Raise funds for GiGi’s house

Beer is typically made from just four ingredients: barley, hops, yeast, and water. But there are times when the liquid in your glass measures much more than the mere sum of its parts. A special, global, open-ended collaboration beer, with roots right here in Michigan, is being brewed to help raise awareness for people with Down syndrome.

“I thought about this idea some time ago, but on a much smaller scale,” said Pat Craddock, CFO of Griffin Claw Brewing Company. “I was in another brewery and thought we could maybe work with a brewery to do something like this. ”

Beers lined up at Burzurk Brewing in Grand Haven. They are one of more than 2 dozen breweries participating in the Tri-21 project.

Amy Sherman / For Hearst Midwest

Craddock explained that a few recent global collaborations, like Sierra Nevada’s Resilience, which raised funds for the Camp Fire Relief Fund, and Weathered Souls Black is Beautiful beer have helped him craft a plan.

“They really made a plan for how this could happen,” he said.

The result is Tri-21 Project beer, which is starting to pop up in Michigan, the country, and even places as far away as Brazil, Mexico, and France. Any brewery can choose to make this beer, there is a recipe to follow, but creativity is encouraged. Etiquette art, social media kits, a special website are all provided for free. Craddock even ran discounts on ingredients like malt and hops from the makers. In return, it is hoped that the breweries will donate a portion of the proceeds from this special beer to any group that supports people with Down’s Syndrome.

The Tri-21 beer collaborative project was envisioned by Pat Craddock of Griffin Claw Brewing as a way to both raise awareness and raise funds to help support Down syndrome.

The Tri-21 beer collaborative project was envisioned by Pat Craddock of Griffin Claw Brewing as a way to both raise awareness and raise funds to help support Down syndrome.

Courtesy photo

“For us, beer is something that brings people together and that people enjoy,” said Chris Lasher, Marketing Director of Griffin Claw. “It’s kind of like ice cream, not really good for you, but everyone likes it. Beer can make an impact, it creates community, and for that beer, it goes to a great cause outside of this one. A global collaboration like this can focus on bigger causes and create greater awareness. This shows the strength of the brewing community, which is not found in many other industries. It is a victory, a victory, a victory.

The name reflects the cause, as Down syndrome is also called trisomy 21, which refers to the extra chromosome that occurs with this disease. The cause is very personal in Craddock, as his son Ian was born six years ago with Down syndrome.

“He loves dinosaurs and Thomas the Tank, and he literally loves elephants,” Craddock said of his son. “I mean literally he has a whole herd of stuffed elephants.”


SPONSORED: Certain breweries listed on this map may be advertisers.

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One of Ian’s favorite things to do is visit GiGi’s Playhouse, and they go there several times a week. The organization, which has more than 50 locations around the world, including one in the Detroit area, welcomes families for developmental play, therapy, resource sharing, and most importantly, building important networks of support for children and parents. It is one of the recommended organizations for Project Tri-21 donations.

“It’s hard to get Ian out of there,” Craddock said, reflecting on their visits to Gigi. “They have literacy classes, math classes and fitness classes for kids with Down syndrome, which is so important. But more importantly, you meet parents and families who have been through this. It helps to build a network, so when you have questions, you can turn to these other people. It was just fantastic.

“This is a whole bunch of people that you don’t know exist,” said Garry Boyd of being a parent at the Club for Kids with Down’s Syndrome. He is currently a bartender at Burzurk Brewing in Grand Haven, opened the first HopCat, and is a past board member of the Michigan Brewers Guild.

“If your kids are neurotypical, you don’t live in this world at all,” he said.

Boyd and his wife Kristal welcomed their daughter Mackenzie in 2010 and, after her diagnosis, found support with the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan.

Boyd explained how necessary therapy is early on, with muscle tone work being key.

“You have to start working on everything,” Boyd said. “As soon as possible. Eat, go to the bathroom, grab things, all those things you don’t think about with neurotypical children.

“Then you’re part of this community,” Boyd continued. “I don’t know what we would have done without these resources and the people we met along the way. “

A cheerful little girl, Mackenzie loved Tinkerbell, swimming, mom and dad and siblings Charlie Rae and CJ. She passed away suddenly in 2017 and left a hole that can never be filled. The Boyds are committed to keeping her memory alive by helping other families with Down’s syndrome.

Mackenzie Boyd was a very special little girl who suffered from Down syndrome.  She passed away suddenly in 2017. Burzurk Brewing is participating in the Tri-21 project in her honor.

Mackenzie Boyd was a very special little girl who suffered from Down syndrome. She passed away suddenly in 2017. Burzurk Brewing participates in the Tri-21 project in her honor.

Garry Boyd / Courtesy Photo

Support groups that exist, like Gigi’s Place and the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan, are lifelines for parents facing a diagnosis.

“They are a great resource for new parents,” Boyd said. “And a great resource to keep going. From day one, such a great resource.

With this open collaboration, Tri-21 Project has an open schedule and a recipe that adapts to creativity and ingredients. Brewers can make beer whenever they want, with Griffin Claw kicking off in early October in honor of Down’s syndrome month. Ingredient discounts run until March 21, which is World Day. of trisomy 21.

All of the label art is available on the website, and there is also downloadable promotional material to help promote the beer. Each brewery can choose the local organization they want to support or are encouraged to send to Gigi’s Playhouse.

Tri-21 is an open collaboration brew, which means Griffin Claw designed the beer recipes and the art of the label, and they're now sharing it with the rest of the world for free.  Everyone is welcome to brew this special beer made for a special cause.

Tri-21 is an open collaboration brew, which means Griffin Claw designed the beer recipes and the art of the label, and they’re now sharing it with the rest of the world for free. Everyone is welcome to brew this special beer made for a special cause.

Courtesy photo

The recipe for this special beer is for a New England double IPA that Griffin Claw helped develop with their friends at HOMES Brewing in Ann Arbor. The original recipe is around 8.5% and has lots of hops, including Centennial and Citra, and a phalanx of “brewers” ​​choices. You can currently find Griffin Claw’s on draft and in cans for distribution statewide.

I stopped in Burzurk while owner Tyler Forbes and Boyd finished their batch of beer. They are one of over 20 breweries that are currently listed for beer. Boyd had his armpits deep in the tank, picking up the spent grains. A messy job, but a Boyd was happy to do it.

“I asked Tyler if he would be interested,” Boyd said of brewing beer before leaving Burzurk to open his own bar, the Unicorn Tavern. “He said fine, as long as I cleaned up all the mash.”

Garry Boyd cleans the tank after brewing Project Tri-21 beer at Burzurk Brewing in Grand Haven.

Garry Boyd cleans the tank after brewing Project Tri-21 beer at Burzurk Brewing in Grand Haven.

Amy Sherman / For Hearst Midwest

Burzurk beer will be available on tap at the brewery in a few weeks. Their version will feature a few lesser-known hops, including Sultana and Trident.

“A big reason we wanted to participate in this brew was because of Garry,” Forbes said. Burzurk has only been open for about a year, and had not yet participated in a collaborative brew, but has donated to many local charities.

Burzurk Brewing owner Tyler Forbes, left, with his friend and bartender Garry Boyd after preparing their version of Project Tri-21.

Burzurk Brewing owner Tyler Forbes, left, with his friend and bartender Garry Boyd after preparing their version of Project Tri-21.

Amy Sherman / For Hearst Midwest

“My wife Karen, she would give anything if she could,” Forbes said. “This one really struck a chord with us.”

Forbes said it won’t be their last collaboration beer, and it sure won’t be the last time they’ve supported Down syndrome.

The Burzurk Brewing team in Grand Haven.  From left to right, Joanie Latsch, owners Karen and Tyler Forbes, and Garry Boyd.

The Burzurk Brewing team in Grand Haven. From left to right, Joanie Latsch, owners Karen and Tyler Forbes, and Garry Boyd.

Amy Sherman / For Hearst Midwest

“From the first days of my son’s birth, the thought has always crossed my mind, ‘how can I tap into this amazing industry full of great people to raise awareness for Down syndrome,'” Craddock said via the project website. “With the hard work and support of the participating sponsors, we are able to launch this project, and knowing the bond that unites the brewing community, we all look forward to the results this will bring. “

Here’s how you can join the cause:

Burzurk Brewery

1442 Washington Avenue

Grand Haven, Michigan

616-414-7775

burzurkbrewing.com

Griffin Claw Brewing Company

575 S. Eton

Birmingham, MI

248-712-4050

Griffinlawbrewingcompany.com

Gigi’s Playhouse

19799 W. 12 Mile Road Suite L15

Southfield, Michigan

248-557-9899

gigisplayhouse.org/detroit/

Find all the info on this special beer here:

Tri21project.com

Participating Michigan Breweries (as of October 28, 2021)

Cheboygan Brewing Company

Grand River Brewery

Austin Brothers beer

Griffin Claw Brewing Company

Ogma Brewery

Block brewing

Brewery

Brewery of loaded dice

Watermark Brewing Company

Burzurk Brewery

Ales Artisanales Speciation


“So many people love this beer,” he said proudly. “I can see us continuing to do this, it’s just one more way to help.”

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