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Right Brain Brewery challenges customers to solve a mystery

My kids have spent much of the summer playing detectives, inspired by The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, as well as old reruns of Get Smart. What kid, or grown up for that matter, doesn’t like a good mystery to figure out? Well, Right Brain Brewery has got one for you.  

This contest was created to highlight the artwork on the brewery’s 16-ounce cans of Willpower Pale Ale (English Pale Ale, 4.2 percent ABV), Northern Hawk Owl Amber Ale (5.8 percent ABV) and CEO Stout (5.5 percent ABV and Michigan’s Favorite Stout in 2012 and 2013 via Each brand has a different clue that leads you to the next can, until you have one piece of information from each can. Put the clues together, and see if you are a good enough secret agent to solve the puzzle.

Owner Russ Springsteen told, “We’ve already had three people figure it out without even promoting it.”

Right Brain began canning its beer about a year ago, and it was the first customer for Michigan Mobile Canning. Distribution and demand for the brewery’s cans has exploded over the past year. When I visited Russ earlier this summer, he told me Right Brain will almost double last year’s production with around 5,000 barrels of beer this year.

Willpower, a pale ale from the brewery, was recently nominated for “Can of the Year” honors from the Brewery Collectibles Club of America. “It kind of feels like we’ve been nominated for an Academy Award or something,” Leif Kolt, Right Brain’s brand and marketing coordinator, as well as the artist behind the can, said in a news release from Michigan Beer Guide.  

“Being different is what has defined our brand,“ Kolt said in the release. ”We’ve proved that before with our beers, and now we have a chance to do that with our art and marketing.“

Currently, Right Brain only distributes in Michigan, so the contest is only for Michigan residents. However, if you would like the opportunity to visit Traverse City or Right Brain Brewing, you can join Marshall King on his foodie trip to the area this fall.

Details of the winning trip are still shrouded in mystery, but the team at Right Brain has revealed that one winner and a guest of his or her choice will, among other things, get a look behind the curtain at the brewery’s headquarters in northern Michigan. One can only assume that tasty-tasty beers will be a part of said adventure.

Once you have cracked the code, you can submit your answer via private message to Right Brain Brewery’s social media accounts or email Then, your name will be entered into a drawing for the grand prize. This November, Russ will personally draw one winning name at random.

Contest rules from the brewery: “Only open to Michigan residents. Must be at least 21 years of age to enter. ‘Trip’ does not cover travel expenses and is valued at $300. Not redeemable for cash value. Employees of Right Brain Brewery and its distribution partners are not eligible to win. Purchase not required, just crack the code and send us a message! Void where prohibited. Contest ends 10/31/2014. Winner will be chosen at random on 11/1/2014. Right Brain Brewery, 225 E. 16th Street, Traverse City, MI, 49684.”

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