Upcoming Bottle Release: Vers l'Avant

Our family of bottled brews is growing with Vers l'Avant Golden Lager! This funky, delicious beer was aged in California chardonnay barrels and infused with Michigan Bartlett pear juice for a complex, tart, softly sweet flavor profile. Like Massacre, our bourbon barrel aged Imperial Dark Lager, we're putting Vers l'Avant in four-packs. Unlike Massacre, Vers l'Avant is getting the champagne treatment: each bottle will be individually topped with gold foil. 

Why Vers l'Avant? The short answer is, we wanted to shake things up a bit. So many of our draft-only beers (of which Vers l'Avant was one until now) are off-the-wall, crazy-delicious, and just not what you'd expect when you hear the word "lager." As a part of our mission to spread the lager love wherever we can, one of our favorite things is to subvert people's expectations -- when "pale, fizzy, and over-carbed" are their key associated words with "lager," we like to throw something wild at them. Maybe something with fruit, barrel-aged character, and white wine notes...

Enter Vers l'Avant. The name means "forward" in French, and we think it will propel your idea of lagers forward by leaps and bounds. For a little more on Vers l'Avant, here's head brewer Oliver Roberts: 

Q: What's your inspiration behind creating Vers l'Avant? What made creating this beer especially intriguing? 

A: I developed the recipe almost four years ago knowing I wanted to age it white wine barrels. It was a beer recipe that had no style designation to call home. I knew it needed
the white wine barrel character to complete the concept. The issue was, when I put it all together, it was missing something. It needed a hook! I couldn't think of anything, so I shelved the beer. 
A couple years later, when I was looking for cherry juice for another beer, I saw that a Michigan company produced a Bartlett pear juice concentrate. It smacked me in the face, and we went ahead with making the beer.

Q: What do you want to express to people through Vers l'Avant? 

A: Vers l'avant is a beer that deserves a lot attention. When the wine barrels get here, they aren't beat up like bourbon barrels. The barrels are pristine. A wine maker took very good care of them and so we continue that with the liquid that goes inside. The distinct subtleties of the oak barrels and the balance of pear sweetness...it feels like we are painting a picture with Vers l'Avant. Production brewing can be taxing on the creative side,  so the fact that we are really delving into the artistic side comes across with each sip. 

Q: What does this beer say about you as a brewer and the brewery as a whole? 

A: This beer says we care. We care deeply about beer as a living thing that has to be nurtured and matured to a point where you can release for people to enjoy and critique, and no sooner. No other beer we've made is like Vers l'Avant. It is completely different from anything we've put into bottles before. We are proud of it. It is unique and really tasty, so we think beer lovers should pay more attention to what we do here. Our maxim is that our beer is more important than any one individual. Everything we do everyday at work is for the beer. Not for us.

Vers l'Avant will hit shelves in select markets at the end of April. Stay tuned to our instagram (@wolverinestatebrewingco) for release information, sneak peeks of packaging, and the bottling process!

We're going to SAVOR!

We're so excited to tell everyone the news: We were one of 86 breweries nationwide to be selected to participate in SAVOR, billed as the nation's premier beer and food pairing event!

Each brewery is required to send head brewer or owner representation as well as two beers, which are paired ahead of time with specially crafted small plates. Raucher Smoked Lager - our 2016 Great American Beer Festival Gold and 2016 World Beer Cup Bronze medal winner - and Barista Coffee Lager, one of our most popular specialty brews, were selected to go. 

This year's event takes place in Washington, D.C. at the National Building Museum. Tickets are available online here.

For a full press release, please visit our Media Resources page. 

Holy Sh*t, It's December.

Yup, looks like December in there

Yup, looks like December in there

Wow, is all we can say. Time flies when you're having fun!

2016 was certainly full of surprises. Some people happen to hate surprises. Like most, we fall in the middle -- as in, we ignore the bad surprises and CELEBRATE the good ones! Winning a bronze medal from the World Beer Cup for Raucher was pretty cool. Winning a gold medal from the Great American Beer Festival for that same beer made us click our heels. Getting picked up by Kroger statewide and busting into new territories made us cheese so hard. And even though completing our expansion and debuting new flagship packaging weren't exactly surprises, we were PRETTY THRILLED when they happened.

It's been a fun year.

So celebrate with us!

Fa-La-La-Lager takes place on Saturday, December 10th at 6 pm. We'll have beer specials, a "holiday cheer" specialty cask (we'll let you know what it is soon), Santa water pong and card games in the Gulo Room, Christmas movies on TV, a beer and cookie pairing menu, and growler fills for the most festively dressed. Don't miss it! A bunch of Wolverine Staff will be hanging out in the Tap Room, so come say hi!  

Holiday craziness got you down? Don't forget: Wolverine is always around. Come grab a pint in the Tap Room or pick up a six-pack in your favorite bottle shop or grocery store. And if you're in the Tap Room, you can (totally honestly) claim you're checking items off your shopping list -- Mug Club Memberships, gift cards, beanies, long-sleeve t-shirts, growlers, howlers, bottle openers, Massacre single bottles or four-packs, pint glasses, and hoodies are all available here. Check out our online store for some items, or give us a call and order over the phone -- we're happy to send you your goodies.  

See you on Saturday and all month long. Tis the season to celebrate with delicious local beer. 

 

(A huge thank you to Britt Hueter for the KICKASS new photos of the brewery and staff.)

Turkey Day Recipes, Weekend Hours, and More!

Greetings, beer fans! Thanksgiving is right around the corner -- hopefully your work week is wrapping up and you're getting ready for a long, drawn-out holiday weekend. And if you haven't exactly...committed...to a dish to bring to whatever Thanksgiving gathering you're making your way to this week, we have a couple ideas to help you out. Read on for more, plus our hours this week and weekend! 

Whether your expertise in the kitchen is limited to grilled cheese or whether you're the type to work on your fraissage method until your hands are numb, we've got some fool-proof, delicious ways to pair beer with easy apps and desserts. The result? Your relatives' minds will. be. blown. Or, at the very least, they'll appreciate the interesting pairings.

First up: cheese. If you're tasked with putting together a cheese or charcuterie board, grab some rich, creamy, bloomy triple creme brie, Saint Angel cheese, or other soft, high-fat cheese. Add a hard cheese, like a good parm reg or aged goat cheese, and, of course, no cheese board is complete without a good sharp cheddar. Pair both the creamy soft cheese AND the sharp cheddar with a good hoppy brew, like our Gulo Cubed Imperial IPL, Gulo Gulo IPL, or Nelson Sauvin Green Thumb Session IPL. The hops work to cut through the richness of the brie so each bite feels like the first time, and pairing the bitterness of hops with tangy sharp cheddar helps develop the flavor of both beer and cheese. A suggestion: serve the cheeses with Gulo Cubed if it's an after-dinner cheese deal; if the cheese board is a starter, go with something slightly lower octane like Nelson Sauvin Green Thumb. It's a session IPL, after all. 

 

Secondly: dessert. We chose Massacre Imperial Dark Lager aged in bourbon barrels and Kurios Black Belgian Stout Lager because they are both so complex, rich, and versatile. 

 

 

Massacre is full of rich, dark chocolate notes and roastiness. Pairing it with coffee would make those roasty notes sing -- try pouring 3-4 ounces over a scoop of good coffee ice cream. Better yet, Massacre would work perfectly with deep, rich chocolate desserts like chocolate lava cake or chocolate pie. To draw out some rich fruit notes, try pairing Massacre with hot berry preserves over ice cream or serving it alongside raspberry tarts. 

 

 

 

 

 

Kurios Black is full of complex flavors: tart cherry, roasty malt, delicate bourbon-and-oak character. Any kind of berry pie or tart would bring out those tart cherry notes. Don't neglect cinnamon here, either: spice cake or pumpkin pie brings out the hint of cinnamon in the brew. Chocolate anything pairs really well with Kurios Black's roasty backbone, too, so don't be shy with the hot fudge or chocolate pies. 

If you're feeling really creative, make a reduction of either Kurios Black or Massacre to use as a glaze on Brussels sprouts. 

All the beers mentioned above are available for purchase in growlers, howlers, or, in the case of Massacre, in wax-sealed bottles. 

We are open from 4 pm-midnight on Wednesday, 11/23. The tap room will be closed on Thanksgiving day (11/24), and we will resume regular hours starting Friday at noon. We will open at 11 am on Saturday, 11/26 in advance of the noon start for U of M vs. OSU football. 

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all! 

Raucher Awarded GABF Gold

On Saturday, October 8th, the same day as our #2016Massacre release party, we got some awesome news: Raucher, our smoked lager, was awarded a gold medal in the smoke beer category at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. This is the brewery's -- and Raucher's -- second award on the national/international level; Raucher received a bronze medal from the World Beer Cup in May of 2016. 

Needless to say, we were absolutely thrilled! Smoke beers are challenging and rewarding to make. The trick is to strike the perfect balance between malty sweetness, hop bitterness, and phenolic smokiness. Too smoky, and it tastes like you're drinking a ham smoothie. Too hoppy or malty, and what's even the point of putting in smoke? It could taste like a mistake; a background note that didn't get struck hard enough. But when you hit that Goldilocks level of balance (really, that's our goal with every beer we make), you make for some happy beer drinkers. And, evidently, some happy beer judges! 

Raucher earned one of ten medals awarded to Michigan breweries and one of only two gold medals in the state. It is currently available on draft in the Tap Room and will also travel with us to the upcoming Detroit Fall Beer Fest, October 21-22, in Detroit's Eastern Market. 

For more information on the brewery, including a draft of the official press release and logos for use online, please visit our Media Resources page. 

New Flagship Packaging

You may have heard some chatter about our new packaging. We're here to tell you that it's ALL TRUE! Except the part about the...well, never mind. You can decide what's true and what's not. 

But here are the facts! Our flagship line, composed of Wolverine Premium Lager, Gulo Gulo India Pale Lager, and District 16 Amber Lager got a facelift, and we're so excited to put it out to market in the coming weeks. 

The project's aim was to bring all three brands into a cohesive line. We accomplished this by utilizing unifying details like the branded black logo slash across the top of each carrier, which is mirrored on the individual labels, and standardized placement of beer name and style.

Each brand features an individual image that reflects the beer's personality. 

Wolverine Premium, billed as Michigan's Premium Lager, features a simple design of the state of Michigan along with a background of pine trees. This design reflects the classic, simple nature of the brew within; Wolverine Premium is a smooth, crisp, drinkable, no-frills lager perfect for bringing to parties, tailgating with, or tipping back after a long day of hard work.

District 16 Amber Lager, formerly known and packaged as Wolverine Amber Lager, features a brewer taking a sample out of a fermenting vat. This peek into the daily work of brewing reflects the name of the beer: Vienna's District 16, aka Ottakring, contains the last large brewery in Vienna, a city that pioneered lager brewing. We are proud to help carry on the name and pay homage to the grit and hard work that forms the history behind our Vienna-style Amber Lager. 

Gulo Gulo IPL features a ferocious image of a wolverine, which in Latin is known as Gulo gulo. The image was shot by photographer Paul Sangeorzan and was featured in National Geographic. The story behind the photographer, the image, and the way we obtained it deserves its own post, and will get one! So keep your eyes peeled. 

While the carriers and labels are completely refreshed, certain elements tie the rebrand to the history of the brewery. All three brands maintained their original color schemes -- yellow for Wolverine Premium, burnt orange for District 16, and green for Gulo Gulo -- and the claw mark remains consistent in all packaging, past and present. 

Look for our new packaging on shelves in the coming weeks. 

Massacre Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Dark Lager was also updated to reflect the new line of packaging. We will debut that design in the next week as we get closer to bottling this year's batch of Massacre, 

In the next several months, we will be debuting a seasonal program of bottled offerings. We will also put two new year-round bottled brands out into the market. We will announce those upcoming offerings at a future date, but draft favorites like Barista and Oktoberfest are included in the conversation.

Questions or comments? Get in touch with us here, or email news@wolverinebeer.com.  

 

Tailgate with Wolverine State!

It's finally football season!! This year, when you order a keg from Wolverine for your tailgate, we'll throw in 15 durable, reusable plastic Wolverine State tailgate cups for your sipping pleasure. Share them with friends or stock your home bar with them! Give us a call (734-369-2990) to order your keg, and don't forget to mention that you're ordering it for tailgating! The cups will be ready for Friday/Saturday pickup with your keg(s). Questions? Email mackenzie@wolverinebeer.com! 

Summer Tap Room Features

Summertime, and the drinkin's easy... ;)

In addition to everyone's favorite Mexican-style Amber Lager (we're referring to Verano here, in case you were wondering), we're celebrating pilsners and do-gooders this summer! Verano, June's Beer of the Month, is an easy-drinking, low abv brew that is perfect with a wedge of lime on a hot summer day. Available all summer, so grab a growler and a lime and hit your back deck! 

Your summer do-gooder is, of course, Five Shores Blonde Lager. This Michigan-dry-hopped sunshiny brew is utterly drinkable and smooth. The best part? A portion of the proceeds of Five Shores Blonde goes to the Alliance for the Great Lakes, an organization that works to protect, promote, and sustain the Great Lakes and surrounding ecosystem. To learn more about the org, visit greatlakes.org. 

Last but not least, pilsners! Barenmarder German-style Pilsner is a clean, smooth, drinkable, sparky brew. Want something with a little more hoppy oomph? Grab a pint of Zythgeist Zythos Pilsner, hopped with all Zythos hops. Deliciously hoppy yet ultra drinkable. 

Happy summer! Get yourself a cold one and celebrate. 

World Expo of Beer Winners 2016

The results are in! The World Expo of Beer Competition takes place every year in the spring as a part of the World Expo of Beer, and we've been competing in it since 2011. This year, three Wolverine State brews won medals in competition -- Gold for Faustian Baltic Porter and Silver for both Amber Lager and '38 Redemption Schwarzbier. Try all three of them in the Tap Room today! And this Friday, in honor of the World Expo taking place in Frankenmuth and American Craft Beer Week, try all three plus one of your choice in a flight for only $7. 

Past medals in the WEOB Competition include four gold medals, two silvers, and three bronzes. We'll be pouring eleven beers at the World Expo on Friday, May 20th and Saturday, May 21st -- come by our booth! 

Raucher Wins a Bronze Medal at the World Beer Cup!

 

We're beyond thrilled to announce that Raucher Smoked Lager won a Bronze Medal from the World Beer Cup℠, known as the world’s most prestigious beer competition! The medal was awarded on Friday, May 6th in Philadelphia as a part of the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo AmericaⓇ.

The medal win is the first for Wolverine State in the World Beer Cup℠. Past awards for the brewery include several medals from the World Expo of Beer. That medal count is composed of five gold, four silver, and four bronze medals for a wide variety of categories, with gold medals awarded to Faustian Baltic Porter, Barista Coffee Lager, Amber Lager, and Hopstadt Altbier. Gulo Gulo IPL was also named one of Draft Magazines Top 25 Beers of 2013. 

Raucher is a Smoked Lager built on a base of German Beechwood Smoked malt. True to its style, it boasts a balanced profile of smoke, malt sweetness, and hop bitterness. The beer was developed by Brewmaster Oliver Roberts in 2015. It is currently available in the Tap Room. 

And we're celebrating this Saturday! From 4-8 pm, enjoy $2 and $3 drafts. At 7 pm, Matt Roy will lead a toast to the future in celebration of the brewery staff's great accomplishment! Join brewery, kitchen, and bar staff as we mark this moment. 

The World Beer Cup℠ takes place every two years as a part of the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo AmericaⓇ. This year, over 1,900 breweries entered beers into competition. Of the 6,600 beers entered, 287 were awarded medals. Wolverine State’s medal was one of only five medals awarded to Michigan breweries. For more information on this year’s awards, access the press release here: https://www.brewersassociation.org/press-releases/2016-world-beer-cup-winners-announced/