A Michigan whiskey maker recently teamed up with a local beer maker, and together they brewed up something unique.
Craft spirits maker Wonderland Distilling and Grand Armory Brewing partnered on a limited-edition whiskey, distilled from a Grand Armory-brewed strawberry IPA, which was intended for their “Grindage” series of beers.
The new whiskey, called LINK, is available in limited quantities at Wonderland’s cocktail bar.
A statement from the two brands noted that Wonderland’s LINK Whiskey and Grand Armory’s Grindage IPA-style beers, which includes its Wheezin’ the Juice brand, pay homage the 1990’s comedy, Encino Man, starring Pauly Shore and Brendan Fraser.
Shore’s character, Stoney, teaches Link, Fraser’s caveman character, to “wheez the juice” and “munch on some grindage,” which meant drinking slushies from the tap and eating food at a convenience store. The name LINK is also a nod to US-31, the main road connecting Muskegon and Grand Haven, where the craft makers are located.
To make LINK Whiskey, Wonderland distilled Grand Armory’s beer and barrel aged it for a year. The distiller noted that the whiskey drinks like an old fashioned, blending caramel notes on the palate with floral hints and berry on the back. It finishes with notes of oak, almond, caramel, spice, and a subtle strawberry hop taste.
“All whiskey begins as beer,” said Allen Serio, partner and chief marketing officer at Wonderland. “The hops bring an extra dimension to the finished whiskey, pulling the fruit notes to the front of your tastebuds. The way we see it, if you start with something delicious, like Grand Armory IPAs, then distill it, and store it for more than a year, you’re going to end up with something even more spectacular.”
This whiskey’s bottle design also draws inspiration from the movie, looking like the movie’s poster design on the front label … a map of Encino.
“Building relationships and community endeavors are cornerstone values for Grand Armory Brewing,” said Ryan Andrews, co-founder of Grand Armory Brewing. “Teaming up with Wonderland Distilling in Muskegon to create an impressive product like LINK was an incredible experience for us. It’s an honor to help showcase the amazing quality and workmanship of the distilling and brewing industries on the West Michigan lakeshore.”