Local partnership brings popular modern-classic cocktail to new, convenient heights.

Long Road Distillers and Madcap Coffee Company, both headquartered in Grand Rapids, have again collaborated to develop a product that marries what they do best – spirits and coffee. The Long Road Nitro Espresso Martini, a ready-to-drink canned cocktail, is now popping up on retail store shelves and in bar coolers around the state of Michigan. The new release features Long Road Vodka, Madcap Coffee, and Amaro Pazzo.

Long Road Distillers and Madcap Coffee previously partnered to create Amaro Pazzo, a traditional Italian-style bittersweet liqueur that features Madcap’s Eureka coffee blend as a primary ingredient. It is available in bottled form throughout Michigan, including at Long Road tasting rooms in Grand Rapids and Grand Haven.

The owners of Long Road consider the Nitro Espresso Martini to be another step in the evolution of a modern-classic cocktail that dates back to the 1980’s and is experiencing a renaissance in popularity. Famed British bartender Dick Bradsell is credited with creating the first iteration of the vodka-espresso combo when he was asked by a patron to make them a cocktail to “wake me up and [get me buzzed].” The combination of vodka, espresso, coffee liqueur and sugar has been riffed on behind bars ever since.

“Who doesn’t love a well-made espresso martini as a pick-me-up while out on the town?” asked Jon O’Connor, co-owner and co-founder of Long Road Distillers “But it takes a lot of effort to enjoy one when away from the bar, without an espresso machine and all the ingredients on hand,” he continued. “We’ve done all the legwork for you – creating a perfectly balanced drink, adding a dose of nitrogen for an iconic frothy head and creamy finish, all in the convenience of a can.”

The Long Road Nitro Espresso Martini is an extension of a cocktail named At Last the distillery has been running on their menus since opening Less Traveled, a cocktail bar in the East Hills Neighborhood of Grand Rapids. It was an immediate hit and continues to be one of the best-selling cocktails on the menu at all locations month after month.

To make the ready-to-drink version of the cocktail as authentic as possible, it is canned at 13% alcohol by volume, nearly the maximum for a canned cocktail in Michigan. With the introduction of caffeine and higher alcohol content, the distillery decided to package the drink in 6.8oz cans rather than the traditional 12oz format.

The Long Road Nitro Espresso Martini, as well as Long Road’s entire portfolio of ready-to-drink cocktails and bottled spirits, is being distributed throughout Michigan by Imperial Beverage. Bars, restaurants, and retailers interested in carrying Long Road products should contact their Imperial Beverage account manager for more information. Want to find a 4-pack near you? Visit longroaddistillers.com/spirit-finder for a regularly updated list of outlets for Long Road spirits.

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About Long Road Distillers:

Long Road Distillers was born from the belief that making world-class spirits means never taking shortcuts along the way. After becoming the first craft distillery in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Long Road Distillers formed relationships with local farmers to bring that mission to Grand Rapids’ West Side neighborhood. Each spirit produced at Long Road Distillers is milled from locally sourced ingredients, fermented, and distilled on-site. The result is an uncompromised lineup of spirits including Vodka, Gin, Whisky and more. Their spirits, along with a handcrafted collection of cocktails and a wide variety of food can be enjoyed at their Grand Rapids and Grand Haven Tasting Rooms, and visitors can now enjoy signature craft cocktails at Less Traveled, a cocktail bar by Long Road in East Hills. For more information, visit www.LongRoadDistillers.com or find Long Road Distillers on Facebook or Instagram @longroadgr.

About Madcap Coffee:

Founded in 2008, Madcap Coffee Company is headquartered in Grand Rapids, MI. They operate their own roastery, as well as several cafes in Michigan. Their founder, Trevor Corlett, is an award-winning, nationally recognized barista and trainer. They have been spotlighted by national media and in competition for their coffees, roasting profiles, and innovative drink recipes. For more information, visit www.madcapcoffee.com or direct inquiries to info@madcapcoffee.com.

Click the links to jump to: Grand Rapids Pop-up Menu; Grand Haven Pop-up Menu; Less Traveled Holiday Features.

Grand Rapids, Michigan – Long Road Distillers, known for their internationally awarded distilled spirits and trendsetting cocktail program, will launch their third annual Happy Holidays Cocktail Pop-Up Menu on Tuesday, November 28. From now through New Year’s, visitors to a Long Road location can expect festive flavors, glistening décor and lots of sugar and spice.

“We’ve had so much fun turning this pop-up menu into a tradition that guests and staff alike get excited for every year”, said Owner Jon O’Connor, “We put together a fun and lighthearted menu that our staff have challenged themselves to create, ensuring they will delight and stun the crowd.”

This year’s festive and whimsical menu features 15 spirited holiday drinks, including several favorites from last year, and three seasonal shots, all to help get you into the holiday spirit. The pop-up menu will be available at the distillery’s West Grand Rapids location as well as their Grand Haven bar and restaurant. A handful of featured drinks will also be available at Less Traveled, the distillery’s Cherry Street cocktail bar. A few examples of cocktails visitors can expect to enjoy:

  • St. Nick’s Vacation ~ Original Rum, Red Amaro, falernum, spiced pineapple cordial, lime and aromatic bitters
  • Snow Machine ~ Nocino, Madcap Coffee cold brew, demerara, almond milk and grated nutmeg
  • The Final Snowdown ~ Grape Avani Vodka, bianco vermouth, lime, white cranberry and orange bitters (serves 4)
  • Figgy Stardust ~ Fig-aged Rum, Pear Brandy, Nocino, lemon, orange, grapefruit, spiced honey butter and a shimmering glitter

“You really can’t beat gathering the people you love and sharing a well-crafted cocktail,” said Jenney Grant, Long Road’s Director of Operations & Education. “We have curated both a menu and a space that will help you get into the spirit of the season.”

Long Road’s Happy Holidays Cocktail Pop-Up will be available beginning Tuesday, November 28 at Long Road Grand Rapids, Grand Haven and Less Traveled. It will run through January 6 at all locations.

Grand Rapids distillery wins top honors for new ready to drink canned cocktail

Grand Rapids, Michigan – Long Road Distillers was awarded top honors for one of their recently released ready-to-drink canned cocktails at this years American Distilling Institute (ADI) International Spirits Competition. Long Road Lavender Lemonade was named “Best in Class”, “Best in Category” and awarded a Double Gold Medal, topping entries from around the world in the “Ready-to-Drink” class.

The lemonade was one of three new RTD canned cocktails that Long Road released into statewide distribution at the beginning of February. The canned beverages are being distributed by Imperial Beverage and are now available in over 600 retailers, bars, and restaurants throughout Michigan.

“It’s an incredible honor to earn this type of recognition for our RTD Lavender Lemonade,” said Kyle VanStrien, co-owner of Long Road Distillers. “Spirit-based ready-to-drinks is the fastest growing adult-beverage category in the country, and we’re proud to be leading the way with our Michigan-made products.”

Long Road Lavender Lemonade is based off a longtime tasting room favorite, Teta’s Lemonade, featuring Long Road Original Vodka, lavender, rosewater and lemon. It is nicely carbonated and canned at 7% alcohol, ready to be enjoyed right out of the can or over ice in a glass.

In addition to the top honors for Long Road Lavender Lemonade, the distillery was awarded Silver Medals for Amaro Pazzo, MICHIGIN, and their Polish Falcon RTD; and Bronze Medals for their Midwest Old Fashioned RTD, Original Aquavit, and Rosemary Fizz RTD.

Long Road’s line-up of spirits and ready-to-drink canned cocktails can be found at their three tasting rooms as well as at over 2,500 retailers and restaurants throughout Michigan.

Grand Rapids-based Long Road Distillers has announced the statewide distribution of their new line of ready to drink canned cocktails. The distillery has partnered with Kalamazoo-based Imperial Beverage to assist in the sale and delivery of the new products to bars, restaurants, and retailers throughout Michigan. Imperial Beverage also carries Long Road’s line of craft spirits in the market.

The new line of RTD cocktails will begin hitting store shelves and restaurant backbars as soon as Wednesday, February 1.

Since 2020, the distillery has produced and canned a few varieties of RTD cocktails on a limited basis, but never at a scale that allowed them to distribute statewide. As the products gained in popularity and sales outpaced production, Long Road explored new ways to meet demand, improve upon the products, and get them into more hands.

“We regularly get calls and e-mails about our canned cocktails from people around the state who visited one of our locations or picked up a 4-pack at a West Michigan retailer,” said Kyle VanStrien, co-owner and co-founder of Long Road Distillers. “Up to this point, we’ve had to encourage them to take a road trip back to the area so they could stock up. Now, they’ll be able to grab our products closer to home!”

Long Road will have three products with their initial launch, all canned at 7% alcohol by volume:

  • The Polish Falcon – the distillery’s version of a Moscow mule, featuring Long Road Original Vodka, lemongrass ginger beer, and lime.
  • Lavender Lemonade – based off a longtime tasting room favorite, Teta’s Lemonade, featuring Long Road Original Vodka, lavender, rosewater and lemon.
  • Rosemary Gin Fizz – a brand new offering, featuring Long Road Dry Gin, rosemary, grapefruit, lemon and a hint of salt.

“We’re very excited about this growth opportunity with our canned cocktails,” said Jon O’Connor, co-owner and co-founder of Long Road Distillers. “The category is outpacing all others and with a few adjustments to the formulas and our production schedule, we’re confident this will be a big part of our business going forward.”

Imperial Beverage will begin distributing the canned cocktails to bars, restaurants and retailers this week. Check the Long Road Distillers Spirit Finder on their website to find a retailer nearby who has ordered the products. Retailers or restaurants interested in carrying the new products should contact their Imperial Beverage account manager.

Grand Rapids distillery releases new gin naturally colored with butterfly pea flower

Long Road Distillers has released a new spirit to their growing portfolio: Sovereign Gin. The new fixture to their year-round offerings is handcrafted from start to finish at the distillery on Leonard Street and is built from a botanical blend of juniper, lime peel, grapefruit peel, bay leaf, Thai basil and more. The most unique feature of the new spirit, though, is its brilliant violet hue. Sovereign Gin is naturally colored with butterfly pea flower and changes color to bright pink or royal blue based on the acidity of the spirit and what is mixed into it.

“This is one of our most exciting spirit releases yet,” said Kyle VanStrien, co-owner and co-founder of Long Road Distillers. “The packaging and spirit color alone is beautiful, but the flavor profile of this gin is what will hook enthusiasts.”

Sovereign Gin’s botanical blend is based off a small batch of gin the distillery produced several years ago and released just once. It was a hit at the time but needed something more to take it to the next level.

“The addition of butterfly pea flower as a natural coloring ingredient was a game changer for this spirit,” said Jon O’Connor, co-owner and co-founder of Long Road. “In our minds, the color changing effect when tonic or citrus is added brings the presentation of Sovereign Gin in line with the amazing flavor profile of the product. It may be our favorite gin ever, and that’s saying a lot up against the rest of our portfolio!”

Sovereign Gin is now available by the bottle or in featured cocktails at all Long Road Distillers tasting rooms, including at the distillery on Grand Rapids’ west side. It is also available via statewide distribution through Imperial Beverage, and can be found at spirit retailers, bars and restaurants.

Long Road Distillers Wins Dozens of New Honors at National Competitions
Distillery earns 25 new medals, plus “Best Of” honors in 2 categories at ACSA and ADI Awards

Long Road Distillers announced their results from two national spirits competitions today. Honors include Double Gold recognition for Long Road Original Aquavit and Raspberry Liqueur, and Gold for Long Road Amaro Pazzo and Dry Gin. The distillery’s Aquavit also earned the title of Best of Class Specialty Spirit and Best of Category, taking home another “Best Aquavit” honor from a major spirits competition. Amaro Pazzo also earned Best of Class and Best of Category accolades as “Best Liqueur” and “Best Coffee Liqueur” in the U.S.

The American Craft Distillers Association (ACSA) held their annual Judging of Craft Spirits Awards virtually on August 24 where results were announced with over 500 entrants in eight categories.
On August 25, the American Distilling Institute (ADI) held an in-person ceremony in Louisville, KY to announce the results of their annual Judging of Craft Spirits competition. Over 1,000 entrants battled for honors in twelve categories.

“It’s always an honor to earn this sort of recognition from the ACSA and ADI competitions,” said co-owner and co-founder of Long Road Distillers, Kyle VanStrien. “The judging panels from both are comprised of our peers and industry professionals who are working with top-quality spirits on a daily basis.”

2021 American Distillers Institute Judging of Craft Spirits Awards Results
Long Road Amaro Pazzo ~ Gold Medal, Best of Category (Coffee Liqueur), Best of Class (Liqueur)
Long Road Original Aquavit ~ Double Gold Medal, Best of Category (Aquavit), Best of Class (Specialty Spirit)
Long Road Raspberry Liqueur ~ Double Gold Medal, Best of Category (Fruit Liqueur)
Long Road Dry Gin ~ Gold Medal
Long Road Nocino ~ Silver Medal
Long Road Old Aquavit ~ Silver Medal
Long Road Polish Falcon Canned Cocktail ~ Silver Medal
Long Road Silver Rum ~ Silver Medal
Long Road Teta’s Lemonade Canned Cocktail ~ Silver Medal
Long Road Grand Absinthe ~ Bronze Medal
Long Road GnT Canned Cocktail ~ Bronze Medal
Long Road Orange Liqueur ~ Bronze Medal

2021 American Craft Spirits Association Judging of Craft Spirits Results
Long Road Raspberry Liqueur ~ Silver Medal
Long Road Dry Gin ~ Silver Medal
Long Road MICHIGIN ~ Silver Medal
Long Road Silver Rum ~ Silver Medal
Long Road Apple Brandy ~ Bronze Medal
Long Road Orange Liqueur ~ Bronze Medal
Long Road Grand Absinthe ~ Bronze Medal
Long Road Old Aquavit ~ Bronze Medal
Long Road Aquavit ~ Bronze Medal
Long Road Straight Bourbon ~ Bronze Medal
Long Road Straight American Whisky ~ Bronze Medal
Long Road Polish Falcon Canned Cocktail ~ Bronze Medal
Long Road Teta’s Lemonade Canned Cocktail ~ Bronze Medal

Long Road’s line-up of spirits can be found at their four tasting rooms in Michigan, as well as at over 2,500 retailers and restaurants throughout the state.

Long Road Distillers has rolled out a new line-up of canned craft cocktails. The Grand Rapids distillery based the new offering on a few of their most popular cocktails since opening their doors over five years ago.

“We’ve always had a dream to put some of our favorite cocktails into a ready-to-drink format,” said Jon O’Connor, co-owner and co-founder of Long Road Distillers. “We were finally able to focus on fine-tuning recipes and acquiring the licenses and equipment necessary to can a product that lived up to our exceptionally high standards.”

Four packs of the following cocktails are now available for purchase:

  • The Polish Falcon ~ Long Road Original Vodka, house made ginger beer and lime juice.
  • Long Road GnT ~ Long Road Dry Gin and house tonic.
  • Teta’s Lemonade ~ Long Road Original Vodka, house lavender syrup, fresh lemon juice and rosewater.

The canned cocktails offer a convenient way to enjoy Long Road spirits without the legwork of mixing up a drink at home. Simply crack open a chilled can and enjoy. Each offering is 10% alcohol by volume in a 12oz can, containing the equivalent of slightly more than one cocktail per can.

“We understand that convenience is king, particularly during the summer in Michigan,” said Kyle VanStrien, co-owner and co-founder of Long Road Distillers. “We’re excited to bring some of our favorites to market, and we look forward to expanding offerings and distribution footprint in the future.”

To start, Long Road canned cocktails will be available for purchase from their tasting rooms in Grand Rapids, Grand Haven and Boyne City.

Grand Rapids distillery, Long Road Distillers, has been nominated as the Best Distillery in the country in multiple categories as part of the annual USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards. On Monday, the company announced it has been nominated as the “Best Craft Specialty Spirits Distillery”“Best Craft Gin Distillery”, and “Best Craft Brandy Distillery” for 2020. This marks the fourth time that Long Road was nominated in the “Best Craft Specialty Spirits Distillery” category.

Over their five-year history the distillery has gained national and international attention for their award-winning, locally-sourced and craft-distilled line-up of spirits, including gins, vodkas, liqueurs and whiskies.

The public will choose the winners by casting votes on 10best.com/awards. Each person may vote for their favorites once per day until Monday, September 14. Winners will be announced on September 25. Quick links to Long Road’s nominations can be found at https://longroaddistillers.com/10best/.

Long Road Distillers is one of 20 nominees, in each category, from around the country that were carefully chosen by a panel of American spirits experts. The nominating panel includes Wayne Curtis, renowned spirits and cocktail author of books including “And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails”, Brian Christensen, publisher and editor of Artisan Spirit Magazine, Ziggy Eschliman, founder of ZigStyle and award-winning radio host, Eric Grossman, a food and beverage writer and author of Craft Spirits, and Jack Robertiello, a writer and acclaimed wine and spirits judge.

“We’re incredibly proud to receive nominations in multiple categories again this year,” said Kyle VanStrien, co-owner and founder of Long Road Distillers. “We’re fortunate to be part of a thriving craft beverage scene in Michigan. While it feels odd to celebrate such honors in light of the challenges our industry is currently facing, we’re happy for the attention it can bring to our region.”

The distillery is quick to point out how these awards are different from many other competitions, and that they will be relying on their loyal supporters and the community in West Michigan to help them top the list of winners.

“Unlike many competitions where the judging takes place behind closed doors, this contest puts the power in the hands of those that enjoy our spirits and those who have supported us over the past several years,” said Jon O’Connor, co-owner and founder of Long Road Distillers. “We’re humbled by these nominations and hopeful that we can spread the word far and wide to take home a few new honors for Grand Rapids!”

Long Road’s no-shortcuts approach to crafting spirits and a dedication to using locally sourced ingredients has earned them numerous honors and awards, as well as international acclaim for some lesser-known spirits categories, such as Aquavit. Their spirits can be found at the distillery on Grand Rapids’ West Side, at tasting rooms in Grand Haven and Boyne City, and at over 2,100 retailers, bars, and restaurants throughout the state of Michigan.

A group of 86 Michigan restaurant and bar owners today announced a new initiative to ensure the health and safety of their employees, customers and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. By signing the Michigan Restaurant Promise, restaurant and bar owners commit their establishments to upholding the State of Michigan and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention safety guidelines.

“COVID-19 has had a significant impact on West Michigan and many businesses – particularly bars and restaurants – have suffered,” said Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. “It’s great to see this group rally together to protect the health and safety of their employees, customers and our community.”

“It’s frustrating to see bars and restaurants not enforcing the health and safety guidelines laid out to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities,” said Chris Andrus, owner of Mitten Brewing. “Those establishments threaten to undo the many sacrifices our community and industry have made and undermine the hard work of establishments like mine committed to keeping the public safe.”

“As restaurant owners and managers, we feel a sense of responsibility for the health and well-being of our employees, our guests and the community at large,” said Kris Spaulding, owner of Brewery Vivant. “That’s why we started this initiative – to show our communities we are taking this seriously and are committed to protecting their health and safety.”

“Though our entire industry is fighting for survival, our greatest concern is the safety of our team members and guests,” said Kyle VanStrien, owner of Long Road Distillery. “We are committed to working together and holding one another accountable, and I am proud to sign onto this pledge.”

“Small businesses are the heart of West Michigan and it’s great to see this group of local restaurant and bar owners be leaders in putting people first,” said Hanna Schulze, president of Local First. “The Michigan Restaurant Promise can serve as a model for other communities to hold their local businesses accountable and encourage them to prioritize the health and wellbeing of their employees and customers above all else.”

Learn more about the initiative by visiting MiRestaurantPromise.com.

Grand Rapids-based Long Road Distillers will celebrate their fifth anniversary this weekend with a limited release of a brand-new offering, Long Road Bottled-In-Bond Bourbon Whisky.

“Obviously, we never expected to celebrate our five-year anniversary under the circumstances we find ourselves in,” said Jon O’Connor, co-owner and co-founder of Long Road Distillers. “All of our locations are closed to dine-in service, and we’ve been producing more hand sanitizer over the past 8 weeks than craft spirits. We can’t throw the party this birthday deserves, but we’re grateful for the opportunity to still offer take-out service of spirits, cocktail kits and food.”

Unique environment aside, the distillery wanted to mark the anniversary with something special. The Bottled-In-Bond designation is a significant milestone in the life of a distillery, and carries with it certain requirements that go above and beyond the average bourbon.

A bottled-in-bond whisky must be distilled in a single distilling season for a single distillery, aged in a federally bonded warehouse for at least 4 years, and bottled at 100 proof. All these requirements were established by the Bottled-In-Bond Act of 1897. As the label on Long Road’s Bottled-In-Bond expression calls out, this bourbon is quite literally “Bottled-In-Bond Under U.S. Government Supervision”.

Only a single barrel of Long Road Bottled-In-Bond Bourbon will be available this week, less than 180 bottles in total.

Since Governor Whitmer issued an Executive Order on March 16 to shut down dining rooms of bars and restaurants, the team at Long Road Distillers has shifted gears to produce hand sanitizer and to offer take-out of Cocktail Kits, craft spirits, and more recently food from their Grand Rapids kitchen.

Orders for Long Road Bottled-In-Bond Bourbon and a variety of other spirits and kits can be placed through the Take-Out section of the company’s website www.LongRoadDistillers.com, and picked up at any of their three tasting room locations this weekend. A full list of days and hours of operation are available on the site.

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