April 8th is a Double Release!

1. Genetic Erosion is a big, black version of Genetic Drift. This beer spent a month in some fresh bourbon barrels, and some neutral bourbon barrels. The grain bill is Pilsner, wheat, chocolate malt, midnight wheat, oats, and rye. It was fermented with our house blend of microbes which includes 3 strains of brett, Belle Saison, house wild yeast harvested from Holland, MI off of a crab apple flower, and other wild microbes from Comstock Park. This beer is not very funky or acidic yet, but we expect it to get funkier with aging. The flavor profile is dominated by malt, oak, and bourbon. As with all of our beers, it's very dry. Genetic Erosion clocks in at 9% abv. 82 cases were produced. $20/bottle. Public limits will be set after Cultured Club sales end.

2. Genetic Drift is our house wild saison. We dry hopped it with Mosaic and Saaz again, but we doubled the dry hopping rate from batch 1, so the hops are much more prevalent. Only 40 cases were produced, so this is very limited. $15/bottle. Limit 1/person.

Bottle reservations begin Saturday, April 1st at noon, and run until Friday, April 7th at noon. Get the refresh finger ready, because the last release sold out in under a minute. Here's the Eventbrite link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/speciation-april-release-tickets-33120298705

Please reserve 1 ticket per desired bottle. On pick up day you may pay for your bottle(s) with cash or credit card (we use square). Each ticket represents 1 bottle of beer, so please make sure to order the correct amount of tickets! PLEASE do not reserve tickets if you cannot be here yourself or send a proxy to pick up the bottles. If you reserve X amount of tickets, you will be expected to pay for X amount of bottles on the pickup day.

Pickup day is Saturday April 8th, from 10 am - 4 pm. Cultured club members may opt to wait until the next release (May 13th) to pick up, or schedule a time to come pick up bottles from me directly.

Also, remember that proxies are allowed. We just need a copy of the purchaser's ID and the proxy's ID, as well as their order (digital copies are totally fine, try not to kill too many trees!) Also, since the full price of the bottle isn't paid for up front, it will be the proxy's responsibility to pay for the bottles at pickup.

Cheers!

Mitch & Whitney Ermatinger (& Rally)

Black Currant Incipient - March 11th

The third bottle release is a Black Currant variant of our Golden Sour, Incipient. The grain bill is simply Pilsner, wheat, and oats, which lends a soft, bready mouthfeel. Incipient is fermented with our house blend of microbes which includes 3 strains of brett, Belle Saison, house wild yeast harvested from Holland, MI off of a crab apple flower, 2 strains of lactobacillus, and other wild microbes from Comstock Park. This beer is a fruity, jammy explosion. It's also much more acidic than batch 1 of Incipient because of the fruit. $22/bottle, limit 3. We only have 150 bottles available to the public, so we expect this one to go VERY quickly.

Ticket reservations at Eventbrite begin Saturday March 4th at noon, and run until Friday March 10th at noon. Last month's release went so well that we are planning on sticking to that method. Please reserve 1 ticket per bottle. Then on pick up day you may pay for your bottle(s) with cash or credit card (we use square). Same as last release, each ticket represents 1 bottle of beer, so please make sure to order the correct amount of tickets! PLEASE do not reserve tickets if you cannot be here yourself or send a proxy to pick up the bottles. Also, if you reserve X amount of tickets, you will be expected to pay for X amount of bottles on the pickup day. In other words, please don't reserve the max amount and then tell us you want less than what you ordered.

Here's the link for the Eventbrite ticket page: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/speciation-artisan-ales-black-currant-incipient-tickets-32298310115

Pickup day is Saturday March 11th, from 10 am - 4 pm. Simply show up with your ID, and we will match your ID to your order. No need to print tickets anymore. Cultured club members may opt to wait until the next release (April 8th) to pick up, or schedule a time to come pick up bottles from me directly.

Also, remember that proxies are allowed. We just need a copy of the purchaser's ID and the proxy's ID, as well as their order (digital copies are totally fine, try not to kill too many trees!) Also, since the full price of the bottle isn't paid for up front, it will be the proxy's responsibility to pay for the bottles at pickup.

Cheers!

Mitch & Whitney

Next bottle release is February 11th, 2017!

The second bottle release is our Golden Sour, Incipient. This batch of Incipient is dry hopped with Belma, Cascade, and Mosaic. The grain bill is simply Pilsner, wheat, and oats, which lends a soft, bready mouthfeel. Incipient is fermented with our house blend of microbes which includes 3 strains of brett, Belle Saison, house wild yeast harvested from Holland, MI off of a crab apple flower, Lactobacillus Plantarum, Lactobacillus Brevis, and other wild microbes from Comstock Park. The mango, guava, lemon, pear, hay, and peppercorn flavors from the yeast pair perfectly with the citrus, strawberry, and melon flavors from the hops. This bottle will develop over time, but if you want the full hop experience, drink it within a few months. $17/bottle, limit 6.

We are going to switch things up very slightly for this release, so pay attention!

Instead of paying the entire amount for the bottle on Eventbrite, simply reserve 1 ticket per bottle (max of 6) for free. Tickets can be reserved from Feb. 4th at noon to Feb 10th at noon. On pick up day you may pay for your bottle(s) with cash or credit card (we use square). Doing our releases this way will save you about $1.90/bottle. Same as last release, each ticket represents 1 bottle of beer, so please make sure to order the correct amount of tickets! PLEASE do not reserve tickets if you cannot be here yourself or send a proxy to pick up the bottles. Head over to Eventbrite on Saturday the 4th to reserve your bottles!

Pick up day is Saturday Feb 11th, from 11 am - 5 pm. Simply bring your ID and a copy of your order (digital is preferred). We can not hold bottles past the release date, so make sure you or a proxy can pick up before 5 pm on the 11th, otherwise your bottle(s) are forfeit to the brewery.

Also, remember that proxies are allowed. We just need a copy of the purchaser's ID and the proxy's ID, as well as their order (again, digital copies are preferred, try not to kill too many trees!) Also, since the full price of the bottle isn't paid for up front, it will be the proxies responsibility to pay for the bottles at pickup.

Cheers!

Mitch & Whitney Ermatinger (and Rally the Greyhound)

First Bottle Release! January 14th, 2017!

We are incredibly excited to announce that we will be selling our first batch of beer this month! We are taking this time to explain how we will operate, so please read on to learn how to purchase our bottles.

For now, Speciation is a production brewery. That means we don’t have a taproom, tasting room, or a restaurant. We plan to focus on what we do best, which is creating really unique small batch wild beers. We will sell bottles to go, directly to customers, via monthly online ticket sales through Eventbrite.

Tickets will go on sale on the Eventbrite website at noon on the January 7th. Tickets will be available on the Eventbrite page until the following Thursday at 6pm (January 12th), or until they sell out. The pick up day is Saturday the 14th, from 11am to 7pm. 

**Please do not show up to the release without purchasing tickets on the Eventbrite website. Bottles will not be available for sale at the door.**  

On pick up day, feel free to show up at any time. Your bottles are already reserved, so there is no need to line up early. Simply bring a copy of your order (printed or on your phone are both fine) and your ID. Anyone may act as a proxy and pick up bottles for friends and family that ordered bottles, but are unable to come to the release. The proxy will need to present their ID, as well as a copy of the purchaser's ID and a copy of the purchaser's Eventbrite order.

No refunds or exchanges will be made, and no bottles will be held past the release day. We simply do not have the space to hold bottle orders. If you order tickets for bottles, please ensure that you can attend the release day or send someone to pick up bottles for you. An exception to this rule is made for Cultured Club members who may wait until the next monthly release to pick up their bottles.

We also plan to distribute our beer on a very limited basis across the lower peninsula. Once we begin that distribution, we will add a list to our website of where you can find our beer.

The first beer will be our American farmhouse ale, Genetic Drift. Genetic Drift is a multi-grain Saison crafted with Pilsner malt, Vienna malt, wheat, rye, & oats. Fermented with 2 strains of Brettanomyces, 1 strain of Saison yeast, house wild yeast harvested from Holland, MI off of a crab apple flower, as well as other wild yeasts and bacteria from the environment. Lightly dry hopped with Mosaic & Saaz. Genetic Drift batch 1 tastes of ripe mango, pineapple, hay, pepper, orange, and sourdough, with moderate acidity and a surprising amount of brett funk! This beer will change with age for years to come, so we advise getting some to consume fresh, and some to put in your cellar. Limit of 6 bottles per person.

Cheers!
Mitch & Whitney Ermatinger

Q&A with the Owners of Speciation

What did you do before opening a brewery?

M: I started homebrewing with my roommates as soon as I turned 21, and after the 1st or 2nd batch I knew that’s what I wanted to do with my life. It took me 3 years to get a job in the industry at O’Connor’s Home Brew Supply. In 2012 I had a personal crisis and thought I needed to grow up and be an adult. So, I decided to quit O’Connor’s HBS to work for my dad’s company selling factory automation parts like sensors, industrial cameras, robotic arms, etc. I learned some great small business skills there, but ultimately I wasn’t happy. Luckily in 2013 Whitney had the travelling bug and wanted us to move to Colorado, so I used that as an opportunity to change my career back to beer. I was hired at Former Future Brewing Company late 2013, and I worked hard to learn as much as I could there.

All along Whitney and I were working on a business plan for a brewery back in MI. We were originally going to open a brewery on a river that focused exclusively on beer under 5% abv. After running the numbers a dozen times, and re-writing the business plan 2 dozen times, we decided to shift gears. I was learning a lot about wild beer working under James at FFBC and Black Project, as well as reading everything I could find about sour beer (thanks MTF!). Whitney and I saw how popular sour/wild/farmhouse beers were on the west coast and in Colorado, so we decided to open an all sour brewery, something that was lacking at the time in Grand Rapids… And here we are!

W: I am a social worker and have worked primarily in the areas of child welfare and adoption. I really like what I do.

 

How would you describe each other?

M: Whitney is endlessly patient, kind, and unique. All are rare qualities these days. She’s not afraid of just being herself, and all she wants to do is make the world a better place.

W: Mitch is friendly, loyal, hardworking, and endearingly curmudeony. He’s a really good friend and has a good sense of humor.

 

What are your favorite beers in the world?

M: Bam Biere - Jolly Pumpkin, Orval, Atrial Rubicite - Jester King, Oude Quetsche Tilquin à L'Ancienne - Gueuzerie Tilquin

W: Propolis Zephryos, Rodenbach Caractere Rouge, Black Project Supercruise Tempranillo

 

What are your desert island beers?

M: Pivo Pils - Firestone Walker, Two Hearted - Bell’s, PBR, Featherweight pale - Cannonball Creek, Fuller’s ESB

W: Fuller’s ESB, PBR, Sam Adams Noble Pils, Firestone Walker Pivo Pils, Bells Oarsman

 

Why are you opening a brewery?

M: I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do with my life. At this point I need to be my own boss because I don’t like having a regular schedule, and I get my best work done in unpredictable spurts.  Ultimately I’m passionate about crafting unique, high quality beer and cider on my own terms, and sharing them with a part of the country that has been a bit deprived from sour beer due to Michigan’s spotty distribution.

W: Beer has always been our common passion. We’ve dreamed about opening a brewery for a long time in the “it’s fun to think about but it’s never going to happen” sense. When we moved to Colorado we saw a lot of potential in the sour beer market, and thought “well, why can’t we open a brewery?”  Mitch makes incredible beer and we had a good vision for moving forward. I like the idea of creating something that is totally ours and that we have the freedom to evolve into whatever we want it to be.  I think it’s worth the risk to unapologetically chase our dreams.  

What do you listen to while working?

M: Lots of Rap & Hip hop (Vince Staples, Kanye, Run the Jewels, Kendrick Lamar, Danny Brown), Lots of Doom/stoner metal (Sleep, Black Sabbath, Yob), balladeers (Nick Cave, Tom Waits), some instrumental stuff (Explosions in the Sky, Russian Circles, Mogwai), as well as Radiohead, Iron & Wine, Arcade Fire, etc.

W: NPR and Podcasts. Some of my favorites are This American Life, Radio Lab, and Invisibilia. (yup, I fully own that I am a geek).

 

Who are your biggest inspirations?

M: James & Sarah Howat from Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales for being completely brilliant and original. Also, both my grandpa and my dad for instilling a sense of business and entrepreneurship in me.

W: I have to agree that James and Sarah Howat have been some of our greatest mentors and inspirations. We are continually inspired by their creativity. Other breweries that I really admire are Jolly Pumpkin, Propolis Brewing, and Scratch Brewing.

 

Do you have any other hobbies?

M: I really enjoy hiking, camping, traveling, music, video games, and anything sci-fi.

W: Yoga, camping, puzzles, and I’ve recently been learning how to fish.

 

Where is your favorite place to travel to?

M: I have to say Iceland. I’ll never get sick of the landscape of waterfalls, mountains, glaciers, and volcanoes. Second favorite would be England. I love cask beer and the pub/beer culture in England.

W: I love traveling anywhere that I get the opportunity to, but I mostly enjoy traveling to visit friends. I tend to like colder climates as well, so Norway and Iceland are at the top of my list.

 

What are your favorite foods?

M: Cheese, lengua tacos, vindaloo, pizza

W: Green bean casserole, Ethiopian cuisine, fresh fruit

 

What is your favorite animal?

M: Corgis, duh.

W: Cats.

 

September Progress!

Updates on our progress... location, licensing, beer etc. 

Location: If you haven't heard, we have a location! We are located at 3720 West River Drive NE, Suite 20, Comstock Park, MI 49321. It's tucked away on the back side of the building, facing Laramie Drive. MEIN Office Furniture occupies the upstairs portion of the building. The minimal construction he had to do is nearly finished. Initially we were shooting for 1500 sq ft when we began looking for a location, but we ended up with exactly twice as much space, at 3000 sq ft. That means lots of room for beer. That means lots of room for aging spontaneously fermented beer!

Inside

Licensing: Our MLCC and TTB applications are both being reviewed as of right now. We will set an opening date as soon as we get our necessary licenses. Right now it's looking like December/January. We WILL be doing a bottle club. The details are not completely worked out yet, but we will announce it as soon as we are fully licensed! All I can say right now is that it will be worth it... Two nice glasses and 12 member only bottles!

Pilot batch bottles: Mitch has been hard at work brewing test batches for Speciation at home. You may have seen the bottles around because of our t-shirt promotion, or at a bottle share. We can't sell this beer, so it's mainly to get the word out about what we will be doing at Speciation. Look for it at bottle shares around GR. If you are hosting a bottle share and would like one of our bottles, send us a message though the contact page.

Photo Credit: Zach Dunklee

Photo Credit: Zach Dunklee

Look for more updates in the near future, and feel free to reach out with any questions, comments, or concerns. Cheers!

Speciation Featured in WZZM Story

New breweries continue to open in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Grand Rapids continues to get more places to drink.

Every year, Beer City USA opens more and more micro brews and in 2016, between six and 10 are planned.

"That number changes everyday,"  says MLive reporter Amy Sherman, a beer expert in Grand Rapids.  She starts our brewery tour at Creston Brewery on Plainfield in the Creston Neighborhood. 

Scott Schultz and Molly Bouwsma-Schultz are there to tell us about it: "It is special to us because we have a lot of Grand Rapids history here," Schultz said. "This is a former furniture showroom and they use to make furniture here and display it here, and now we are going to be making beer."

We stand in the middle of the main tasting room. The building is abuzz with construction workers at this point it is too early to tell what the theme is. Schultz says that the plan is to have a lot of art and plants around the space. 

But for any brewery, it is all about the beer.  

"We are not really brewing to styles here," Bouwsma-Schultz said. "We are trying to go for crush ability, freshness, something aromatic that you can drink. " 

They hope to open in late spring. 

Our next stop is a big building under construction on Bridge Street. 

"This is the biggest of the big," explains Sherman. "This is the new New Holland facility here in Grand Rapids." 

Rockford Construction has been working diligently to get the space open by this years ArtPrize. 

"This is going to be pretty awesome with over 400 seats," Sherman said. "They are going to have cocktails, as well as beer. "

We head to Alpine Avenue where a small grey nondescript building still doesn't have a sign telling people what it is. 

"It is called Greyline Brewering," Sherman said. "It is kind of a mystery." 

Right now we know that there is a crack team of brewers creating unique beers. We know they will have about 55 seats in their tap room, but for now, that's all we know. 

The last person we meet with has a beer, but doesn't have a building. 

Mitch Ermatinger of Speciation Artisan Ales meets us at Harmony Hall: "I don't have a brewery right now, but harmony has hired me to start a sour program," Ermatinger said. 

Sour beer is beer that has an intentional tart, sour, or acidic taste. 

"It tastes like lemons and sometimes wheat and sometimes vinegar. All kinds of different flavors in play," Ermatigner said.

The plan is to find a building and open this year.

(© 2016 WZZM)

http://www.wzzm13.com/life/food/new-breweries-continue-to-open-in-grand-rapids/64950437