Thursday, January 29, 2015

Flavors to LOVE from Hudsonville Ice Cream


Scoop up a dish for two with these Limited Edition flavors released this month from Michigan-based Hudsonville Ice Cream—available just in time for Valentine’s Day!

• French Silk — Bringing back a long lost favorite, you’re sure to fall in love with this chocolate mousse ice cream laden with dark chocolate flakes. It’s smooth, rich and creamy—and perfect for sharing!

• Chocolate Craving — Can’t stop thinking about chocolate? Then, this is the ice cream for you! We start with our Original Chocolate ice cream and add rich swirls of butter fudge, then top it off with chocolate brownies and milk fudge truffles. Yeah, it’s chocolate and so much more!

Of course, favorites like Winter Campfire, Chicago Caramel Popcorn and Toasted Coconut can still be found, in limited quantities, alongside Hudsonville’s vast array of year-round flavors to satisfy any appetite.

“We’re passionate about what we do here to create mouthwatering flavors that are rich and desirable,” says Ray Sierengowski of Hudsonville Ice Cream. “We love these chocolaty flavors and hope you, and your special someone, will too.”

These, and countless other Hudsonville Ice Cream flavors can be found in grocery stores and ice cream parlors in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois. In addition to its “All Season” flavors, which are available year round, several “Limited Edition Flavors” are offered on a limited basis throughout the year.

Started in 1895 as a farmers’ cooperative, the Holland-based Hudsonville Creamery & Ice Cream is the largest manufacturer of branded ice cream in Michigan. For more than 80 years, this Midwest company has been producing its creamy, delicious ice cream – using many of its original flavors, while at the same time creating refreshing new recipes inspired by the Great Lakes.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Traverse Tall Ship Manitou Offers Weekly Microbrew Tasting Sails & Announces 4-Day Michigan Craft Brew Cruise


In recent years Michigan has made a name for itself as one of the premier craft brew states in the country. What better way to partake of these fine beverages than from the deck of a beautiful vessel resting in a peaceful harbor—aboard the Tall Ship Manitou in Traverse City.

On Sunday evenings, late June through Labor Day weekend, you’re invited to sample local beers paired with fresh, hot pizza during the Microbrew Tasting Cruise. Each Sunday will feature on a local brewery—including Short’s Brewing Company, Brewery Terra Firma, Rare Bird Brewery, and Petoskey Brewing. Tickets: $57 per person. Space is limited to 58 and advanced reservations are recommended.

New this year is a 4-Day Michigan Craft Brew Cruise, September 24-28. Chef and craft beer aficionado Amy Sherman will serve as host and guide for enjoying tastes with hors d'oeuvres, followed by specifically-designed food pairings with dinner.

After graduating from Aquinas College, Amy Sherman found her true calling in the kitchen. A 20-year restaurant veteran, she’s held every job possible, from ravioli runner, prep chef, book keeper, waitress, to manager, sous chef and pastry chef. She has taught cooking classes throughout West Michigan, runs a catering company called Two Chicks and an Oven, and with her husband runs the local food company, Farmlink. As the host of the Great American Brew Trail, Amy drank her way across Michigan, one pint at a time. She currently hosts a podcast called “Behind the Mitten” with MLive’s John Gonzalez, and leads culinary adventures here in the states and Europe. Her main job, however, is being mom to three ruffians in Grand Rapids.

Tickets for the 4-Day Michigan Craft Brew Cruise are $769 per person and include all accommodations, meals and beverage samplings. Space is limited to 22 individuals in 11-double-bunk cabins.

As one of the largest sailing ships on the Great Lakes, the Manitou is a replica of an 1800s “coasting” cargo schooner. A traditional two-masted, gaff rigged, topsail schooner, Manitou measures 114 feet in length with more than 3000 square feet of sail.

There is plenty of space for sitting and moving around the decks while under sail. While aboard the Manitou, passengers are free to leave the sailing to the experienced crew or lend a hand and learn the arts of the sailor. An excursion aboard the Manitou allows you to remove yourself from the trappings of modern life: no TV, phone (cell phones are discouraged), internet, email and definitely, no itinerary.

To make reservations for any of the 2015 Manitou sailing adventures, call toll free 800-678-0383, ext. 2 or order tickets online. Gift certificates are also available. For additional information about the Manitou, including its corporate charters, log on to www.TallShipSailing.com.

Traverse Tall Ship Company is located at 13258 S.W. Bay Shore Drive (M22) in Traverse City and shares a dock with the fleet from the Maritime Heritage Alliance, creating a unique nautical experience for the area.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Michigan Holiday Beers: A Merry Christmas to All, And to All A Good Night!


The holiday season is upon us – and with that comes hand-crafted beers made right here in Michigan. Whether pairing with your meal, warming up after a day in the snow or giving as a gift for someone special on your holiday list, these Christmas brews make the perfect selection.

Arbor Brewing, Ann Arbor

Figjam (11.7% ABV | 35 IBU). Nothing gets you in the holiday spirit quite like this Figjam Quadruple Belgian, with its warming alcohol, figgy undertones, dark dried fruit flavors of raison dates, hints of fresh baked bread, and a beautiful dry finish that leaves you wanting more.

Atwater Brewery, Detroit

Christmas Ale. Like trimming the tree, this beer should be part of every holiday tradition. Imported malts roll richly together to deliver a gift of raisin, caramel and honey flavors. A dash of spice brings forth almond and gingerbread aromas while leaving a clean, bright finish. Forget the cookies, leave this Christmas Ale out for Santa.

Bad Bear Brewing, Albion

Who's Driving the Sleigh?!? (6.5% ABV). A fa-la-la-la-lovely Porter brewed in classic holiday tradition with egg nog spices, real Dutch chocolate and peppermint candy canes. This rich, dark, wintertime offering is sure to leave you feeling all warm and toasty inside!

Beards Brewery, Petoskey

No Ragrets (Not even one letter) (6.4% ABV). An English brown ale spiced with fresh ginger, orange peel, cardamom, clove, and cinnamon. No Ragrets is reminiscent of all of the best Christmas cookies—gingersnap, spice cookie and molasses.

Bell’s Brewery, Kalamazoo

Christmas Ale (5.5% ABV | 33 IBU). The basic inspiration for this brew was to create a sessionable holiday beer, using locally-grown malt, which would stand apart from the array of spiced winter warmers that are typically introduced this time of year. In contrast to many other seasonals, Christmas Ale doesn't contain any spices: all of the dry, toasted notes and subtle toffee flavors come from the 100% Michigan-grown barley, custom malted by Briess Malting, while a blend of hops from Michigan and the Pacific Northwest lend earthy, herbal aromas. This seasonal stands as a smooth, highly drinkable beer intended to complement holiday menus, not overshadow them.

Dark Horse Brewing, Marshall

4 Elf (9% ABV). This spiced winter warmer is brewed with nutmeg, clove, allspice and other holiday flavors.

Dragonmead Microbrewery, Warren

Jul Ol Norwegian Spiced Christmas Ale (5.8% ABV | 26 IBU). This dark, malted beer is available exclusively at Christmas time. In the Norway beer classification this beer is considered a Sterkøl, a beer over 4.75%, so when you enjoy this Christmas beer, think back to some of those that came before it and go 'full Viking' and make your tradition!”

Frankenmuth Brewery, Frankenmuth

Christmas Town Ale (6% ABV | 27 IBU). Toasted dark malts and American hops combine with holiday flavors to create a taste and aroma that is unmistakably Christmas. The hops are delicately balanced with the sweetness of the malts in this medium-bodied brown ale brewed with just the right amount of winter spices like cinnamon and nutmeg to deliver a treat to your nose as it is does to your palate. Christmas Town Ale stands alone as a smooth and flavorful tribute to the town of Frankenmuth and the magic of the season.

Griffin Claw, Birmingham

3 Scrooges Winter Ale (6.5% ABV). Brewed with honey, orange peel and spices, this winter ale is perfect for the season.

Grizzly Peak, Ann Arbor

White Christmas White Ale (7.7% ABV | 30 IBU). ‘Wit’ is a Belgian style wheat beer. Wit actually means white — the milky whitish color coming from the large percentage of wheat used in the mash and fermentation by a special type of brewing yeast. Wits are also traditionally spiced with orange peel and coriander. This version is stronger (minus the coriander) and it has a bit more hop character (American Cascades) for this Hellish holiday season. It starts with a rich spicy and yeasty aroma, followed by a crisp and light citrus hop flavor, with a warming alcohol finish. Available in limited quantities at the pub.

Harmony Brewing, Grand Rapids

Gingerbread Man (6.8% | ABV 37.7 IBU) Using ginger root, nutmeg and cinnamon stick help to celebrate the season with the tradition expected from a gingerbread cookie. A holiday treat in a glass!

Jolly Pumpkin, Dexter / Ann Arbor / Traverse City

Noel de Calabaza (9% ABV | 45 IBU). Deep mahogany and malty, layered hops and hints of fruit and spice like figs, raisins, sugar plums, cashews betwixt rum laden truffles make this the perfect accompaniment for all kinds of good cheer!

Jubilance (7% ABV | 40 IBU). A collaborative brew made with locally-produced Press on Juice and local Crystal and Zeus hops. The specialty grains lend a candied sugar presence, while giving the beer a burgundy color that is sharpened by the color of the cranberry, orange, apple and ginger juices. The blend of barley, wheat and rye are complimented with ginger juice, while the fermented fructose from cranberry gives it a tart, boozy finish. Available exclusively in the Old Mission Peninsula-Traverse City tasting room.

Mountain Town Station, Mount Pleasant

Polar Express (8% ABV | 34 IBU). All aboard! This rich, full bodied stout is brewed with cocoa nibs and fresh-ground locally-roasted coffee from Narrativality Artisan Coffee Roasters.

North Peak Beer, Dexter / Ann Arbor / Traverse City

Blitzen Festivus Ale (6.8% ABV | 55 IBU). The raisin, currant and berry notes are attributed to Bramling Cross hops, three types of crystal malts, cara and chocolate malt, which rounds out the flavors and aromas, with a hint of burnt sugar and chocolate. A combination of citrus peel and citrus pith flavors are accented by Hercules, Cascade and Pilgrim hops added throughout the boil. The subtle spiciness of Riwaka’s hops, combined with the crisp spiciness from rye malt, presents liberated flavors, reminiscent of savory holiday cakes.

Rockford Brewing, Rockford

Big Jack Horner Style: Plum English Barleywine (11.2% ABV | 60 IBU). The richest and strongest of the English Ales, yet not as hop focused as the American versions. Historically English Barleywines were brewed for the winter or holiday season. A showcase of malty richness and complex, intense flavors balanced with higher levels of alcohol. This variation is brewed with fresh Michigan plums grown by the Meachum family at High Acres Fruit Farm in Hartford, which add a soft fruitiness to the background and help round out the flavor profile.

Schmohz Brewery, Grand Rapids

Miracle Off 28th Street (9.2% ABV | 28 IBU). Miracle is a paradigm of the finest malts and complex hop blends to build the superlative winter ale for mature tastes. Brewed as an Olde Ale, exhibiting the seasoned character of the brew house staff. Enjoy Miracle with family and friends, in front of hearth and home.

The Filling Station, Traverse City

Bristol Old Ale (10.5% ABV). UK Maris Otter, Rye, Special B, Black and German pilsner malts blend with UK Fuggles and Goldings hops and raw cane sugar to create this dark, rich beer with a bit of roast, with a sweet finish. Aging for over a year now, this will get your Yule log burning!

The Michigan Brewers Guild was formed in 1997 and held its first festival in July 1998. Today, the Guild hosts four festivals dedicated exclusively to Michigan craft beer produced by its 140-plus member breweries.

The Guild exists to unify the community of brewers, to increase the sale of Michigan Craft Beer, to contribute culturally and economically throughout the state, and to monitor and assure a healthy brewing industry. By working collaboratively with proponents of craft beer, we strive to achieve a 10% share of all beer sold in Michigan by producing world-class events, increasing public awareness, educating consumers, and encouraging responsible consumption.

Michigan ranks #5 in the nation for the number of craft breweries – thus supporting its claim as “The Great Beer State”.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Give the Gift of Michigan Beer & Brewery Swag

Chances are you have a craft beer lover (or two) on your holiday shopping list. This year, give the gift of Michigan beer, while also supporting locally-owned businesses and the state’s overall agricultural industry.

Stop in your local microbrewery or brewpub and pick up a growler, four- or six-pack of a seasonal brew and build your own gift basket with a selection of brewery swag like stickers, buttons, t-shirts, home décor, bottle openers, gift cards and other unique stocking stuffers. A membership in the pub’s “mug club” would also be a nice offering.

Many retail outlets around the state also feature Michigan-made brews, including 12-bottle variety packs or build-your-own-six-pack options which provide a more personal touch to your gift giving.

Shop online at MiBeer.com for a variety of logoed items from the Michigan Brewers Guild. You’ll find everything from apparel, backpacks, tote bags, drinkware, eyewear, flags, license plates, beach balls, bottle openers, patches, pins, stickers, tin tackers, umbrellas and more.

Michigan Brewers Guild Enthusiast Memberships also make great gifts, providing a year of benefits like pre-sale dates for the four official festivals and one hour early admission to each, dollar-off pint options at participating breweries, special brewery tours and an official Enthusiast t-shirt — all for just $45.

A handful of books dedicated to Michigan beer can also be found to enhance a gift pack, including the Beervangelist's Guide to the Galaxy: A Philosophy of Food & Drink by New Holland Brewing Company’s Beervangelist Fred Bueltmann; Art in Fermented Form: A Manifesto by New Holland Brewing Company’s Brett VanderKamp; Ann Arbor Beer: A Hoppy History of Tree Town Brewing by David Bardallis; and Michigan’s Best Beer Guide by Kevin Revolinski.

For video fans, DVDs of the inaugural season of the Great American Brew Trail featuring Amy Sherman as well as The Michigan Beer Film from Rhino Media are also great gifts.

At Meijer, look for a 2015 calendar focused on a dozen Michigan breweries. Or, head over to the Pure Michigan store for one of their logoed 15-ounce beer mugs.

Consider a gift certificate to Saugatuck Brewing for their popular “Brew Your Own Beer” program (perfect for family gatherings). Or, indulge with one of the “Brew & Renew” spa packages available at the JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids.

About the Michigan Brewers Guild
The Michigan Brewers Guild was formed in 1997 and held its first festival in July 1998. Today, the Guild hosts four festivals dedicated exclusively to Michigan craft beer produced by its nearly 140 member breweries. The Guild exists to unify the community of brewers, to increase the sale of Michigan Craft Beer, to contribute culturally and economically throughout the state, and to monitor and assure a healthy brewing industry. By working collaboratively with proponents of craft beer, we strive to achieve a 10% share of all beer sold in Michigan by producing world-class events, increasing public awareness, educating consumers, and encouraging responsible consumption. Michigan ranks #5 in the nation for the number of craft breweries – thus supporting its claim as “The Great Beer State”.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

MiWinter Beer Fest Tickets Sell at Record Pace

Saturday Tickets SOLD OUT!
Friday Tickets Remain Available at MiBeer.com

Saturday tickets for the 10th Annual Michigan Winter Beer Festival, held the end of February at Fifth-Third Ballpark north of downtown Grand Rapids have sold out in record time, once again. Tickets went on sale at 10am today (Thursday, December 4) and were sold out in less than a half-hour.

“We are pleased that we have added the second day to this popular event,” says Scott Graham, executive director of the Michigan Brewers Guild.

Earlier this summer, the Guild announced the expansion of its wildly popular Winter Beer Festival to a two-day event to accommodate growing demand for tickets. The Friday session will be held from 3-7pm. Tickets for Friday remain available, at $45 each, at MiBeer.com.

“I don’t ever want to take for granted how enthusiastic our fans get when it comes to attending our festivals,” Graham says. “It is both humbling and overwhelming that our festivals are so popular. It’s a testament to Michigan’s great craft brewing culture.”

Earlier this week, Enthusiast Members were offered a pre-sale period to purchase 1 ticket per person, per festival day, as a benefit of membership. Enthusiast membership also allows individuals the opportunity to one-hour early admission to all festivals, among other benefits.

The Michigan Brewers Guild was formed in 1997 and held its first festival in July 1998. Today, the Guild hosts four festivals dedicated exclusively to Michigan craft beer produced by its nearly 140 member breweries. The Guild exists to unify the community of brewers, to increase the sale of Michigan Craft Beer, to contribute culturally and economically throughout the state, and to monitor and assure a healthy brewing industry. By working collaboratively with proponents of craft beer, we strive to achieve a 10% share of all beer sold in Michigan by producing world-class events, increasing public awareness, educating consumers, and encouraging responsible consumption. Michigan ranks #5 in the nation for the number of craft breweries – thus supporting its claim as “The Great Beer State”.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hudsonville Ice Cream Celebrates Michigan's Winter Wonderland with New Seasonal Flavors

Summer isn’t the only time to enjoy Michigan-based Hudsonville Ice Cream. Try the latest winter Limited Edition flavors, which warm your heart and soul on chilly, snowy days and nights.

• Pure Michigan Winter Campfire — Original vanilla ice cream with marshmallow, graham cracker pieces and milk chocolate flakes creates the perfect frozen version of your favorite campfire treat. Curl up with a bowl and watch the snow and cold melt away. Just be sure to enjoy it before it melts! Winner of the 2014 Pure Michigan Winter Flavor Contest (beating out Cabin Fever and Lake Superior Thaw and joining Double Berry Pie and Caramel Apple as other award-winning flavors).

• Peppermint Stick — A seasonal favorite reminiscent of the holidays, made by taking traditional candy cane pieces and mixing them into our Original Vanilla ice cream. Perfect on its own or in a creative recipe.

• Chicago Caramel Popcorn — Inspired by Chicago’s delicious kettle popped goodness, this flavor is sure to become a Midwest favorite. You will love the big city taste of this buttery caramel ice cream and crunchy clusters swirled with a salty caramel ribbon.

• Pumpkin Pie — A limited amount of this seasonal favorite may also be available, perfect for pairing with your upcoming holiday meal or celebration. Served alone or as the a la mode to your favorite pie, this flavor returns to the freezer case just in time for holiday celebrations. With its traditional pumpkin pie flavors and now with actual pieces of pie crust, it makes a wonderful compliment to your dessert table.

“This season’s winter Limited Edition combines old time favorites like Peppermint stick, a top holiday seller, with our new Pure Michigan-inspired Winter Campfire,” says CJ Ellens of Hudsonville Ice Cream. “We are excited to bring new innovation to our winter lineup!”

These, and countless other Hudsonville Ice Cream flavors can be found in grocery stores and ice cream parlors in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois. In addition to its “All Season” flavors, which are available year round, several “Seasonal Flavors” are offered on a limited basis throughout the year.

Started in 1895 as a farmers’ cooperative, the Holland-based Hudsonville Creamery & Ice Cream is the largest manufacturer of branded ice cream in Michigan. For more than 80 years, this Midwest company has been producing its creamy, delicious ice cream – using many of its original flavors, while at the same time creating refreshing new recipes inspired by the Great Lakes.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Record Crowds Fill DeVos Place During 7th Annual GR International Wine, Beer & Food Festival

It was a banner year for attendance at the Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival which was held November 20-22 at DeVos Place. According to Festival organizers, attendance was up nearly 10% meaning more than 18,500 individuals gathered at the largest wine and food festival in the Midwest.

In all, more than 1400 beverages were available for sampling (wine, beer, cider, mead, spirits, coffee and other specialty drinks). Nearly 20 area restaurants participated as well as countless culinary and lifestyle related exhibitors throughout the Riverfront Marketplace and RendezBREW Café. Most of the 60-plus workshops and seminars were at or beyond capacity throughout the three-day Festival as well.

“It’s all about tasting and this year’s festival took it up a notch with diverse exhibitors offering up the very best of their products,” says Dawn Baker, Festival Manager. “It was wonderful to see the excitement grow daily as people enjoyed the variety of beverages and foods featured, then learned to pair them together. This has become a true pre-holiday celebration for West Michigan and beyond.”

“The feedback I got from my group was that they loved the better signage at the booths this year and the FSU students seems more engaged and excited, which made visiting the booths much more fun,” says Lysandra French, a long-time festival attendee. “We loved that Meijer was two tickets for a great sample of food. Also loved the lobster mac and cheese, tried a new ice cream and visited the Brewers Loft. Some in my party said that the offerings were AMAZING. Kudos, this Festival get better and better every single year!”

EXHIBITOR COMMENTS:

“This year’s Wine, Beer, & Food Festival surpassed my expectations. We were ecstatic to see so many of our customers and potential customers come to look at innovation in a whole new light. Putting on a seminar to show the ways you can pair your favorite ice cream with beer and liquor was an eye opener for the audience—taking ‘thinking outside the box’ to a whole new level. The same customer who knows what it’s like to enjoy a premium craft beer made here in Michigan is the same customer who enjoys Hudsonville Ice Cream—small-batch crafted by our in-house artisans. We’ll definitely be back next year!” — Ray Sierengowski Hudsonville Ice Cream, Holland.

“Great show this weekend. We had a fun time and sold out of everything!” — Scott Hartmann, Two Scotts Barbecue, Grand Rapids.

"This being our first year at the festival gave us, as a new company, great exposure to consumers in a lot of different markets. The seminars acted as a great outlet for education as well. Both seminars we presented gave us access to over 50 people to share our brand and our story with. Over all a very well run festival."— Mark Fellwock, Coppercraft Distillery, Holland.

“AGA Marvel had a very exciting and engaging experience at this year’s show! We were very pleased at the reception of our new products. The Festival was the perfect platform to showcase the pride we take in manufacturing locally in Greenville, Michigan. AGA Marvel looks forward to another dynamic opportunity in 2015!” — Diane Devereaux, AGA Brand Manager, Greenville.

"We have always enjoyed participating in the International Wine, Beer and Food Festival, but were particularly impressed with how many new faces we encountered at the 2014 show. We loved the opportunity to share our food with so many new people, and to show the community what we have to offer." — Christian Madsen, Executive Chef, JW Marriott Grand Rapids

“We enjoyed meeting many of our fans - it has almost become an annual tradition. The really enjoyable part however was connecting with attendees that we had not met before. The Fest is one of the best opportunities we have to both educate our customers and to learn more ourselves.” — Don Coe, Black Star Farms, Suttons Bay

“Event marketing at its best. We were able to meet hundreds of new customers and visit with all of our loyal ones.” — Aaron Harr, Fenn Valley Vineyards in Fennville.

Old Mission Beer Co. Releases Jubilance Holiday Ale – A Collaboration Brew Handcrafted with Traverse City-made Press On Juice

Old Mission Beer Co.,the in-house beer brand offered exclusively at Jolly Pumpkin - Old Mission Peninsula, announces its inaugural collaboration brew: Jubilance Holiday Ale—a special seasonal brew crafted with locally-produced Press On Juice.

A release party will start at 5:30pm on Wednesday, November 26 at Jolly Pumpkin on Old Mission Peninsula—the noted “biggest bar night of the year.” Brewer Mike Wooster and Press On Juice Founder Kris Rockwood will both be on hand from 5:30-7:30pm hosting a Q&A about the beer and its creation.

Brewed with local Crystal and Zeus hops, Jubilance comes in at 7% ABV and 40 IBUs.

“The specialty grains lend a candied sugar presence, while giving the beer a burgundy color that are sharpened by the color of the cranberry, orange, apple and ginger juices,” says assistant brewer Mike Wooster. “The blend of barley, wheat and rye are complimented with ginger juice, while the fermented fructose from cranberry give it a tart, boozy finish.”

Press On Juice was founded in 2013 by Traverse City native Kris Rockwood, as a lifestyle change following a diagnosis of immobilizing rheumatoid arthritis. Each of her 30 or so juice recipes are created using a multi-step production process. She starts with grinding at least two pounds of raw, organic fruits and vegetables into a fine pulp that is then placed in a linen bag and slowly squeezed on a hydraulic press to maximize extraction of the juice and its nutritional enzymes. Each cold-press bottle of delicious Press On Juice is all natural, loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and living enzymes which provide health-conscious customers beverages that aid in weight loss, nutrition and disease prevention.

“I am so excited to be collaborating with Old Mission Beer to create this superior brew with our two companies. We are looking forward to Wednesday night getting to see people’s reaction to this fun combination! It’s going to be a great drink for the holiday season,” says Kris.

Old Mission Beer Co. IS the in-house beer brand offered exclusively at Jolly Pumpkin-Old Mission Peninsula. Jolly Pumpkin is part of Northern United Brewing Co., which also encompasses the Grizzly Peak and North Peak Beer Co. craft beer brands, as well as Civilized Spirits and Bonafide Wines. NUBC’s philosophy focuses on a dedication to conservation, inspiration and locally-sustainable practices.

Old Mission Beer Co. at Jolly Pumpkin Brewery-Old Mission Peninsula
13512 Peninsula Drive
Traverse City, MI 49686
(231) 223-4222
www.oldmissionbeerco.com



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Dragonmead Microbrewery Expands Into 11,000-square-foot Facility; 1,000-square-foot Taproom

Dragonmead Microbrewery has completed its brewing system expansion located in its Warren facility at 14600 East Eleven Mile Road. The company now has control of the entire 11,000 square foot facility that features a 1,000 square foot taproom.

In November of last year a new 20 barrel brew house and cellars were added inside the facility. Demand in Michigan alone far-exceeds the former 3 barrel equipment. “The smaller system is the key to our ability to provide a high variety of ales and lagers,” stated Larry Channell, founding member of Dragonmead Microbrewery. “Variety is the key to satisfying our customers. They have come to expect high quality and high variety from Dragonmead.”

The smaller brewing system and cellaring operations were dismantled and relocated next to the larger production equipment.

“Relocation of the 3 barrel operations required all new piping and wiring to accommodate the new location,” says Earl Scherbarth, founding member and project manager for the expansion. “It has been a long process requiring great attention to detail in order to ensure that our quality standards can continue to be met.”

This year the company introduced a seasonal line of products in both bottles and draught. Oktoberfest, Devil’s Knight Pumpkin Ale, Jul Øl a Norwegian Spiced Christmas Ale and St. Nicole’s Weizenbock (February release) have added to the bottled beers already in the marketplace. Soon to be released in bottles as a year-round product is Sin Eater, a high-gravity Dark Belgian Ale. Sin Eater is currently available in the Tap Room in Warren.

“Having the variety system in place and producing again will allow us to once again offer over 40 different styles of beer on tap at our taproom here in Warren,” says Jennifer Locher, Pub Manager for Dragonmead. “The variety will be in place in time for the holidays.”

In addition to the beer on tap, the pub serves a high variety of wine and mead both by the glass and in bottles. Earlier in 2014 Dragonmead’s mead earned five medals in the International Mazer Cup Mead Competition thus establishing Dragonmead as one of the state’s premier mead producers.

To celebrate the return of the highest variety of beers style on tap in a brewery-pub Dragonmead will be open Monday through Saturday at 11 a.m. for lunch. Sunday hours have also returned from 1 p.m. – 8 p.m. The food menu features locally produced sausages prepared by their partnership with Lazybones Smokehouse (27475 Groesbeck Hwy, Roseville) called Dragonbones. Monday through Wednesday evenings feature rotating specials.

Dragonmead Microbrewery enjoys distribution throughout the state of Michigan. It can be found in bottles and on draught at hundreds of restaurants and retail outlets all the way into the Upper Peninsula. Always present at the various beer sampling festivals, dinners and tap take-overs all year round. You can find their beer at the Renaissance Festival, Ford Field and Joe Louis Arena.

About Dragonmead Microbrewery
Founded in 1997, Dragonmead Microbrewery was granted a brewing permit in 1998. The three founding members Earl Scherbarth, Larry Channell and Bill Wrobel are all former (and current) auto executives with a passion for brewing the best beer in the world eventually in every recognized beer style.

Dragonmead Microbrewery is consistently ranked in the top breweries in the world on beer rating websites BeerAdvocate.com and RateBeer.com. They are known both for their high-gravity beers, as well as their accurate examples of traditional styles.

The brewery has won countless awards at competitions across the world. With five medals from the prestigious World Beer Cup and five medals from the International Mazer Mead Competition adding to numerous local and national awards, Dragonmead Microbrewery is one of the most-awarded breweries in the United States.

Dragonmead Microbrewery is a proud member of both the Michigan Brewers Guild and the national Brewer’s Association. Their brewers are members of the Detroit chapter of the Master Brewers’ Association of the Americas.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Convention/Arena Authority Presents 2014 Chairman’s Award to Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council

((L-r) Henri Boucher, ShowSpan; Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council Director; Richard Rinvelt; Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council Board; Mark Esterman, Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council Board; Steve Heacock, Convention Arena Authority; Karel Bush Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council Staff; Michael Brenton, Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council Board; Gordon Wenk, Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council Chair.)

Michigan’s wine industry has been an integral part of the Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival since it was first held in 2008. To recognize this long-standing support, the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority (CAA) will honor the Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council with its 2014 Chairman’s Award. The honor will be presented on Thursday, November 20 at DeVos Place, during a kick-off reception to this year’s Festival and is sponsored by Clark Hill.

This year, 31 Michigan wineries will sample close to 250 wines, including many Gold Medal offerings from the 2014 Tasters Guild International Wine Judging and winners from the Michigan Gold Medal Wine Competition.

“Michigan’s award-winning wine industry has been an integral part of the Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival since its early planning stages,” says Steven Heacock, CAA Chairman. “From samplings and pairings to seminars and workshops, the local wineries have helped us create memorable experiences for our guests. We are proud to recognize them this year with our ‘Chairman’s Award’ and look forward to many great years together.”

The actual award is a large wine glass (large enough to hold a bottle of wine), inscribed with the CAA logo at the top, then “Cheers! To Our Exceptional Community Partner” followed by the Michigan Wine Council’s logo.

“The Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council has been pleased to support the Grand Rapids Food, Wine and Beer Festival since its inception in 2008,” says Gordon Wenk, Chair of the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council. “It is gratifying to see the number of Michigan wineries that participate each year. The event has had an important impact in raising awareness of the quality of Michigan wine among consumers.”

The Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council is a 12-member panel that supports the growth of the grape and wine industry in Michigan. It is housed in the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, which is the official state agency charged with serving, promoting and protecting the food, agriculture and agricultural economic interests of the people of the state of Michigan.

In addition to the nearly three dozen Michigan wineries participating in this year’s Festival several tasting workshops are planned. Additionally, two of the Pairing restaurants will toast their local winemakers. Spinnaker and Reds on the River will each feature Gold Medal Michigan wines at their Pairings throughout the festival. Reds will showcase the Peninsula Cellars 2012 Late Harvest Riesling during the dessert course, paired with a Gala Apple Tarte Tatin. The Spinnaker will offer an award-winning Michigan wine selection with each of its courses.

Michigan Wine Facts:

• Michigan ranks #7 in the nation in wine grape acreage—at about 2650 acres.
• Michigan boasts four Federally-recognized viticultural appellations (Lake Michigan Shore, Fenn Valley, Old Mission Peninsula & Leelanau Peninsula).
• Riesling is the most widely planted wine grape, and Michigan is the only state/province in North America with that distinction.
• Michigan's 125+ winery tasting rooms welcome more than 2 million visitors to their tasting rooms each year and offer a truly Pure Michigan agri-tourism experience.
• Michigan ranks in the Top 10 states in the U.S. for wine production.
• Sales of Michigan wines in the state rose nearly 5 percent in 2013. Michigan wine sales have outpaced total wine sales over the past 12 years, doubling Michigan wineries’ market share to 6.5%.
• Michigan’s wine and grape industries annually contribute more than $800 million to the state's economy.

Past recipients of the Chairman’s Award, which was first presented in 2011, include West Side Beer, Meijer and Gemini Publications. Clark Hill has been the primary sponsor of the award and the Chairman’s Reception, since both were first introduced.

Clark Hill PLC is an entrepreneurial, full-service law firm that provides business legal services, government and public affairs, and personal legal services to clients throughout the country. With offices in Arizona, Delaware, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia, Clark Hill has more than 300 attorneys and professionals.
DeVos Place Convention Center is owned and operated by the CAA, a Michigan statutory authority, which is governed by a seven-member board of directors appointed by the County of Kent, the City of Grand Rapids, Michigan and the private sector. In addition to DeVos Place Convention Center, the CAA owns and operates DeVos Performance Hall and the Van Andel Arena. Kent County and the City of Grand Rapids established the CAA to encourage economic development and job creation in downtown Grand Rapids. The CAA has contracted with SMG, a private management company, to run day-to-day operations of the facilities.

The 7th Annual Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival – produced as a partnership of the CAA and Wine & Food Festival, Inc., using ShowSpan event production and personnel – is expected to draw more than 17,000+ individuals throughout the three days – making it the largest food and wine festival in the state and one of the premiere events of its kind in the Midwest.

*Attendance at this festival is for those 21 years of age and older. ID is required for admittance.*

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Chef Mario Batali To Spend Black Friday in Downtown Traverse City for a Live Remote on the Omelette & Friends Morning Show

Internationally-recognized celebrity chef, restaurateur and part-time Leelanau County resident Mario Batali will join the Omelette & Friends Morning Show on WKLT 97.5/98.9 FM at Horizon Books in downtown Traverse City on Friday, November 28. Omelette & Friends will be broadcasting live Friday, November 28 (8-10am) outside in front of Horizon Books. Mario will join the show at 9:30 am. The interview will be streamed live on www.wklt.com or on the KLT App.

The special "Black Friday" broadcast will encourage shopping in downtown districts throughout Northern Michigan. For culinary aficionados this will also be a unique opportunity to spend time with Mario Batali in his only Michigan appearance to sign copies and discuss his New York Times bestselling book, America—Farm to Table: Simple, Delicious Recipes Celebrating Local Farmers, which was released in October.

"When Mario reached out to us and asked that we coordinate his book signing and only Michigan appearance on his book tour we were honored," said Omelette, host of the Omelette & Friends Morning Show on WKLT. "We immediately asked that the event also promote downtown shopping and he agreed. It's no secret that Mario lives here part time and while he graciously promotes Northern Michigan every chance he gets, his schedule seldom allows for public appearances. We are very excited that during his annual family Thanksgiving visit to Northern Michigan he is taking time for this event."

Following the radio interview Chef will join Rick Coates, Omelette's co-host and producer for a Q&A inside of Horizons Books in the lower level Café. Coates—a long-time food and beverage writer, a former chef to rock stars and friend of Mario—will ask Chef Batali questions about the new America: Farm to Table book, as well as questions about cooking and food preparations tips, behind the scenes of Mario's award-winning show “The Chew,” his favorite places in Northern Michigan and more. Audience members will get an opportunity to submit questions. Seating will be available and there is no cost for the Q&A, which should begin around 9:45 am.

Copies of the 352-page cookbook, which includes brief profiles of some northern Michigan farmers, will be available for purchase for $35. Mario will also sign copies upon request. He says the book celebrates American farmers: their high-quality products and their culture, defined by hard work, integrity and pride.

“This book is a loose itinerary, or road map, that will hopefully lead you to develop relationships with local farmers, but also to enjoy the improvisational style of cooking that will elevate the flavor of the dishes you create when you buy products from a farm or at a farmers’ market and bring them directly to your table,” says Mario Batali on the book cover.

Among the featured farmers is Bardenhagen Farms in Sutton’s Bay, noted for its fruit (including cherries). Mario shares the story from Vernon to Ryan to the next generation with Ginger and her brother Chris.

In researching this latest title, Mario traveled to 14 cities across the country, interviewing chefs and their suppliers, crafting together “a highly entertaining behind-the scenes look at the business of small farming” writes Publishers Week. “The beautifully produced work at times has the feel of being two different books sewn together. And that’s not a bad thing. On one hand, celebrity master chef Batali comes through again with an inspired collection of appetizers, soups, main dishes, sandwiches, and desserts. Most of his more than 100 recipes, unsurprisingly, have an Italian spin.”

The James Beard Award Winning Mario Batali counts 24 restaurants, nine cookbooks, numerous television shows and the 50,000-square-foot Eataly marketplace among his ever-expanding empire of deliciousness.

Monday, November 17, 2014

7th Annual Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Fest Returns to DeVos Place, Nov 20-22

WHAT: 7th Annual Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival

WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 20 (5-10pm) | Friday, Nov. 21 (4pm-10pm) | Saturday, Nov. 22 (Noon-10pm)

WHERE: DeVos Place, Downtown Grand Rapids. With over 80,000 square feet (nearly 2 acres) inside the elegant Steelcase Ballroom, portions of the Grand Gallery, Riverfront Overlook and the 3rd floor.

COST: $15 – Thursday (and advanced ticket sales for Friday & Saturday); $20 – Friday & Saturday.

3-Day Pass – At $40, this option allows admission each day of the Festival and is intended for those who want to get the most out of their tasting experience. Online sales end Thursday, Nov. 20 at 5pm (Box Office sales for the pass end at 10pm on Thursday, Nov. 20).

All food and beverage samples require varied amounts of sampling tickets of 50-cent denominations (sold at the Festival). We suggest guests start with at least $20 worth of tasting tickets.

WHO: This cultural event draws more than 17,000 public and trade attendees and is the largest culinary celebration in the state (and one of the premiere festivals of its kind in the Midwest). Catering to both the connoisseur who appreciates the finest things in life to the novice looking for an introduction to the culinary world, this festival delivers a grand experience that is sure to please every palette and kick off the holiday season.

NEW: RendezBREW – This rebranded expanded Coffee, Cordials and Dessert Café will be open in the Grand Gallery for the duration of the Festival. Start your Festival experience, or make it a nightcap, with unique pairings of coffee, lattes and cocktails crafted for your enjoyment with a variety of cordials, indulgent sweets and other treats.

NEW: Mobile App – Available in both the Android and Apple systems, this free app allows guests to peruse beverage lists (including notes, ratings and personalized lists), workshops/seminars, restaurant menus and also purchase admission and Pairing tickets. Download it now and plan your visit, as well as use it to navigate the Festival.

INFO: Over one hundred wineries from around the world provide samples of as many as 1200 assorted wines – including some hard to find, top shelf vintages. Also find many award-winning Michigan wines for tasting.

An increased number of distilleries, including many from Michigan, will also be showcased.

The 3rd floor Brewer’s Loft returns, showcasing beer from around Michigan, as well as national labels and imports providing tastes of their hand-crafted beverages – along with food pairings and entertainment.

The Cider House features cideries from throughout Michigan, as well as many nationally-known brands, in the Welsh Lobby on the south end of the Steelcase Ballroom.

PAIRINGS:
Take part in two special seatings (7pm Friday and Saturday) where Grower’s selections from the Champagne region of France are paired with selected cheeses, charcuterie and other small bites. Cost is $40 per person and space is limited. Reservations may be made online, or on site – space permitting.

Select restaurants partner with distinguished wineries and breweries for special Pairings – gourmet multi-course meals served on-site in a casual yet intimate “bar top” setting. Tickets are $35-$45 each and may be purchased in advance online or at the Festival on a first-come, first-served basis.

ULTIMATE DINING OPPORTUNTIES:
Additionally, chefs from the more than a dozen of the area’s top restaurants prepare and serve small plates of their culinary specialties.

SEMINARS & WORKSHOPS:
Esteemed individuals from the culinary world host demonstrations on the Meijer Food Stage. Free beverage seminars, held classroom-style in the rooms off the Grand Gallery and near the 3rd floor Brewer’s Loft, give attendees an in-depth look into the world of wine, beer and spirits. Food workshops are also offered for a unique hands-on experience.

HOLIDAY SHOPPING:
Shop the Riverfront Market for gourmet food, specialty items, wine accessories and holiday gifts including chocolates, pastas, cheeses, oils, olives, sauces, mixes, dips and more. Cash and carry or order for easy delivery.

BEYOND THE CLASSROOM:
Culinary and hospitality students from Ferris State University, the Culinary Institute of Michigan at Baker College in Muskegon, the Secchia Institute of Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College and Grand Valley State University work alongside industry leaders for a premier educational experience.

INFO: GRWineFestival.com | Facebook.com/GRWineFestival | @GRWineFestival (#GRWineFest14)

*Attendance at this festival is for those 21 years of age and older. ID is required for admittance.*