Five years can go by quickly in the craft beer world, which is how Block Brewing Company in Howell, MI felt last week.

Business has been booming with two locations – Howell (1140 S Michigan Ave) and Brighton (1840 S Old US 23 Hwy), delicious BBQ, and solid craft beers.

The Howell brewpub, Block Brewing’s first location, found a home in the former Shark Club site. This was the place for the five year celebration last week on Tuesday, December 17.

I stopped by to celebrate and talk with head brewer, Brad Jonkheere, about what’s new with Block Brewing Company. He said new ownership took over in April of 2019 and they are happy to report three recent developments going on at Block Brewing Company – Mugless Mug Club, special release beers, and gluten-reduced beers.

Mugless Mug Club

The Mugless Mug Club is a way to give patrons a sense of belonging and a ton of good deals at Block Brewing Company. Jonkheere said that applications are being accepted, and gave me a form to fill out.

The “perks” of the mugless mug club at either location include a free growler of any Block Brewing beer, logoed pint glass, 20 oz pour at a 16 oz price, 12 oz pour of a higher gravity beer at a 10 oz price, free pizza and beer during birthday moth, $2 off growler fills, 10% off merch, and invites to special releases and beer pairing dinners. Sounds like a great deal to me! Stop by the brewery for annual and yearly rates.

Special Release Beers

Stolen Souls is Block Brewing Company’s barrel aged beer and it is delicious. All the times I have had it have been a real treat. The stout has been aged in Buffalo Trace barrels and turns out strong and boozy.

 

For the five year anniversary, Jonkheere said that eight variants were made – Coconut, S’mores, Vanilla, Cinnamon Roll, Chocolate & Blueberries, Coffee & Chocolate, Chocolate Hazelnut, and, Brad’s favorite, Salted Caramel.

Photo Credit – Block Brewing Company

Only eighty 330oz bottles of each variant and Stolen Souls were made this year with a 70-30 split between the Howell and Brighton locations, respectively. Hoping I can get my hands on a few for a beer review!

Gluten-Reduced Beers

The most profound change to Block Brewing Company’s beer line up is the shift to gluten-reduced beer … or is it? Brad Jonkheere said the beers that are now gluten reduced “should taste exactly the same. We add Clarity Ferm and the added enzymes do the rest during fermentation.” He said it was a little more work during the brewing process, but is worth it in the long run.

The idea to have a handful of beers be gluten-reduced stemmed from one of Block Brewing Company’s servers having celiac disease and being unable to imbibe in the main product of the brewery. Jonkheere said they were not going to be going through the gluten free process with their sours or hazy beers. The beers that are Gluten-Reduced will have a “GR” next to their logo on the beer menu, like the picture above. There is a QR code on the menu with a link to educate patrons on the change, as well.

Can’t wait to stop back in to Block Brewing Company to try all of the newly gluten-reduced beer, look into the mugless mug club, and find one of the special release beers.

Happy Anniversary, Block Brewing Company!

Cheers!

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