Craft brewers have been aging their beers in whisky barrels and otherwise creating beers with whisky flavors for some time. Now, a Grand Rapids, Michigan distillery is returning the favor on the opposite end.
Long Road Distillers, an award- winning distillery, is partnering with four different Grand Rapids breweries to release a series of beer- influenced whiskies. Dubbed the Long Road Beer City Whisky Series, the collaboration effort begins with the release of Mitten Country Strong Malt Whisky, available at Long Road’s West Side Distillery starting on May 23, at 4 p.m. Long Road Distillery is turning two years old and the release has been timed to coincide with this moment of celebration.
Jon O’Connor, Long Road Distillers co- owner and co- founder, says the decision to collaborate with breweries was a cinch, considering the influence of craft beer in the area.
“We’re proud to be part of the craft beverage scene in Grand Rapids,” said O’Connor. “We credit the breweries in this City with laying the groundwork for folks like us to open up and be successful – they’ve earned us the title of Beer City USA and we wanted to create a product that celebrated the collaborative nature of the industry here.”
As most of you are likely already aware, whisky and beer share much in common. Whiskey is, in many respects, distilled beer anyway, so a collaboration such as this makes practical sense. Long Road Distillers obtained brewers mash from each of the four partner breweries and from this, they distilled the mixture into malt whisky. To add the necessary finishing touch, the whisky was then aged in American Oak barrels for 12 to 24 months.
Mitten Country Strong Malt Whisky was created in collaboration with Mitten Brewing Company, using mash from the brewery’s Mitten Country Strong IPA. The other three breweries to share in this business partnership are Perrin Brewing Company, Harmony Brewing Company, and Greyline Brewing. Each of the other three collaboration efforts will debut at the distillery over the next three months, in extremely limited release.
Kyle VanStrien, Long Road Distillers other co- founder and co- owner, says the partnership with area breweries is one that will please the palates of both craft beer and whisky fans.
“We’re excited to share this collaborative spirit with others,” said VanStrien. “There’s nothing better than working with friends to create something unique and new. I think these whiskies will excite everyone from the craft beer aficionado to the adventurous whisky drinker!”
For more information on these collaborations and the award winning liquors produced at Long Road Distillers, visit online at www.LongRoadDistillers.com. To keep up via social media, be sure to follow Long Road Distillers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.