Mitten Celebrates 4 years!

 

Help the Mitten family celebrate our 4th anniversary by joining us in a week long party with a different event planned every day.

Take a picture using the hashtag #mitten4th for a chance to win great prizes. Winners will be selected on Saturday night, and announced at the taproom and on Facebook.

Bonus: All week enjoy 15% off merchandise purchased in house.

NOVEMBER 14 TO 19

Mon. 11/14 5pm to 10Firefighter appreciation day. All GRFD will receive mug club pricing of 1/2 priced beers and a 15% discount on food. All non-GRFD are encouraged to come in and enjoy $2 pints of Ned & George.
Tues. 11/15 11:30am to close: Clubhouse renewal opens. Clubhouse members can renew membership and enjoy a complimentary beer with renewal. (Renewal beer on this day only.) Renewals for Clubhouse only until Dec. 31st.
Wed. 11/16: Specialty beer release. On tap limited releases. 
Death to Flying Things Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout
Old No. 9 Barrel-Aged Old Ale
Sour Cream Barrel-Soured Cream Ale
Thurs. 11/17 7pm to 10 pmThe Mitten Band Experience. It's the day the Mitten staff has been dreaming about since the day we opened; an all employee musical feature. Enjoy the best sounds to ever grace your earholes.
Fri. 11/18: Bottle Release. If you know whats good for you then you'll wait outside the door until we open so you can get your hands on an exclusive bottled version of Death to Flying Things. 
Sat. 11/19 5pm to closeFancy Party Day! Wear your ball gown, or a tuxedo T-shirt because both will fit in perfectly with this (Faux) Fancy Party. Winners of the hashtag drawing ( #mitten4th ) will be announced this evening.

Supporting local kids is as easy as drinking a beer.

When it comes to community involvement the Mitten family is nothing but supportive. Committed to a different charity partner every month, and involved with volunteer opportunities throughout the West Side our staff and patrons prove their commitment to giving back.

Sometimes changing a life is as simple as ordering a beer. For every pint sold of our “Teddy Rasberry Wheat Ale” $1 was collected as a donation to The Inner City Youth Baseball/Softball Program administered by the Grand Rapids YMCA.

The goal of this free program is to provide kids with a high quality summer baseball/softball experience right in their own neighborhoods. Through a partnership with the West Michigan Whitecaps, the program has grown from just a few hundred kids to an average of 1,600 boys and girls each summer!

We are pleased to announce that we have raised $3,329 for ICYBS with the summer sales of Teddy Rasberry! This amount will cover most (if not all) of the purchase of equipment that the kids will need for the 2017 season. This donation will make a real difference in the lives of all participants, and will put gloves in the hands of children who could not otherwise afford them. 

As a staff we are thrilled to donate to this program, and help improve the community in which we live, work and play!

For those unfamiliar, Ted "Teddy" Rasberry, was a local celebrity and celebrated figure in the annals of Negro League baseball history. (Note that Ted spelled his last name without the “p.”) Born in Mississippi in 1913, Ted and his family moved to Grand Rapids in 1935. In the late 1940s, he helped organize a local baseball team called The Grand Rapids Black Sox that featured baseball legend Satchel Paige.

After that, Ted was a player, manager and owner of the Detroit Stars (1954) and the Kansas City Monarchs (1956-1961). He was also responsible for being the first to racially integrate Little League teams in the Grand Rapids. Ted had a local ballpark (Jefferson and Highland) named in his honor in 2000.

Stay tuned for your next chance to try "Teddy Rasberry" when it's back on tap.

Celebrate Detroit Tigers Opening Day with The Mitten Brewing Co.

(GRAND RAPIDS MI, March 21, 2016) – On Tuesday April 5th, The Mitten Brewing Company will once again host its annual Detroit Tigers Opening Day Celebration for the 7:10 PM broadcast season opener. The historic firehouse taproom, located in West Grand Neighborhood, has become one of West Michiganʼs top destinations for baseball enthusiasts and features vintage baseball photos, memorabilia, and even seats from
Tiger Stadium.
The Mitten will be offering a number of promotions for this FREE, all-ages event, including live performances of “The Star Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America” from local performers in both taprooms.
Additionally, the brewery will discount $1 from each customerʼs bill for every run scored by the Tigers during the duration of the patronʼs time at The Mitten.
“We are planning to have 20 beers on tap for the event, including a few rare releases,” said Chris Andrus, Mitten Co-Owner. “We are excited to finally tap some barrel-aged beers, including customer favorites “Death To Flying Things” Imperial Stout and “Big Fella” Chocolate Imperial Porter.”
“We invite you to enjoy the game-like atmosphere in the heart of Beer City with cold beer, hot pizza, and the biggest Tigersʼ fans in town!” said Max Trierweiler, Mitten Co-Owner.

Wob's Perfect Pitch

Wob Wanhatalo set aside a recent Saturday evening to watch a newly-released documentary about one of his favorite baseball moments, which also lends its name to his favorite brew.

The documentary on Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis’ 1970 no-hitter thrown on LSD was a must watch for the Mitten’s head pub brewer. But the infamous no-no was purely a high in a drug-fueled career of mostly lows.

“I’ve known the story for decades,” Wob said. “When we first got Galaxy hops, I wanted to design a beer to showcase them and give them space and the idea of space led to LSD and it being a trip and spacey, so we called it Dock’s No-No.”

Dock’s No-No, however nearly lost its name that Saturday night, as Wob learned how much drugs actually plagued Ellis’ career. Wob knew recreational, not performance-enhancing, drugs were all the rage in the 1970s professional sports world, but little did he know how much it affected Ellis.

Ellis rarely, if ever, pitched sober, once going so far to take amphetamines in the clubhouse in the middle of the games because his mechanics were so messed up while sober.

His drug riddled career wasn’t without success though. Following his 1970 no-hitter and a 13-10 season, Ellis finished fourth in Cy Young balloting for his 19-9 1971 season when the Pirates won the World Series.

Following a few turbulent seasons with the Pirates, Ellis joined the Yankees in 1976 and pitched his way to a 17-8 season with a 3.15 ERA, winning the American League Comeback Player of Year award.

He retired from baseball in the spring of 1980, following a few relief appearances in 1979 with the Pirates. Upon retiring, Ellis realized he needed to clean up his life and entered rehab.

He went on to counsel other addicts and prisoners for the rest of his life, inspiring many to also go on to become counselors. Ellis’ ultimate resurrection is what saved the Mitten’s Double IPAs name, Wob said.

“We didn’t know about the man himself, just that day,” Wob said. “There was this unfortunate feeling inside me after I watched the documentary and I wondered if I was doing him a disservice for naming a beer after the no-hitter, which he may or may not have been proud of.”

Wob said he’s seen some parallels in Dock’s baseball career and his brewing career, but that he and the rest of the Mitten brewers are well on their way to brewing hit after hit. Wob’s career started at The Hideout, and attracted Mitten owners Max Trierweiler and Chris Andrus to recruit him as the first brewer when it opened in November 2012.

Since then Wob has worked with fellow brewers Jason Warnes, Alex Atkin, Scott Vant Hul and Aaron Ross to make good beers even better every day they step into the company’s brewhouses.

“It’s never been about individual growth here,” Wob said. “It’s a group growth between all of us, striving to make the best beers we can and we’ve come a long way since the beginning.”

He pointed to the first Dock’s No-No, brewed in a poorly sealed plastic fermenter with no temperature control. Now, every beer brewed at The Mitten is a controlled stainless steel environment with tight temperature control.

Although every beer has seen an improvement, he said Dock’s No-No was one that really showed him how much flavor could come out. He designed it to be simple, an accessible Double IPA reminiscent of Bell’s Brewery’s Hopslam.

“I wanted something approachable from a double IPA standpoint, something even a novice IPA drinker can get down with,” he said. “It’s consistently good every time with a great fruity, honey, sweet, bitter mix. And it doesn’t drink like it’s 9 percent.”

The beer has become a staff and fan favorite, likely in part because of the story behind it. Wob said the service staff often asks him about the story, and is one of the beers they can rattle of the story behind its name with no problem because of its uniqueness.

“There’s a following behind it,” he said. “People get a good chuckle out of it and it’s a great story tied to a great beer.”

Wob’s favorite beer is Dock’s No-No, but he’s also been able to pride himself on some of the lighter beers he’s making, which also have been improved greatly since the brewery’s first entry into the Michigan brewing scene. He said he’s seen increased respect from other respected Michigan brewers as the Mitten’s brew team continues to take leaps and bounds forward.

“I love a good challenge, and now we’re helping transform this side of town, which isn’t the craft side of town,” he said. “I’m happy to make these beers, the creams, the blondes, that are rather difficult and keep them clean and drinkable and help new drinkers open their minds.”

Andrus said he’s proud of the job Wob has been able to do in his three years at The Mitten.

“Dock’s No-No doesn’t define Wob,” Andrus said. “He brews excellent beers on either side of the spectrum and has become a great mentor to our young pub brewers.

“He’s more than just one beer.”

Mitten brewer Wob and his beloved Dock's No-No DIPA.

Mitten brewer Wob and his beloved Dock's No-No DIPA.