Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Brys Estate Hosts 2nd Annual Harvest Celebration - Every Saturday in October

You are invited to experience autumn on Old Mission Peninsula with the Brys Estate 2nd Annual Harvest Celebration, running from 11am to 6pm, every Saturday in October.

For $5 per person,* guests are given a large souvenir wine glass to use as they visit four different wine and food pairing stations throughout the tasting room, barrel rooms and winery cellar giving visitors a glimpse into the inner workings of the winery. Each wine will be paired with a small bite, created by Eileen Brys – including her famous dark chocolate brownies. The last wine sample, at the main bar, is “guest’s choice.”

The patio will be open for guests to enjoy their favorite wine by the glass, while soaking up the fall colors that will be exploding in every direction. Guests may even sneak a peak at the grapes being harvested in the estate vineyards that surround the tasting room.

“This Fall Harvest Tour was a hit last year and we expect it to be just as popular this season,” says Patrick Brys. “This year’s dates are October 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29. On October 1 the winery will close at 5pm.”

Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery is centrally located in the heart of the Old Mission Peninsula – situated on 80 acres with breathtaking views of East Grand Traverse Bay – in Traverse City, Michigan. This boutique winery began with the planting of 32 acres of European vinifera grapes in 2001 and opened the tasting room in May of 2005. Using the highest quality standards, Brys hand picks its grapes and hand crafts its small batch, single vineyard wines, giving attention to every detail during the crushing, fermenting, aging and bottling process. You are invited to visit Brys Estate's old world-style tasting room and new outdoor patio this summer to sample their International award-winning estate wines.

* Admission for current Wine Club Members is complimentary.


North Peak Brewing Company Sponsors Free Screening of Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez Movie “The Way”

Viewing set for Wednesday, October 12 at 7pm - Michigan Theater, Downtown Ann Arbor

North Peak Brewing Company invites the public to enjoy a bottle of its Wanderer Session IPA, while enjoying a free screeing of the new movie “The Way” – starring Marting Sheen and Emilio Estevez, who also directs this poingnant film. The screening will be held at 7pm on Wednesday, October 12 at the Michigan Theater in downtown Ann Arbor.

Following the 115-minute film (PG-13), Sheen and Estevez – who will be attending the screening – will answer questions and discuss the film with the audience.

Online reservations are required here. Tickets are limited to the first 300.

"The Way" is a powerful and inspirational story about family, friends and the challenges we all face while navigating this ever changing and complicated world. Martin Sheen plays Tom, an American doctor who comes to St. Jean Pied de Port, France to collect the remains of his adult son (played by Emily Estevez), killed in the Pyrenees in a storm while walking The Camino de Santiago, also known as The Way of Saint James.

Rather than return home, Tom decides embark on the historical pilgrimage to honor his son's desire to finish the journey. Inexperienced as a trekker, Tom soon discovers that he will not be alone on this journey. Along "The Way," Tom meets other pilgrims from around the world, each with their own "issues" and looking for greater meaning in their lives: a Dutchman (Yorick van Wageningen) a Canadian (Deborah Kara Unger) and an Irish writer (James Nesbitt) who is suffering from a bout of "writer's block."

From the unexpected and oftentimes, amusing experiences along "The Way," this unlikely quartet of misfits create an everlasting bond and Tom begins to learn what it means to be a citizen of the world again. Through Tom's unresolved relationship with his son, discovers the difference between "The life we live and the life we choose".

Written and directed by Emilio Estevez, “The Way” was filmed entirely in Spain and France along the actual Camino de Santiago.

More about the movie

North Peak’s Wanderer
A wonderfully-refreshing Session IPA, brewed with locally-grown hops on Old Mission Peninsula in Traverse City. Session IPA is an exciting new style, balanced with malt and hop characters with a clean finish. Hopped with Perle, Willamette, Centennial and Citra that give it a citrus and pine finish, Wanderer is rounded out with a generous amount of dry-hopping with Citra hops to fill the nose to give it a light, clean and stimulating body. This combination of full-hop flavor and lower alcohol gives Wanderer a wonderful drinkability, allowing the craft beer drinker to have multiple beers, within a reasonable time period or “session.”

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.

North Peak Brewing Company

Monday, September 26, 2011

West Michigan Signature Tour of Kitchens Takes an Inside Look at 18 Professionally-Designed Rooms - Saturday, October 8

Tour Presented by National Kitchen & Bath Association – West Michigan and Michigan HOME and Lifestyle Magazine to Benefit Gilda’s Club – Grand Rapids.

Step inside 18 of the area’s best professionally-designed kitchens during the West Michigan Signature Tour of Kitchens – Saturday, October 8. 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 Gilda’s Club – 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 Chapter Representative. “We planned this event with the consumer in mind. This is a fantastic opportunity 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.”

The Tour runs from 11 am to 7 pm and homes are located throughout west Michigan, Spring Lake and the greater Kalamazoo area.

“We are pleased to be involved in the West Michigan Signature Tour of Kitchens again,” says Dennis Stadel, publisher of Michigan HOME and Lifestyle Magazine. “Being able to showcase the finest designed custom kitchens fits perfectly with the style and mission of our magazine and the interests of our readers. Each home on the tour is featured in the fall issue of the Magazine, available at retail outlets statewide. The complete description and photo will help visitors get an early glimpse of what is offered on the tour.”

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

• Tru Kitchens
• DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen
• Lifestyle Kitchen Studio
• Williams Kitchen & Bath
• Kitchen Design Studio Inc.
• Woodways Inc.
• Hearthstone Design Studio
• Standard Kitchens

• Kalamazoo Custom Kitchens
• Scholten Kitchen & Bath

• Rycenga Building Center
• Woodways Inc.

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


Gerrit's Appliance
Virginia Tile
Fifth Third Bank

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ford Brings the “Power of Choice” tour to GR; Unveils Local Driving Behaviors

(GRAND RAPIDS, Mich) -- Ford Motor Company showcased its Power of Choice Tour and clean vehicle lineup in Michigan today, where Ford’s all-electric vehicles hit Grand Rapids streets, along with hybrids and additional class-leading, fuel-efficient driving options. Ford is differentiating itself from competitors by offering a family of electrified vehicles and advanced engine options, all designed to meet today’s diverse range of driving needs.

“Fuel efficiency in my hometown of Grand Rapids and across the nation is a high priority for new car buyers right now, and consumers want options when it comes to green driving,” said Erich Merkle, U.S. Sales Analyst for Ford Motor Company. “Ford is meeting these consumer needs by offering a suite of fuel-efficient vehicles – from hybrids to electrics to ultra-efficient gas-powered cars. Even more, Ford is packing these vehicles with class-leading technology, giving consumers both exciting and cleaner driving choices.”

As part of the Power of Choice Tour, Ford recently conducted in-market, quantitative research to uncover key driving statistics and insights among Grand Rapids drivers. Results included:

• Lack of education for Grand Rapids residents, with regard to alternative fuel technologies

o 48% of residents surveyed did not know the difference between a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid and a full battery electric vehicle

o Even though hybrid technology has been on the road for 15 years, one in five residents surveyed were unclear on what hybrid vehicle technology entails

o 39% of Grand Rapids residents surveyed do not know what flex fuel vehicles are or how they differ from petrol or compressed natural gas engine technologies

• 75% of those surveyed said an electric vehicle would fit their family’s needs, but 60% were not comfortable with a limited-range vehicle being their primary mode of transportation

• By far, Grand Rapids residents felt fuel efficiency was the most important factor when making a car purchase (41%), followed by brand loyalty (16%) and style (15%); Additionally, more than 25% of Grand Rapids residents surveyed were dissatisfied with their current fuel economy rating

• Saving money on gas was the most appealing aspect of a hybrid or electric vehicle, for area residents

• Grand Rapids residents’ driving habits included: 74% drive to work; 54% have a daily commute of less than 30 minutes; 86% drive more on weekends than weekdays; 45% cite traffic as biggest concern

Today, Ford shared this data and an overall industry analysis with Grand Rapids’ thought leaders and media, as part of a larger push to educate drivers on the range of fuel-efficient vehicles and technologies available. Attendees were offered test drives in the Transit Connect Electric – a small, fully-electric utility van which debuted in 2010, as well as numerous other clean driving vehicles. Additionally, the Focus Electric – Ford’s first zero-emission, all-electric passenger car coming in late 2011 – was on display.

Power of Choice
Electrification is an important piece of Ford’s overall product sustainability strategy, which includes the launch of five electrified vehicles in North America by 2012 and in Europe by 2013. Ford launched the Transit Connect Electric small commercial van in 2010 and will launch the all-new Focus Electric later this year. In 2012, these models will be joined in North America by the new C-MAX Hybrid, a second next-generation lithium-ion battery hybrid and the new C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid. This diverse range of electrified vehicles allows Ford to meet a variety of consumer driving needs.

Beyond electrification, Ford continues to lead the industry in fuel efficient technology development, with a firm commitment from President and CEO Alan Mulally to bring each new Ford and Lincoln vehicle to market as a class or near-class leader in fuel efficiency and quality.

Ford is achieving this leadership in a variety of ways, including through advancements in the internal combustion engine with technology like EcoBoost, which combines direct injection into smaller engines and turbo-charging to give customers the power they want and the fuel efficiency they need. EcoBoost is a global Ford engine that provides affordable fuel efficiency for millions of drivers, increasing fuel economy up to 20 percent while reducing CO2 emissions by up to 15 percent. By the end of 2011, Ford will have built nearly 180,000 EcoBoost-powered vehicles in North America, and the engines will be offered in 90 percent of Ford vehicles by 2013. Ford holds more than 125 patents on its engine technology.

In addition to the EcoBoost engine offering, Ford’s recent line up of smaller, more fuel efficient vehicle sales have gained significant market share in key regions of the country. Vehicles like the all-new Ford Focus and the Fiesta both achieve 40 mpg or higher, boasting fuel economy that most hybrids don’t even achieve.

“Small car sales now account for 25% of vehicles sold in the U.S., compared to 19% in December 2010,” said Merkle. “We’ve seen this shift take place at Ford, with the Focus and Fiesta becoming the two fastest turning vehicles in our showrooms. In fact, Fiesta sales in August were up 76% and the Focus continues to perform beyond expectations.”

Green Driving Leadership
Ford has 14 vehicles with best-in-class fuel economy, more than any other full line auto maker. Additionally, Ford has four cars that achieve an EPA-rated 40 mpg or higher, including Fiesta, Focus, Fusion Hybrid and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. Thirteen Ford vehicles achieve an EPA-rated 30 mpg or higher.

# # #

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ford Motor Company is committed to delivering vehicles with the best or among the best fuel economy. Ford has 12 vehicles with best-in-class fuel economy - more than any other full-line automaker – giving consumers a real choice when choosing a vehicle that suits their needs and saves money at the pump.

Ford’s Power of Choice tour will be rolling through Grand Rapids to highlight Ford’s fuel efficient lineup and the new electrified vehicles that will be available in North America by 2012 and Europe by 2013.

Ford’s Power of Choice tour - Grand Rapids includes:

Erich Merkle, Product Strategy Communications Manager for Ford Motor

Power of Choice Vehicle and Technology Tour

Holiday Inn Downtown
310 Pearl Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Rogue Conference Room

Thursday, September 15th
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM – Presentation and Q and A
(Continental breakfast will be available throughout the presentation)

10:30 AM - 1:00 PM - Vehicle test drives and demonstrations.

Vehicle display includes the:

*Focus Electric (static)
*Transit Connect Electric (drivable)
*Fiesta (drivable)
*MKS with EcoBoost (drivable)
*Fusion Hybrid (drivable)
*Explorer (drivable)

INVITATION ONLY. For details, email Dianna Stampfler - Dianna@PromoteMichigan.com

Monday, September 12, 2011

North Peak Carves Out Latest Brew with Hooligan: A Hoppy Pumpkin Ale

Tired of having to choose between your favorite pumpkin beer and your favorite IPA when fall comes around? Well, fret no more. Enter the Hooligan – the new hoppy pumpkin beer from North Peak Brewing Company in Traverse City. Coming in at 5.5%ABV with 35 IBUs, Hooligan is a real treat for beer lovers – just in time for the harvest season.

“It’s no trick. This brew delivers all the spicy pumpkin goodness one could ask for, along with a kick of hops,” says brewer Ron Jeffries, who along with brewer Mike Hall bring a combined 40 years of brewing experience to their North Peak beer recipes. “Hooligan is brewed with real pumpkin and fresh spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice, oh my). And, did we mention…hops? Hooligan is brimming with locally-grown hops.”

So who is this Hooligan you may ask? He is a legendary and impish figure who appears but once a year on Devil’s Night, October 30 – the night before Halloween. He lurks through the darkness, traipsing in the shadows from house to house with a rogue gait and a devilish grin on his face. This scoundrel is more mischievous than wicked, yet his reputation for mayhem is wildly known. Anyone who has woken up on Halloween morning to find their pumpkins smashed or yard toilet-papered is familiar with the antics of the Northern Michigan Hooligan.

Hooligan is available only on draft, now through October when the last pumpkin is smashed. Find it throughout Michigan and Ohio, wherever your favorite North Peak beers are sold.

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.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Saugatuck Brewing Co.’s ESB/Amber awarded “Best in the Midwest”

The USBTC (United States Beer Tasting Championship) held their 17th annual Midwest regional competition in early August and has awarded 1st place in the Bitter/ESB category to Saugatuck Brewing Co., for their ESB/Amber. Over 120 beers in 11 categories were entered in this year’s competition. USBTC’s company overview states… “USBTC has but one simple mission, to find the best beers in America and share the results with you.” More information may be found at www.usbtc.com.

ESB/Amber (5.5%ABV | 25 IBUs) is a classic medium-bodied British-style Extra Special Bitter with an even balance of six different malts and Goldings, Tettenang and Williamette hops. This beer is one of SBC’s mainstay beers and is available on tap and in 6-packs throughout most of lower Michigan.

Saugatuck Brewing Co. is a microbrewery with a traditional Irish style pub and German style bier hall. They feature hand crafted beer plus a full food menu and excellent service. Fifteen unique beer styles, all brewed in house, plus wine and hard cider are served daily in the family friendly Pub. “SBC” also distributes four beer styles in 6-packs throughout Michigan. The multi-purpose Bier Hall is a full-service banquet facility complete with bar, stage and multiple lighting options. Accommodating well over 200 seated guests, this venue is available for weddings, receptions, reunions, corporate events and concerts. The brewery also features the only active brew-on-premise facility in Michigan, utilizing five copper kettles and an array of natural ingredients and recipes, for the public to become “Brewmaster for a Day.”

Saugatuck Brewing Co. is a proud member of the Michigan Brewers Guild.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Michigan Nature & History Lovers Will Fall for Camp Tosebo’s Autumn Allure

Nestled amidst more than 50 colorful acres of protected forests along the southern shore of Portage Lake, between Manistee and Onekama, sets a picturesque camp that has been welcoming visitors for generations. Founded in 1912 as a private camp for boys, Camp Tosebo is one of the most historic and treasured vacation retreats in Northern Michigan. Located just off the famed M22 scenic highway, this four-season destination provides the ideal setting to soak up the explosion of fall colors.

Within just a short drive of Camp Tosebo, visitors will find dozens of natural and historic sites waiting to be explored, camera in hand. A nearly 100-mile route, originally created by the West Michigan Tourist Association (www.wmta.org), takes travelers along the winding backroads of M22-, M115 and M55 through the nearby towns of Onekama, Pierport, Arcadia, Thompsonville, Kaleva, Brethren and Manistee.

Among the sites one can expect to find nearby are the Lake Bluff Audubon Center & Bird Sanctuary, the North Country Scenic Trail, Arcadia Overlook, Gwen Frostic Studios, the Bottle House Museum and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – recently named “The Most Beautiful Place in America” by viewers of Good Morning America.

Listed with both the Michigan and National Register of Historic Places, Camp Tosebo boasts two lodging buildings which can collectively accommodate 20 guests.

Originally built as a dance pavilion, the 1893 Victorian-era Clubhouse with its covered porch easily accommodates 17 guests, with nine bedrooms and 7½ bathrooms five with antique claw-foot tubs. There’s plenty of space to spread out through the fully-equipped chef’s kitchen, dining hall, game room, library and large living room with a stone fireplace.

The rustic Trunk House – which once was a storage facility for the campers’ luggage – is a large, one-room studio with vaulted ceilings, living and dining areas, kitchenette, queen bed and twin bed, and a bathroom with a claw foot tub and shower.

Situated in the heart of the Manistee National Forest, Camp Tosebo is the ideal setting for a quiet autumn escape, where time is spent walking the trails, paddling the lake, catching up on a good book and relaxing in front of the fireplace. Whether planning a romantic weekend, a family reunion or group gathering, the outdoor splendor and indoor relaxation of Camp Tosebo cannot be compared. Find out for yourself!


Friday, September 2, 2011

Upcoming Fundraisers to Benefit Capital Campaign for Fulton Street Farmers Market Improvements

The Fulton Street Farmers Market (FSFM), located in the southeast corner of the Midtown Neighborhood, is the last remaining of three original Grand Rapids farmers markets established in the early 1900s. Originally constructed in 1922, the market has retained its regional popularity over the years. Drawing more than 8000 patrons per week during the peak of the season, the market generates millions of dollars worth of revenue for local growers each season.

With the recent influx in “buy local” initiatives, the Fulton Street Farmers Market is seeing a resurgence in both the number of participating growers and in customers. As such, the market is literally busting out at its seams. Earlier this year, a $2.0 million dollar “Our Goodness is Growing Campaign” was announced by the Midtown Neighborhood Association, which will generate funds to provide much needed infrastructure improvements to the space, including:

• Permanently covered, open-air sheds with increased water and electricity access points
• Reconstructed plaza with added space for seating, bicycle storage and vendor overflow
• A small LEED-certified building with indoor stalls for year round vending
• Traffic flow reconfiguration
• New parking area pavement, landscaping and striping
• Two sets of wheelchair-accessible restrooms
• Complete site re-grading to meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards
• Upgraded heating / cooling systems, insulation and wiring
• Rebuilding of the east side retaining wall
• Storm water retention system reconstruction

“When complete, the renovated Market will offer a better overall experience, more capable of serving local neighbors, area shoppers and our regional farming vendors,” says Diane Griffin, Campaign Chair. “Most importantly, the facility upgrades will provide a space where people can continue to enjoy the finest in locally-grown food, flowers and other goods.”

To date, $1.6 million of the project funds have been raised, leaving just $400,000 to go. Thanks to the strong fundraising efforts and a dedicated group of community leaders and volunteers, organizers will break ground on the new facility in November and celebrate the grand re-opening in May, 2012.

Upcoming fundraising events to benefit the Fulton Street Farmers Market “Our Goodness is Growing” campaign include:

Friday, September 16 (6-9pm)
An Evening in the Neighborhood
From the Heart Yoga Center
714 Wealthy Street SE

Relax and enjoy a delicious dinner provided by local restaurants, using locally-grown goods, as well as local wine and cider pressed from West Michigan apples. Participate in the silent auction for local goods and services and listen to the music from Jimmie Stagger and local chef & blues guitarist Jim Powell and his son, Sam.

Tickets $50 each (including food & drinks) are available at:

o Fulton Street Farmers Market (in office near Fulton)
o From the Heart Yoga Center (on Wealthy)
o Jeffrey Richard Salon (on Wealthy)
o Art of the Table (on Wealthy)
o BarterTown Diner (on Jefferson)
o Grand Central Market (on Monroe Center)
o Or by calling 616-328-9547.

Tuesday, September 27 (11am-1pm | 4-8pm)
Brick Sale for Fulton Street Farmers Market
Grand Central Market
57 Monroe Center, Downtown Grand Rapids

Local singer/songwriter Susan Picking will provide music throughout the day. Purchase a brick or paver and have your name forever etched into the history of the market.

o Brick (2.5x8 inches | one line | 16 characters): $35
o Half Paver (4x8 inches | three lines | 14 characters per line): $50
o Full Paver (8x8 inches | four lines, 14 characters per line): $100

Wednesday, October 5 (11am-1pm | 4-8pm)
Brick Sale for Fulton Street Farmers Market
BarterTown Diner – 6 Jefferson Street

o Brick (2.5x8 inches | one line | 16 characters): $35
o Half Paver (4x8 inches | three lines | 14 characters per line): $50
o Full Paver (8x8 inches | four lines, 14 characters per line): $100

Wednesday, October 19 (5-9pm)
An Evening in the Piazza
Tre Cugini’s La Scala Banquet Room
125 Ottawa, Downtown Grand Rapids (Ledyard Building)

Enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by Tre Cugini’s culinary team – using locally-grown ingredients. Participate in the silent auction for goods and services donated by local businesses. A cash bar will be available.

Tickets $75 each (including food & drinks) are available at:

o Fulton Street Farmers Market (in office near Fulton)
o BarterTown Diner (on Jefferson)
o Grand Central Market (on Monroe Center)
o Or by calling 616-328-9547.

Owned by the City of Grand Rapids and managed by the 501(c)3 Midtown Neighborhood Association, improvements to the Market fall under the auspices of the Parks & Recreation Master Plan. All charitable gifts to the campaign are tax deductible to the full extent of state and federal law.