Speciation Artisan Ales marking five years with a party

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Courtesy Speciation Artisan Ales

A Grand Rapids craft brewery will host a party next month with samples of its best brews and food by Street Chef Shaw.

Speciation Artisan Ales said Wednesday, Jan. 26, it will host a fifth anniversary celebration at 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11, at its taproom at 928 Wealthy St. SE in Grand Rapids.

The event will include samples of its best beers from the past five years opened by saber, a food truck by Street Chef Shaw and a special release of Speciation’s newest beer, Biodiversity.

The brewery also will “coolship” a special small batch brewed by Mitten Brewing Company for the occasion on its patio — with coolshipping being a technique that creates a spontaneous fermentation.

Mitch Ermatinger, owner of Speciation Artisan Ales, said the brewery has evolved “a ton” since opening in 2017.

“Initially, we were only open to the public one day a month for order pickups. That went on for nearly two years. Eventually, we opened a cozy little taproom (at) our former production facility in Comstock Park. We also focused heavily on European distribution in the first four years of the company. In 2021, we moved to Grand Rapids proper and opened up our current taproom on Wealthy Street near Diamond,” he said.

“Now, we focus almost entirely on selling direct through our taproom, and we really try to make our taproom experience enjoyable for everybody who walks in the door, no matter their choice of beverage.”

Ermatinger said the brewery’s biggest challenge was moving locations while updating its manufacturing process and remaining operational.

“It was a huge task, and our production crew did a great job handling everything I threw at them,” he said.

He said Speciation enjoys forming partnerships with likeminded businesses.

“My favorites from recent memory have been Mutualism, a beer we blended in collaboration with Michigan’s first Black-owned brewery, Black Calder. The other one that went (well) is Macaronage, a beer we blended in collaboration with Chartreuse Sisters. They are opening a French-American fusion patisserie café right down the street from us on Wealthy.”

Ermatinger also said he is excited about Speciation’s new wine program.

“We recently started focusing on an ancient bubbly wine style called pét-nat, and our results have been unique and exciting,” he said.

More information about Speciation Artisan Ales is at speciationartisanales.com.

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