Grand Rapids, Michigan – On Thursday, September 26, Grand Rapids craft distillery Long Road Distillers will release Vivant Big Red Coq Malt Whisky made in partnership with Brewery Vivant. This is the fifth release of the Long Road Beer City Whisky Series, a line-up of whiskies collaboratively made with local breweries who have helped earn Grand Rapids the title of “Beer City USA”. Vivant Big Red Coq Malt Whisky is distilled from the same mash as Big Red Coq Red IPA, a flagship beer from the Grand Rapids-based brewery.
“We’re excited for people to try out this latest collaborative release,” said Kyle VanStrien, co-owner and co-founder of Long Road Distillers. “Brewery Vivant has always been one of our favorite local brewers and they create some of the most unique and enjoyable beers around. We think this beer-turned-whisky is the perfect representation of their craftsmanship in spirit form.”
Grand Rapids has won the title of “Beer City USA” for several years running, and has also been named “Best Beer Town” and “Best Beer Scene” by USA TODAY readers. These titles are an acknowledgement of the many world-class breweries that call Grand Rapids home, but also a nod to the passionate beer lovers that support them.
The idea behind the Beer City Whisky Series stemmed from shared base ingredients between beer and whisky – namely, malted barley. To create the whiskies in this ongoing series, Long Road acquires brewers mash from local breweries and distills it into malt whisky on their 500 gallon Vendome Pot Still. After each beer is distilled into whisky, it is aged in new American Oak barrels for 12-24 months.
So far, Long Road Distillers has partnered with five Grand Rapids breweries for the Beer City Whisky Series and distilled some of their most popular beers: The Mitten Brewing Company (Mitten Country Strong IPA), Perrin Brewing Company (Perrin Black), Harmony Brewing Company/Harmony Hall (Harmony Black Squirrel Peated Porter), Greyline Brewing Company (Greyline Solshine), and Brewery Vivant (Big Red Coq Red IPA). A sixth release in the series is coming in late October, made in partnership with Creston Brewing Company.
Each whisky is released in-house at the distillery’s Grand Rapids tasting room in extremely small batches ranging from 100 to 200 bottles per batch.
Vivant Big Red Coq Malt Whisky will be released on Thursday, September 26 beginning at 4 pm at the distillery on Leonard Street.
In addition to having Vivant Big Red Coq Malt Whisky available for tastes, cocktails, and bottles to take home on Thursday, the culinary teams at Long Road and Brewery Vivant have put their heads together to create unique food pairings to enjoy alongside the whisky and drinks. The goal for the night is to have fun, but also to raise awareness about the collaborative spirit that exists in West Michigan.
Event details and menu descriptions can be found at www.longroaddistillers.com.
“We owe a lot of credit to the craft beer community for leading the way in elevating consumer expectations when it comes to quality, flavors, and a deeper understanding of how products are made and who is making them,” said Jon O’Connor, co-owner and co-founder of Long Road Distillers. “This project continues to give us the opportunity to work more closely with our friends and peers in the craft beverage industry who share a deep commitment for doing things the right way – and we’re confident it shows in this whisky!”
Open Faced Sandwich with Whole Grain Bread, Mushrooms, Carrot, Candy Beets, Radish, Whiskey Coq Vinaigrette, Squash Puree, Romesco
Smoked Bison Sausage made with Big Red Coq, Confit White Potatoes w/ Rosemary oil, Roasted blend of Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Fall Squash Char-Grilled Carrots