Long Road announces Beer City Whisky Series release

Long Road Distillers is releasing the latest offering in its Beer City Whiskey Series today.

The craft distiller partnered with Harmony Brewing Company and Harmony Hall on Harmony Black Squirrel Malt Whisky. Harmony Black Squirrel Malt Whisky is distilled from the same mash as Black Squirrel Peated Porter, a flagship beer from the Grand Rapids-based brewery.

Harmony Black Squirrel Malt Whisky will be released today at 4 p.m. at the distillery on Leonard Street. The whiskey is available for tastes, cocktails and bottles to take home.

Long Road is also hosting a special three-course dinner tonight from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., inspired by flavors from the kitchens of Long Road and Harmony Hall. The meal will be paired with beer, whisky and a cocktail. The cost is $35.

Kyle VanStrien, co-owner and co-founder of Long Road Distillers, said Black Squirrel turned out just like he’d hoped. He also said the Beer City Whisky Series has been a great opportunity for collaboration.

“Black Squirrel’s rich smoke characteristic carried over into the whisky, just like we had hoped,” VanStrien said. “Besides that, it gave us another excuse to get together with the Van Dykes [Barry Van Dyke, Jackson Van Dyke and Heather Van Dyke-Titus are the founders of Harmony Brew Company and Harmony Hall] and work collaboratively on something in a neighborhood we all love.”

This is the third release in the Long Road Beer City Whisky Series, a line-up of whiskies collaboratively made with four local breweries that have helped earn Grand Rapids the title of Beer City USA.

The idea behind the Beer City Whisky Series stemmed from shared base ingredients between beer and whisky, namely, malted barley. To create the four whiskies in this series, Long Road acquired brewer’s mash from each brewery and distilled it into malt whisky on their 500 gallon Vendome pot still. After each beer was distilled into whisky, it was aged in new American oak barrels for 12-24 months.

Long Road Distillers has partnered with four Grand Rapids breweries for the initial year of 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), and Greyline Brewing Company (Greyline Solshine).

Each whisky is being released in-house at the distillery over the course of the summer in extremely small batches ranging from 100 to 200 bottles per batch.

The first release in the series, Mitten Country Strong Malt Whisky, made in partnership with the Mitten Brewing Company, was released May 23. The second release, Perrin Black Malt Whisky, made in collaboration with Perrin Brewing Company, was released on June 20.

*Photo Courtesy of Long Road Distillers

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