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GRAND RAPIDS, MICH – Back by popular demand, Brewery Vivant to release “Fat Paczki” on Tuesday February 13, 2018 to coincide with Paczki Day and Mardi Gras celebrations. The 8% ABV beer is simply a classic paczki ale— an amber ale brewed with 15lbs of dried prunes and powdered sugar. Prepare for ripened plum and raisin notes, while the confectioner’s sugar adds a sweet backend mouthfeel.

This is the third year in a row the brewery has released the celebration beer. When Vivant first brewed Fat Paczki in 2015, it was just a novelty. Head brewer, Jacob Derylo admits it came about as a fun experiment. “We’re here in West Michigan,” He says, “Over half our brewing team has some Polish heritage. We were inspired by the culture and the ingredients locally available. Paczki are everywhere this time of year!” The annual release is now a fan favorite, both on draft and in 16oz pint cans only available at the Pub. The first 100 folks to order a pint at the Pub on February 13 will receive a fresh baked paczki donut from Pastry Chef, Katy Waltz. Doors open at 3pm.

Also on February 13, Brewery Vivant to release it’s highly acclaimed “Love Shadow”, the 12% ABV bourbon barrel aged Imperial stout— just in time for Valentine’s Day. The beer is available on draft and in 16oz pint cans while supplies last. As an additional treat, the brewers and kitchen staff teamed up to brew two exclusive variants of the stout. Pastry chef Katy Waltz made 5 pounds of beignets, the New Orleans French inspired donut and offered them up, along with real raspberry puree, to one of the bourbon barrels holding 53 gallons of Love Shadow. Then sous chef Vanessa Aguilar toasted baking sheets full of shredded coconut to mingle with another barrel of beer. The two versions, Raspberry Beignet Love Shadow and Toasted Coconut Love Shadow will be tapped at 3pm along with the original Love Shadow.

Love Shadow will see limited distribution throughout Michigan on draft and in pint cans in conjunction with the Pub release.

About Brewery Vivant
Brewery Vivant promotes living the good life by brewing farmhouse inspired beer, serving a from-scratch menu and building a sustainable community one beer at a time. The brewery employees around 65 employees and is located in the East Hills neighborhood of Grand Rapids, in a renovated funeral chapel built in the early 1900s. Husband and wife partners Jason and Kris Spaulding opened the doors for business in December of 2010. Vivant beers are distributed throughout Michigan and Massachusetts. They are the first commercial brewery in the nation to receive Silver LEED Certification from the USGBC. Additionally they are 100% renewably powered, a gold ­level Bicycle Friendly Business, and are a certified B Corporation. Beer the Change®!

The post Brewery Vivant celebrates Paczki Day in Grand Rapids appeared first on MittenBrew.

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Grand Rapids, Mich – Grand Rapids-based Long Road Distillers will release a new, limited-release liqueur on Valentine’s Day, Wednesday, February 14, beginning at 4 pm. The release of Long Road Raspberry Liqueur coincides with several other special offerings at the distillery for the holiday, including cocktail and chocolate pairings, and featured food and drinks.

Long Road Raspberry Liqueur is made with Michigan raspberries from DeLange’s Redberry Farm in nearby Hudsonville, Michigan. It will be available in limited quantities at the distillery in Grand Rapids next week, and at select retailers and restaurants beginning at the end of the month.

“We’re beginning to experiment more and more with liqueurs and other specialty spirits,” says Jon O’Connor, co-owner of Long Road Distillers. “With the diversity and abundance of agriculture that we have access to all around us in West Michigan, we have plenty of opportunities to partner with local farmers to try something new.”

For the Valentine’s Day release, Long Road will be offering half-off pours of the Raspberry Liqueur, in addition to half-off cocktails featuring the new spirit, all evening. Visitors will also have the opportunity to bring a bottle home with them.

“The timing for this release worked out perfectly,” according to Kyle VanStrien, co-owner of Long Road Distillers. “We can’t imagine a better spirit to highlight on Valentine’s Day and to pair with the chocolates we’re featuring that evening.”

In addition to the release of Long Road Raspberry Liqueur, the distillery is hosting a Cocktails, Chocolates and Spirits Pairing featuring Mokaya chocolates that were handcrafted using Long Road Spirits. Two seatings are available – at 7:00 and 8:30 pm – and the event will be hosted in the Rickhouse, the second floor special events space at the distillery. Mokaya chocolates will also be available to purchase in 4-packs to bring home, or as a pairing with your food and drinks in the restaurant.

The post Long Road Distillers Releasing Raspberry Liqueur for your Valentine appeared first on MittenBrew.

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SPRINGFIELD, Mich. – Territorial Brewing Company, a brewery in Springfield that specializes in brewing lagers, announced it has expanded brewing operations into a new production facility to meet increased demand by beer lovers, bars and restaurants in Battle Creek.

The first batch of beer was brewed at the new location on Dec. 4, 2017.

“We have struggled to brew enough beer and keep up with demand since first opening in November of 2014, and this new location will allow us to keep up with demand while staying true to the beers we love to make,” said Tim Davis, co-owner of Territorial Brewing Company.

Up until December, Territorial was brewing beer in a space shared with its restaurant kitchen.

“The space was incredibly cramped and we were constantly getting in the way of the kitchen staff, and vice versa,” Davis said. “In fact, it got so bad that we resorted to only brewing beer at night, when the kitchen was closed. This new location will allow us to brew beer on a more consistent schedule and keep up with demand.”

Territorial produces mostly lager beers, which take considerably longer to ferment than ales. This limits the overall volume of beer Territorial can produce in a given time.

“Territorial Brewing Company excels at brewing German-inspired beers that require a lengthy fermentation time and keen attention to detail, and this new production facility will allow them to meet the growing demand for these high-quality lagers,” said Bud Dunn, president of Atlas Sales Inc. “We’re proud to work hand-in-hand with small craft brewers like Territorial Brewing Company to help them grow and succeed.”

The new production brewery is not open to the public. However, the original restaurant and taproom, located at 256 N Helmer Road, will remain open.

“We’re proud to serve as a gathering place for so many customers who live and work nearby and thank them for their loyalty as we worked through our behind-the-scenes growing pains the last three years,” said Charles Grantier, co-owner of Territorial Brewing Company.

 “As Battle Creek’s only brewery, we want to help make Battle Creek and Springfield a fun, vibrant community and a destination for visitors near and far,” Davis said.

The post New production Facility for Territorial Brewing Company appeared first on MittenBrew.

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Brew Export recently announced it will be shipping over 100 different midwest beer products to be served at BrewDog Bars throughout the United Kingdom.

BrewDog is the United Kingdom’s largest independent craft brewery based in Ellon, Scotland. The brewer also operates an estate of bars with 50 craft beer venues around the world, all of which are dedicated to the exploration of craft beer.

Now, with the help of Brew Export, visitors to some of those bars can get a taste of the midwest.

The breweries represented in the shipment are Dark Horse Brewing Company, Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, Speciation Artisan Ales, Greenbush Brewing Company, Latitude 42 Brewing Company, Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing, 18th Street Brewery, Central Waters Brewing Company, and Rochester Mills Brewing Company.

Shannon Long

Exporting such a diverse selection of craft beer from an inland location is a challenge. Many craft breweries choose not to do it because of the cost and time-intensive nature of the process. The premise of Brew Export, founded in 2015 by Shannon Long, is to facilitate those complex shipments.

“We manage the international sales for a variety of breweries across the United States so they can focus on making excellent beers; Brew Export handles everything else,” Long said.

In the process, Brew Export is able to provide importers overseas with the variety they’re thirsty for.

“What international buyers like BrewDog are looking for is variety,” Long said. That means many unique products from multiple businesses–in layman’s terms: a lot of paperwork.

“Not many people are willing to put in the effort to give smaller breweries a chance to ship internationally,” Long said. “Brew Export is doing it, and we’re doing it more often.”

“We are excited to have so many fresh midwest products coming to BrewDog bars,” said Dan Muldoon, head of range and planning at BrewDog. “This was only made possible by working with Brew Export.”

Among the breweries included is Dark Horse Brewing Company in Marshall, Michigan, which has been working with Brew Export since its early days as a business. The brewery will be sending four pallets of its beer in the shipment.

“We love working with Brew Export, because Shannon and Brew Export simplify exportation for us,” said Aaron Morse, owner and CEO of Dark Horse Brewing Company.

Brew Export currently works with nearly 40 breweries across the United States to export their beers overseas. The company intends to consolidate shipments of similar complexity with more regularity in 2018.

“This is something we can offer to importers around the world,” Long said.

More than half of the breweries Brew Export currently exports are located in the Midwest, Long said. This isn’t a coincidence.

“The Midwest is often overlooked when it comes to shipping, because it isn’t on a coast,” Long said. That means additional costs and paperwork for inland shipping to get shipments on a boat and then overseas.

“I would say the Midwest has been significantly underrepresented in the international market,” Long said. “One of the goals of Brew Export is to change that, and not only represent it, but represent it as the best beer in the world.”

About Brew Export

Brew Export provides expert navigation of compliance, logistics, and international marketing for the export and import of American craft beers. It is their mission to establish the United States as the preeminent source for exceptional craft beer throughout the world.

Facebook  Instagram  Twitter

Images courtesy Brew Export

The post Michigan Craft Beer heading to BrewDog Bars in UK appeared first on MittenBrew.

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Grand Rapids, Mich. – Experience Grand Rapids announces the second annual Beer Month GR, celebrating Grand Rapids’ award-winning craft breweries through collaborative events including Cool Brews. Hot Eats., the 13th Annual Winter Beer Festival, KBS Week, Tree Beer, and more. The month-long celebration beginsThursday, Feb. 15 and concludes Thursday, Mar. 15.

Throughout Beer Month GR, over 50 area restaurants and breweries will participate in the sixth annual Cool Brews. Hot Eats., which will showcase Grand Rapids’ unique craft beer and food scene. Cool Brews. Hot Eats. participants will offer beer-infused dishes throughout the month-long celebration.

Experience Grand Rapids will continue to offer its Beer City Brewsader® Passport program throughout Beer Month GR, which encourages craft beer lovers to visit eight Grand Rapids’ breweries in exchange for an official Brewsader® T-shirt. There will be additional prizes and incentives for those who become a Brewsader® during Beer Month GR. Extreme craft beer enthusiasts can also visit all 35 breweries to become an Ultimate Brewsader® and unlock exclusive deals and discounts.

Beer Month GR also includes the 13th Annual Winter Beer Festival on Friday, Feb. 23 from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 24 from 1 to 6 p.m. located at Fifth Third Ballpark. The Winter Beer Festival will feature more than 1,000 different craft beers from nearly 30 Michigan breweries, entertainment, and food for purchase. Tickets for Saturday, Feb. 24 are sold out, but guests can still purchase tickets for Friday, Feb. 23.

Experience Grand Rapids and GR Hopper have partnered together to provide hotel shuttle transportation from 12-area hotels for $10 round trip. For more information, visit here.

Also during Beer Month GR, Founders Brewing Co. will celebrate its fifth annual KBS Week, March 5-10. The weeklong celebration honors the highly anticipated release of Founder’s award-winning Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS). Throughout KBS Week, participating restaurants and breweries will host exclusive Taproom Release Parties. KBS Week Hotel Packages are also available and will include limited edition KBS gear.

In order to give back to local parks and community spaces, local brewers are partnering with Friends of Grand Rapids’ Parks (FGRP) to create tree-themed beers that will be featured throughout Beer Month GR. This year’s Tree Beer Release Party will take place at Harmony Hall on Thursday, Feb. 15 at 5:30 p.m. This year’s limited release Tree Beer will be available throughout Beer Month GR, or while supplies last. All Tree Beer proceeds will benefit FGRP’s Grand Rapids Urban Forest Project for tree plantings in the community.

The post ADVENTURE IS BREWING: SECOND ANNUAL BEER MONTH GR appeared first on MittenBrew.

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Standing on the shore of Lake Superior at night, lit only by the moon or maybe the northern lights, you get a sense of how big the lake is. Without being able to see it bleed into the horizon and understand its expanse visually, your only metric is the sound of waves crashing around you. On a windy night, it’s loud. The breeze and cacophony thrill—this is not where one goes to be lulled to sleep.

It’s an exhilarating feeling. You might feel inclined to bottle it.

Speciation Artisan Ales has done just that.

The brewery recently announced the release of its first-ever spontaneously brewed beer: “The Laurentian Series: Lake Superior.”

The sour golden ale was brewed using the risky process of spontaneous fermentation, which involves exposing the beer to wild, airborne yeast. It’s the first in a series of beers to be brewed on the shores of each Great Lake.

In early March 2017, Mitch and Whitney Ermatinger, co-founders of Speciation Artisan Ales, drove to Marquette, Michigan, with a mobile coolship in tow. They brewed the beer at Ore Dock Brewing Company, transferred the wort into the coolship’s stainless steel tanks and hauled it to the shores of Lake Superior to cool and collect yeast via lake breeze overnight.

“Then we closed it up and drove it back across the Mackinac Bridge back down to Speciation,” Whitney Ermatinger said.

After nearly a year of aging in oak barrels, the result is now bottled and slated for release.

The beer is intended to capture the unique terroir of Marquette and Lake Superior, deriving its flavor primarily from the unique cocktail of microbes collected from the air on that particular March night.

“We designed the beer to basically be a free, blank slate so that the yeast could express itself,” said Mitch Ermatinger. “But it did sit in oak barrels for a while, so there’s definitely some oak influence as well.”

The result offers aromas of hay, sweet dough and stone fruit, along with the oak character of the barrels.

Individuals from the limited run of 400 corked and caged bottles can be reserved via Eventbrite on Feb. 3 at noon. Bottles will sell for $32 each.

The Laurentian Series is a tribute to the Great Lakes. Everything from the beer to the packaging salutes the lakes’ surrounding culture and efforts for their protection.

The bottles will be adorned with a wood label made from locally sourced maple veneer, designed by Elizabeth VanStee. David McKie created the label artwork inspired by two Ojibwe myths: the Lake Superior Merman and the Lake Superior Water Panther, Misshepezhieu. A portion of the beer’s proceeds will be donated to the National Wildlife Federation in support of the organization’s work protecting the Great Lakes against the threat of the Line 5 oil pipeline.

“The lakes are important to us, and we want to pay homage to them and our heritage and our culture,” Whitney Ermatinger said.

Each beer in The Laurentian Series will be spontaneously brewed, making them unreplicable snapshots of specific moments in specific places on the lakes’ shores. It’s a cost-intensive process that depends on many uncontrollable variables.

“This is the hardest and most labor-intensive and risky way of making beer,” Mitch Ermatinger said.

While the Ermatingers intend to brew on the shores of the remaining four Great Lakes this year, the success of those batches is far from guaranteed.

“There will be many barrels that we’ll have to dump, just because they didn’t collect the right microbes that night,” said Mitch Ermatinger. “It’s just part of the risk, and also part of what makes the beer really unique.”

Nevertheless, the Ermatingers will give each lake a couple of tries, as needed. And they will continue to use the spontaneous brewing method for future releases.

“This is where we see our brand heading,” said Whitney Ermatinger.

“We’ve kind of been capped at extreme beer,” said Mitch Ermatinger, referencing IPAs with high IBUs and imperial stouts with high ABVs.

“This is what we see as being the next big thing in beer,” he said.

Photos: courtesy Speciation Artisan Ales

The post Speciation Artisan Ales Releases First Spontaneously Brewed Ale appeared first on MittenBrew.

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KALAMAZOO, Mich – The Michigan Brewers Guild recently elected its 2018 Board of Directors at its annual meeting, January 13, at the Kalamazoo Radisson Plaza Hotel. Each board position is a two-year term, elected in alternating years (4, 3).

The conference was a record-breaker in many ways for the organization, with more than 525 attendees and 112 vendors in the Allied Member Trade Show. The Guild also reported a record 245 member breweries during the Annual Meeting—an increase of 22 members since the previous January.

This year, four people were elected to the Guild board:

  • Ryan Cottongim, Owner of Witch’s Hat Brewing Company in South Lyon, was re-elected to serve his second term on the board, and will serve as the Guild’s Secretary.
  • Scott Newman-Bale, Vice President of Short’s Brewing Company in Bellaire, was re-elected to his fifth term and will once again serve as the Guild’s Treasurer.
  • David Ringler, Owner of Cedar Springs Brewing Company in Cedar Springs, was elected to his first term on the board.
  • Chas Thompson, Beer Engineer at Schmohz Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, was appointed in 2017 to fill a vacancy on the board and he was elected to his first term on the board.

Additional board members include:

  • Eric Briggeman, Director of Brewing Operations at Rochester Mills Production Brewery, continues his seventh term on the board and will serve his eleventh year as Guild President.
  • Isaac Hartman, “Ambassador of Great Beer” from New Holland Brewing Company, continues his fifth term on the board of directors.
  • Garry Boyd, Managing Partner at BarFly Ventures (HopCat & Grand Rapids Brewing) continues his second term on the board and chairs the organization’s sustainability and quality committees.

The Michigan Brewers Guild is the network of innovative and passionate brewers that serves as the recognized advocate for the Michigan craft beer industry. The mission of the Guild is to promote and protect the Michigan craft beer industry with an overarching goal to help craft beer acquire 20% of the market by 2025.

Michigan’s thriving brewing industry conservatively contributes more than $144 million in wages with a total economic contribution of more than $600 million. In terms of overall number of breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs, Michigan ranks #6 in the nation – thus supporting its claim as “The Great Beer State.”

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PHOTO © BREWERS ASSOCIATION

Boulder, CO —The Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s small and independent craft brewers—today announced that founder and past president Charlie Papazian will exit the Brewers Association on January 23, 2019, marking his 70th birthday and 40 years building the craft brewing community and inspiring brewers and beer lovers around the world.

“We are all here today because of Charlie Papazian,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO, Brewers Association. “His influence on the homebrewing and craft brewing community is immeasurable. Who could have predicted that a simple wooden spoon, ingenuity and passion would spawn a community of more than one million homebrewers and 6,000 small and independent U.S. craft breweries.”

Charlie Papazian, founder of the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) and the Association of Brewers, set the stage for homebrewing back in the 1970s. His expertise and friendly tone assured people that making good beer was possible at home. He stressed his catchphrase of “Relax. Don’t worry. Have a homebrew” in his first book, The Complete Joy of Homebrewing and inspired millions to pick up the hobby of homebrewing.

In 1978, Papazian, along with Charlie Matzen, formed the AHA in Boulder, CO. They published the first issue of Zymurgy magazine, announcing the new organization, publicizing the federal legalization of homebrewing and calling for entries in the first AHA National Homebrew Competition. Today, the AHA is more than 46,000 members strong.

In 1982, Papazian debuted the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Boulder, CO. Now in its 37th year, GABF is the largest ticketed beer festival in North America with more than 60,000 attendees annually and its accompanying competition is one of the most coveted awards in the brewing industry.

The following year, the Association of Brewers was organized to include the AHA and the Institute for Brewing and Fermentation Studies to assist the emerging microbrewery movement in US. By 2005, the Association of Brewers and the Brewers’ Association of America merged to form the Brewers Association.

When asked, “Charlie, did you ever imagine that beer would become this?” His answer is always yes.

“I had a playful vision that there would be a homebrewer in every neighborhood and a brewery in every town. But what I did not imagine, couldn’t imagine, never considered, was the impact that craft brewing would have on our culture, economy and American life,” mused Papazian.

Papazian will spend his final year at the BA completing many projects, including a craft brewing history archive project. The archive will house 40 years of craft beer history in the form of more than 100,000 publications, photographs, audiotapes, films, videos, and documents—including 140 video interviews of the pioneers of American craft brewing—and will be accessible to researchers via the BA. He will also deliver the keynote address at the AHA’s 40th annual National Homebrew Conference, “Hombrew Con,” in Portland, OR on Thursday, June 28.

Brewers and homebrewers are invited to share their well wishes and Charlie Papazian stories on the AHA and BA Facebook pages.

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We’ll admit, on occasion, it’s really good to be us. Founders Brewing Co. did something they rarely do, and we had the honor to be a part of it. They broke character, and extended an exclusive invitation to a very short list of trusted writers and photographers in craft media across the U.S. to peak behind the curtain at what makes them and what they do so unique.

Unprecedented, they offered a private tour of the caves where all of their Barrel-aged Series and experimental one-offs hibernate until Jason Heystek, VP Lead Guitar, and Jeremy Kosmicki, Brewmaster, say, “They’re ready.”

Jason Heystek & Jeremy Kosmicki,

The caves—yes, literal caves—are naturally held between 40°-55° F, perfect for cellaring beer. Founders has access to a figurative gold mine, spiderwebbed throughout old gypsum mines approximately 85’ underground, somewhere beneath the streets of Grand Rapids. Well, we know where they’re located. With a little Googling, the savvy can find them, too. But. Unless you know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy, you’re not getting in, or in the elevator.

We spent the day rubbing elbows with Founders’ founders, Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers, talking 20 years of history filled with hits and their fair share of misses, but zero regrets.

Mike Stevens & Dave Engbers

Heystek and Kosmicki were our personal tour guides. With screwdriver and rubber mallet in rubber-gloved hands, Heystek casually displayed why he’s the man. Repeatedly dipping a barrel thief (sanitized every time, we might add) into vintages of popular limited releases being secretly aged in brandy or scotch scotch barrels, experimental recipes with fruit and salt in gin barrels, or KBS (who cares what year?!), Heystek let us drink straight from the barrel beer that most people will never know existed. We were only able to drink after we picked our jaws up off the floor. We can say now that, at the time, we saw barrels of CBS, but weren’t able to talk about it. They even made us prick our finger and sign an NDA. Trust us, it took everything we had not to spill the beans.

After we reemerged, we also visited Founders’ new production facility, which defies comprehensible size. Let’s just say it’s big enough to house some of the estimated 15,000 barrels from the caves when they’re finally ready to see Founders’ Taproom, or hit distribution—if the rest of the world is as lucky as Grand Rapids.

We were gifted an experience you can’t put a price tag on. We’re talkin’ Golden Ticket access: level Charlie Bucket. Here’s proof.

Photography: Steph Harding

The post Do You Even Cellar Beer, Bro? appeared first on MittenBrew.

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FRANKFORT, Mich -­- The PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics begin this February but patrons at Stormcloud Brewing Company are already enjoying the thrill of one cold weather, Olympic event – the sport of Curling.
 
For a third winter in a row, the northern Michigan microbrewery has constructed an outdoor curling sheet next to its pub in downtown Frankfort. The curling sheet is host to a 12-team Curling League that meets on Thursday nights and Sunday afternoons, in addition to Learn to Curl Lessons on Saturdays with instruction from the Traverse City Curling Club.
 
“Anyone who lives in northern Michigan all winter long knows it’s essential to stay active,” says Stormcloud’s co-owner Rick Schmitt. “When we first looked into using our outdoor space next to the pub for a wintertime activity, curling immediately came to mind. It’s a fun sport that people of all ages can enjoy.”
 
Due to space limitations, Stormcloud’s curling sheet is approximately half the length of an official curling sheet. Also, the stones are smaller to compensate for the shorter sheet. Otherwise, the rules are the same. Curling is similar to the sport of shuffleboard with two teams sliding granite stones across the curling sheet and towards a circular target on the ice. Players use a curling broom to sweep the ice in the path of the stone to help guide it. Team points are scored for stones closest to the target area.
 
On top of adding four more teams to this year’s Curling League, Stormcloud is offering private 90-minute lessons to groups with a minimum of eight people. “This is the third year we’ve built the curling sheet and it gets more popular every winter,” says Schmitt.

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