Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Michigan Beer & Brat Festival Returns to Crystal Mountain May 29

The Michigan Beer & Brat Festival is one of northern Michigan’s fastest growing Memorial Day Weekend traditions and returns to Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa, Saturday, May 29 (4-9pm).

The Michigan Beer & Brat Festival welcomed over 1,500 to the base of Crystal’s slopes for last year’s event with room to spare for brewers and beer-lovers alike. In celebration of its fifth year, the festival will be extended to five hours (4-9pm) offering more time to sample over 50 different Michigan microbrews from Short’s, New Holland, Bell’s, Founder’s, Keweenau, Arcadia, Right Brain, Tri-City, North Peak Brewing Company, The Livery and others. Beer is only half the equation as over a dozen specialty brats, ranging in flavor from spicy jalapeno to tart cherry, will be served hot off the grill.

Admission to the Michigan Beer & Brat Festival is $5 and includes entertainment. The rebel rootgrass and reggae and swashbuckling folk and blues of Rootstand will be featured on stage (

The Michigan Beer & Brat Festival package, from $79 per adult, per night, includes lodging, admission to the festival plus ten beer and brat tickets – that’s enough to sample five different microbrews. Add unlimited golf to the festival package with rates starting from $129 per adult, per night.

The Michigan Beer & Brat Festival is certainly the highlight but just one of many activities during the holiday weekend. Both the Crystal Coaster alpine slide and Park at Water’s Edge are set to open (weather permitting). The Golf Practice Center will host the annual FREE Golf Demo Day (May 29, 10am-4pm) featuring clubs from Callaway, Titleist, Cobra, Cleveland and more. Plus, free clinics, games, food and prizes.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Summer is HOT in Southwest Michigan’s Harbor Country

When it comes to exciting and unique events, nothing beats summer in Harbor Country – stretching from the Indiana/Michigan state line north 17 miles, along the Lake Michigan shoreline, through scenic countrysides and charming coastal villages.


Enjoy a full palette of colorful activities featuring a weekend showcase of gallery receptions, artist’s demonstrations, exhibitions, theatre, music, wine tasting, open houses. Look for the Art Attack logo at the official participating locations. Details at:

MAY 15-16

Stores throughout downtown New Buffalo will hold their annual sidewalk sales, offering the best deals in town. Browse through the selections at dozens of local shops, featuring the latest and greatest items for the summer season.

JUNE 11-13

Includes art in the park, games, food vendors, beer and brats, little league and men’s softball tournaments. Possibly the best piece of Americana anywhere, is the “World’s Largest Flag Day Parade,” along Elm Street 3 pm on Sunday.


Join us for a tour of splendid, professionally designed private homes and gardens in southwest Michigan. Spend a leisurely day in the country exploring exquisite homes and the spectacular work of the Midwest's acclaimed interior designers, architects, and horticultural enthusiasts. This spring tradition benefits the work of Heartland Alliance and its supportive and affordable housing programs that move individuals from harm to hope and into homes. Tickets are $100 each.


This outdoor summer concert series at Dewey Cannon Park in Three Oaks, Michigan is a great family friendly summer tradition. Past performances have included the South Shore Concert Band, internationally known and award-winning Chicago Times senior quartet, as well as Billy Nicks and the Rhythm Rockers. So, bring your blankets and your friends for a relaxing Saturday evening concert in the park.

JUNE 19 (1-10pm)

Picture this…you're relaxing with friends, enjoying a glass of wine while peering out over a vast white-sand beach at Lake Michigan's tranquil shoreline. As you sit back and take in the enchanting sounds of live music along with waves rolling gently into the beach, you raise your glass and 'toast the coast' with award-winning wines from Southwest Michigan, while a warm golden sun melts into the horizon. You've just imagined an actual scene from the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Festival, an unparalleled event, at Weko Beach in Bridgman. Admission to the festival is $10 for ages 21 and older and includes a souvenir wine tasting glass. Ages 13 to 20 are only $5 while 12 and under are FREE.

JUNE 26-27

Stop on out to Warren Dunes State Park in Sawyer for this awe-inspiring festival. Watch as the colorful kites dance across sky, high above the beach and the waters above Lake Michigan. This is a great family event to celebrate summer in Southwest Michigan.


Begin your 4th of July holiday festivities with a day at the beach and a stroll through downtown New Buffalo, cap it off with a concert and fireworks.

JULY 10 (11am-5pm)

This year the Lakeside Garden Walk features eight unique garden designs in and around Harbor Country’s Lakeside, Michigan. Within short driving distances of each other (1 to 6 miles), participants will experience a range of delightful settings from expansive lake views to woodland cottage gardens, from country estates that contextually mirror their surroundings to sustainable vegetable gardens. The walk will include landscape designs by Craig Bergman and by Maria Smithburg. The Chikaming Township community organic gardening project will also be showcased. Admission is $35 in advance/$45 the day of.


The New Buffalo Performing Arts Center is the venue for this month-long cultural celebration, with live performances by a professional stage cast.

AUGUST 13-15

Sample locally produced micro-brews at the beer tents. Wines from nearby wineries are perfect complements to the mouth-watering dishes prepared by our own local restaurants offering a wide range of cuisines. Downtown New Buffalo comes alive with locally inspired arts, crafts, games, live music, and more. Kid-friendly events include watermelon eating contests, ice-cream eating contests, and games. A volleyball tournament, skim-boarding contest, and 5K run are also planned. Start either day with a visit to the New Buffalo Fire Department for their pancake and sausage breakfast. The festivities continue after dusk, with fireworks and the Lighted Boat Parade – where participants transform their pleasure boats, cruisers, and yachts into floating creations that you have to see to believe.

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.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Michigan Craft Beer “Enthusiasts” Offered Summer Brewery Tours

One of the benefits of membership in the Michigan Brewers Guild “Enthusiast” program is special VIP tours and tastings at member breweries around the state. To participate in one of these special tours, one must be a current Enthusiast member – a group dedicated to celebrating the growing craft beer industry in the Great Lakes State. Enthusiast memberships are $25 each and are available online at There is no additional charge for the tours, but reservations are recommended and attendees must show their Enthusiast card.

The Summer 2010 schedule begins April 24 at Jamesport Brewing Company in Ludington and ends Saturday, July 31 at New Holland Brewing Company in Holland, and visits more than a half dozen Guild member breweries. The upcoming tour line-up includes:

Saturday, April 24 (1-6pm)
Jamesport Brewing Co
410 S James St., Ludington
Ludington, MI 49431
(231) 845-2522

Tom Buchannan, brewmaster will teach beer school 101, pairings and a tasting starting at 1 pm. $1 off pints, $1 appetizers and $1 off flights of beer. Enthusiast members will receive $1 off their first pint. RSVP to Tom: 231-723-2526

Saturday, May 8 (3pm)
The Livery
190 5th St.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022

There will be a tour of our pub and building with some local history, followed by a tour of our extensive 1000 sq/ft brewery. All tour participants will receive $1 off pints between 3:00 and 5:00. Contact Steve Berthel at 269-352-1633 or by May 1 to RSVP.

Saturday, May 15 (Noon)
Saugatuck Brewing Company Inc.
2948 Blue Star Hwy.
Douglas, MI 49406
(269) 857-7222

Join Barry Johnson, brewmaster and owner of Saugatuck Brewing Co., for a guided tour of the brewery. Enthusiast members will get $1 off their first pint. RSVP to Barry Johnson:

Saturday, May 22 (1pm)
Founders Brewing Co.
235 Grandville SW
Grand Rapids, Michigan
(616) 776-1195

This will be a guided tour of Founders, lead by their brewing team, and is limited to the first 25 people. This tour will offer $1 off first pint for enthusiast members as well as a tasting for tour goers. RSVP to Dave:

Saturday, June 19 (1-2pm)
Arcadia Brewing Co
103 West Michigan Avenue
Battle Creek, MI 49017
(269) 963.9520

A guided tour by Brewmaster Josh Davies through Arcadia’s production facility. $1 off first pint for Enthusiast members only. RSVP to Josh Davies:

Saturday, June 26 (1pm)
DarkHorse Brewing Co
511 S. Kalamazoo Ave.
Marshall, MI 49068
(269) 781-9940

Join the jolly crew at Darkhorse Brewing for a tour of their new space, brewery and tap room. Bryan Wiggs will lead you through the brewery to educate your mind and soul of the DarkHorse nation. $1 off Enthusiast member’s first pint. Many beers on tap as well as food if you are hungry available in the pub.

Saturday, July 31 (1pm)
New Holland Brewing Tour
690 Commerce Court
Holland, MI 49423
(616) 355-6422

This tour will consist of a tour from the New Holland Brewing staff and a guided tasting of 5 beers afterwards for Enthusiasts. Tour members will receive a $1 their first pint at the pub, 66 E. 8th Street, Holland. RSVP to Phil:

At just $25, a Michigan Brewers Guild “Enthusiast” membership makes a locally-focused, affordable holiday gift for the craft beer lover on your list. Benefits include VIP status at our various festivals with early admission, discounts at participating membership brewpubs, special VIP brewery tours, and a free t-shirt proclaiming your Michigan Beer Nuttiness. Purchase your Enthusiast membership online at

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

Monday, April 19, 2010

KITCHEN Alchemy: Transform Yourself Through Food Showcases Growing Interest in Healthy, Innovative Cooking

The creative culture of food, fusion of cuisines, newfound access to exotic herbs, fruits, and vegetables, all serve to contribute infinite pleasure and nourishment to millions of people around the world. In their first book – Kitchen Alchemy– Ann Bowen-Jones and Phillippa Lee lovingly describe how food can positively impact every level of our being. Their innovative recipes are created to suit differing moods and needs, suggesting that our consciousness can also be transformed through each and every interaction with food. The 160-page, four color, softcover book will be released in August, 2010.

“More people than ever before are taking a keen interest in what they eat, where it comes from, and whether it was grown using organic or sustainable practices,” Ann says. “However, there is also heightened anxiety, guilt and uncertainty around food. We hope to help ease both novice and expert foodies into this simple mindset that we’re confident will boost their mind, body and spirit on multiple levels.”

At alchemy's core is transformation, with the transmutation of base metals into gold being a potent metaphor for the spiritual path. Food is, essentially, transformed by cooking to render it more palatable and nutritious. It metamorphoses again when eaten and its individual components become part of our bodies.

Kitchen Alchemy approaches shopping, cooking and eating food in a way that celebrates life, creation and beauty,” says Phillippa. “It illuminates our relationships with food and restores the influence of innate and cultural wisdom leading to healthier bodies and minds.”

Whether hearty or delicate, simple or fanciful, home cooks of every level will appreciate this refreshing approach to cooking and eating.

“We all have to eat, so it is empowering to realize that every time we fulfill that fundamental need we have choices which may seem small in themselves, but which cumulatively can quite simply transform our lives,” Phillippa says.

About the Authors
Ann’s home is high above a beautiful estuary in Wales. Her creative involvement with cooking came from her mother, Morfudd – a cookery teacher, as they constantly experimented together with new recipes. Her interest in the symbolism and philosophy of food across different cultures grew through her studies of nutrition and biochemistry and her PhD in psychology, and as a result of her yoga practices.

Phillippa trained as a chef during the punk rock period of the late 70s in England. Since that time she has been a chef at a top organic vegetarian hotel in the Lake District, has provided the food for mind-body-spirit workshops throughout the UK, and taught cooking to many individuals and groups.

About the Photographer
Tom Kachadurian is the author and photographer of four acclaimed books and has published images in Good Housekeeping, Food Arts, the New York Times, and USA Today. He is the art director for Spirituality & Health Magazine in addition to other freelance photography projects.

About the Publisher
Spirituality & Health Media has been recognized with several Folio Awards as the best magazine in Religion and Spirituality. No longer subsidized by Trinity Church, we are a private company supported by our subscribers and advertisers. We continue to follow the stories wherever they lead. T George Harris, now 85, continues as our most influential advisor. Editor-in-chief Steve Kiesling, 51, was the oldest competitor at the trials for the 2008 US Olympic Rowing Team and continues to push the limits of human experience. Our journey is not always easy, and the stories we undertake are not always comfortable, but we have a world-class team and would love for you to join us. Our book division publishes 4-6 titles a year following the mission of the magazine. For more of our backstory, please visit


$21.95 US, £9.95 UK • 160 pages • ISBN: 978-0-9818708-6-1 • Softcover 7.5 x 7.5 • August 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

West Michigan Pike Dedication Ceremony Set for April 30 in New Buffalo

For nearly 100 years, the West Michigan Pike has served auto tourists along the Lake Michigan shoreline from the state line in Berrien County, nearly 450 miles north to Mackinaw City. To commemorate this historic route, an official state historical marker will be dedicated at 11:00 a.m., Lions Park in New Buffalo.

“The West Michigan Pike historical marker is one of five erected as part of our project to learn the history and identify historic sites along this historic roadway,” stated State Historic Preservation Officer Brian Conway, who will be at the dedication ceremony.

“In 1911 a group of civic leaders took it upon themselves to create a regional initiative that would turn Southwest Michigan’s economy around after lumbering left the area. They adopted the idea of creating a resort industry and built the area’s first highway, the West Michigan Pike, to bring auto tourists from Chicago and other Midwestern cities to Michigan’s beach towns. Their efforts used the best of what the region has to offer—its beautiful scenery, delicious fruit, and rural lifestyle—to bring together a wide range of people from different ethnic and social backgrounds creating a rich diversity of experience. It is still a good model to follow as we look forward to reinventing the region’s economy for the twenty-first century. “

The New Buffalo marker gives an overview of the West Michigan Pike’s history and will read:

At the turn of the twentieth century, deep ruts and sand made West Michgian roads nearly impassable. In 1911, the West Michigan Lakeshore Highway Association was founded to promote the construction of the first improved highway along Lake Michigan in order to bring auto tourists from Chicago to Michigan to support the new resort industry that grew up when logging ended in the region. Completed in 1922, the West Michigan Pike extended from the Indiana state line to Mackinaw City. It was designated one of the first state trunk lines (M-11) in 1917, as part of the Dixie Highway in 1923, and incorporated into the nations’ first federal highway system as US-31 in 1926. Straightened and realigned over the years, it is also known as the Red Arrow and the Blue Star Memorial Highways.
In 2006, the Michigan Historical Center began collaborating with Michigan BeachtownsTM in an effort to boost tourism along Michigan’s western shoreline. What resulted was the West Michigan Roadmap Project – funded in part by a federal Preserve America grant – established to identify tourism-related sites along the West Michigan shoreline from New Buffalo to Ludington.

The historic West Michigan Pike serves as the focal point for the project and is the foundation for an official “Michigan Heritage Route” that is being developed by the MBA and the Michigan Department of Transportation. If approved, the West Michigan Pike will become the longest of the state’s 15 historic routes. The project is endorsed by the Berrien County Board of Commissioners and more than 50 local governments and counties between the two cities.

Funded by the Michigan Historical Marker Fund and Michigan BeachtownsTM, the marker in New Buffalo is the latest to be erected in Southwest Michigan as part of the West Michigan Roadmap project. Two other markers will be erected this summer, one for Scenic Drive and Muskegon State Park and the other for Jewish Summer Resorts in South Haven. Two were erected last year, at Winsor McKay in Spring Lake and the other at John Gurney Park in Hart.

Michigan BeachtownsTM is a partnership of nine visitor bureaus from Harbor Country to Ludington. The group works together on various promotional and marketing initiatives including those offered through Travel Michigan’s Pure Michigan branding campaign. 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.



Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Salt of the Earth Concludes its Four-Month Michigan Series with a Rustic Eccentric Beer Dinner Featuring Bell's Brewing

A six-course “Rustic Eccentric” menu showcasing the hand-crafted beers from Bell’s Brewing in Kalamazoo will grace the table at Salt of the Earth – the new rustic American eatery in downtown Fennville on Thursday, April 22 (7-9pm). The Salt of the Earth tasting team, led by Chefs Pietsch and Hahn, has paired six beers from Bell's catalog with six creative courses for an evening of fun and food. This is the final dinner in Salt of the Earth’s four-month Michigan Wine & Beer Series. The series will pick up again in November 2010 and run through April 2011.

Cold Smoked Salmon & Garfunkel
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme

Consecrator Doppelbock

Macho Gazpacho
Fruit- Salt- Cucumber- Avocado- Pork

Scotch Ale

When Pigs Fly
Chicken-Yogurt-Preserved Lemon


Boy’s Night Out
Pretzel- Pork Belly- Mustard

Smoked Lager

Course #5- a.k.a. Whole Roasted Trout
Quinoa- Chick Pea- Verbena- Feta

Two Hearted Ale

Pietsch Tiramisu
Ladyfinger-Hazelnut- Milk Chocolate

Java Stout

Space for the dinner is limited to 40 people, and reservations are required. Call 269-561-SALT (7258). The cost for each dining experience is only $55 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Dinner starts at 7pm and is expected to last approximately two hours.

Those looking to make a romantic overnight part of their culinary experience should contact Kingsley House B&B, just a few blocks down M-89 in Fennville. A rate of $99 per room (double occupancy), including a full hot breakfast, is being offered. For reservations, call 866-561-6425.

Salt of the Earth is a rustic American eatery and bakery, tucked away in quaint downtown Fennville – in the heart of the Southwest Michigan’s thriving agricultural region. Under the direction of Chef Matthew Pietsch (protégé of ‘Iron Chef’ Michael Symon), this full service restaurant offers 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. You’ll also find a bar stocked with spirits, and an impressive selection of Michigan wines and craft beers. Seasonal wine and beer dinners are also held throughout the year. 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.

Bell’s Brewing, formerly Kalamazoo Brewing Company, was founded by Larry Bell as a home-brewing supply shop in 1983 and sold its first beer in 1985. Bell's Brewery has grown from a tiny operation renting part of a former plumbing supply warehouse to a bustling, regional craft brewery. Over 20 years of brewing, Bell's Brewery has built a nationwide reputation as a creative and talented brewery, playing a significant role in changing the beerscape of the nation. Bell's Brewery stands as the oldest craft-brewer east of Boulder, Colorado. The brewery currently sells its beer across a fifteen-state area, through a network of over fifty quality wholesalers and has a developing a reputation across the Midwest for the unique style and flavor. With an ongoing goal to brew thoughtfully, creatively and artistically, Bell’s strives to bring an authentic and pleasant experience to its customers through its unique ales and beers.

Kingsley House B&B, located in the heart of Southwest Michigan, is just minutes away from the resort towns of Saugatuck, Douglas, Holland and South Haven. Experience all that Southern and West Michigan waterfront resort towns have to offer, like sunsets over the beaches of Lake Michigan, a thriving Wine Country, arts & antiques, downhill and cross country skiing and much more. This B&B serves up romantic resort lodging in luxury Jacuzzi, fireplace suites, gracious hospitality, a peaceful country setting and friendly atmosphere. The Inn offers many spa and concierge services. From last minute lodging to romantic weekend getaway packages, Kingsley House is the Michigan Inn of choice. Experience why guests return time and time again to this award-winning B&B. Wireless internet is also available throughout the Inn.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Michigan Brewers Garner Positive Attention at Annual Craft Brewers Conference in Chicago

It was a big week for Michigan breweries at the 2010 Craft Brewers Conference, held at the Chicago Sheraton Towers, April 7-10.


Larry Bell – Founder and Owner of Bell’s Brewery, Inc. – in Kalamazoo, Michigan, was one of three industry leaders in the national brewing community recognized during the opening session of the Brewer’s Association’s annual Craft Brewers Conference this past weekend in Chicago. Bell was presented with the Brewers Association Recognition Award.

Bell started the Kalamazoo Brewing Company (now’s Bell's Brewery, Inc.) in Kalamazoo, in 1985, the first craft brewery in the eastern half of the United States. His dedication to the industry includes serving as a former chair of the Brewers Association's predecessor organization and acting as a driving force with current Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper for the creation of American Beer Month (which evolved into American Craft Beer Week).

"Larry is a leader in our industry known for his innovative beers and the passion he brings to craft brewing," said Brewers Association Board of Directors Chair Nick Matt, CEO of Matt Brewing Company. Mountain West Brewery Supply's David Edgar noted in documents supporting Bell’s nomination that "He is continually pushing the envelope with experimenting with different grains, different yeast strains and plenty of hops."

To select a winner of the Brewers Association Recognition Award each year, members of the association nominate candidates and the Brewers Association Board of Directors votes to determine the winner.

This is the second time in the award’s 23 years that Michigan has taken the top honors; Fred Scheer from Frankenmuth Brewery received the award in 1994.


The 2010 World Beer Cup eclipsed the record of the Brewers Association's own Great American Beer Festival (GABF) to become the largest commercial competition ever. There were 3,308 entries judged in the 2009 GABF, compared to the 2010 World Beer Cup's 3,330 entries judged. Brewers from six continents earned awards from an elite international panel of judges this week in the 2010 Brewers Association World Beer Cup - the world's largest-ever commercial beer competition. The eighth bi-annual competition announced awards to brewers from 19 countries ranging from Australia and Italy to Iceland and Japan. This year, 642 breweries from 44 countries and 47 U.S. states vied for awards with 3,330 beers entered in 90 beer style categories.

Michigan snagged 11 individual awards, ranking among the top six states for total number of awards, behind heavy-hitting brewery states like California (40+), Oregon (14), Colorado (12) Illinois (12) and Washington (12). Founders Brewing Co., of Grand Rapids was honored in four categories, while Kuhnhenn Brewing Co. of Warren and Big Rock Chop House & Brewery of Birmingham each brought home gold medals. The breakdown of awards for Michigan includes:

Bastone Brewery, Royal Oak
• Silver: Saison du Bastone – Belgian- and French-Style Ale

Big Rock Chop House & Brewery, Birmingham
• Gold: Norm's Raggedy-Ass IPA – American-Style India Pale Ale
• Silver: Bonnie's Raggedy-Ass Imperial IPA – Imperial India Pale Ale

Detroit Beer Co., Detroit
• Silver: The Detroit Dwarf – German-Style Brown Ale/Düsseldorf-Style Altbier

Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids
• Silver: Founders Porter – Robust Porter
• Silver: Dirty Bastard – Strong Ale
• Silver: Centennial IPA American-Style India Pale Ale
• Bronze: Imperial Stout - American-Style Imperial Stout

Kuhnhenn Brewing Co., Warren
• Gold: Fourth Dementia Olde Ale – Old Ale

Redwood Brewing Co., Flint
• Silver: Cream Stout – Sweet Stout

Short's Brewing Co., Bellaire
• Bronze: Black Licorice Lager – Herb and Spice Beer or Chocolate Beer

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 or 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 and brewpubs, log on to

Friday, April 2, 2010

Ferry Service to Beaver Island Resumes April 7 for 2010 Season

The Beaver Island Boat Company will resume its 2010 ferry service between Charlevoix and Beaver Island, beginning Wednesday, April 7 – with limited runs through the end of May. Daily service begins May 24 and runs through September, with limited service returning for the last three months of the year.

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 and reservations for passengers are never required. The distance from Charlevoix to historic Beaver Island is 32 miles across Lake Michigan and takes approximately two hours.

Once on the island, visitors can arrange for a guided tour to discover the rich Mormon and Irish history by visiting the St. James Light at Whiskey Point and the Beaver Head Island lighthouse; Donegal Bay – with views of High, Trout and Garden Islands; Dr. Protar’s home and tomb; and other sites of historical significance. Tour package, which include ferry service and the guided tours, are also available – June 3 through September 2.

As the most remote inhabited island in the Great Lakes, Beaver Island is an eco-travelers dream, offering pristine woods, hiking and biking trails, uncrowded rustic campsites, SCUBA diving, fishing on inland lakes, nature watching and paddling through the archipelago. There are over 100 miles of scenic roads that travel past abandoned homesteads and farms, offering a glimpse into the history of the island’s past residents.

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

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