Grand Rapids distillery, Long Road Distillers, will release a brand new gin made in collaboration with members of the Greater Detroit chapter of the United States Bartenders’ Guild. Long Road Bartender’s Blend Gin, the third gin in the distillery’s growing line-up of spirits, will be available at the West Side distillery beginning at 4pm on Monday, March 6th.
“The idea for the collaboration came out of a brainstorming session with a few board members from the USBG-Detroit,” said Jon O’Connor, Co-Owner and Co-Founder of Long Road Distillers. “As a chapter, their members are inundated with tasting events and formal presentations from spirits brands on a weekly basis. Rather than simply talk at them about how we make our vodkas, gins, and whiskies, we decided to invite them into the process of making a grain to glass gin with us.”
In early November, over 30 bartenders from Detroit boarded a bus and traveled to Grand Rapids for the day to tour the distillery, gain an understanding of how Long Road’s products are crafted, and then work together to create a completely new and unique spirit. Attendees worked together in teams, joined by the Long Road crew of distillers, to craft their own unique blend of gin botanicals. Each team had the opportunity to present their proposed blend to the group and a vote was taken to determine the finalists. From there, everyone worked together to come to a consensus on what they wanted to fine tune about a finished product and what would work best for them as bartenders.
“This was one of the best events we’ve ever partnered on with a brand,” said USBG-Greater Detroit President Liz Cosby. “It was incredible to see so many of our members work together towards a common goal of creating something we could all be proud of and use on a daily basis as bartenders!”
The winning gin has since been scaled up by Long Road’s team of distillers and is ready for statewide distribution. To celebrate the release, Long Road is offering half-off gin cocktails and half-off gin pours on Monday, March 6th from 4pm to midnight.
“We’re excited to share this collaborative spirit with others,” said Kyle VanStrien, Co-Owner and Co-Founder of Long Road. “We’re so grateful for the positive reception we’ve received from industry folks in Detroit, a city now known for its amazing food and drink. The same care and attention that goes into a bartender’s building of a craft cocktail was used in crafting this gin. We think it shows!”