beer release

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!

The...Belgians are Coming!

Oliver contemplating Carcajou's flavor profile. Beer in hand = necessary. 

Oliver contemplating Carcajou's flavor profile. Beer in hand = necessary. 

We've got three Belgian treats coming for ya, and we ain't talking about chocolate. Say hello to Carcajou Belgian-style Rye Lager, Grand CruZ Belgian Dark Strong Lager, and Carnivora Belgian-style IPL --  perfect examples of the different territories of lager we explore at Wolverine State. 

All three are returning players to the Wolverine State lineup, and releases will be staggered over the next month. First up is Carcajou, releasing Friday, January 8th. You've experienced Carcajou's spicy rye and delicate Belgian character before, but this year, we changed it up a bit by aging it briefly in white wine barrels formerly occupied by current on-draft favorite "Vers l'avant." The barrels successfully imparted some tart white wine notes, amplifying the Belgian character of the beer, adding even more complexity to this already delicious brew. As Brewmaster Oliver Roberts says, it's got "farmouse appeal." 6% abv / 63 IBUs.  

Grand CruZ Belgian Dark Strong Lager is a heavy-hitter -- the perfect warmer in the winter months. With a mahogany-colored body, delicate Belgian esters on the nose, and balancing hoppy notes, Grand CruZ remains a beautiful, complex example of hybrid beers at Wolverine State. Releasing in January 2016. 7.9% abv / 23 IBUs. ** NOW AVAILABLE **

Finally, we have Carnivora Belgian-style IPL. Belgian esters and fierce hops greet the palate for a ferociously delicious combo. Clocking in at more than 8% abv, Carnivora will warm you up and leave you wanting more. Releasing late January 2016.  8.4% abv / 77 IBUs.