Ellison Brewery + Spirits celebrated it’s fourth anniversary last Saturday, October 5 with an all day party in East Lansing. The weather was gorgeous, the people were lined up, and the brews were flowing.

To put it simply, the day was a chill party with Ellison friends and family. The highlight of the day was the brewery-only can release featuring seven different beers including Gravity, Gravity Shift, Gravity Flux, Gravitational Attraction, Quantum Gravity, Force of Gravity, and Dissenting Opinions. Ellison also featured the beers of their new partnership with radio station 97.1 The Ticket97.1 The Ticket Hazy Pale Ale and the American Lager. The latter also happens to be “the official beer of the Detroit Red Wings radio network.”

Did you catch that beer list? Me neither. Thankful for the signs and beer menus to keep me in the loop.

Tickets to the anniversary party included a small tasting glass and beer tickets to sample the special release beers. In addition to the beers there were two food trucks, Bangos and Detroit Frankie’s Pizza; lawn games; tons of college football on the TVs; and an excellent selection beers to drink. Mug club members were able to pre-order allotments of the beers listed above and got into the party two hours in advance, while the general public lined up for their cans.

Prior to the celebration, I was able to chat with Aaron Hanson, owner and president of operations, about what Ellison had been up to and what was in store for the weekend.

Being a new mug club member, I told him I was impressed by all of the communication between the brewery and the members. I asked him what his secret was to getting it right in the eyes of the consumer. I shared that I have been quite disappointed in how breweries are handling releases with online ticket sales, changing allotments during the release, and not being upfront about how much product is available.

Aaron was quick to laugh, but pointed out that he’s learned to manage people’s expectations and provide a ton of communication to all parties involved. For example, the  early mug club pre-orders for the anniversary release informed him about how much was going to be left over for the public. This information was communicated well before the party, so there would be no surprises the day of.

Aaron holding up the new Ellison logo | Photo Credit – Ellison Brewery + Spirits

I also asked him about the new logo and rebrand. Aaron said it was an homage to his background as an auto engineer. He said that all logos and can art would have a fresh new look heading into 2020.

Looking at the near future, Aaron plans on opening two new locations of Ellison Brewery + Spirits. One will be down the street in Lansing and be dedicated to a sours program. The other is in Indianapolis and is going to have a 300 seat tasting room, full kitchen and menu, and an executive chef.

At the end of the conversation, Aaron said 2019 has been a “whirlwind” and that he is looking forward to 2020 and “continuing to kick ass!”

Rocking a new logo, brewing fantastic beers, and opening two new locations?! All in a day’s work for Aaron Hanson and the gang at Ellison Brewery + Spirits in East Lansing.

Cheers to the past, present, and future of Ellison!


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By Ed Norton

Edwin "Ed" Norton was first introduced to craft beer when his designated fraternity Big Brother Vince asked him if he knew anything about the topic. Ed admitted his ignorance and the rest is history as Ed and Vince would split six-packs of craft beers each week during Ed's probationary status. Ed is now a craft beer enthusiast who is always on the lookout for a beer he has not tried when bottle shopping or drinking at breweries and bars. In addition to drinking beer, this livelong Michigan resident enjoys a bunch of hobbies that he doubts you really care about, other than drinking beer and sounding off about it.

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