Food Service & Agriculture, Manufacturing, and Retail

'Wild' beer maker releasing first brew

January 5, 2017
| By Pat Evans |
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Speciation Artisan Ales wild beer bottle on lakefront
Comstock Park-based Speciation Artisan Ales says it uses “wild and lab cultures to make beer that reflects nature’s diversity and creativity.” Photo via

A local small-batch “wild” beer producer is releasing tickets for its first bottle release.

Comstock Park-based Speciation Artisan Ales, at 3720 West River Dr. NE, said the tickets will be available at noon on Jan. 7 until 6 p.m. on Jan. 12.

The tickets will reserve a bottle for pickup on Jan. 14. There’s a limit of six bottles per customer.  

Bottles will not be for sale for those without tickets.

“We’ve been planning this brewery for over three years, and it feels fantastic to finally be releasing our very first batch,” Speciation Owner Mitch Ermatinger said. “This will be just a small taste of the wild ales to come.”

Ermatinger plans regular monthly releases.

Leftover beers will be distributed in a limited basis throughout Michigan.

First beer

The first beer from Speciation will be the brewery’s American farmhouse ale, Genetic Drift.

The saison is made with Pilsner and Vienna malts, wheat, rye and oats, then fermented with brettanomyces, saison yeast and a house wild yeast harvested off of crab apple flower in Holland. Genetic Drift was also hopped with Mosaic and Saaz hops.


The Business Journal profiled Speciation in April 2016, before Ermatinger had a location.

A West Michigan native, Ermatinger and his wife, Whitney Ermatinger, returned from Denver last year. Ermatinger was a brewer at Denver’s Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales, which won two medals at the Great American Beer Festival for wild ales in 2014 and 2015.

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