GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. –Founders Brewing Co. has announced the first release of the 2019 Mothership Series. Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout (12.8% ABV) is a complex bourbon barrel-aged stout featuring the warm and roasted characteristics of a thick stout, with the added richness of oak and vanilla notes from the barrel-aging. This beautiful beast of a beer is the fifth release of the Mothership Series and will debut as a Founders taproom-exclusive on January 23.
“This is the biggest, boldest taproom Mothership Series release yet,” said Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki. “We took what’s already a huge beer, Imperial Stout, and aged it in bourbon barrels for not one, but two years. The oak from the barrel complements the cocoa and licorice notes perfectly. This one should go quick!”
The taproom Mothership Series is an ultra-limited, brew team favorite beer series only available at the Founders Grand Rapids and Detroit taprooms. Whether it is an old standby brought out of retirement or an experimental new style, it’s sure to go quickly. The previous Mothership beers have included: Panther Cub, MF Donkey Stout, Sleeper Cell and Red’s Rye IPA. The release of Mothership Series Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout coincides with the first day of Cellar Raid on Wednesday, January 23, five days of taproom exclusive, small batch, barrel-aged and never-before-tapped beers at the Grand Rapids taproom.
Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout will have a retail price of $15.00/6-pack.
About Founders Brewing Co.
Established in 1997 by two craft beer enthusiasts—Dave Engbers and Mike Stevens—with day jobs and a dream, Founders Brewing Co. brews complex, in-your-face ales, with huge aromatics and tons of flavor. Founders ranks among the top 10 largest craft breweries in the U.S. and is one of the fastest growing. The brewery has received numerous awards from the World Beer Cup and the Great American Beer Festival and RateBeer and BeerAdvocate users often rate its beers among the best in the world. A proud sponsor of chasing the American dream, Founders launched the Chase Your What If campaign in January 2019 to inspire all beer fans to live life to its fullest. Located in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, Founders is a member of the Michigan Brewers Guild.
Growing up on Lake Michigan, most of my formative memories include water: getting up on skis, hunting in the shallows for crayfish, night swims. Even in my first memory I’m bobbing up and down in water, floating outside North Manitou in my mother’s arms, eyes fixed on the horizon’s infinite line. The water was healing; communion. Encounters with fire on the other hand were strictly “play.” We contained aerosol can flamethrowers to bursts of pyromania. Raging bonfires were extinguished by a couple buckets of water. Surrounded by the safety of its elemental opposite, I never imagined fire as a threat.
Last month, California was on fire and no one could put it out. For weeks on end the Camp Fire ripped through communities, swallowing forests with its the hellish maw. Now doused, the damage is done and the fire has earned its place as the deadliest in The Golden State’s history. Upwards of 80 people lost their lives and around 20,000 buildings were destroyed. At a minimum, the economic cost will exceed billions.
Perhaps struck hardest by the devastation, the city of Paradise was lost almost entirely to flame. As a Michigan native, this kind of disaster is difficult to comprehend. We complain about snowfall and cool summers, but only on the rarest occasion does nature come for our homes. Just recently the Butte County Sheriff’s Office lifted evacuation orders, permitting survivors to salvage and rebuild what remains of their city. In a majority of cases, families will return to nothing but ash.
Chico, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s home base a couple towns over, was spared a similar fate. Even so, they weren’t left unscathed. With more than 40 employees losing their homes to the fire, Ken Grossman, Sierra Nevada’s founder, felt compelled to do something in the best way he knew how: brewing a beer. And so Resilience Butte County Strong IPA was born. From its inception, Sierra Nevada promised to donate every penny earned from draft and can sales directly to Camp Fire relief, but they also released the beer’s blueprints, hoping others in the industry would brew the same recipe and chip in to the fund. This grassroots movement to recruit local breweries quickly grew into the largest display of synchronized philanthropy the craft community has ever seen—over 1,400 breweries worldwide will donate 100% of the proceeds from their batches of Resilience IPA.
From the sidelines, it’s pretty heartwarming to see craft beer band together like this, and while our reputation for “Midwest Nice” precedes us, the number of Michigan breweries who signed up for the cause still impresses. The Mitten Brewing Company were early adopters, the 19th of all and the first in Michigan. After spotting the call to action on Facebook, brewer Jeff Williams immediately reached out to participate. “We do a lot of charity work as is, so this jives with how the company works,” Williams said. “The grain is getting donated, the hops are getting donated, basically we’re just donating our time, so why wouldn’t we do this? It’s unfathomable what that fire did, gulping down football fields in seconds.”
Williams’ nonchalance makes the project sound like a no-brainer, but his attitude reveals how ingrained cooperation is into his, and craft beer’s, core values. Extending help to strangers thousands of miles away exemplifies the spirit of craft beer as a means of aid, not selfishness. As co-brewer at the Mitten, Jon VanderPloeg puts it, “One of the reasons I’m here is because of that culture. Not just to make a huge pile of money. We didn’t do anything but make a batch of beer, but there was an organization willing to say this isn’t all about profit, this is about helping people.” Available on draft Thursday, December 20th, their recipe deviates to feature 100% Michigan grown ingredients: hops from Michigan Hop Alliance, malt from Empire and Motor City Malt, and yeast they’ve cultivated in house. Essentially, it’s a big high five from a group of Michiganders who have come to care about their community at large.
With their version of Resilience set to hit draft lines this weekend, City Built Brewing Company’s head brewer, Dave Petroelje, joined the chorus of support as well. In our conversation, Petroelje shed light on his personal connection to fire. “The Resilience IPA project has a special meaning to me because I grew up in Northern California. One of my sisters lives an hour away from Paradise. Now every time I go to visit her, I always think, when is a fire going to come through her part of California?” As the climate continues to warm, and droughts and fires intensify, it’s a scary question to ponder. “Everybody thinks about earthquakes when it comes to California disasters, but fires are quickly becoming even more destructive,” Petroelje said. If this is only the prelude to what California can expect in the coming decades, it’s at least a comfort to know that there’s a global net of goodwill waiting when the going gets tough. “Corporate social responsibility is a big part of the brewing culture here in West Michigan and Founders and Vivant have set that standard in a lot of ways,” Petroejle said.
To see Founders throw their hat in the ring only proves him right. Their Resilience IPA went on at the Grand Rapids taproom December 15th, providing much needed optics for the relief fund. Jeremy Kosmicki, head brewer at Founders, shared his reverence for the Californian operation. “Sierra is one of the most respected brewers in the country, so when they ask for help, they have a lot of pull.”
Rockford, Mich — Rockford Brewing Company will be hosting a weekend long party on Friday December 21 and Saturday December 22 to celebrate its 6th year of business. Attendees can expect a specialty food menu, discounts, beer releases, live music and more.
On Friday December 21 from 11 am – midnight, patrons can bring in a stein and fill it with 32 ounces of select beer for $5, enjoy a Bavarian themed menu, and also have a chance to win gift cards and mug club memberships throughout the day. Popular country/pop artist Kari Lynch will be performing at 8:30 p.m. In addition to food, beer and entertainment, Rockford Brewing Company gift cards will be discounted as followed: $20 for $25 gift card or $40 for a $50 gift card.
The following day, Saturday, December 22, will be a holiday extravaganza with holiday-themed trivia (teams of four) starting at 4 p.m. with mug club memberships for the winning team, an ugly sweater party, “A Charles Dickens Christmas” inspired menu, and a holiday set from local rockabilly band Delilah DeWylde and the Lost Boys at 8:30 p.m. Plus, all merchandise will be 50% off.
Rockford Brewing Company will be releasing two new beers: an imperial oatmeal coffee stout, and an amber ale.
Seth Rivard, Co-owner of Rockford Brewing Company, comments on their growth over the years, “We’ve had an exciting six years in the Rockford community and now we want to throw a party for all of those who supported us,“ said Rivard. “Since inception we’ve opened a kitchen, started bottling and canning our brews and putting them into statewide distribution, won awards, and more. We not only want to celebrate our business, but the customers and staff who have helped us get to where we are today.”
Rockford Brewing Company focuses on three things: quality, community, and culture. Founded in 2011 along the scenic Rogue River and White Pine Trail, RBC believes in celebrating the drinking and food culture from around the world while utilizing the best ingredients West Michigan has to offer. They are also a music and artist venue, showcasing local talent and providing a gathering space for all. Brewing beers and creating food that are both innovative and familiar, RBC is your home away from home.
Sales of LOVE IPA, a red India Pale Ale brewed for the cause, or a LOVE tee, hoodie or glass will support Safe Haven Ministries: a Grand Rapids organization dedicated to serving women and children who have suffered domestic abuse.
“Helping families in our area this winter is as easy as enjoying the Michigan beer and apparel you already love,” said Scott Zubrickas, co-owner of The Mitten State.
The fundraiser kicks off on November 21 and will continue until the companies have raised $10,000 for Safe Haven Ministries. The funds will underwrite shelter costs for area women and children seeking safety from domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse is a prevalent issue nationwide: one in three women have been victims of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime, according to a national report from the CDC. The problem pervades Grand Rapids, too.
“Last year, our two companies came together to grant money to our Westside neighbors in need of heating assistance. We noticed that the bulk of the applications came from women, but more interesting was that they were all survivors of domestic abuse,” said Dana Mate Dones, president of Mitten Foundation, Inc. “This year we understood that the best approach to helping was through the experts in the subject, Safe Haven.”
Safe Haven Ministries provides emergency shelter, case management, support groups and more to women and children suffering from domestic abuse. The organization also provides education and prevention programs for businesses, schools, healthcare providers and other members of the community.
LOVE IPA will be sold only at The Mitten Brewing Company’s Grand Rapids location at 527 Leonard St NW. LOVE branded apparel and goods will be available for purchase online at themittenstate.com or at The Mitten State shop at 415 Bridge St NW.
“We’re confident that with the help of our amazing customers we can meet our goal and ensure that area women and children in crisis are safe and warm this winter season,” said Chris Andrus, co-owner of The Mitten Brewing Company.
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.
Auburn Hills, Mich – Craft beer lovers can add this must-have item to their holiday wish list: The 12 Days of Milkshake Stout Seasonal 12 Pack. Given the popularity and consumer demand for these beers, Rochester Mills has increased production and expanded distribution of their holiday edition 12-pack, which will be released on November 5. This package features one 16 oz can of each beer in this year’s 12 Days of Milkshake Stout promotion, just in time to get the perfect gift for the craft beer lover on your shopping list.
“We never cease to be amazed by the popularity of these beers. What began as a crazy idea to take twelve different versions of our Milkshake Stout to twelve bars over twelve days has grown into a holiday tradition,” said Rochester Mills Vice President of Brewing Operations Eric Briggeman. “Because we have sold-out of the 12 packs each year, we continue to increase production and now expanded distribution hoping to meet the growing demand from retailers and consumers.”
The Rochester Mills Production Brewery and Taproom in Auburn Hills will begin selling 12 Packs at 11 AM on Monday, November 5th, 2018. Consumers will also find the 12 packs at better beer stores across Michigan, select locations in Northern Ohio, and now Indiana. The brewery has also made special arrangements to ship a limited quantity to Alberta and New Brunswick Canada as well as the Netherlands, making this a truly international phenomenon. The Taproom will also join more than twenty other select premium craft beer bars and restaurants throughout Michigan as host locations for a progressive tap takeover event featuring the 12 Days of Milkshake on draft, December 1-12, 2018. Admission is free and open to the public, ages 21 and up.
The progressive tap takeover event will feature the (12) twelve specialty and limited edition variants of Milkshake Stout™, Rochester Mills’ flagship beer brand. Each night a new variety of stout will be tapped and stay on draft until the keg runs dry.
2018 12 Days of Milkshake Tap List (NOT in order of release) and contents of 12 pack:
Ferndale, Mich. — B. Nektar will be hosting a bottle release party for the first release of the branded beverage line made for American Gods, a FremantleMedia North America TV series that airs on STARZ, inspired by the award-winning novel written by Neil Gaiman.
Believe is a mead made from orange blossom honey and fresh-pressed Michigan cider.
Bottles and pours available in the B. Nektar Taproom.
Also available on 11/10 is Gin Barrel Aged Scurvy Shyster Bastard – Orange blossom honey, Gewurztraminer grapes, grapefruit juice, elderflower, hops and grapefruit zest. Aged in Gin Barrels for 5 months. 12%