WKTV Journal: On Tap: Mitten Brewing toasts Sen. Peters assistance, where to sample craft liquors locally

It is unclear which Grand Rapids area craft brew U.S. Sen. Gary Peters likes to order when he makes a stop in the area, but he probably has one on the house coming from Mitten Brewing Company.

Thanks to some federal-level advocacy from Sen. Peters’ office, Mitten Brewing Co. has a new Traverse Bay area craft brewing brewery and pub after Chris Andrus, co-owner and co-founder of the Mitten Brewing Co., was able to expedite a license from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

The story, as given by Sen. Peters’ office recently, is that Mitten Brewing Co. discovered that a brewery in Northport, Mich., was going out of business and “They saw this as an opportunity to expand their brewery as well as protect the jobs of those employees. In order to do so, Mitten Brewing Co. needed to obtain their licensing quickly from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to open in time for the (past) summer season.”
Andrus reached out to Sen. Peters’ office for help, we are told, and “The office helped cut red tape for Mitten Brewing Co. by contacting the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau regarding the brewery’s licensing application. Chris soon thereafter received approval for the necessary license. The Northport location was able to open in time and is now a thriving part of the Northern Michigan community.”

Don’t know about you, but I love Mitten Brewing’ local locales and brews. Maybe I’ll buy the senator one next time we belly-up to the bar together.

Mitten Brewing’s Andrus shared his story in a video released by Sen. Peters’ office, and can be seen here.

Sen. Peters office states that Michiganders in need of assistance with a federal agency to contact his Detroit office at (844) 506-7420 (toll-free) or can visit his website at peters.senate.gov.

Grand Rapids, regional distillery choices growing all the time

It is no secret that Michigan is a booming market for craft distilled liqueurs, but the quality of Grand Rapids area, or nearby, sources might surprise you as much as they continue to surprise me.

In Grand Rapids, there is Long Road Distillers, with cocktails, small-bites, and bottles to-go are available — you can also take a tour for a behind-the-scenes look at the distilling process and get to know what is in your glass from a distilling expert.

Eastern Kille (once known a Grey Skies, FYI) has a downtown tasting room to sample their whiskey, gin, or coffee liqueur. A seasonally revolving menu of cocktails are available to highlight the spirits made onsite.

Nearby, in the great day-trip location of Saugatuck, the New Holland Spirits offer tasting flights and cocktails made with award-winning spirits, along with light snacks and a retail area with bottles to go. Holland, too makes a good stop as Coppercraft Distillery not only has small batch cocktails but an extensive dining menu.

And in the summer, when you are really in the mood for a road trip to the Traverse Bay area, we are told “Michigan’s oldest award-winning ‘Grain to Bottle’ Craft Distillery” is Grand Traverse Distillery. Grand Traverse Distillery distills all of their vodkas, whiskies, gin, and rum in a 1,100 liter Holstein twin column copper reflux pot still.

And I can personally vouch for the idea of getting a “Latitude Adjustment” at Northern Latitudes Distillery in Lake Leelanau, where their gin is to die for and their limoncello — aptly named Limoncello di Leelanau — is worth living for. The tasting room is open seven days a week, and tastings are free and you can buy your favorite selection by the bottle and/or have it mixed into an incredible cocktail.

OK, sharing a bottle of Northern Latitudes is a good reason to spend the night or weekend out of town.

Learn more about the Michigan small batch spirit producers and distilleries by visiting the website of the Michigan Craft Distillers Association.

By:  K.D. Norris
Source: WKTV Journal