The Laurentian Series: Lake Superior

In March of last year, we drove to Marquette to brew the first of this special series of beers: The Laurentian Series. Named after the watershed in which the Great Lakes reside, these beers will be brewed and then cooled at each of the Great Lakes. We brewed this particular batch at Ore Dock Brewing, and cooled it in a mobile coolship, utilizing the night air blowing in off of Lake Superior. After cooling overnight, the tank was closed and hauled back to our brewery, where the cooled wort was transferred into oak barrels. Inside the barrels, the microbes from the lake’s breeze began to ferment the beer, imparting their unique character over time. No additives were introduced for flavoring, with the highlight being the native flora of Lake Superior and Marquette, MI, imparting aromas of hay, sweet dough, and stone fruit, along with the oak character of the barrels.

The Bridge

This singular beer is a snapshot of the beauty of Lake Superior in the Spring, and with such a special beverage, it is only fitting that it come in an exceptional package. This first batch of The Laurentian Series will also be the start of our Wood Label beers, the format for all of our extended-aged specialty products. Each bottle will be labeled using locally-sourced maple wood veneer, and was designed by our friend Elizabeth VanStee. Along with the special label, this beer will be accompanied by a small booklet featuring original artwork by our friend, David McKie, who created illustrations in a Native American inspired design representing two Ojibwe myths, the Lake Superior Merman and the Lake Superior Water Panther, Misshepezhieu. These myths relate our heritage, as descendants of the Ojibwe people, as well as the history of this land.

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With the release of Lake Superior, we have decided to donate a portion of the bottle proceeds to the National Wildlife Fund, for their efforts in protecting the Great Lakes against the threat of the Line 5 oil pipeline. The preservation of the Great Lakes is extremely important us. As residents, parents, daughters and sons, and as brewers, we believe it is our duty to be the best stewards of this great land as we can be.

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Due to its rare nature, and the painstaking process for making this batch, we will be releasing less than 400 bottles of Lake Superior in February. We are planning a future release of a solera-method dry-hopped Lake Superior as well, which was fermented with the yeast from the bottom of the spontaneously fermented barrels. Currently, the rest of the Laurentian Series brews are being planned out for 2018, which will be made as weather and temperature allow. We have other exciting news for this series further down the road, and will announce it as those batches become ready. For now, we hope you are as excited as we are to experience Lake Superior.

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750ml corked and caged bottles are $32/ea. Bottle reservations will take place on Eventbrite, and will take place February 3rd at noon for the public, and January 27th at noon for Cultured Club members.

Punctuated Equilibrium v.2

2017 was insane! We are astounded by how much we accomplished in our first year, and 2018 is set to be even bigger. We are planning over 50 new beers, as well as a number of other changes.

Incipient and Genetic Drift have been our two base beers since the beginning of Speciation. For 2018 we have decided to move away from this naming scheme to avoid confusion. What this means is that, beginning January 2018, each individual beer will have its own name and accompanying illustration from our friend David McKie (art_by_graves on Instagram). Dave is an amazing and unique illustrator, and we think his style fits our brand well. You may have seen some of his other illustrations on Transient's bottles and cans. We are really excited to give each beer a fitting and unique illustration.

Incipient will stick around, but from now on it will always be a dry-hopped golden sour. Genetic Drift will always be our dry-hopped Saison base. If there are any other ingredients added (spices, fruit, etc.), then that beer will have a unique name. We are also introducing more dark sours and dark Saisons to the lineup. Look for a lot of fruited sours, pastry sours, wild saisons, lager/wild hybrids, and Brett IPAs!

Also, soon we will be launching our Laurentian Spontaneous Series, where we will be cooling wort near each of the great lakes in a coolship to collect the local microflora and create a beer completely unique to that place in time and space! These beers are the absolute epitome of who we are as a company. Expect straight spontaneous blends, dry hopped versions with local hops, fruited versions with whole local fruit, and a few crazy experiments.

On the taproom front, progress is being made! Ceilings have been painted, floors have been sealed, and quotes have been received to do the bathrooms, plumbing, and electrical. We also have to change the zoning language for Plainfield township to allow for a taproom in an Industrial zone, but that should be done soon as well.

We are all very excited to see what 2018 holds for Speciation.

Cheers!

Mitch Ermatinger

Punctuated Equilibrium v.1

Punctuated Equilibrium v.1

Speciation is a dream come true. Since opening in January we have been able to sell over 15,000 bottles, hire 4 awesome people, and build up our barrel program to 50+ barrels with a foeder coming soon. We’ve completely blown past all of our production and sales projections. And it’s all because of you! If you’ve bought a bottle of our beer, then you helped us accomplish our dream. So, thank you!