4th of July Holiday

The height of the summer is just around the corner.  The quintessential summer holiday, the 4th of July, is almost upon us.  Warm weather, water, vacations, and summertime fun are the characteristics for this holiday.   We have some great and tasty drink items to make your summer holiday special with family and friends.

Let’s start with the newest event in drinking, ready to drink cocktails in a can.  New Holland Spirits, a Holland Michigan craft distillery and the largest distillery in the state of Michigan, has come out with three ready to drink cocktails in a can.  Convenience and flavor are the great selling points of this innovation.  The can goes just about anywhere, especially where a bottle is not convenient or allowed.   Boats, golf courses, beaches are three such venues where cans work better than glass. They have three flavors, Blueberry Gin Lemonade, Holland Mule, and Bourbon & Cola.  New Holland spent a lot of time creating these new and innovative drinks and you can tell in the taste.  9-10% ABV. Available in Michigan.

In our other markets we are really excited to introduce you to Joia Spirit Craft Cocktails. Amazing mobile vodka cocktails combining fruit, herbs and spices, they’re all natural with no artificial anything and they’re lower in sugar and calories for a just-right, not-too-sweet taste — a fresh twist on classic cocktails. Three refreshing flavors, Sparkling Greyhound, Sparkling Moscow Mule and Sparkling Cosmopolitan. 6-7% ABV.  Not Available in Michigan

Bell’s Oberon is a perfect beer for entertaining family and friends.  This beer tastes like fruit and spice have been added but it is made with only four ingredients: malt, water, yeast, and hops.   The hops provide the great orange and coriander spice flavor.  It is probably why an orange slice or wedge works so well with Oberon.  This beer is extremely popular because it is so easy to drink and it pairs with so many food options including whatever you are eating on the 4th.   It is a great sipper for watching fireworks as well. Oberon is available in Michigan & Nebraska.

If you are unfamiliar with Bell’s, a great beer to introduce you to the brand is their Two Hearted. Brewed with 100% Centennial hops from the Pacific Northwest and named after the Two Hearted River in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, this IPA is bursting with hop aromas ranging from pine to grapefruit. Perfectly balanced with a malt backbone and combined with the signature fruity aromas of Bell's house yeast, this beer is remarkably drinkable and well suited for adventures everywhere. Two Hearted is available in all Family Fare stores.

Another great and new lager is Founders Solid Gold.  This beer hero is destined to be a legend.  It has burst on the scene mid-March of this year and has not looked back.  Although a huge performer, this beer will not overpower your palate.  Solid Gold uses the finest high quality ingredients.  It features a lager yeast and utilizes the Lemondrop hop.  There are only 20 IBUs and the ABV is at a low 4.4%.  This makes Solid Gold a perfect pairing for your holiday get together. Available in all Family Fare stores.

Sparkling waters that are spiked have also taken the scene with a storm.  These new sparkling water items are leading the pack as growth items for 2018.  One of the new sparkling water items is called Truly.  For us, they were the first sparkling water with alcohol that we offered in our stores.  It was received extremely well.  Truly has all the great information you look for on a label boldly positioned on the front of the label.  The package that is selling really well for Truly is the variety pack, 3 cans of 4 flavors.  The flavors included are Wild Berry, Blueberry Acai, Raspberry Lime, and Pomegranate.  The nutritionals on this that is easily read on the label are as follows, 5% ABV, 100 calories, 1g sugar, and gluten free.  This item is very versatile with food or just sipping. Available in all Family Fare stores.

White Claw is another great product on the scene. White Claw uses simple ingredients with no artificial flavors or sweeteners. It also has no colors and no preservatives. The alcohol in White Claw comes from fermented sugars. Cane sugar and real fruit juice are added after alcohol fermentation to enhance the taste. Looking to satisfy everyone at your gathering White Claw has a 12 can variety pack combining all their great flavors, Natural Lime, Raspberry, Ruby Grapefruit and their signature flavor Black Cherry. 5% ABV, 100 calories, 2g carbs/sugar, and gluten free. Available in all Family Fare stores.

Our very best selling wine item is Kendall Jackson Chardonnay.  The flavors of pineapple, mango, papaya, and lemon are the experience on your palate.  The finish on this best seller is butter and toasted oak.  This wine is very versatile.  If you are in the mood to put a pat of butter on your steak, I challenge you to try a glass of this Chardonnay with your steak.  Traditional pairings would be crab cakes, grilled chicken, and Brie cheese.  You can find this great wine at a great value in our ad this week in Michigan and available at a great price everyday in all Family Fare stores.

Staying with the wine category, let’s stay in the state of Michigan.  One of our best-selling Michigan wine items is the Chateau Grand Traverse Select Sweet Harvest Riesling.  This wine screams that it is from the state of Michigan.  It is an amazing Riesling that most people love to sip and share with friends, and a great wine for your holiday get together.  If you get a chance to visit Old Mission Peninsula in Traverse City, be sure to take a tour and visit their beautiful tasting room.  This wine is an outstanding representation of Michigan wine. Available in Michigan.

We have some amazing local wines in the Midwest.
South Dakota right outside Souix Falls in the Black Hills you will find Prairie Berry Winery, they make all the wines themselves using “prairie berries” grown in South Dakota; the winemaking reflects their pioneer spirit and heritage. There is something for everyone and great for gifting, check out 3Rednecks, Calamity Jane and our top seller Red Ass Rhubarb. Available in South Dakota & North Dakota.
Wollersheim Winery sits on a scenic hillside across the Wisconsin River from Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin.  On 27 acres they grow four winter-hardy hybrid grapes and work with vineyards in New York and Washington States to custom-grow additional varietals for their wines. Wollersheim Winery is best-known for its popular Prairie Fume wine, and is considered a leader in the Midwest’s wine industry. Available in Wisconsin.

Our two bestselling Spirit items are Tito’s Vodka and Captain Morgan Spiced Rum.
Tito’s Vodka has been a huge growth brand for Family Fare.  It has taken over as the number one spirit item sold in Family Fare stores.  This brand grew by word of mouth and social media.  It is really great vodka for a fair and reasonable price.  You don’t pay for the bottle as Tito’s went with straight forward packaging.  The vodka is made from corn so it is gluten free as identified by the GIG (Gluten Intolerance Group).  There is no mash added back into this juice after distillation.  It is the first legal distillery in the state of Texas on land paid for with a credit card.  A great story, and a great vodka.

Captain Morgan Rum claims to be the original spiced rum.  Whether it is the first or isn’t the first doesn’t matter to me.  It is the number one rum and the number two spirit we sell at Family Fare.  People love this rum.  The classic rum and code was forever changed when Captain Morgan took over the mix.  It has subtle notes of caramel and vanilla which give this rum its distinctive taste and finish.  It also claims to have a secret blend of Caribbean rums which make up this best selling spirit.

Greg Vanoverloop Beer Wine Spirits Category Manager


Greg VanOverloop, Beer & Wine Specialist

  • Started in the Grocery business bagging at D&W in 1975.  Worked at D&W for 30 years in various departments.
  • Worked at SpartanNash for 11 years.  Currently the Category Manager for Wine/Beer/Spirits for SpartanNash East.
  • Have been a category manager since 1990 and a category manager of beer  since 1997.  CM of wine and spirits since 2007.
  • Have travelled extensively which provided the opportunity to taste many foods and beverages from Hong Kong to Caribbean, from California to Maine.
  • Love to cook, grill, and bake, snow ski, sail, and read books.    Best baked item – a bourbon pecan pie with rum crust.  Best grilled item – salmon with blueberry onion wine sauce and goat cheese.  Best cooked item – Squash Apple soup with bourbon.  Best ski slope – Go Devil at Keystone.  Best book – Wonder.
  • 1 wife, 3 children, 7.3 grandchildren.