Friday, July 3, 2009

Traverse City’s Blue Tractor Plows Ahead with Michigan Only Beers at “The Shed”

Owners of the Blue Tractor are plowing ahead with their newest endeavor called The Shed. Housed in Traverse City’s Olde Towne, between the Blue Tractor and Café Habana, The Shed will proudly serve exclusively Michigan microbrews when it opens up at 4pm on Friday, July 3 – just in time for Michigan Craft Beer Month.

“We are so proud to live in a state where there is such an impressive number of microbreweries producing amazing craft beers,” says Jon Carlson, who along with Greg Lobdell, operate 2Mission Development and Design, owners of these and other restaurants throughout the state. “Without a doubt, we believe Michigan makes the best microbrews and we’re excited to be able to offer a beer list at The Shed that features the best of the best, made right here in our home state.”

At the onset, some 22 bottled beers from 10 Michigan microbreweries will be featured at The Shed, including:

Jolly Pumpkin – Oro de Calabaza
Jolly Pumpkin – La Roja
Jolly Pumpkin – Calabaza Blanca
Jolly Pumpkin – Bam Biere
Short’s – Bellaire Brown
Short’s – Huma Lupa Licious
Arcadia – IPA
Arcadia – Porter
Bell’s – Amber Ale
Bell’s – Two Hearted Ale
Michigan Brewing Co. – Big Mac
Michigan Brewing Co. – Nut Brown
Michigan Brewing Co. – Celis White
Founders – Red’s Rye
Founders – Dirty Bastard
Founders – Pale Ale
Atwater Brewing – Vanilla Java Porter
Atwater Brewing – Cherry Stout
New Holland – Full Circle
New Holland – Mad Hatter
Keweenaw – Blonde
Detroit Dwarf

A draft tower will eventually be added and the number of brews served will increase, with one common element – they’ll be hand-crafted in Michigan.

“Across the state, we have seen an increased demand from the consumer looking for and even seeking out high-quality, locally made beers,” Lobdell says. “We wanted to provide a comfortable environment for people to enjoy these crafted brews. We believe The Shed is that place.”

Opened in 2007, the Blue Tractor Cook Shop (423 S. Union St.) building itself has a long-standing history as a local watering hole, opening first in 1886 as Novotny’s Saloon. Prohibition put a halt to business in the early 1900s, but by 1938 the building was purchased and opened as Dill’s. Over the years, the building changed hands frequently but always remained a place for people to relax and enjoy fine food and cold beer. The Blue Tractor proudly smokes all its own meats, purchases its produce locally, mixes up its own sauces, dressings and soups from scratch, and supports not only the Michigan breweries, but the Grand Traverse region’s award-winning wineries as well.

Café Habana (421 S. Union St.) blends the classic Cuban feel with menu items from Central and South America in an updated version and unique twist on the timeless Cuban or Latin café. The 1930s retro-style of Habana brings up imagery of the pre-Castro Cuba with art deco décor set in a rustic environment. The blend of exciting Latin drink paired with the authentic flavors and spices of the food.

The Shed will offer its own unique entertainment and relaxation atmosphere to Traverse City, a community that is garnering national attention for its unparalleled culinary offerings and spectacular locale along Grand Traverse Bay.

In May, Lobdell and Carlson were honored with the 2009 Citizen Award by the Michigan Historic Preservation Network. They were recognized for their historic preservation and restoration efforts at several properties in Michigan. 2Mission was founded with the purpose of acquiring and developing underutilized real estate with the intent of developing vibrant mixed use properties. It is the latest in a series of historic preservation awards the team has been honored with.

2Mission projects include Bowers Harbor Inn and The Bowery on Old Mission Peninsula, North Peak Brewing Co., Kilkenny’s Irish Public House, Café Habana and the Blue Tractor – all in Traverse City; Bastone Brewery, Café Habana and Vinotecca – all in Royal Oak; and Grizzly Peak Brewing Co., Blue Tractor BBQ, and Café Habana – all in Ann Arbor.

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