in the morning before opening.”.

The bar filled up quickly as attendees anticipated rare and hard-to-find Dark Horse Brews.

“It’s great to see Dark Horse and HopCat tackling this event in Detroit,” said Damon Ward, Detroit resident and craft beer enthusiast. “It signifies how supportive they are of the local beer community.” Of the 130 beers on tap, Ward was most excited to try the 2014 and 2015 Bourbon Barrel Plead the 5th stout.

The all-day event included a special one-day renaming of HopCat Detroit’s Huma Room into the Crooked Tree Room. TV screens showed college football throughout the afternoon, and live music began at 7 p.m. to close out the evening.

“We love Detroit and want to be part of its ongoing renaissance,” said Bryan Wiggs, head of brewery operations and token hippie at Dark Horse. Yes, his business card really says that.

“It is a privilege and it is exciting to be breaking the world record here in Detroit,” Wiggs added.

“We came up with the idea for the tap takeover with HopCat at the Winter Beer Fest in February of 2014, and have been brewing beers specifically for this event since them,” said Aaron Morse, founder and owner of Dark Horse.

On the 12-acre Dark Horse compound in Marshall, Morse makes honey and maple syrup, he grows hops and fruit, and he uses all these elements in his beer.

“We have fun pushing the envelope and doing things people say you can’t,” Morse added.

For a must-try beer, Morse suggested the Rubescent Zhaftig Ghastly, which has all the roasty, creamy characteristics one would expect in a stout, but pours a vibrant red color.

“It is a brain teaser,” he said.

It’s a Monday night in Grand Rapids. To most that means the mourning of a weekend ended while another work week begins. But tonight something’s different — there are cheers and toasts on the air here at Harmony Brewing Company, located in the Eastown neighborhood.

It’s Grand Rapids Beer Week, and locals have kicked off the festivities with a tap takeover hosting five unique brews that have been created in collaboration with Fermenta: Michigan Women’s Craft Collective.

The beers offer a colorful variety of flavors: from Harmony Brewing Company, an amber ale with beets; from Pike 51, a refreshingly bitter IPA; from Our Brewing Company, a salted caramel milk stout; from Saugatuck Brewing Company, a lemon IPA; and from Unruly Brewing Company, an IPA with black rye. Together on a flight, these selections test the tastebuds in brilliant ways.

“When I came to Ben [Isbell, brewer] and Josh [Chilcote, brewer] about hosting a takeover, they just said ‘sure,’ and got in touch with all of the Grand Rapids distributors to make it happen,” says Manda Geiger.

As a west side local, assistant brewer (Pike 51) and Fermenta member, she said organizing this event was simple because everyone here in the industry are friends.

Celebrating the west side craft industry this week is more than beer — it’s friendship and family.

“The Grand Rapids brewers are very tight-knit. We’re friends who talk everyday,” she says.

This is the week when everyone comes into town. Whether it’s your first time experiencing the west side hospitality or not, the line between strangers and friends becomes family.

“Beer Week here is a family reunion,” says Geiger. “We’ve all grown up together, just as the industry has grown. Some of us have joined other breweries or have left to start their own. But this week everyone comes back.”

Grand Rapids has several more events that feature the spirit of collaboration and friendship in the craft industry this week. And all of the excitement culminates at the Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival this Friday and Saturday. Until then, preview more great beers and craft activities at your local west side breweries and taprooms.

Embrace the beer and the family that this great city offers.

EAST LANSING — Wouldn’t it be cool if…?

This is a phrase commonly used at Short’s Brewing Company for creating different beers, according to Public Relations Coordinator Matt Gacioch. It starts with an idea, goes through a process, and if it works, it works. Something new is born.

This seems to be a familiar method, as Mark and Michele Sellers, owners of Barfly Ventures LLC, asked a similar question before purchasing their own bar.

Wouldn’t it be cool if we owned a bar?

Wouldn’t it be cool if we featured great craft beers from all over the world?

Wouldn’t it be cool if we did the same thing in East Lansing as we are doing in Grand Rapids?

Of course we’re talking about HopCat. On Thursday, HopCat’s East Lansing location opened its doors for the first time with a truly grand opening.

HopCat and Short’s team up

Short’s and HopCat teamed up with its ideas that turned into a world-record breaking 100-tap takeover.

“Creativity and innovation are in the lifeblood of Short’s,” Gacioch said. “Our brewers are constantly exploring how to push the boundaries of craft beer in exciting new ways. Since our founding as a company in 2004, we’ve put out over 300 different beers.”

With that being said, about one-third of the entirety of Short’s beers were showcased Thursday, allowing room for variety.

“The beauty of 100 beers in one place is that everyone in your party may have a different favorite, but that’ll leave everyone happy and more excited about craft beer,” Gacioch added regarding the event.

Due to the limited amount of Short’s beer combined with the high-volume of customers, HopCat offered 8 ounce pours and 4 ounce half-pours throughout the day. Although the pours were small, customers took advantage by trying multiple different beers.

The wait is over

East Lansing is not a stranger to high demand, though. Just like on game day outside of Spartan Stadium, the crowd was in line and eagerly awaiting kickoff, and as the doors opened, the cheers sang like a wave down the long and winding line.

The first people closest to the doors arrived on Wednesday at 9:30 p.m., while others further down arrived at various times throughout the early morning.

Not only did the early birds ensure their pick of the limited Short’s beers, but the first 200 people to the doors also received free crack fries for a year.

Among the first people through the HopCat doors was Sean Rannow, a third year law student at Michigan State University College of Law, who got in line at 2 a.m.

“I’m from Arizona, and we don’t get a lot of craft beers out there,” Rannow said while sipping on Short’s Sweet Taters. “Since I’ve moved here, I’ve gotten into trying different beers. East Lansing needed some new development, and I have been really excited about this.”

Rannow was not only impressed with his beer, but also the hospitality that HopCat showed to those waiting in line.

“They brought us pizza, cookies and energy drinks,” Rannow said.

A firm foundation

While any grand opening has a fresh and new feel to it, HopCat hopes to have that feeling linger.

Opposed to the many normal bars in East Lansing, HopCat wants to be known for something different.

“We are bringing in a place that doesn’t cater to the typical bar crowd,” Garry Boyd, the “Ringleader” said, noting HopCat’s expectation to bring good beer, food and service. The new menu includes items from both HopCat and Stella’s Lounge in Grand Rapids.

While the 100 taps were filled with all Short’s beer during the grand opening event, the 100 taps will continue to be full all of the time from craft breweries around the world. Keeping the taps filled seems like a difficult feat, but not for HopCat. The Grand Rapids location has mastered its 48 tap system, and at the East Lansing location, they are confident in the plan.

“It’s going to move like a river,” Boyd said. “We’ll have a standard 20 beers that are like the little ponds in a river that don’t really move much. We’ll have a few that are like the outside of the river, the slower parts that will be on tap for a couple days to a week. We’ll have some that move a little faster, like a day or two, and some even faster, like the one-offs and experimental beers.”

The East Lansing location will also continue to run specials throughout each week. There will be a “Kill the Keg” Monday special and Sunday specials from Stella’s Lounge, including brunch, a Bloody Mary bar and stuffed burgers.

TRAVERSE CITY — Whether you like it sweet or dry, fruity or woody, 7 Monks will have a cider for you on June 11 at its Michigan Hard Cider Takeover.

Starting at 3 p.m., 20 different ciders will be poured from Michigan cider makers, including:

  • Left Foot Charley
  • Uncle John’s Cider Mill
  • Tandem Ciders
  • Northern Natural Cidery
  • 45 North
  • Black Star Farms
  • Vander Mill
  • Bowers Harbor

“This will be the largest cider tap-takeover in the Midwest,” said Paul Vander Heide, founder and owner of Vander Mill.

“Michigan leads the nation in the number of brands of cider produced per state, and is the third largest state when it comes to growing cider’s main ingredient (apples),” said 7 Monks General Manager Jason Kasdorf. “We’re looking forward to highlighting several of these award-winning Michigan ciders at our event on June 11.”

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