KDaLe Quest: 4 Questions with Speciation Artisan Ales

KDaLe is a chance to interact with local brewers and learn about the industry while tasting some delicious beverages.
All KDaLe programs are for ages 21 and up.

Our KDaLe Quest is hoppin'! To complete the quest before it ends on August 31, you'll need to download the Beanstack App (for Android or iOS) and visit the participating breweries to find the answers to each location's question (which can be found in the app).

We'd love to introduce you to Speciation Artisan Ales, one of our KDaLe Quest partners. The brewery is located in a 100-year-old auto shop in an alley at 928 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Tell us a little about your history.

My wife Whitney and I started working on Speciation when we moved to Colorado late 2013. We eventually moved back and opened Speciation in January 2017. We opened in a very non-traditional way, with no taproom, and only open one day a month for folks to pick up the bottles they ordered. It was a very exciting time, and the small batches of sour and wild beer we made sold faster than we could make them. Eventually we made the decision to open a taproom and focused on a more conventional approach. Now we make all kinds of beverages for all kinds of people. Naturally made wine, super fruited seltzers smoothies, crispy lagers and pale ales, and of course wild fermented saisons and sours.

While all of your drinks are amazing, which one is head and bubbles above the rest?

Our pride and joy is the Laurentian series, which was created by driving vats of open, unfermented beer out to each of the great lakes to chill overnight and collect wild yeast and bacteria from the ambient air. This wild yeast then fermented the beer slowly over the course of 2-3 years inside oak barrels. We then released each lake beer on it's own, and we made a master blend with a little bit of each of the 5 lakes blended into one batch of beer called The Laurentian Series: Cuvée Des Grands Lacs.

What is your brewmaster's favorite book? Why?

Picking a single favorite book is very hard. I read a lot. I think the book that sticks out most to me is The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. It's a Science Fiction novel about a Jesuit priest who is sent to a newly discovered planet as a missionary. His interactions with the native life he finds are fascinating, and the book explores a lot of the big questions we have about consciousness.

What sets you apart from the other breweries in Beer City, USA?

The main thing that sets us apart is our extensive use of wild yeast and bacteria. Wild yeast gives you flavors that you can't get anywhere else on Earth. We embrace the chaotic and unpredictable nature of wild bugs!

When you stop by Speciation Artisan Ales, make sure you mention the KDaLe Quest!