Friday, December 17, 2010

The Homestead Offers Free Ski Passes to Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan

In an effort to thank and honor those who serve or have served in active military duty in Iraq and Afghanistan for the sacrifices they make to keep our nation safe, The Homestead provides complimentary downhill skiing and snowboarding for the 2010-2011 winter season.

“The men and women who are deployed overseas put themselves in harms way and make huge sacrifices for the security of our nation. They deserve honor, respect and thanks for what they do for us,” said Bob Kuras, owner of The Homestead. “We hope to lead the way in thanking our men and women in uniform by giving them outdoor winter fun this season.”

The Homestead is not located near a military base but many people travel to the region to see Sleeping Bear Dunes and to take advantage of the winter activities and snow sports. The Homestead is Northern Michigan’s largest waterfront resort community, located in the heart of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – a unit of the National Park Service. Along with its unmatched natural setting and miles of frontage on Lake Michigan and the Crystal River, the resort offers 13 downhill ski runs and 7.5 miles of cross-country and snowshoeing trails adjacent to the property. Bay Mountain has a 375 foot vertical drop with stunning views of Lake Michigan and the Manitou Islands making it one of the most scenic ski hills in Michigan.

Military personnel who are on active duty or have served in Iraq and Afghanistan are eligible for free lift tickets when they present their activity military photo identification to cashiers at the ticket office. Free tickets are limited to one ticket or pass per person, per day. The Homestead also offers special military rates on lodging for those who choose to stay the night or enjoy a weekend getaway.

“We also do not have black out dates for those in active military service,” says Kuras. “Our free lift tickets can be used during peak season and during the holidays. The winter season is short in Northern Michigan and we want our military to take full advantage of what we offer.”

The Homestead – America’s Freshwater Resort, is located in Glen Arbor, Michigan. The resort offers snow sports including downhill skiing and snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice skating as well as lodging, shops, restaurants, meeting centers, wedding facilities and a luxurious spa. In the summer the resort offers guest pools, tennis, golf and a sandy beach on Lake Michigan.

For more information, visit www.thehomesteadresort.com or call 231.334.5100.

Facebook: http://facebook.com/thehomesteadmi
Twitter: http://Twitter.com/TheHomesteadMI
YouTube: http://YouTube.com/TheHomesteadMichigan

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Michigan Eats: Regional Culture Through Food exhibit opens January 22 at Kalamazoo Valley Museum

Michigan – a cornucopia of good eats and good stories

With Kalamazoo’s celery-growing history, the cereals of Battle Creek, and the Fruit Belt of Southwest Michigan where grapes, blueberries and other sweet natural treats have been king for decades, Michigan has a food legacy almost second to none when it comes to other states.

That aspect of the past, along with the cultural and social connections to what Michiganders have grown and eaten down through the years, is the theme of a coming attraction on the first floor of the Kalamazoo Valley Museum.

“Michigan Eats: Regional Culture Through Food,” an exhibit fashioned by the Michigan State University Museum, will be on display from Jan. 22 through April 10.

Sharing space during that time period will be Penny Thompson’s collection of vintage aprons that she began assembling in the 1960s. Among those on display will be embroidered gingham half-aprons, typical work aprons, and turn-of-the-century dressy versions.

While wild game, freshly caught fish and maple syrup have been a part of the diets of native people for millennia, the arrival of pioneer settlers and the influx of their cultures have added all kinds of edibles to daily menus:

 The meat-and-potato turnover known as a pasty in the Upper Peninsula.
 The asparagus of the shoreline of west-central Michigan.
 The sugar beets and beans of The Thumb.
 The mushrooms and tart cherries of northern lower Michigan.
 The coney/chili dogs of Detroit’s Greek community.
 The potatoes of central Michigan.
 The varietal and juice wines that are bottled up and down the Lake Michigan shoreline.

All of these, and more, have – down through the years -- fertilized and nurtured the state’s agricultural industry, which has been ranked as No. 2 in Michigan and continues to challenge manufacturing for the top spot.

"According to popular wisdom, we are what we eat,” says Yvonne Lockwood, curator of folklife at the MSU Museum. “What we eat says volumes about us - our backgrounds, our social, cultural, economic and religious status, our food preferences -- in other words, who we are.”

“Michigan Eats” represents “an entire complex of ideas, behaviors and beliefs centered on food production, preparation, presentation and consumption, and the role of culture in shaping and preserving it," Lockwood said.

"The biological necessity to eat is unquestionable,” she said. “However, it is to culture, not biology, that we must look to explain why we eat what we eat."
The exhibit examines the creation of early Michigan cookbooks and a variety of food-centered celebrations -- from fish fries to cherry and berry festivals.

It also draws on the MSU Museum's extensive history and cultural collections to help tell the story of Michigan's foodways, such as cabbage slicers for sauerkraut, sap buckets for maple syrup, apple picking sacks, the wild-rice winnowing baskets used by early Native Americans, and early Kellogg's cereal packaging.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Harbor Country Celebrates Chocolate Classic

Cozy up with chocolate in Harbor Country during February. Visitors and second home owners come to the eight Michigan communities in Harbor Country each year to enjoy sun, sand and countryside during the warmer months. Harbor Country is enticing them back during the winter with the lure of chocolate. Harbor Country Chamber of Commerce members -- more than 50 -- will be offering a variety of chocolate inducements at their establishments during the entire month of February with a new event: Harbor Country Chocolate Classic.

Come enjoy the winter charms of Harbor Country during Chocolate Classic with chocolate-themed events, activities and leisurely shopping and dining. Make it a day trip, or stay over-night in Harbor Country’s wide range of accommodations offering something for everyone.

The Harbor Country Chamber of Commerce website, www.harborcountry.org provides information about the area and its attraction including Harbor Country Chocolate Classic and all the activities that will take place during the month long event.

The Harbor Country Chamber of Commerce was established in 1981 to represent the eight communities of: Michiana, Grand Beach, New Buffalo, Union Pier, Lakeside , Harbert, Sawyer and Three Oaks. The chamber supports the vitality of business in Harbor Country. The Harbor Country Chamber of Commerce is located at 520 S. Whittaker Street in New Buffalo, MI.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Valentine Vodka Wins Gold Medal at BTI Competition – Making it one of the World’s Top Vodkas

Michigan-made Valentine Vodka has been awarded a Gold medal ranking during the Beverage Tasting Institute (BTI) 20101 International Review of Spirits Competition – the largest and most prestigious annual spirits competition in the United States. The BTI gave Valentine Vodka a rating of 90 in the “Unflavored Vodka” category.

“Exceptional,” wrote BTI. “Clear. Mild aromas of banana and coconut pudding and pastry aromas with a silky off-dry medium-to-full body and a creamy, peppery spice and talc finish. Very lively and tasty.”

The International Review of Spirits is the most authoritative, influential and respected annual spirits competition in the United States. Major and boutique spirits producers and importers from around the world participate in the competitions each year.

Founded in 1981, BTI is recognized as one of America’s premier, independent, alcoholic beverage review organizations by leaders of the beverage industry. Millions of consumers look to BTI's fair and impartial reviews on Tastings.com when making decisions regarding the purchase of spirits.

“I founded this company with the goal of creating a world-class vodka right here in Michigan. We’ve always known that we were onto something special, but it’s really nice to get confirmation on this international level,” says founder Rifino Valentine. “To be judged as one of the world’s finest vodkas, is truly an honor. Not only is this a win for the state of Michigan, it’s a step in the right direction of our stated goal to help change the economic structure of Michigan by producing world-class products right here.”

As Detroit’s first micro distilled spirit since Prohibition, Valentine Vodka is well on its way to setting the standard for ultra-premium hand-crafted vodka with its clean, crisp and uniquely flavorful taste. As one of the first distilleries in the world to use a multi-grain recipe, Valentine Vodka proudly utilizes a blend of Red Michigan wheat, malted barley and corn, which all come directly from Michigan farmers and suppliers.

Rifino Valentine – the man behind Valentine Vodka – is a native of Leelanau County. A graduate of Cornell University, where he earned a BA in Economics, Rifino spent 11 years on Wall Street as an independent trader before founding his own successful trading firm. He returned to his home state in 2005 to create Valentine Vodka.

Through his hand-crafted products, Rifino hopes to draw on the inspiration and history that the City of Detroit brings when it comes to distilled spirits, as he develops and grows Valentine Vodka. After 3 years of intense research and study, Valentine Vodka reached the market in March, 2009.

For a list of retail outlets carrying Valentine Vodka, as well as a menu of signature cocktails, log onto www.ValentineVodka.com (www.facebook.com/valentinevodka).

Monday, November 29, 2010

Warm Up Your Northern Michigan Winter Nights with North Peak Brewing Company's Furry

As fall turns to winter, North Peak Brewing Company is ramping up to release its latest seasonal beer – Furry. The black IPA is a wonderful winter beer. Its hoppy character is sure to warm you up on a chilly Michigan winter night.

And just where does Furry come from? As with all North Peak beers, its existence is attributed to local lore. Some say that the creature evolved its thick coat to protect itself from the extreme cold of northern waters.

“The stories that we were told growing up in Northern Michigan suggest that as the weather grows warmer during the spring, the fur-bearing trout sheds its fur, only to regrow its coat as winter returns,” says Jon Carlson, who – along with Greg Lobdell, Ron Jeffries and Mike Hall – are the managing partners of Northern United Brewing Company.

This may help explain why trout with full coats of fur are so seldom encountered.

“One of our very close childhood friends, Brad Warren, is an avid fisherman. He says that he's caught so many fur trout over the years that he sewed his own pair of pants with the pelts he's collected,” says partner Greg Lobdell. “No one has ever seen these pants, but we've never forgotten his description of the fur bearing trout and decided to name our Winter Seasonal Black IPA after his fish story. “

Made with Chinook, Columbus and Cascade hops and Pilsner, C-40, Midnight Wheat and Carapils malts, this 50-barrel production beer ranks in at 7.2% IBV (72 IBUs).

Furry will be available mid December in six-pack retro-style stubbie at retail outlets statewide (complementing Siren, Diabolical, Majestic, Vicious and the summer seasonal Archangel). It is also available on tap at restaurants and bars around Michigan.

The North Peak is part of Northern United Brewing Co., which also encompasses the Grizzly Peak and Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales craft beer brands, as well as the soon-to-be-released Civilized line of spirits. NUBC’s philosophy focuses on a dedication to conservation, inspiration and locally sustainable practices. All of the beers and spirits under these brands are produced at either the new 5600-square-foot facility on Old Mission Peninsula adjacent to Mission Table (former Bowers Harbor Inn) restaurant or at the original Jolly Pumpkin facility in Dexter.

Find NUBC 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.


Northern United Brewing Company
Jolly Pumpkin Brewery | Mission Table at Bowers Harbor Inn
13512 Peninsula Drive
Traverse City, MI 49686
(231) 223-4222
www.NorthPeakBeer.com
www.MissionTable.net

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Two Detroit Classics Combine to Create a True Michigan Original...with The Detroit Brewing Company's Sanders Chocolate Stout

This holiday season get ready for a treat! Michigan favorites The Detroit Brewing Co. and Sanders Candy have partnered to create Sanders Chocolate Stout, a unique seasonal beer.

In the fall of 2009, Detroit Brewing Company began tinkering with their Pub Classic Smooth Cream Stout in order to make the best Stout available. A chance meeting, over a few beers, with the folks from Sanders brought the final sweet ingredient. As a result of this Michigan combination, Detroit Brewing Company’s Sanders Chocolate Stout was created. Detroit Brewing Co. found the best way to combine Stout and Sanders chocolate to create the dark, satisfying aroma and flavor of a fine Stout Ale with the restrained richness and elegance of the hand selected cocoa used by Sanders Fine Chocolatiers in Detroit since 1875.

Travis Fritts, Head Brewer for Detroit Brewing Co., says, “We are excited and proud to work with a great Michigan company like Sanders to create a special beer made for Michigan by people from Michigan.”

Here is Metro Detroit’s chance to enjoy excellent Stout, brewed with Detroit’s own Detroit Brewing Co. and Sanders Premium Cocoa right here in Michigan.

Starting November 23rd, it will be available at Lockhart’s BBQ restaurant, Hiller's, Busch's, Whole Foods and wherever local craft beer is supported and sold.

Sanders has been a Michigan and Metro Detroit staple since 1875 when Fred Sanders opened his first store in Downtown Detroit. The premium ingredients used to make Sanders famous cakes, ice cream, toppings, chocolates, and caramel continues today. Sanders products can be found in multiple retailers across Michigan and the US, or visit one of our many stores, www.sanderscandy.com.

The Detroit Brewing Co. began brewing craft beer in 2005 and are well known for making award winning handcrafted lagers. Learn more about the Detroit Brewing Co. at www.detroitbeerco.com.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Celebrate Halloween during “Dinner with Genevive” at Mission Table

It is no secret that Mission Table – formerly known as Bowers Harbor Inn – is one of the most historic and haunted sites in Northern Michigan. Genevive Stickney – the wife of lumber baron J. W. Stickney – is said to walk the halls still consumed with sorrow after a torrid love affair between his wife and her nurse pushed her to hang herself in the mansion’s elevator shaft.

Over the years, Genevive has remained a continuous guest at the home-turned-restaurant – a prisoner among the walls that once confined her to a life ending in sadness and misery. Lights have been known to suddenly turn on, mirrors and paintings have fallen off walls, guests have reported a blurry female apparition in vacation photos. There’s even a report of the elevator starting up by itself in the middle of the night. The ghost of Genevive has been featured in several books and her antics have even appeared on the television show, “Unsolved Mysteries.” *

You are invited to investigate this historic haunt yourself. Join Head Chef Paul Olson, winemaker Cornel Olivier and partner Chris Baldyga from 2Lads Winery, and the staff at Mission Table, along with local “ghost whisperer” Tammy Schuster, for a possibly paranormal culinary experience at “Dinner with Genevive” on Saturday, October 30.

The evening begins with a reception at 6:30pm, followed by an elegant four-course locally-infused dinner – paired with award-winning wines from nearby 2 Lads Winery – beginning at 7pm. This year’s menu includes:

• Pan seared diver sea scallops
Cippolini onions, baby Brussel sprouts, pancetta, Old Mission apples, pea shoots

Paired with2 Lads Pinot Grigio

• Black pepper gnocchi
Duck confit, maytag bleu cheese, cream, spiced walnuts, crispy parsnips

Paired with 2 Lads Rose

• Buffalo short ribs
Cabernet Franc braised, pork belly, celeriac puree, Werp farms baby vegetables, braising jus

Paired with 2 Lads Cabernet Franc

• Pumpkin ice cream
Handmade by Jehni O, with ginger snap tuile, cream cheese frosting and vanilla sauce

Paired with 2 Lads Pinot Noir

Cost is $60 per person (plus tax/gratuity) and is limited to the first 60 individuals. To make reservations, call (231) 223-4222

The northernmost winery on the Old Mission Peninsula, 2 Lads boasts a 10,500 square foot modern winery and tasting room, with 22 acres of established vineyards in three separate blocks. Specializing in cool climate red and sparkling wines, 2 Lads also offers small runs of white to round out the lot. Sustainably farming the vineyards is paramount to the health of the soil, vines and grapes at 2 Lads Winery.

Mission Table proudly serves the crafted products from Northern United Brewing Co., which encompasses the North Peak, Grizzly Peak and Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales craft beer brands, as well as the soon-to-be-released Civilized line of spirits. All of the beers and spirits under these brands are produced at either the new 5600-square-foot facility on Old Mission Peninsula adjacent to Mission Table (former Bowers Harbor Inn) restaurant or at the original Jolly Pumpkin facility in Dexter.

NUBC’s philosophy focuses on a dedication to conservation, inspiration and locally sustainable practices. Find NUBC 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.


*FOR MORE ON THE HISTORY OF GENEVIVE’S GHOST: www.missiontable.net/legend

For more about Tammy Schuster, check out this article in Northern Express from 2009:
http://www.northernexpress.com/editorial/features.asp?id=4194

Friday, October 15, 2010

Vicious Bites into Northern Michigan "Dogman" Lore

North Peak Brewing Company’s American Wheat IPA Makes Ideal Halloween Brew

If you spend any amount of time in Northern Michigan, then you’ve likely heard the stories about sightings of ‘Dogman’ – a half dog - half man mystical figure which is said to roam the woodlands around the state, leaving waves of terror (and notable footprints) in its wake. North Peak Brewing Company pays tribute to this legacy of this legendary creature on the label of its American Wheat IPA – Vicious.

“Vicious, like all of the North Peak beer icons, is born out of Northern lore,” says Greg Lobdell, who – along with Jon Carlson, Ron Jeffries and Mike Hall, are the managing partners of Northern United Brewing Company, in Traverse City. “‘Dogman’ sightings and encounters have been reported throughout Northern Michigan over the years – especially this time of year.”

When crafting this beer, with its ferocious hop nose and body, Vicious seemed to embody the spirit of the ‘Dogman’ and its iconic silhouette became the inspiration for the beer’s label design. Master Brewer Mike Hall describes this American original simply as “hops unmuzzled!”

The frothy head, and pungent, piney dryhopped scent (from Cascade and Amarillo hops) of Vicious alerts you to this brew’s imminent attack on your senses. Next, Cascade, Perle and Willamette hops batter your palette with bitter ferocity. Finally, Pale, Crystal (30 and 75) and wheat malts converge in a cloudy, thick body, delivering a smooth kiss of sweet death that leaves you howling for more.

The Cascade hops used in Vicious are grown about two miles away, through the Old Mission Hop Exchange – Michigan’s first full-scale hop farm and processing facility. Situated on 10 prime acres in the heart of Northwest Michigan’s fruit and wine-grape region, the hops are matured on a high trellis system, harvested, dried and pelletized, before being sourced to North Peak.

Vicious is available in six-pack retro-style stubbie at retail outlets statewide (complementing Siren, Diabolical, Majestic and the summer seasonal Archangel). It is also available on tap at restaurants and bars around Michigan.

The North Peak is part of Northern United Brewing Co., which also encompasses the Grizzly Peak and Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales craft beer brands, as well as the soon-to-be-released Civilized line of spirits. NUBC’s philosophy focuses on a dedication to conservation, inspiration and locally sustainable practices. All of the beers and spirits under these brands are produced at either the new 5600-square-foot facility on Old Mission Peninsula adjacent to Mission Table (former Bowers Harbor Inn) restaurant or at the original Jolly Pumpkin facility in Dexter.

Find NUBC 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.


Northern United Brewing Company
Jolly Pumpkin Brewery | Mission Table at Bowers Harbor Inn
13512 Peninsula Drive
Traverse City, MI 49686
(231) 223-4222
www.NorthPeakBeer.comwww.MissionTable.net

For the complete history on the ‘Dogman’ lore, visit www.michigan-dogman.com

Monday, October 11, 2010

West Michigan’s Signature Tour of Kitchens offers an Inside Look at 32 Professionally-Designed Rooms – Saturday, October 23

Tour Presented by National Kitchen & Bath Association – West Michigan and Michigan HOME and Lifestyle Magazine to Benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure – Grand Rapids

Step inside 32 of the area’s best professionally-designed kitchens during the West Michigan Signature Tour of Kitchens – Saturday, October 23. Presented by the West Michigan Chapter of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) and Michigan HOME and Lifestyle Magazine, the tour showcases the talents of more than a dozen NKBA designers and studios, and benefits the Susan G. Komen for the Cure – Grand Rapids.

“We are excited to be offering this unique ability to view kitchen designs from a variety of local professionals throughout West Michigan,” says John Valente, NKBA-West Michigan President. “We planned this event with the consumer in mind. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to view the final kitchen design in a home setting. This format may give you a different perspective on what is available from your local NKBA member showrooms.”

Tours run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and are spread out throughout West Michigan, with the majority of homes located in Kent County, the lakeshore from Grand Haven to Saugatuck/Douglas, Allegan County (Fennville and Allegan) and the greater Kalamazoo area.

“We are honored to be involved in the West Michigan Signature Tour of Kitchens,” says Dennis Stadel, President & CEO, Stadel Media Inc. and publisher of Michigan HOME and Lifestyle Magazine. “Showcasing the finest designed custom kitchens fits perfectly with the style and mission of our magazine and our readers. Each of the homes on the tour is featured in the fall issue of the magazine, available at retail outlets statewide, complete with descriptions and photos.”

The kitchens on display are the best of the best in West Michigan designed by:

GREATER GRAND RAPIDS AREA
• Tru Kitchens
• DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen
• Lifestyle Kitchen Studio
• Starlite Kitchens and Bath
• Williams Kitchen & Bath
• Kitchen Design Studio Inc.
• Plainfield Lumber
• Hearthstone Design Studio
• HWC-HomeWorks Corp

HUDSONVILLE AREA
• Interior Solutions by Leif

GREATER KALAMAZOO AREA
• Kalamazoo Custom Kitchens
• Scholten Kitchen & Bath

LAKESHORE
• Interior Solutions by Leif
• Benchmark Wood Studio
• Kitchen West

FENNVILLE AREA
• Starlite Kitchens & Bath
• Sara Busby Design

Tickets for the West Michigan Signature Tour of Kitchens are $10 in advance at NKBA member retail outlets (see list above) or $15 at any of the 32 homes on the day of the tour.

To help celebrate the tour, organizers have partnered with the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and Cygnus 27 for a kick-off party. The SIMPLY PINK PARTY will be held on Thursday, October 21 from 8:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. General admission is $10 (VIP admission is $25 and includes a welcome bag with a variety of goodies, including a ticket to the home tour and a raffle ticket for a variety of items to be given away during the party). Guests are invited to dress “simply pink” for this night on the town.

SPONSORED BY AMERICAN GRANITE & TILE, GERRIT’S APPLIANCE, INFUSION BY ETNA, MICHIGAN CUT STONE & TILE AND VIRGINIA TILE.

www.KitchenTour.org
www.facebook.com/SignatureKitchenTourWM

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Celebrate Detroit's Rich Brewing History During Detroit Fall Beer Festival - Saturday, Oct 23 at Eastern Market

The Motor City has a rich brewing history, and in recent years it has been revitalized thanks to a growing interest in the craft beer movement. In recognition of this movement, the Michigan Brewers Guild – along with Metrotimes – presents the 2nd Annual Detroit Fall Beer Festival (formerly Harvest Beer Festival) on Saturday, October 23 at Eastern Market. This is one of four annual events sponsored by the Guild, and will feature more than 40 Michigan craft breweries offering over 200 different beers for sampling throughout the day.

Eastern Market is one of the nation’s oldest farm markets and the area is rife with brewing history. In its heyday, there were more than 40 breweries in the Market area and malt silos still stand as a testament to the rich brewing history – making it the perfect backdrop for the Detroit Fall Beer Festival.

Admission to the Detroit Fall Beer Festival is $35 in advance or $40 at the door and includes 15 drink tokens (each good for one 3-ounce beer sample). The festival runs from 1-6pm, with Guild Enthusiast Members being admitted at Noon. Membership is just $25 per year and includes one-hour early admission to all four Guild-sponsored festivals, first-pint discounts at participating Guild member breweries, special brewery tours and a membership t-shirt.

Enthusiast memberships and tickets to the Detroit Fall Beer Festival can be purchased online at www.michiganbrewersguild.org. A list of participating breweries, as well as retail outlets selling festival tickets, will be posted at www.mbgmash.org.

The Detroit Fall Beer Festival is held outside, rain or shine. Festival attendees must be 21 to enter and ID MUST BE SHOWN (no exceptions).

Throughout the week leading up to the Detroit Fall Beer festival, craft beer lovers can enjoy a variety of activities during the 2nd Annual Detroit Beer Week.

Last year, the passion and dedication of one local man sparked interest to lead the charge to organize the inaugural Detroit Beer Week. As “Chief Imaginationer of this now annual week-long celebration, Jon Piepenbrok rallied like-minded beer lovers, Michigan-beer friendly establishments and Metro-Detroit breweries together for a series of events that put the spotlight on the state’s overall beer scene. Produced by Liquid Table – the beverage events company founded by Jon Piepenbrok and partner Jason Peltier – Detroit Beer Week promises to be bigger and better than its inaugural year.

Detroit Beer Week kicks off on October 16 with “Tap:Detroit” – a charity beer event at St. Andrews Hall. Tap:Detroit will feature eight of Detroit’s best beer-friendly restaurants pairing dishes with Michigan Beer, a rare beer and cask ale sampling, live entertainment on all three floors, and a cocktail lounge showcasing Michigan-distilled spirits and meads. Tickets are $35 for the main event, and $55 for all-access. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster, as well as the St. Andrew’s Hall box office, and select participating breweries, bars and restaurants.

The week continues with a multitude of beer events at dozens of participating Beer Destinations throughout the City of Detroit. In addition, Liquid Table is producing an event each day throughout the week, including a Multi-Chef Beer Dinner, a Beer vs. Wine Cheese Pairing, a walking pub-crawl of the Foxtown district of Detroit, a beer-themed bike excursion called Bike-toberfest, tastings and more. Details about these and other events, as well as a listing of all Official Beer Destinations, will be posted online at www.facebook.com/detroitbeerweek.

Michigan’s thriving brewing industry contributes over $24 million in wages with a total economic contribution of more than $133 million. In terms of overall number breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs, Michigan ranks #6 in the nation – thus supporting its claim as “The Great Beer State.”

The Michigan Brewers Guild exists to unify the Michigan brewing community; to increase sales of Michigan-brewed beer through promotions, marketing, public awareness and consumer education; and to monitor and assure a healthy beer industry within the state. For more information, including a list of Michigan microbreweries, log on to www.michiganbrewersguild.org.

St. Julian Promotes Nancie Corum to Head Winemaker

The harvest season has begun for St. Julian Winery in Paw Paw – and this year, that harvest is a little sweeter for Nancie Corum, who has just been promoted to head winemaker after nine seasons with Michigan’s oldest and longest-operating winery.

Corum, the first professional commercial female winemaker in Michigan, just graduated from Purdue University-Indiana University in West Lafayette, IN, with a Master of Science degree in Food and Agribusiness Management. In November, she will complete the MBA portion of her degree. The program awards a master of science in 21 months from the college of agriculture and an MBA from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. Aside from the five one-week residence sessions, Corum completed her courses online, allowing her to maintain her full-time position on the winemaking team at St. Julian.

Purdue’s long-standing strengths in agribusiness and food science, coupled with Indiana University’s expertise in management education, delivers the best of both worlds – an industry-specific focus on current issues and food and agriculture, paired with a general MBA. Both schools have international reputations and are highly regarded for their quality programs.

Corum was born in Bloomington, IL but grew up in Lafayette, IN, graduating from Purdue University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Food Manufacturing Operations and double minors in Agribusiness Management and Organizational Leadership & Supervision. While at Purdue, Nancie was a member of several organizations, including Kappa Alpha Theta, Institute of Food Technologists and the American Wine Society.

During the course of her undergraduate studies, Corum assisted enologist Dr. Richard Vine in making wine as a part of Purdue’s grape and wine research program, as well as assisting in the coordination of the esteemed Indy International Wine Competition. She completed an internship at Geyser Peak Winery in California, under the tutelage of winemaker Daryl Groom. Although the experience of working in the famed Sonoma County provided great opportunities, Corum was passionate about getting back to the Midwest to join the growing wine industry here.

In August 2002, Corum joined St. Julian as a lab manager and enologist. Her contributions over the years have included making continued improvements to the winery’s Quality Assurance and Quality Control lab. She was promoted to Assistant Winemaker in May 2003 and to Associate Winemaker in August 2008.

Corum steps into the shoes of Dr. David Miller, who served 13 years as a winemaker at St. Julian. Earlier this summer, Miller stepped out on his own to open his own winery in Southwest Michigan.

As head winemaker, her responsibilities include managing all aspects of harvest, overseeing day-to-day activity in the wine cellar, development and implementation of the sensory evaluation program for St. Julian’s wholesalers and trade accounts, managing juice and wine sales to more than 250 bulk customer accounts, representing grocery-chain private-label accounts and serving as a judge in several international wine competitions each year.

In her free time, when she is not swirling wine, Corum enjoys boating, wakeboarding, cooking, spending time with her family and friends, and planning a January 1, 2011 wedding!

The family-owned St. Julian winery, Michigan’s oldest and longest-operating winery, was founded in 1921. It is one of 12 wineries to make up the Lake Michigan Shore Appellation – a designated American Viticultural Area (AVA) and is part of the Southwest Michigan Wine Trail. In 2011, St. Julian will proudly celebrate its 90th Anniversary.

St. Julian Winery

Monday, September 20, 2010

Michigan Brewers Guild Members Snag 10 Medals at 2010 Great American Beer Festival in Denver

It was another great showing for Michigan craft brewers at the 29th Annual Great American Beer Festival (GABF) Competition, going on this weekend in Denver, CO.

“Once again, Michigan has delivered the hardware to support what we all know – we’re making exceptional craft beer here in the Great Beer State,” says Scott Graham, Executive Director of the Michigan Brewers Guild. “This year’s winners are among a growing number in our industry who are putting Michigan on the map when it comes to producing consistently good, unique and exciting brews. Congratulations to them – and all our members who entered this esteemed competition.”

This year’s GABF competition attracted 151 beer judges from 10 countries. Award-winning brewers received prestigious gold, silver and bronze medals in 79 beer categories covering 133 beer styles, establishing the best examples of each style in the U.S.

Seven members of the Michigan Brewers Guild received honors this year, including:

GOLD

• Nectar Des Dieux, Bastone Brewery, Royal Oak, MI
Belgian-Style Abbey Ale - 76 Entries

• Bellipago, Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, Dexter, MI
Specialty Beer - 23 Entries

• Fourh Dementia Olde Ale, Kuhnhenn Brewing Co., Warren, MI
Old Ale or Strong Ale - 38 Entries

• Key Lime Pie, Short’s Brewing Co., Bellaire, MI
Experimental Beer - 43 Entries

SILVER

• Go Figure, Big Rock Chop House & Brewery, Birmingham, MI
American-Style India Black Ale - 53 Entries

• Curmudgeon, Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids, MI
Old Ale or Strong Ale - 38 Entries

• Endurance IPA Jr., Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids, MI
Session Beer - 30 Entries

• Simcoe Silly, Kuhnhenn Brewing Co., Warren, MI
American-Belgo-Style Ale - 47 Entries

BRONZE

• American Brown Ale, Big Rock Chop House & Brewery, Birmingham, MI
57 American-Style Brown Ale - 47 Entries

• Bell’s Expedition Stout, 1995, Bell’s Brewery, Inc., Galesburg, MI
Aged Beer - 30 Entries

The Great American Beer Festival invites industry professionals from around the world to sit together in small groups and, without knowing the brand name, taste beers in each specified style category. The ultimate goal of the judging panel is to identify the three beers that best represent each beer-style category as described and adopted by the GABF.

Five different three-hour judging sessions take place over the three-day period during the week of the festival, with judges assigned to evaluate beers in their specific area of expertise. Breweries are awarded points, which are tabulated to arrive at the top three place medals in each category. The judging panel awards gold, silver or bronze medals that are recognized around the world as symbols of brewing excellence. These awards are among the most coveted in the industry and heralded by the winning brewers in their national advertising. Medal distinctions are as follows:

• GOLD: A world-class beer that accurately exemplifies the specified style, displaying the proper balance of taste, aroma and appearance.

• SILVER: An excellent beer that may vary slightly from style parameters while maintaining close adherence to the style and displaying excellent taste, aroma and appearance.

• BRONZE: A fine example of the style that may vary slightly from style parameters and/or have minor deviations in taste, aroma or appearance.

The Great American Beer Festival is the granddaddy of all U.S. beer festivals, offering the largest collection of U.S. beer ever assembled. Sponsored by The Brewers Association, the festival features more than 1900 different beers from 400 breweries throughout the country. A highlight of the festival is that many of the beers are served by their makers, allowing aficionados the chance to meet many of their beer heroes.

In addition to the individual brewery awards, Imperial Beverage of Kalamazoo – on of the Guild’s distributor partners -- was named the 2010 Craft Beer Distributor of the Year. The Fourth Annual Craft Beer Distributor of the Year Award recognizes an exceptional American beer distributor who actively markets, sells and promotes craft beer. Awarding parties are The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) and the Brewers Association (BA), and the honor is bestowed each year during the GABF.

Michigan’s thriving brewing industry contributes over $24 million in wages with a total economic contribution of more than $133 million. In terms of overall number breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs, Michigan ranks #6 in the nation – thus supporting its claim as “The Great Beer State.”

The Michigan Brewers Guild exists to unify the Michigan brewing community; to increase sales of Michigan-brewed beer through promotions, marketing, public awareness and consumer education; and to monitor and assure a healthy beer industry within the state. Each year, the Guild hosts four annual craft beer festivals, with the next – Detroit Fall Beer Festival – scheduled for October 23 (1-6pm) at Eastern Market in Detroit.

For more information about the Michigan Brewers Guild, including a dates of upcoming events and a list of member micro-breweries, log on to www.michiganbrewersguild.org.

www.facebook.com/MichiganBrewersGuild

www.twitter.com/MiBrewersGuild

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Something New is Brewing at Arcadia Ales

2010 Shaping up to be a record year for the Cereal City Brewer

Just three-quarters of way through 2010 and Arcadia Ales in Battle Creek is reporting record growth, a trend that is expected to increase throughout the year.

According to Rick Suarez, Arcadia’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, the brewery’s numbers are up 55% in Michigan and 39% collectively in nine states outside of Michigan. That number will only continue to rise as Arcadia adds two new 40-barrel fermenters to its current production line, says Head Brewer Josh Davies.

In 2009, Arcadia produced and sold over 7,091 barrels of beer throughout the Midwest, East Coast and Mid-Atlantic regions (up from 6,481 barrels in 2008). So far in 2010, more than 6,000 barrels have been produced and sold and it expected that Arcadia will reach a record 9,000 barrels overall for the year.

In addition to increasing its production output, Arcadia has introduced new packaging for beers including Angler’s Ale, Whitsun, Sky High Rye and IPA, as well as a Vintage Series of Imperial Stout, Cereal Killer Brandywine Ale and Big Dick’s Olde Ale. This fall, Arcadia will release its seasonal Nut Brown Ale, Loch Down (formerly known as Scotch Ale) and its Jaw Jacker harvest brew, in addition to its fall variety pack. All will sport the new, fresher packaging.

A Charter and proud member of the Michigan Brewers Guild, Arcadia Ales was established in Battle Creek in 1996 as a microbrewery and restaurant (TC’s Woodfire @ Arcadia) specializing in hand-crafted, British-inspired ales and wood-fired fare. Produced in small batches in an authentic British 25-barrel Peter Austin Brewhouse and open-fermentation cellar, the process at Arcadia represents over 250 years of world-class brewing heritage. The foundation of Arcadia has been its commitment to sourcing and using the finest raw materials available on the planet, including premium English two-row malted barley and Pacific Northwest hops. Arcadia’s passion is the crafting of unfiltered ales that are unfiltered, unpasteurized and uncompromised.


ARCADIA ALES
103 W. Michigan Avenue
Battle Creek, Michigan

(269) 963-9690

www.ArcadiaAles.com

www.Facebook.com/ArcadiaAles

Michigan Brewers Guild fights for sampling in retail outlets

Would you like to be able to sample Michigan beer prior to making a purchase at retail stores?

If so, please contact your legislators and ask them to support adding craft beer to House Bill 6426. House Bill 6426 would permit liquor tasting at licensed retailers in Michigan such as grocery stores, party stores, etc. but would exclude both beer and wine.

The bill as written would put Michigan breweries at a competitive disadvantage to distilled spirits manufacturers. Please contact your local legislators and let them know how you feel. Your voice makes a huge difference!

To find your legislators and their contact information you can use the attached link and search by simply typing in your zip code.
http://www.paaonline.com/legislators/search.asp

Monday, September 13, 2010

Discover how Pure Michigan autumn is…on Beaver Island

The fall season is the perfect time to discover – or revisit – Beaver Island, Michigan’s largest, most-inhabited island. Hop aboard the Emerald Isle for a relaxing and colorful ride across Lake Michigan as you soak in the colors on the trees that shirt the lakeshore along Michigan’s lower peninsula.

Once on Beaver Island, its natural wonders await exploration, where a variety of eco-tour options are available. Whether it’s camping, paddling, pedaling or hiking, the crisp cool autumn air and the fresh breezes of the lake welcome you to slow down and relax, just for a bit. Bring your camera, because the colors and the wildlife this time of year are abundant. The contrast of the red, yellow and orange hues of the leaves set against the backdrop of the brilliant blue waters of Lake Michigan are sure to capture your eye. While taking a stroll along one of the back roads, you’re likely to see a fox or deer cross your path, or any number of birds soaring in the sky above.

The West Michigan Tourist Association even has a turn-by-turn color tour route mapped out at http://www.wmta.org/autumn-color-tours-19/ (#26) which starts at the ferry dock in downtown St. James and travels the perimeter of the island.

If your visit takes place the first weekend in October, you’ll enjoy the festivities of the Bite of Beaver Island and the Island Boodle 5k Run – which both take place October 2. With the Bite, see what the best professional and amateur chefs on the Island have to offer - sample a wide variety of treats. The Boodle, now in its 8th year, starts in scenic St. James and offering a fast, beautiful lakefront-and-trails course.

Beaver Island Boat Company has been providing the most relaxing, affordable transportation for people, pets, vehicles, and freight to Beaver Island for over 25 years. Reservations for passengers are never required. A trip to Beaver Island aboard the Emerald Isle or the Beaver Islander adds to the overall experience, reinforcing the adage that in life – it’s the journey as much as the destination!

For a complete schedule, rates and package tour details, call 888-446-4095 or log onto www.beaverislandboatcompany.com. Become our FAN on Facebook: www.facebook.com/beaverislandboatcompany

For information on Beaver Island: www.BeaverIsland.org

Veteran Actor Christian Slater Joins Playback Cast in Grand Rapids

Christian Slater – know for his roles in the 1980s hits The Legend of Billie Jean and Heathers – has just been signed to join the cast of Playback – a supernatural thriller written and directed by Michael A. Nickles and produced by John M. Bennett and Lawrence Robbins for Bennett-Robbins Productions LLC. Filming began in Grand Rapids on Tuesday, August 31 and runs through the end of September.

Slater, the son of well-known soap actor Michael Hawkins and Mary Jo Slater started in the industry at an early age – appearing in the soap opera The Edge of Night at the age of 7. He went on to star in many Broadway shows in the early 1980s and in 1985, rose to fame in Hollywood after landing the role of Binx
Davey in The Legend of Billie Jean. He’s also noted for a starring role in the cult hit Heathers (1989).

Recent credits for Slater include 17 episodes as Alex Donovan on The Forgotten (2009-2010) and 9 episodes on My Own Worst Enemy, (2008), as well as appearances in the award-winning drama The West Wing. In addition to “Playback,” Slater has four films in post production (Sacrifice, Soldiers of Fortune, Guns, Girls & Gambling and Shadows of the White Nights) and is wrapping up filming on the comedy Without Men, where he stars alongside Eva Longoria Parker.

His role in Playback will be that of Frank Lyons, a jaded and gritty cop who may not be who he appears. Playback follows a group of high school students who dig into their town’s infamous past and unwittingly unlock an Evil that corrupts and destroys them. Possessing its victims through video playback and using them for malevolent purposes, evil closes in on one specific soul – threatening to expose the town’s deepest, darkest secret.

The remaining cast for Playback includes (in alphabetical order):
• Ambyr Childers (Riley)
• Dorien Davies (Mrs. Milton)
• Toby Hemingway (Quinn)
• Jonathan Keltz (Nate)
• Jennifer Missoni (Dee Dee)
• Daryl "Chill" Mitchell (Wylie)
• Johnny Pacar (Julian) ** Born in Dearborn, Michigan (June 6, 1981)**
• Alessandra Torresani (Brianna)

In addition to the credited cast above, over 100 locals will serve as extras on the project, with over 15 locals hired for crew.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Record number of hotels participate in ‘Check In To Michigan Apples’ promotion

Hotel guests across the state will be offered free locally-grown apples at check in, courtesy of the Michigan Apple Committee (MAC) and the 900 growers the organization represents.

A basket of fresh apples along with copies of the 2010 Michigan Farm Market & Agricultural Tourism Directory will be delivered later this month to more than 400 lodging facilities across the state. It is part of the 5th annual “Check In To Michigan Apples,” a MAC promotion offered at no charge to lodging facilities with a minimum of 20 rooms.

“It’s not just about apples, it’s about raising the profile of Michigan agriculture,” said Denise Donohue, MAC executive director. “We’re the second most diverse agricultural state in the nation and have plenty to be proud of. The directories help tourists easily find farm markets and orchards where they can enjoy fresh, locally-grown produce and partake in the wonderfully unique fall traditions Michigan has to offer.”

MAC partnered with the Michigan Farm Market and Agri-Tourism Association, publisher of the farm market directory, in an effort to expand the “Check In” project this year. With funding through a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant, the groups were able to nearly double participation from the previous year and even do some advertising to help increase farm market awareness.

Billboards along U.S. 31 from South Haven to Traverse City starting in mid-September will encourage passersby to visit a Michigan farm market. The billboard design was also made into a sign to display at the front desk of each participating hotel.

“We’re showcasing the many different types of fall traditions this state has to offer so we selected wine grapes, pumpkins, a corn maze and apples for the billboard design,” said Donohue.

Participating properties will receive an initial supply of apples and about a dozen directories following the Labor Day weekend. MAC has worked with several food service companies in the state to expand the selection of locally-grown apple varieties.

“Participating lodging facilities are encouraged to refill the baskets with Michigan Apples throughout the year – even after the promotion ends,” said Donohue. “Our hope is that they’re more aware of the quality and variety of Michigan Apples available for day-to-day services such as their continental breakfast, conference services or on-site restaurants.”

MAC has several other initiatives in place this fall to make consumers more aware of the importance of supporting local farmers.

“In fact, if every Michigan household spent just $10 a week on Michigan-produced food, it would generate $37 million each week,” said Donohue. “In these economic times, that’s a pretty compelling number to share with Michigan residents.”

Apples are the state’s largest and most valuable fruit crop with an estimated annual economic impact of $800 million. The entire agri-food system in Michigan is estimated to have a total annual economic impact of more than $60 billion and accounts for more than 1 million jobs.

Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded nonprofit organization devoted to promotion, education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan apple and encourage its consumption in Michigan and around the world.

For more information, visit MichiganApples.com.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Celebrate Summer’s Last Hurray at a Michigan Campground

Campsites still available for Labor Day Weekend at private facilities throughout Michigan

An estimated 1.2 million Michiganians will travel during the 2010 Labor Day holiday, according to a recent AAA survey. Among the top five most popular driving destinations in Michigan: Traverse City, Mackinaw City, Petoskey, Frankenmuth and Munising.

Most Michigan travelers – an estimated 98 percent – will go by vehicle to enjoy “summer’s last hurrah,” with campgrounds and resort areas among the popular destinations. This year’s Labor Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, Sept. 2 to Monday, Sept. 6.

Whether attending a specific holiday weekend event or enjoying the woods and waters that the Great Lakes State is known for, Michigan campers will find a variety of site options – from rustic to luxury full service set-ups – throughout the state. There are plenty of camp sites – for tenters, RVers and cabin-dwellers – available at private campgrounds from New Buffalo to Metro Detroit to the Straits of Mackinac and throughout the Upper Peninsula for the upcoming holiday weekend. The Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC) – Michigan has compiled a list of those campgrounds with availability for the holiday weekend; the list below and is posted online at www.MichCampgrounds.com.

ARVC represents 200+ member campgrounds with more than 32,000 sites available throughout the state. Whether pitching a tent, parking an RV or reserving a rustic or modern cabin, Michigan campgrounds offer a great way to disconnect from busy lives and reconnect with families. Campers in Michigan enjoy the great outdoors while fishing or canoeing on the countless lakes, rivers and streams or hiking, biking and riding on the miles of trails that wind throughout the state. There’s definitely no shortage of activities, no matter where the campground is located.

The 2010 Michigan Campground Directory, published by ARVC – Michigan, is now available at various locations statewide, including all Welcome Centers. A PDF version is also available for viewing online at www.MichCampgrounds.com. The directory not only lists campgrounds by region, but also includes helpful information on the type of sites available, various amenities such as restroom, laundry and dumping station facilities; recreational offerings such as pools and golf courses; and seasons of operation. Campgrounds that now offer wireless internet access onsite are also identified.

Campgrounds reporting availability for the upcoming holiday weekend include:

Ann's Putman Lake RV Park & Campground, Baldwin
231-745-2621 | www.putmanlake.com
Beaver Trail Campground, West Branch
989-345-7745 | www.beavertrailcampground.com
Big Cedar Campground, Germfask
906-586-6684 | www.bigcedarcampground.com
Cadillac Woods Campground, Cadillac
231-825-2012 | www.cadillacwoodscampground.com
Cedarville RV Park, Cedarville
906-484-3351 | www.cedarvillervpark.com
Clementz’s Northcountry Campground, Newberry
906-293-8562 | www.northcountrycampground.com
Crystal Lake Campground, Ludington
231-757-4510 | www.crystallakecamping.com
Drew’s Country Camping, Holland
616-399-1886 | www.drewscountrycamping.com
Dumont Lake Campground, Allegan
269-673-6065 | www.dumontlake.com
East Branch River RV Park, Tawas City
989-362-8000 | www.Eastbranchriverrvpark.org
Gaylord KOA, Gaylord
800-562-4146 | www.gaylordkoa.com
Grand Rogue Campground, Grand Rapids
616-361-1053 | www.michcampgrounds.com/grandrogue
Grayling Jellystone Park, Grayling
989-348-2157 | www.graylingjellystone.com
Hearthside Grove Luxury Motocoach Resort, Petoskey
231-347-0905 | www.HearthsideGrove.com
Indian River RV Resort & Campground, Indian River
888-792-2267 | www.indianrivercampground.com
Kampvilla RV Park, Bear Lake
800-968-0027 | www.kampvilla.com
Lake George Campground, Lake George
989-588-4075 | www.lakegeorgecamp.com
Leisure Time Campground, Irons
800-266-8214 | www.LeisureTimeCampground.com
Lighthouse Family Camping Resort, Mecosta
231-972-2112 | www.lighthousefamilycampingresort.com
Lucky Lake Campground, Rothbury
231-893-9608 | www.LuckyLakeCampground.com
Moscow Maples RV Park, Moscow
517-688-9853 | www.moscowmaples.com
Northland Outfitters, Germfask
906-586-9801 | www.northoutfitters.com
Petoskey KOA RV & Kabin Resort, Petoskey
231-347-0005 | www.PetoskeyKOA.com
Pickerel Lakeside Campground, Baldwin
800-464-1468 | www.LakeCamp-Cottages.com
River View Campground, Sterling
989-654-2447 | www.riverviewcampground.com
Rogers Resort, Jones
269-476-2655 | www.rogersresortinc.com
Sequoia Campground, Adrian
517-264-5531 | www.sequoiacamping.com
Snow Lake Kampground, Fenwick
989-248-3224 | www.snowlakekampground.com
Stony Haven Campground, New Era
231-861-5201 | www.campingfriend.com/stonyhavencampground
Timber Ridge RV Resort, Traverse City
231-947-2770 | www.timberridgeresort.net
Timber Trails RV Resort, Decatur
269-423-7311 | www.michcampgrounds.com/timbertrails
Traverse Bay RV Resort, Traverse City
231-938-5800 | www.traversebayrv.com
Welcome Woods Campground, Hastings
269-945-2803 | www.welcomewoods.com
Wooded Acres Family Campground Houghton Lake
989-422-6031 | www.woodedacrescampground.net

Type and date(s) of site availability vary by property. This is not an all-inclusive list. This list includes campgrounds that responded back to a survey indicating availability, as of August 30, 2010. Availability subject to change. Reservations are required.


ARVC Michigan’s mission is to lead in the development of the RV Parks and Campground industry through education, communication and representation. ARVC Michigan is a member of the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds.


Updated August 30, 2010


www.Facebook.com/MichCampgrounds

Northern United Brewing Company Adds “Bonafide Wine” Collection to its Extensive Beverage Portfolio

Northern United Brewing Company in Traverse City is serving up something new with the recent release of its “Bonafide Wine” collection -- crafted primarily with grapes grown on the Old Mission Peninsula.

Most of the grapes for the line are grown either in the nearby estate vineyards of Peninsula Cellars or the 3-acre Bonafide Vineyard – one of many properties in the area developed by peninsula natives and childhood friends Jon Carlson and Greg Lobdell. Their desire to collaborate with like-minded, passionate and talented people led them to build a partnership with another Old Mission Peninsula childhood friend and classmate – local grower and Peninsula Cellars winemaker, John Kroupa. Although the men have been friends since the ripe age of 7, it has been over the past three years that they have cultivated their relationships to produce the award-winning Bonafide brand.

“One of the things that drew us to John as our winemaker is his reputation and tradition as a grower – a farmer – on the peninsula,” says Carlson. “He knows the intimate features of the land here – the curves of its hills, the make-up of its soil, the cool breezes that blow in off the bay and the heat that the summer sun delivers – and he uses that knowledge and his passion for what he does to create these amazing varietals of wine that are absolutely delicious.”

REDS

• Peninsula Red: A blend of Cabernet Franc, Lemberger, Baco Noir and Marchel Foch, the medium body wine boasts fruit flavors like black current, blackberry and blueberry, with a hint of beef jerky.

• Cabernet Franc Rose’: Like a glass full of strawberries, blended with raspberries and a hint of watermelon, one might also detect an edginess of spicy herbaceous flavor reminiscent of rhubarb-custard pie.

WHITES

• Chardonnay: This unoaked wine boasts sweet spices, with hints of cinnamon and ripe green apple in the background with the crisp finish of ripe pear. The lack of oak exaggerates the fruit components to really showcase the grape. **Bronze Medalist – Michigan Wine & Spirits Competition 2010.

• Peninsula White: A blend of Cayuga, Riesling and Pinot Blanc bring out the light tropical fruit tones of this semi-dry wine. One will detect peaches, apricot, lemon curd, orange, pear and grapefruit and a hint of candy (think green sweet tarts).

• Pinto Grigio: With hints of lime and citrus flavors, this wine is clean and crisp. The lingering finish of lime and light minerality make this an enjoyable four-season wine. **Silver Medalist – Michigan Wine & Spirits Competition 2010.

• Dry Riesling: Opening up with light tropicals and a background of floral notes, this wine expresses itself with hints of apricot and pineapple, without the sweetness. **Bronze Medalist – Michigan Wine & Spirits Competition 2010.

• Gewürztraminer: Classic rose petals and white pepper spice carry through on the palate of this youthful and lively wine. A light sweetness rounds out the mouthfeel.

• Late Harvest Riesling: Like tropical fruit candy, with a spicy edge similar to a ripe mango, this wine is like a summer sweet fruit salad in a glass.

Keeping things local – whether it be produce or people – is a personal value that these men all share. Their focus on conservation and sustainability supports a growing trend in farm to table philosophy.

“Peninsula Cellars uses more labor-intensive practices than many farms,” Lobdell says. “All their grapes are harvested by hand, whereas other farms use mechanical harvesters to shake the grapes off the vine. This causes trauma to the fruit and increases waste, as many more grapes fall to the ground. They also use people, instead of pollutant-producing machines to take care of pulling or hoeing weeds and minimize chemical use in their vineyards and gardens, thus reducing the farm’s overall impact on the environment.”

Kroupa holds a horticulture degree from Michigan State University and in late 2006 took on an ownership stake in Peninsula Cellars – which was founded by his parents, Dave and Joan Kroupa. The family also produces about 1.5 million pounds of cherries annually, at its Old Mission Peninsula farms.

Lobdell and Carlson have been working together on various development and design projects since 1995. Their focus has been to repurpose historic buildings around the state of Michigan, recycling them for a second chance at life. Their projects are almost exclusively centered around the culinary industry – and their portfolio includes restaurants, wineries, breweries and distilleries in Traverse City, Ann Arbor and Royal Oak. In all aspects of their operations, they’re dedicated to maintaining a sense of local pride and partnerships with regional producers who are driven by the same business philosophies.

Northern United Brewing Company encompasses the North Peak, Grizzly Peak and Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales craft beer brands; the Bonafide Wines collection; and the soon-to-be-released Civilized Spirits line. NUBC’s philosophy focuses on a dedication to conservation, inspiration and locally sustainable practices. All of the beers, wines and spirits under these brands are produced at either the new 5600-square-foot facility on Old Mission Peninsula adjacent to Mission Table (former Bowers Harbor Inn) restaurant or at the original Jolly Pumpkin facility in Dexter.

Find NUBC products at stores, restaurants, and bars all throughout Michigan, including: North Peak Brewing Company, Mission Table and Jolly Pumpkin Brewery, Blue Tractor Restaurant and Bar, all in Traverse City; and Jolly Pumpkin and Grizzly Peak, Blue Tractor BBQ and Brewery, in Ann Arbor. Bastone, Blue Tractor Brewery and BBQ.

Salt of the Earth Celebrates Excellent 1st Year

It has been just over a year since Salt of the Earth – a rustic American eatery -- started serving its unique and locally-flavored cuisine in downtown Fennville. And what a year it’s been! Tucked away in the heart of Southwest Michigan’s growing agricultural region, Salt of the Earth has quickly gained a reputation as one of the hottest restaurants in the region.

“We’ve seen a very large number of guests this summer,” says Mark Schrock, co-owner of Salt of the Earth. “Our sales projections for June and July were each exceeded by almost 40 percent. About half of that summer business is attributed to the tourists – many from the Chicago area who have vacation homes in the area or others who may be staying at the area bed-and-breakfasts in tourist towns who make the drive to dine with us.” He adds, ‘We also have a very strong local following.”

The average diner at Salt of the Earth travels about 25 miles for the experience, with Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo residents making up about 15% of the business. Groups range from two to 20, with an increasing number of large groups coming in for special events and family gatherings.

Under the direction of Executive Chef Matthew Pietsch (protégé of ‘Iron Chef’ Michael Symon) and Chef de Cuisine Jesse Hahn, Salt of the Earth delivers a seasonal menu of house-made entrees, shared plates, wood-fired oven pizzas, pastas, sandwiches and creative desserts – using fresh ingredients, sourced locally whenever possible.

The bakery café features pastries, artisan breads, coffee and espresso drinks, lunch offerings and free wi-fi for their guests. The bar is stocked with all the standards, as well as an impressive selection of Michigan wines, craft beers and spirits.

A widely popular “Michigan Wine & Beer Dinner Series” was held during the winter months, giving locals and regulars a family-style culinary experience like no other. In all, four Michigan wineries and four Michigan breweries were featured which helped bring in many guests to the restaurant for the first, but likely not the last, time. The series will be held again this winter, January through April.

“There’s a growing interest in the farm-to-table concept,” says Pietsch, who takes pride in the number of regional growers and producers who provide him with the freshest ingredients. “More and more guests are seeking to dine and drink local product, even going as far to choose these types of restaurants over others. That just reinforces our philosophy here at Salt of the Earth.”

Featuring an attractive warm and homey décor, paired with a chic and modern menu, Salt of the Earth is also a popular venue for local and regional musical artists, with live music every Friday evening. House concerts are held on selected Sunday evenings as well.

“Special events like the first annual Fennville Art Jam and our summer concert series “Tuesday’s in the Park” help to draw people to the area and through our doors,” Schrock says. “We also see visitors who have been to nearby Fenn Valley Winery and Crane Orchards, who are looking to add our culinary experience to their visit. Families visiting the Children’s Museum of Fennville are also finding us and enjoying our kid’s menu”

Salt of the Earth is open year-round, currently seven days a week – from 7am to 9pm, Sunday thru Thursday and 7am to 11pm, Friday and Saturday. Hours may be seasonally adjusted. The restaurant is located at 114 E. Main Street in downtown Fennville, just 10 miles from Saugatuck, 50 miles from Grand Rapids and 140 miles from Chicago.

Salt of the Earth114 East Main Street
Fennville MI 49408
269.561.SALT (7258)
info@saltoftheearthfennville.com
www.saltoftheearthfennville.com
www.facebook.com/saltoftheearthfennville

Monday, August 30, 2010

Talented Young Cast Arrives in Grand Rapids for Filming of “Playback”

An impressive young cast of actors has arrived in Grand Rapids for the filming of “Playback” – a thriller written and directed by Michael A. Nickles and produced by John M. Bennett and Lawrence Robbins for Bennett-Robbins Productions LLC. Filming begins on Tuesday, August 31 and will run through the end of September.

Playback follows a group of high school students who dig into their town’s infamous past and unwittingly unlock an Evil that corrupts and destroys them. Possessing its victims through video playback and using them for malevolent purposes, evil closes in on one specific soul – threatening to expose the town’s deepest, darkest secret.

The primary cast for Playback includes (in alphabetical order):

• Ambyr Childers (Riley)
Credits include the latest Joel Schumacher film, Twelve, nearly 140 episodes as Colby Chandler on “All My Children” between 2006-2009, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (2003) and Carolina (2003). In addition to Playback, Ambyr had three other films in pre- and post-production.

• Dorien Davies (Mrs. Milton)
Credits include This is Not a Film (2003), Lucky (2002) and Trysting (2001). In addition to Replay, Dorien has 1 film – Bunyan and Babe – in production to be released in 2011.

• Toby Hemingway (Quinn)
Credits include the upcoming Darren Aronofsky film, Black Swan with Natalie Portman (2010), CSI: Miami (2008), Feast of Love (2007), The Covenant (2006) and Bones (2005). In addition to Playback, Toby has two other movies in pre- and post-production.

• Jonathan Keltz (Nate)
Credits include 10 episodes of the award-winning Entourage (2009-2010) as Jake Steinberg, Disney’s 2011 release for PROM, as well as appearances on CSI Miami (2010), Heartland (2009), House of Pain (2008), Cold Case (2007) and four episodes as Nate on Degrassi: The Next Generation (2004).

• Jennifer Missoni (Dee Dee)
Credits include 2 episodes of Royal Pains (2009-2010), Medium (2009), Melrose Place (2009), Army Wives (2009), Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2007-2009) and Law & Order (2007).

• Daryl "Chill" Mitchell (Wylie)
Credits include 13 episodes as ‘Chill’ Trainor on the Fox network series Brothers (2009), Spike Lee’s Inside Man, the Suite Life of Zack and Cody (2007), 39 episodes as Eli Goggins on Ed (2002-2004) and 64 episodes as Leo Michaels on Veronica’s Closet (1997-2000), as well as appearances on Desperate Housewives (2010), Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2004) and Fresh Prince of Bellaire (1994) and the House Party films.

• Johnny Pacar (Julian) ** Born in Dearborn, Michigan (June 6, 1981)**
Credits include 15 episodes as Damon Young on Make It or Break It (2009-2010), 30 episodes as Jackson on Flight 29 Down (2005-2010), Ghost Whisperer (2009), Wild Child (2008), Medium (2005), George Lopez (2004) and 7 episodes as Jimmy Fancis on American Dreams (2003-2004).

• Alessandra Torresani (Brianna)
Credits include 17 episodes as Zoe Graystone in Caprica (2009-2011), CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2009), Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008), Bones (2007), Grounded for Life (2004), Arrested Development (2004) and Malcolm in the Middle (2001).

In addition to the credited cast above, over 100 locals will serve as extras on the project, with over 15 locals hired for crew.


PLAYBACK FACEBOOK
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Explore Leelanau in Fall During The Homestead’s Autumn Wine Tour Weekend

Celebrate the fall color show during an elegant weekend exploring the vineyards and wineries of Leelanau Peninsula with The Homestead – America’s Freshwater Resort. This year’s annual Autumn in the Vineyards weekend is set for October 29-31.

Located within a half hour’s drive of more than a dozen vineyards and winery tasting rooms, The Homestead has become Northwest Michigan’s premier wine country destination, working closely with the Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association (LPVA) to offer seasonal wine tours and dinners.

This season’s tour includes visits to four of Leelanau county’s finest wineries – Circa Estate Winery, 45 North, Bel Lago and Chateau Fontaine. Brunch will be served at The Homestead on Saturday morning, prior to leaving for the tour, which departs at approximately noon and returns at approximately 4 pm. Then, guests will gather at The Homestead at 6pm for a decadent five-course winemaker dinner prepared by Executive Chef John Piombo.

Weekend packages for Autumn in the Vineyards, including two nights’ lodging, wine tour with transportation, Saturday brunch, winemaker dinner and Sunday breakfast, as well as welcome gift basket including a logo wine key, is $531 per couple, based on double occupancy (plus applicable tariff/taxes).

The Homestead is Northern Michigan’s largest waterfront resort community, located in the heart of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – a unit of the National Park Service. Along with its unmatched natural setting and miles of frontage on Lake Michigan and the Crystal River, the resort offers guest pools, tennis and golf in the summer; downhill and cross country skiing in the winter; and shops, restaurants, meeting centers and the luxurious new Spa Amira throughout all four seasons.

For more information, visit www.thehomesteadresort.com or call 231.334.5100. Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thehomesteadmi.

Monday, August 23, 2010

St. Julian’s Simply Pink Awarded “Rose of the Year” Honors at Indy International Wine Competition

St. Julian Winery’s Simply Pink was recently named “Rose of the Year” at the Indy International Wine Competition, held in early August in West Lafayette, IN. More than 50 judges from throughout the United States, Europe and Canada, gathered on the campus of Purdue University to taste, analyze and score wines from 12 countries and 39 US states in what is touted as the largest scientifically organized and independent wine competition in the United States.

Served slightly chilled to deliver an explosion of summer fruit and berry aromas, like strawberries and apple blossoms, with tropical fruit and Red Haven peach flavors touched by honeyed sweetness, Simply Pink is a refreshing wine that pairs well with grilled foods and lighter fares. Made with a blend of Chambourcin, Foch, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc grapes, Simply Pink is a semi-dry blush wine, perfect for sipping on the patio on a warm summer evening or next to the fire on a cold winter night.

Without a doubt, Simply Pink is the most personal wine that St. Julian President David Braganini has ever released. Simply Pink is dedicated to the memory of Julia Meconi Braganini (1926-1971) – daughter of Mariano Meconi, the founding father of what is now St. Julian Winery. Shortly after WWII, Julia met Apollo Braganini, a veteran of the Army Air Force. They married in 1947 and eventually had five children, including David – who has been running the day-to-day operations at St. Julian since 1978.

“It is with a glass in my hand and a tear in my eye that I toast to our new Simply Pink table wine to the memory of my mother, Julia,” says St. Julian President, David Braganini. “Mom fought the good fight for a number of years before finally succumbing to breast cancer at the much too young age of 45.”

Since it was introduced to the market last summer, St. Julian has produced 6000 cases of the award-winning Simply Pink wine. With every bottle sold, a donation is made to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

“We are so happy to report that sales of Simply Pink have exceeded our expectations,” says Angela Braganini, St. Julian Director of Public Relations and granddaughter of Julia Meconi Braganini. “It gives us great pride to make ongoing contributions to the Foundation so that someday soon we may rid the earth of this dreaded disease which took my grandmother’s life.”

The family-owned St. Julian winery, Michigan’s oldest and longest-operating winery, was founded in 1921. It is one of 12 wineries to make up the Lake Michigan Shore Appellation – a designated American Viticultural Area (AVA) and is part of the Southwest Michigan Wine Trail. In 2011, St. Julian will proudly celebrate its 90th Anniversary.


Simply Pink (12% alcohol | pH: 3.17 | acid: 9.0 g/L | residual sugar: 2.2%)

FOR MORE INFORMATION
St. Julian Wine Company
National Breast Cancer Foundation

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Dozen Reasons to Fall for Autumn in Pure Michigan's Harbor Country

The eight communities of Harbor Country – Michiana, Grand Beach, New Buffalo, Three Oaks, Union Pier, Lakeside, Harbert and Sawyer – welcome you to tour their backroads in search of fall colors this autumn season. Among the favorite activities:

1. Get lost in a corn maze at Dinges Farm in Three Oaks.

2. Pick the perfect pumpkin at Grower’s Choice in Sawyer.

3. Take a luxury limo tour with Fruitful Vines and sample the new vintages at one of the area wineries.

4. Sample the local harvest for breakfast or lunch at Retro Café in New Buffalo.

5. Take home a memory at Season’s Harvest in Harbert.

6. Play a late-season round of golf at Whittaker Woods in New Buffalo.

7. Feel the leaves under your feet hiking the trails at Warren Dunes or Warren Woods.

8. Pedal along the area’s Backroad Bikeway routes or join in the Apple Cider Century ride on Sept 26.

9. Take to Lake Michigan for a surfing lesson with Third Coast Surf Shop.

10.Paddle along the Galien River with Outpost Sports.

11.Discover the treasures of Harbor Country along the West Michigan Pike historic route, US-12 Heritage Trail, Red Arrow Highway or Lake Michigan Circle.

12.Take a brisk stroll along the beach, then watch the sunset over Lake Michigan from your cozy room at Sandpiper Inn in Union Pier.

Or, perhaps you'd prefer to plan your visit around one of the great autumn festivals or events being planned throughout Harbor Country...including:

Sept 3-5: GREEK FESTIVAL
Sept 3-5: OUTSIDERS OUTSIDE ART FAIR
Sept 4: HANDMADE MARKET AT HICKORY CREEK
Sept 11: HARVEST FESTIVAL & BRITISH CAR SHOW
Sept 11: GRAPE STOMPING COMPETITION
Sept 16: THIRD SATURDAY GALLERY WALK (Also Oct 16 & Nov 20)
Sept 25: DEER CREEK 5K PHEASANT TROT
Sept 26: APPLE CIDER CENTURY
Oct 2-3: WHITE WINEMAKING EXPERIENCE
Oct 8-11: HARBOR COUNTRY HARVEST DAY
Oct 9: NEW BUFFALO HARVEST & WINE FEST
Oct 16: KITCHEN WALK TOUR
Oct 16: ARTS & CRAFTS SHOW
Oct 16-17:RED WINEMAKING EXPERIENCE
Oct 30: GREEK NIGHT

For even more autumn travel ideas, log on to www.VisitHarborCountry.org.

No matter which autumn activity appeals to you, the quaint bed-and-breakfasts, historic inns and variety of hotels in Harbor Country can offer a lodging package to suit your needs.

The Harbor Country Convention & Visitors Bureau was established in 1990 as the Harbor Country Lodging Association, in accordance with the state of Michigan’s Community Convention or Tourism Marketing Act 59 of 1984.

The mission of the organization is “to promote its members and the assessment district as a major destination for tourism and conventions in southwest Michigan.” The assessment district encompasses the Townships of New Buffalo, Three Oaks, and Chikaming, the city of New Buffalo, the Village of Three Oaks and the Village of Michiana, Michigan.


FOR MORE INFORMATION:
www.VisitHarborCountry.org
www.Facebook.com/HarborCountryMich
www.Twitter.com/HarborCountry

3rd Annual Great Lakes Cider & Perry Festival Planned for Sept 11-12 at Uncle John’s Cider Mill

The Great Lakes Cider & Perry Association has announced its 3rd Annual Great Lakes Cider & Perry Festival, September 11-12, at Uncle John’s Cider Mill at 8614 N US 127, St. Johns – just north of Lansing.

Throughout the weekend, samples of the finest fermented cider and perry (cider made from pears) from the states and provinces that border the Great Lakes will be available for tasting. Food vendors will sell sweet and savory selections. Activities such as sweet cider pressing, nature walks and the kids’ playground, will be open for family fun at Uncle John’s all weekend long as well.

The festival runs from 11am to 6pm on Saturday, with cider and perry tastings throughout the day at a cost of $10 per person, which includes a souvenir glass for the first 250 people, and 10 tasting tickets.

The second day of the event will include workshops open only to the alcohol beverage trade. Restaurateurs, retail sellers, distributors, media, chefs, sommeliers & cicerones are invited to sample hard cider & perry available to the Michigan market. Sunday events will include food pairings from Wrought Iron Grill in Owosso & artisanal cheese pairings from Hill’s Cheese Shops.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.michiganvine.com/blog/tickets.

All profit proceeds from the festival benefit the Great Lake Cider & Perry Association (est. 2008). Find them online at www.GreatLakesCider.com.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

North Peak Brewing Company’s Vicious American Wheat IPA Upgrades to Year-Round Production

Vicious – an American Wheat IPA – will become North Peak Brewing Company’s fourth year-round brew, crafted on the Old Mission Peninsula just north of Traverse City. Beginning in August, Vicious will be available n six-pack retro-style stubbie at retail outlets statewide (complementing Siren, Diabolical, Majestic and the summer seasonal Archangel). It will also remain available on tap at restaurants and bars around Michigan.

The frothy head, and pungent, piney dryhopped scent (from Cascade and Amarillo hops) of Vicious alerts you to this brew’s imminent attack on your senses. Next, Cascade, Perle and Willamette hops batter your palette with bitter ferocity. Finally, Pale, Crystal (30 and 75) and wheat malts converge in a cloudy, thick body, delivering a smooth kiss of sweet death that leaves you howling for more.

Master Brewer Mike Hall describes this American original simply as “hops unmuzzled!”

The Cascade hops used in Vicious are grown about two miles away, through the Old Mission Hop Exchange – Michigan’s first full-scale hop farm and processing facility. Situated on 10 prime acres in the heart of Northwest Michigan’s fruit and wine-grape region, the hops are matured on a high trellis system, harvested, dried and pelletized, before being sourced to North Peak.

Vicious, like all of the North Peak beer icons, is born out of Northern Lore,” says Greg Lobdell, who – along with Jon Carlson, Ron Jeffries and Mike Hall, are the managing partners of Northern United Brewing Company. “Many people from Northern Michigan have reported ‘Dogman’ sightings over the years and shown evidence of ‘Dogman’ encounters. This beer has a ferocious hop nose and body and became a perfect fit for the Vicious name and ‘Dogman’ Icon. (For the complete history on the ‘Dogman’ lore, visit www.michigan-dogman.com).

The North Peak is part of Northern United Brewing Co., which also encompasses the Grizzly Peak and Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales craft beer brands, as well as the soon-to-be-released Civilized line of spirits. NUBC’s philosophy focuses on a dedication to conservation, inspiration and locally sustainable practices. All of the beers and spirits under these brands are produced at either the new 5600-square-foot facility on Old Mission Peninsula adjacent to Mission Table (former Bowers Harbor Inn) restaurant or at the original Jolly Pumpkin facility in Dexter.

Find NUBC 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.


Northern United Brewing Company
Jolly Pumpkin Brewery | Mission Table at Bowers Harbor Inn
13512 Peninsula Drive
Traverse City, MI 49686
(231) 223-4222
www.NorthPeakBeer.com
www.MissionTable.net

North Peak, Grizzly Peak and Jolly Pumpkin are all proud members of the Michigan Brewers Guild (www.MichiganBrewersGuild.org).