First All Wild Brewery Coming to Grand Rapids, MI

GRAND RAPIDS, Mi. Nov. 16, 2015-- Husband and wife team Mitch and Whitney Ermatinger announce official plans to open Speciation Artisan Ales, a 100% wild brewery in Grand Rapids, Michigan, by late 2016. The small scale brewery will focus on producing high quality mixed fermentation sour and funky beers released monthly in bottles. Mitch Ermatinger will be leaving his post as brewer for Former Future Brewing Company in Denver, Colorado to head up this new venture. Mitch Ermatinger brings with him extensive brewing and blending knowledge of sour beers influenced heavily by his work alongside James Howat, head brewer for Black Project Spontaneous and Wild Ales. Mitch Ermatinger was part of the Black Project team that won Great American Beer Festival medals for wild ales in 2014 and 2015.

Using influences and ingredients from the local area, Speciation Artisan Ales hopes to highlight the unique terroir of Michigan in its flavor profiles.  The brewery’s name was inspired by the natural variations that occur in nature over time to create an ever-changing product. Speciation Artisan Ales plans to have a number of recurring beers as well as several special barrel aged and spontaneously fermented projects. Speciation Artisan Ales is the first all wild brewery of its kind in the Grand Rapids area.  Both raised in West Michigan, the Ermatingers have chosen to return to start their brewery in Grand Rapids because “The enthusiasm for beer is unparalleled to other areas of the country and yet many of the innovative techniques and styles of beer have not yet caught on in the Michigan market” said co-owner Whitney Ermatinger. Brewer and owner Mitch Ermatinger said, “We hope to expand the perception of what wild and sour beers are while still creating a variety of products that are accessible to all types of palettes.” Wild beers are differentiated by their wide variety of flavors created from combining different yeasts and bacteria, longer fermentation times, and variability within the product. The owners aspire to increase the diversity and availability of sour and wild beers in the West Michigan market.

Speciation Artisan Ales is currently in the planning stages as owners work to secure funding sources to get the brewery off the ground. The brewery will be establishing in a yet to be determined location in the Grand Rapids area. Fermentation vessels and barrels will provide the backdrop to the combined production area and tasting room. Initially opening one day per month for bottle sales and tasting, Speciation Artisan Ales will eventually expand its tasting room hours to be open weekly. For further information and updates about Speciation Artisan Ales go to or follow them on Facebook at


Mitch Ermatinger