Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Lake Charlevoix Brewing Company Opens In Time for Summer Season


Downtown Charlevoix is adding to its ever growing craft beer scene with the opening June 1 of the Lake Charlevoix Brewing Company.

Located at 111 Bridge Park Drive (in the south end of the building which houses the Keweenaw Star and Beaver Island Boat Company), the 1200-square-foot pub overlooks Round Lake and offers 60 inside seats and an additional 50 in the outside Beer Garden.

Lake Charlevoix Brewing Company is owned by Rich Bergmann, Adam Engelman, Aaron Hagen and Phil Parr – collectively known as The Round Lake Group LLC and is a sister property of the Bridge Street Tap Room, which opened in the adjacent building last summer.

The brewery’s 5-barrel system, purchased from Psycho Brew in Greenville, was fabricated entirely in Michigan from all American stainless steel.

“It was extremely important for us to make our investment in a company that is rooted in Michigan and utilizes American made stainless steel,” says Bergmann. “Equipment of this caliber helps us to brew beer of the utmost quality.”

The brewing team of Hagen, Parr, Evan Keller and Tanner DePriest regularly craft a variety of beer styles currently including Michigan Beach Blondie (5.1% ABV | 15 IBU) – a light bodied, easy drinking blonde with slight malty taste and aspects of a lager on the end; and Up North Pale Ale (5.8% ABV | 60 IBUs) – an IPA with citrus notes on the nose with a sweet hoppy backing.

The team will also work closely with breweries around the state for a series of collaboration beers. The first, Lake Charlevoix Sunrise, is a Grapefruit Saison made in collaboration with Our Brewing in Holland.

“We feel that collaboration beers are a fantastic way to build relationships between ourselves and other breweries,” says Engelman. “It also allows our brewing team to learn from some of the best in the industry.”

DePriest, who received a degree from the University of Michigan in Environmental Studies, manages the brewery’s environmental sustainability practices.

“The brewing process is very water intensive and we aim to offset this hurdle by repurposing and recycling all of our greywater” says DePriest, “Being as sustainable as possible isn’t just our passion; we feel it is our responsibility.”

The brewery also donates their spent grain to local farmers for use as feed and compost.

In addition to beer, a selection of wine and spirits is also served. The pub food menu features everything from shrimp cocktail, grilled panini sandwiches, and wraps to the area’s best tacos, quesadillas, and the unique Liquor Store Nachos.

Live entertainment will be hosted on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, from 4 to 7pm in the Beer Garden and will feature some of the area’s top musicians.

“We couldn’t be happier to be opening our doors in such a beautiful community,” says Bergmann, “Much like our sister property, the Bridge Street Tap Room, we’re very proud to add another year round destination to downtown Charlevoix.”

www.facebook.com/LakeCharlevoixBrewing
www.twitter.com/LakeCvxBrewing

Friday, June 5, 2015

Award-Winning Michigan Authors M. Christine Byron & Thomas Wilson Release Vintage Views Along Scenic M-22 including Sleeping Bear Dunes


Since the early 1900s, tourism organizations and destinations have been promoting the scenic 116-mile, three-county M-22 highway for its year-round natural resources, quaint coastal towns and unparalleled vistas. The latest title from award-winning Michigan authors M. Christine Byron and Thomas Wilson, published by Vintage Views Press, is an impressive collection of the advertisements, brochures, postcards, maps and travel memorabilia used to market this treasured trail—many items of which are from the couple’s extensive personal collection.

The 248 page, hardcover coffee table book, Vintage Views Along Scenic M-22 including Sleeping Bear Dunes, will be publicly released on Wednesday, June 17. A presentation will begin at 7pm at the Grand Rapids Public Library main downtown branch. A Northern Michigan Book Launch is planned on Sunday, June 21 (1-3pm) at the Cottage Book Shop in Glen Arbor.

Vintage Views Along Scenic M-22 including Sleeping Bear Dunes follows a trail of vacationers and travelers along one of Michigan’s most scenic roads as it winds through northern Manistee County, along the western side of Benzie County and outlines the Leelanau Peninsula.

Vintage postcards, photographs, maps and advertisements illustrate a time when M-22 first beckoned motorists to come north to the land of beautiful beaches and sand dunes, lakes and rivers, forests and woodlands, farms and orchards. Featured are quaint towns and villages, old hotels and resorts, and attractions along the road.

Through the pages of Vintage Views Along Scenic M22, you’ll stop at lighthouses and lifesaving stations, take a trip in a dunesmobile, fish for Mackinaw trout and shop for souvenirs. You’ll also visit state parks and learn how Sleeping Bear Dunes became a National Lakeshore in the 1970s.

Christine and Tom share a love of Michigan and a fascination with its history, especially the development and growth of Michigan tourism. Their collection of antique postcards and tourist and travel ephemera has inspired a total of five books: Vintage Views Along Scenic M-22 including Sleeping Bear Dunes (2015); Vintage Views Along the West Michigan Pike (2011); Vintage Views of the Mackinac Straits Region (2007); Vintage Views of the Charlevoix – Petoskey Region (2005); and Vintage Views of Leelanau County (2002).

Three of these titles have won Michigan Notable Book awards from the Library of Michigan; the West Michigan Pike also won a 2012 State History Award from the Historical Society of Michigan.

Christine and Tom are active in many heritage and travel related causes and initiatives, including consulting and contributing artifacts for exhibits with the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing; contributing to the History Detectives program at the Grand Rapids Public Library; and this summer’s historical recognition of Pulitzer Prize winning author Carl Sandburg, who vacationed in the southwest Michigan community of Harbert, in an area known as Harbor Country.

Tom also operates Vintage Views Prints, which specializes in Michigan and Great Lakes travel prints adapted from travel guides, maps and brochures, dating from the 1800s to the 1960s.

Christine retired from her position as the Local Historical Collections librarian for the Grand Rapids Public Library in 2012; Tom is retired from Sears Roebuck and Company and serves on the board of the Grand Rapids Historical Commission. Christine and Tom are members of the Grand Rapids Historical Society, Historical Society of Michigan, Leelanau Historical Society, West Michigan Postcard Club and Society for Commercial Archaeology.

The couple lives in a 1912 Arts & Crafts bungalow in East Grand Rapids and they love spending as much time as possible touring Michigan’s scenic roads or vacationing at their cottage on Glen Lake on the Leelanau Peninsula. They are regular contributors to Michigan BLUE Magazine, penning a column called “Vintage Views” which highlights historic travel destinations around the Great Lakes State.


Vintage Views Along Scenic M-22 including Sleeping Bear Dunes
ISBN: 978-0-9962173-0-9 Michigan History ($40).


UPCOMING EVENTS
Vintage Views Along Scenic M-22 including Sleeping Bear Dunes

Wednesday, June 17 (7pm)
Book Launch – Grand Rapids Public Library (Main Downtown Branch)

Sunday, June 21 (1-3pm)
Northern Michigan Book Launch – Cottage Book Shop, Glen Arbor

Thursday, July 2 (1-4pm)
Leelanau Books, Leland

Thursday, July 16 (TBA)
Northport Historical Society

Saturday, July 18 (11am-1pm)
Leelanau Historical Museum, Leland

Thursday, July 30 (TBA)
Lansing Historical Society @ East Lansing Public Library

Friday, July 24 (2-4pm)
Happy Owl Bookshop, Manistee

Saturday, July 25 (1-3)
Black River Books, South Haven

Friday, July 31 (4-6pm)
Horizon Books, Traverse City

Sunday, August 2 (TBA)
Old Settlers Picnic Area, Burdickville

Saturday, August 8 (10am-4pm)
Port Oneida Days, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (Leelanau Peninsula)

Friday, August 21 (7pm)
Empire Area Heritage Group, Empire Town Hall

Thursday, Sept. 10 (4pm)
Benzie Area Historical Society @ The Mills Community House, Benzonia

**To book a program in your community, please contact Dianna Stampfler, publicist, at Dianna@PromoteMichigan.com.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Schuler’s Restaurant & Pub Enhances Outdoor Patio, Expanding Grill Night to Every Wednesday & Thursday Nights

It is outdoor dining season and you’re invited to gather with family and friends on the patio outside Winston’s Pub at Schuler’s Restaurant in historic Marshall.

“Last year our grill night was a hit and this year we decided to amp it up a bit,” says third-generation owner Hans Schuler. “Not only did we make improvements in the patio itself, but we’ve increased the grilling option from one to two nights to accommodate the requests from our guests.”

The 700-square-foot patio features a generous outdoor grilling space, along with 34 seats for guests stretching out along Eagle Street. Guests can order from the regular pub menu, seven days a week, with weekly grill specials from David Frame on Wednesday and Thursday nights. The patio will be open, weather permitting, through the early fall season.

Founded in 1909, the iconic Schuler’s Restaurant & Pub epitomizes hospitality excellence as a family owned and operated business. Located in downtown historic Marshall, Schuler’s is recognized as world-class Michigan destination focused on offering guests quality food and excellent service, in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Friday, May 29, 2015

HELP WANTED: Jolly Pumpkin & North Peak Looking to Expand Team Presence Throughout Michigan, Ohio

Business is booming with the Michigan-based Northern United Brewing Company (NUBC)—producers of Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, North Peak Brewing Company, Grizzly Peak Brewing Company, Nomad Ciders and Civilized Spirits. The Dexter-based company is looking to add several jobs in its sales and operations departments.

“This is an exciting time for all areas of Northern United Brewing Company” says Tony Grant, co-owner for the company. “All our brands continue to grow at a rapid pace, both in terms of what we have available at our pubs but also in the retail marketplace. We’re looking for qualified, passionate and engaging team players who want to help us develop a stronger presence in Michigan and beyond.”

This year, Jolly Pumpkin celebrates its 11th year as the country’s first and premier all-sour brewery, with award-winning products such as La Roja, Bam Biere and Oro de Calabaza, artfully crafted by master brewer Ron Jeffries at a new state-of-the-art facility in Dexter. Jolly Pumpkin pubs also operate in Traverse City, Ann Arbor and the newly opened location downtown Detroit’s Midtown neighborhood.

North Peak was founded in Traverse City in 1997 (with production of bottled beer starting in 2009) and since then has launched more than a dozen unique products, each with ties to Michigan folklore and legend. Grizzly Peak is yet to be introduced into the market in a distributed format, but in 2014 North Peak Brewing Company released its “Grizzly Peak Series” in 12-ounce stubby bottles, and this year the Ann Arbor brew pub celebrates its 20th year.

The Nomad Cider line grew out of the North Peak brand to stand on its own in 2011. Civilized Spirits was formed in 2010 and currently produces a variety of craft liquors including whiskey, vodka, rum, gin and sakura. Both of these brands are crafted on the Old Mission Peninsula in Traverse City.

Complete descriptions for jobs with Northern United Brewing Company can be found online at JollyPumpkin.com.

NUBC encompasses the Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, North Peak and Grizzly Peak beer brands, Nomad Ciders, Civilized Spirits and Bonafide Wines, all dedicated to conservation, inspiration and locally sustainable practices.

Find NUBC products at stores, restaurants, and bars all throughout Michigan, including: Blue Tractor, North Peak Brewing Company, Mission Table and Jolly Pumpkin Brewery, all in Traverse City; Jolly Pumpkin and Grizzly Peak, in Ann Arbor; Jolly Pumpkin Pizzeria & Brewery in Detroit; and Null taproom in Dexter.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Valentine Distilling Named “Best American Gin Distillery” at Berlin Competition

Liberator Gin & Liberator Old Tom Gin Continue to Win Medals

Detroit-based Valentine Distilling was been named “Best American Gin Distillery” at the Berlin International Spirits Competition held in March in Germany.

Additionally, Valentine’s Liberator Gin and Liberator Old Tom Gin took medals at the competition, which drew close to 200 spirits from 20 countries. Fewer than 35% of the entries received awards. The competition was judged by a hand-selected panel of key trade-only judges—spirits buyers, retail storeowners, restaurant proprietors, spirit distributors and importers that have the unique ability to make a direct impact on sales.

Judges represented world-renowned cocktail establishments such as Schwarze TrMixology Bar (Berlin), Rex Bar & Grill (Sweden), Pollen Social Street (London and Becketts Kopf-Bar (Amsterdam) among others.

The judging took place in the Kempinski Berlin Hotel and awards were given by majority vote. The judges were instructed to grant no awards when, in their opinion, the spirits were not ones they would import, distribute, buy or sell in their business and within the price category.

Since first being introduced in 2013, Valentine Distilling’s gins have continued to garner awards from esteemed international competitions.

The Beverage Tasting Institute this year presented a Gold Medal (with an “Exceptional” rating of 93 points) for the Liberator Old Tom Gin and a Gold Medal (with an “Exceptional” rating of 91 points) for its Liberator Gin during the 2015 International Review of Spirits competition, held in Chicago in April.

The judges described the small-batch Old Tom Gin as possessing “bright amber colors, with bright, fruity, spicy aromas of carrot cake, cedar forest, sassafras, and mixed peppercorns.” The judges continued by attributing the handcraft spirit with producing “a satiny, vibrant, warming and complex finish of cinnamon roll, nutmeg, and cream, with a moderate amount of oak.”

“Old Tom Liberator Gin is an attractive hybrid of a fruity, spicy gin and an American whisky,” says Jerald O’Kennard, Director of Tastings.com “This Old Tom will be fun to experiment with.”

The clear Liberator Gin was found to possess “lively, spicy, fruity aromas of cinnamon carrot cake, orange custard, spiced apples, with floral herbs, and an elegant, white peppered, honeyed tea finish.”

“I am excited to be once again recognized by industry peers as top of the class in world spirit competition,” says founder/distiller Rifino Valentine. “It’s always a good feeling to be recognized by peers in your industry. But, what I am most proud of is that our distillery is able to continue in the tradition of quality Detroit manufacturing, and that we are able to export products that rival anything produced around the world. I’m thankful to have a very dedicated and talented staff who help make this happen.”

The Beverage Tasting Institute was established in 1981 as America’s premier independent alcoholic beverage review organization, and states that its mission was to create fair and reliable reviews of wine and spirits.

In 2014, Liberator Old Tom was named “World’s Best Cask Gin” by the World Gin Awards. This follows on the heels of the traditional Liberator Gin winning “Best in Class” and “Best in Category” – “Best American Gin” – by the American Distilling Institute in 2013.

Aged in American oak barrels for two years, Old Tom Liberator Gin has an aroma of juniper and pine, with hints of oak, woody spices and citrus peel. The initial bursts of juniper berries are mellow and tame, and are followed by touches of vanilla, citrus, cardamom and cinnamon.

“Our goal from the beginning has been to return to the times that America led the world in the manufacturing of quality products,” says Valentine. “What made our economy great was that the highest grade products in the world came from here in the United States. If we are going to make an impact on the US economy in today’s marketplace, we need products that not only compete on a state and national level, but ones that stand up internationally as well. Our philosophy has always been ‘don’t drink Valentine spirits just because they are local – drink them because they are better.’”

“Old Tom Gin” (or “Tom Gin” or “Old Tom”) is a gin recipe popular in 18-century England. In modern times, it became rare but has experienced a resurgence in the craft cocktail movement. It is slightly sweeter than London Dry, but slightly drier than Dutch Jenever, thus is sometimes called “the missing link.” Unlike many gins which are produced in a column still today, Old Tom Gin is provided in a pot still.

Liberator Gin is named in honor of the B-24 Liberator Bomber. Early in World War II, Ford Motor Company built the Willow Run plant near Detroit to produce the B-24 Liberator – cementing Detroit’s nickname as the “arsenal of democracy.” Carefully hand-crafted, this delightfully-unique gin salutes Rosie the Riveter and all the American workers who helped secure victory.

Valentine Distilling launched into the Michigan market in early 2009 and has since been ranked one of the top-rated craft distilleries in the country. Operating out of a 5000-square-foot facility in Ferndale, Valentine Distilling proudly produces its original spirits in two world-class Christian Carl Stills. Valentine Distilling products can currently be found in more than 3000 locations throughout Michigan, Illinois, Tennessee, New York, Maryland, Delaware and Washington DC as well as internationally in Italy, France and Belgium.

Keweenaw Excursions Offers Multi-Day Lighthouse Cruises through the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes are home to hundreds of lighthouses, dating back to the mid-1800s. You’re invited to view them from the Keweenaw Star on one of five multi-day cruises this season offered by the Charlevoix-based Keweenaw Excursions.

“We feature an open air top deck and a full walk around the lower deck to provide you with an optimal view for photographic purposes,” says Jason Funkey, who owns the company with his brother, Kraig.

All trips include the cruising experience as well as continental breakfast, hot lunch and afternoon appetizers on the boat, overnight accommodations and transportation from the boat to the hotel and back each day.

To book a charter, contact the Keweenaw Excursions office at 231-237-9365.

This year’s schedule includes:

“Explore The Door” (June 22-25)
$750 per person for double occupancy | $850 per person for single occupancy

The Keweenaw Star is setting sail to explore Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula and the waters of Green Bay. Our trip departs Charlevoix on Monday June 22nd and heads due west to our first lighthouse viewing at South Fox Island. From South Fox we continue west across Lake Michigan to Rock Island Passage where we view Pottawatomie Lighthouse. Turning north from here we slip past St Martin Island Lighthouse and Poverty Island Lighthouse for a close up view and pictures. After viewing Poverty Island we head to Escanaba and the Terrace Bay Inn and Suites for our first night’s stay.

On day 2 we head south out of Escanaba past the lighthouse at Minneapolis Shoal. From Minneapolis Shoal we make our way through the famed “Deaths Door” to view the lights at Plum Island and Pilot Island before coming back in to the Bay of Green Bay for a quick view of Chambers Island Lighthouse. From Chambers Island we make our way over to Port of Marinette and head up the Menominee River to the shipyard to view any new construction at Marinette Marine. From Marinette we make our way back across Green Bay passing Peshtigo Reef Lighthouse and Sherwood Point Lighthouse headed into Sturgeon Bay for our second night’s stay at the Stone Harbor Resort.

Day 3 is a free day in Sturgeon Bay. Explore Bay Ship and Palmer Johnson shipyards, Door County Maritime Museum, the “Best of Door County” trolley tours, or just relax by the pool as we will again stay at the Stone Harbor Resort for our 3rd night.

Day 4 takes us out of the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal past the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Lighthouse and Entrance Light before making our way back across Lake Michigan to the Manitou Passage. We make our way past South and North Manitou Lighthouses, and then close approach to Grand Traverse Point Lighthouse before heading back to Charlevoix.

“Sights Of The Sunrise Side” (July 13-16)
$750 per person for double occupancy | $850 per person for single occupancy

New for 2015 we have an exciting trip to explore the sunrise side of the state. Our journey will set sail from Charlevoix, Michigan headed to our first port of call on Drummond Island. Along the way we will pass under the Mackinac Bridge and past the lighthouses at Ile Aux Galets, Gray’s Reef, White Shoal, St Helena, Round Island, Martin Reef, and Detour Reef. Our accommodations and dinner will be at the Drummond Island Resort and Conference Center.

Day 2 of this trip will take us to the port of Alpena. We will start off traveling through the island filled Potagannissing Bay and into the North Channel. Once in the North Channel we will make our way east to Lake Huron via the Mississiagi Strait. Our route takes us past the Mississagi Strait lighthouse and out to the lighthouse on Great Duck Island where we will turn and make our way back across Lake Huron to our port of Alpena for the night. Our accommodations and dinner will be at the Sanctuary Inn.

Day 3 will start out with a tour of the NOAA Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. Upon completion of the tour we will board the boat and make our way up the coast to our next port of call in Cheboygan. Traveling up the coast we will pass the lights at Thunder Bay Island, Middle Island, Old Presque Isle, New Presque Isle, 40 mile point, Poe, Reef, and 14 foot Shoal. Our lodging for the evening will be at the Fleetwood Inn Hotel on the historic Cheboygan River.

Day 4 of this trip will bring us back under the Mackinac Bridge, past the lights at Mackinaw City and Waugoshance Point as we make our way back to our home port of Charlevoix. There should be plenty of opportunities for ship watchers as well as we will pass through some of the most congested waters for shipping on the Great Lakes. We also will be passing some of the busiest stone loading ports including Stoneport and Calcite as we make our way along the east coast of Michigan.

“Soo Grand Tour” (July 20-23)
$700 per person for double occupancy | $800 per person for single occupancy

Our voyage will begin in Charlevoix, Michigan on the 20th of July. We will travel north to get close up views of the lighthouses at Ile Aux Galets, Gray’s Reef, and White Shoal. Turning east we will make a close approach to St Helena Island Lighthouse before making our way under the Mackinac Bridge and down the South Channel to our port of Cheboygan for the night.

On the second day as we depart Cheboygan we will get close up views of the Cheboygan rear range light, 14 Foot Shoal, and Poe Reef lighthouses. Continuing northeast we will pass close to Spectacle Reef Lighthouse as we make our way over to the entrance of the St Mary’s River at Detour. From here we will travel through Potagannissing Bay and make our way over the north side of St Joseph’s Island. Along the way we will pass the lighthouses at Bruce Mines, West Sister Rock, Wilson Channel Ranges and Shoal Island before entering the St Mary’s River at the Middle Neebish Cut. Our day will end in Sault Ste. Marie with our lodging and dinner at the Kewadin Casino of Sault Ste Marie.

Day 3 will take us up through the locks at Sault Ste Marie to the head waters of the St Mary’s River at Ile Parisienne, where we will turn and make our way back to port at Sault Ste Marie for another night and dinner at the Kewadin Casino.

Day 4 takes us down the St Mary’s River through the famed Rock Cut and out to Lake Huron where we head west past Martin Reef Lighthouse and Waugoshance Reef Lighthouse on our way home to Charlevoix.

“3 Days 3 Great Lakes Cruises” (August 3-5; additional dates may be added)
$550 per person for double occupancy | $650 per person for single occupancy

Cruise the Northern Lake Michigan coast from Charlevoix to Sault Ste. Marie. Day One we depart Charlevoix and make our way north through Gray’s Reef passage then east through the Straits of Mackinac. Passing under the Mighty Mac, we continue east to Detour Reef Light where we will enter the St. Mary’s river. We will navigate the narrow channels and ranges to our destination of Sault Ste. Marie. With more cargo passing through the Soo Locks than the Panama and Suez canals combined there is an excellent chance we will see some of the largest ships in the world passing in close proximity to us. Upon arrival in Sault Ste. Marie, we will head for the Kewadin Casino and Hotel where we will enjoy a night of fun and entertainment.

Day 2 we board the boat after a breakfast buffet at the casino hotel. Our tour will take us up the St. Mary’s river passing through the Soo Locks where we will be raised 21 feet up to Lake Superior. Exiting the locks, we will travel north into Lake Superior to the head waters of the river at Ile Parisienne Lighthouse. At Ile Parisienne, we turn around and head back to our dock in Sault Ste. Marie where again we will stay at the casino for another night of fun and entertainment.

Day 3, the final day of our excursion, we will enjoy a breakfast buffet at the casino then board the boat for our return trip to Charlevoix. Along the way we will be passing through the famed “Rock Cut” in the St Mary’s river.

“Colors Of The St. Mary’s” (September 28-30)
$475 per person for double occupancy | $550 per person for single occupancy

Due to the unpredictability of Mother Nature’s wind this time of year we decided it would be best to depart from the protected waters of the St Mary’s River. There are several small motels along M-134 in the towns of Cedarville and Hessel which are close to Detour, or you can just spend the night in St Ignace, only 50 miles away, prior to departure.

From the State docks in Detour we will head north through the hundreds of tree filled islands of Potagannissing Bay. Colors should be spectacular as we make our way to the North Channel of Georgian Bay. Once in the North Channel we will make our way over to the Canadian town of Bruce Mines to view the lighthouse at McKay Point. From here we will head west past Sister Rock lighthouse and through the narrows of the Wilson Channel and proceed over the north side of St Joseph Island. Just past the Shoal Island lighthouse we will enter the St Mary’s river in the Middle Neebish Channel where we will proceed up bound to Sault Ste Marie. We will make our way through the locks and on to Lake Superior where we will turn and head back down the Canadian Lock and over to our dock for the evening.

Our second day will be an option day. Option 1 will be to board a bus for a color cruise to the Great Lakes Shipwreck nautical museum at Whitefish Point and Tahquamenon Falls State Park. Option 2 will be to stay and play or whatever you would like to. The casino operates a free shuttle which could bring you down to the Soo Historic Sites including the Museum Ship Valley Camp, Tower of History, or make your way over to the viewing platform at the Locks for close up views of transiting freighters. Our third day we will make our way back down the St Mary’s River with passage through the famed Rock Cut to our dock at Detour where we will disembark for home.

About the Keweenaw Star
Operating since 2000, Keweenaw Excursions is owned and operated by brothers Jason and Kraig Funkey. The company originated in Houghton, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and moved to Charlevoix in 2009. With a capacity of 130 passengers, the Keweenaw Star offers a range of cruises from mid-May through mid-October, including sunset tours, sightseeing trips and multi-day lighthouse and ship-watching cruises. The boat is also available for private charters, for events such as corporate outings, weddings, rehearsal dinners and reunions.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Michigan's Hudsonville Ice Cream & Historic Grand Hotel Welcome the Return of Seasonal Pecan Ball Ice Cream (and announce an Amazing Contest)

When it comes to developing unique flavors honoring Michigan’s most noted attractions, Hudsonville Ice Cream is a scoop above the rest. During the summer of 2014, Hudsonville added a new seasonal favorite to its portfolio when it partnered with Grand Hotel, America’s Summer Place, for the creation of Grand Hotel Pecan Ball. This flavor is now available again, for your summer enjoyment.

Hudsonville Ice Cream and Grand Hotel are also offering a chance to win a fabulous prize, including a two night stay at the iconic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, free ice cream for a year, and one round of golf at the Jewel Mackinac. You can enter by simply going to http://hudsonvilleicecream.com/grandhotel/ (Hurry, the contest ends on August 15, 2015).

Opened in 1887, Grand Hotel is the world’s largest summer hotel. With 385 rooms, it is a member of Historic Hotels of America, is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites, and holds countless other distinctions for its time-honored hospitality.

The esteemed property is known for many things – such as having the “world’s largest front porch” (at 660 feet), its multitude of geraniums (2,500 plants in flower boxes on the front porch alone, with more than 5,200 total plants around the property) and its pecan ball dessert (with more than 50,000 served to hotel guests each season).

Crafted with creamy Hudsonville vanilla ice cream, swirls of genuine Grand Hotel fudge and premium pecan pieces, Grand Hotel Pecan Ball ice cream is a nod to the hotel’s signature dessert. Find Grand Hotel Pecan Ball at your local grocer, or even better yet, enjoy it on Mackinac Island with a visit to Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor at Grand Hotel.

Sadie’s exclusively features 24 Hudsonville Ice Cream flavors including Grand Hotel Pecan Ball, which are served up in dishes, cones, shakes and sundaes. Those looking to share a traditional ice cream experience will enjoy the Grand Sundae. With eight scoops, it is proudly served in a dog bone shaped bowl, and is a crowd pleaser.

Sadie’s is the classic American ice cream parlor – with its white marble topped cafĂ© tables and twisted iron chairs – was decorated by none other than the hotel’s noted interior designer Carleton Varney of Dorothy Draper & Company in New York. Outside, visitors can sit on benches designed of the same twisted iron, with aqua blue oval backs and 3D ice cream cones painted in the Neapolitan colors of chocolate brown, vanilla and pink.

Located outside the hotel’s east entrance, off of Cadotte Avenue, the parlor is open to all Mackinac Island visitors with no hotel admission fee.

“We are extremely excited to continue our partnership with Grand Hotel in 2015. Their team has been amazing to work with, and the partnership fits so naturally – summer, family and relaxation,” says CJ Ellens from Hudsonville Ice Cream. “A visit to Grand Hotel is an incredible experience and we are so excited to bring a scoop of that experience into families' homes. This is an ice cream flavor that can only be matched by your own visit to Grand Hotel and Sadie's Ice Cream Parlor!”

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Spring Showers Bring New Jolly Pumpkin Sours: Rojzilla & La Roja du Kriek

Jolly Pumpkin’s quintessential beer – La Roja – may be hard to find, but two new specialty brews will hit the marketplace in limited quantities this month and are sure to quench the thirst of sour beer lovers around America. Rojzilla and La Roja du Kriek will be distributed in Michigan and 34 other states during the brand’s “April Showers Bring Jolly Pumpkin Sours” campaign.

La Roja (7.2% ABV | 25 IBU) was the second beer to be released by Jolly Pumpkin, after opening in 2004. This artisan red ale, brewed in the Flanders tradition, is deep amber in color with earthy caramel, spice and sour fruit notes that are developed through natural barrel aging.

Flanders ales are fermented with usual brewer’s yeast in an unfiltered and unpasteurized fashion, then placed into oak barrels to age and mature. The mature beer is then blended with younger beer, to adjust the taste for consistency. The name comes from the usual color of these ales, which are descendent from English porters of the 17th century.

Due to the extensive time involved in the production of La Roja, it is only released in limited quantities and is considered one of the most sought-after sour ales in the country.

Rojzilla – Michigan Sour Biere. Aged for a year-and-a-half in a 100-bbl oak foudre before being blended with a few “normal” size barrels of varying ages to create a complex, mellifluous combination of flavors and sophistication. (7.4% ABV | 750ml)

La Roja du Kriek – Sour Amber Ale with Michigan Cherry Juice. This is what happens when 3100 gallons of 2013 La Roja meets 50 gallons of Michigan tart cherry juice, aged in oak barrels and bottle conditioned – a perfect blend of sour and tart joie de vivre! (7.5% ABV | 750ml).



Jolly Pumpkin celebrates its 11th year in 2015, and is regarded as the nation’s first and premier all-sour brewery. Under the watchful guidance of master brewer Ron Jeffries.

Jeffries began studying and experimenting with brewing in the early 1990s, always with an eye towards opening his own brewery. With a special interest in rustic country ales, he launched his professional brewing career in 1995, and quickly became known as an innovative and respected member of Michigan’s emerging craft beer scene.
Jeffries realized his dream in the summer of 2004 when he and his wife, Laurie, launched Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales in Dexter, Mich., the first brewery focused on and offering an exclusive selection of oak-aged, wild and sour beers in the United States. Together Ron and Laurie Jeffries, with the help of their son Daemon, have grown Jolly Pumpkin into a boutique brand with widespread distribution and global recognition.

Over the years, Jeffries’ vocation has evolved from brewer, craftsman and artist to most recently, philosopher and visionary of all things beer. His outstanding dedication to the art of brewing has led to international attention and accolades.

An advocate for the simpler life, Jeffries believes in decelerating the hectic tempo of modern life and returning to a slower, more livable pace. He runs the brewery on what he calls “Hawaiian time,” allowing Jolly Pumpkin to maintain traditional small scale production while protecting both the outstanding complexity and simplicity of the beverage.

RELEASE EVENTS:

A draft and bottle release for Rojzilla and La Roja du Kriek will take place the weekend of June 6-7 at the Null taproom in Dexter, as well as Jolly Pumpkin locations in Ann Arbor, Midtown in Detroit and Traverse City.

Throughout the coming month, special tastings and release parties will be held around the country featuring these two beers as well. All events will be promoted on the Jolly Pumpkin Facebook.

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 Nomad Ciders, Civilized Spirits and Bonafide Wines. NUBC’s philosophy focuses on a dedication to conservation, inspiration and locally-sustainable practices.

Find NUBCo products at stores, restaurants, and bars all throughout Michigan, including: North Peak Brewing Company, Mission Table and Jolly Pumpkin Brewery, all in Traverse City; Jolly Pumpkin and Grizzly Peak, in Ann Arbor.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Food Dance Raises the Roof on Grilling

Looking to amp up your grilling techniques before the summer season is in full swing? Food Dance, the award-winning Kalamazoo-based farm-to-table restaurant, offers an experience like no other during its three-day “Fire & Sky Grilling Class” this June.

Imagine gathering on the rooftop of the Food Dance building in downtown Kalamazoo, where you can enjoy a refreshing summer-influenced cocktail, soak up the sunset skyline and learn tricks of the grilling trade from some of Food Dance’s culinary team’s top leaders. From pork to chicken to beef and lamb, you’ll pick up helpful hints about butchering cuts, heat source and temperatures, and flavorful recipes to wow your family and friends at your next backyard party.

Open spots for Fire & Sky are available for Tuesday, June 9 (the Wednesday, June 10 and Thursday, June 11 classes are already sold out, but there is a wait list). The class runs from 6:30-8:30pm. Space is limited to 24 individuals and the cost is $75 per person, excluding tax and gratuity.

Food Dance creates opportunities for people to come together and connect through the experience of food. We passionately cook with the freshest locally produced ingredients and believe in giving great, caring service, and providing great experiences for everyone we come in contact with.

FOOD DANCE
401 E. Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo MI 49007

www.FoodDance.net
www.facebook.com/FoodDanceRestaurant
www.twitter.com/Food_Dance

SAVE THE DATE: Traverse City to Host 2nd Annual City of Riesling (Sunday, July 26 - Monday, July 27)


What: 2nd Annual City of Riesling

Where: Traverse City, Michigan

When: Sunday, July 26, 2015 — Night of 100 Rieslings @ Clinch Park Pavilion

VIP Admission: 5-6pm | $100 per person

Includes early and complete access to the wine, food and entertainment, as well as access to visiting winemakers and sommeliers, including those items that will be available for purchase only during the main event.

General Admission: 6-10pm | $50 per person

Includes 13 tasting tickets for the Bar of 100 Rieslings, food from two stations and live entertainment, as well as access to visiting winemakers and sommeliers.

Featuring Music from The Go Rounds, from Kalamazoo. The Go Rounds are furious live act and progressive recording unit fueled by the history of its diverse lineup and collaborative spirit. Equally inspired by their record collections as the beauty of the Great Lakes State, the band explores soul music, baroque folk, art rock, country and classic rock n' roll. The four-piece will release their latest full-length record "dont go not changin" in May 2015.

Monday, July 27, 2015 — Salon Riesling @ The Franklin

An all-day symposium with sessions featuring the energy and insight of Riesling leaders from all sides of the wine trade, including curated tastings of difficult to find Rieslings from around the world.

Sessions will be held from 10:00-11:00am, 11:30am-12:30pm, 2:30-3:30pm and 4-5pm. A Rare Riesling Luncheon will take place from 12:45-2:15pm.

Cost is $50 per session; the Rare Riesling Luncheon is $100 (inclusive of tax/gratuity). Advanced registration is required, space is limited to 20 per session.

The specific session topics and presenters will be announced at the beginning of June.

History: City of Riesling is the brainchild of winemaker Sean O’Keefe of Chateau Grand Traverse and Villa Mari Vineyards; restaurateur and sommelier Amanda Danielson of Trattoria Stella and The Franklin; and wine writer and Riesling evangelist Stuart Pigott.

During its inaugural year in 2014, more than 300 people attended the festivities in Traverse City—a waterfront community recognized as the culinary capital of Michigan and the Midwest’s most active wine region, specifically for world-class Rieslings.

Why: This event features not only a diverse range of award-winning Riesling from around the world. Michigan is perfectly situated in the heart of the Great Lakes Region, which creates a cool climate environment ideal for vineyard development—especially for Riesling grapes. Combine that natural element with the talented and passionate winemakers that call this area home and you’ve crafted a winning combination. That’s why Traverse City has earned the privilege of hosting an event of this magnitude!

More Info: www.CityOfRiesling.com
www.facebook.com/CityOfRiesling
www.twitter.com/CityOfRiesling (#TCRiesling15)
www.instagram.com/CityOfRiesling

Contact: Dianna Stampfler, Promote Michigan
269-330-4228 | Dianna@PromoteMichigan.com

Friday, May 1, 2015

Legendary Schuler’s Restaurant Recognizes Long-Time Patron and his “Greatest Joy in Life is Giving” Philosophy

George Petredean (l) shares a moment with Hans Schuler at Schuler's Restaurant & Pub in Marshall.

One of the treasured elements of the historic Schuler’s Restaurant & Pub in Marshall are the murals which line the walls and the eloquent sayings etched into the beams of the main dining room, both the result of Win Schuler’s insatiable interest in history.

This month, a new quote from long-time patron George Petredean, age 97, was added to this collection: “The greatest joy in life is giving.” Those who know him say that George not only expresses this saying verbally, but also in the way he lives his life on a daily basis.

“He’s always been a giver,” says son-in-law Ron DiSalvio.

Considered a philanthropist by friends, family and the community, George is a big supporter of his Homer community, giving generously to their library and the Homer Area Community Foundation. He is also a supporter of his college alma mater, Eastern Michigan University.

“I can’t help but feel grateful for all the gifts I’ve received in my life, and it’s so important to me to give back,” George says. “It is always better to give, than receive, with the joy in your heart.”

When he was a teenager, George and his family immigrated to the Detroit area from Romania. Throughout his life, the U.S. has truly been a land of opportunity for him in raising his own family and operating a successful business in the Calhoun Foundry.

“I’ve always felt grateful to be a part of this great country and the education received coming here,” he says.

George has been a loyal customer of Schuler’s, often entertaining customers prior to retiring. He was a true friend of Win Schuler, son of restaurant founder Albert Schuler.

“No matter who it was, Win would remember your name,” George recounts. “He was such a great guy and I’m thankful to have known him.”

Not only is George considered a good Schuler friend, but his children and their children have become familiar faces of the restaurant and pub as well.

“George Petredean, the ‘chairman’ I called him, was a close friend of my father’s,” says Hans Schuler. “We are honored to celebrate him next to my father on the beams of our Centennial Room. The chairman was a great mentor to many individuals and businesses in the Calhoun community. His generosity and leadership has set a great example to many.”

Founded in 1909, the iconic Schuler’s Restaurant & Pub epitomizes hospitality excellence as a family owned and operated business, now in its fourth generation. Located in downtown historic Marshall, Schuler’s is recognized as world-class Michigan destination focused on offering guests quality food and excellent service, in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Schuler’s Restaurant & Pub
115 S Eagle St.
Marshall, Michigan 49068
(269) 781-0600
www.schulersrestaurant.com

www.facebook.com/SchulersRestaurant
www.twitter.com/schulers1909


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day! Hudsonville Ice Cream Announces Expanded Naturals Line

In celebration of the spring season and Earth Day, Hudsonville Ice Cream proudly announces an expanded all-natural line of flavors which will be part of their All Season portfolio. The four flavors, available in the green packaging, include Vanilla Bean, Salted Caramel, Strawberry and Chocolate Cocoa Bean.

“This new product line focuses on a clean ingredient label, using only simple and natural ingredients for a finished product that is rBST free,” says Raymond Sierengowski of Hudsonville Ice Cream. “In fact, not only is our Naturals line rBST free, but our entire line of products are and always have been rBST free. More than 20 of our products are also gluten-free.”

• Vanilla Bean: Created for those who cannot get enough of the great taste of Vanilla, this extra decadent flavor satisfies the most discerning palette. Perfect alone or for pairing with your favorite homemade pie!

• Salted Caramel: Natural ingredients in this ice cream blend harmoniously to unleash the pure salted caramel flavor that only nature can deliver. Our natural cane sugar takes salty-sweet to new heights.

• Strawberry: Natural ingredients in this traditional hand-crafted flavor are bursting with real strawberry flavors and colors.

• Chocolate Cocoa Bean: Chocolate lovers will enjoy savoring this rich, tasty flavor made with organically-processed cocoa.

“Hudsonville Ice Cream partners with family-owned and operated dairy farms of the Michigan Milk Producers Association to ensure the milk and cream used in Naturals is as fresh as possible,” Sierengowski says. “In fact, the milk we use travels less than an hour from the farm to our facility.”

This Naturals line delivers real flavors: milk, cream, cane sugar, strawberries, vanilla, organic cocoa and other real ingredients. No artificial colors or flavors of any kind are used in Naturals. Cane sugar makes Naturals sweet – not corn syrup or high-fructose corn syrup. It’s as Natural as it gets!

These, and countless other Hudsonville Ice Cream flavors can be found in grocery stores and ice cream parlors in Michigan, Indiana, 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.