Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Motor City Brew Tours Presents: Michigan Beer Tasting Boat Cruise

Motor City Brew Tours has taken over a floor of the Detroit Princess Riverboat to host a Michigan Beer Tasting. This event is a special Father’s Day afternoon boat cruise on Sunday June 17 from 2pm to 6pm. Motor City Brew Tours will have 25 different Michigan beers to sample from Arbor Brewing Company, Arcadia Brewing Company, Dark Horse Brewing Company, New Holland Brewing Company and North Peak Brewing Company. There will also be samples of Vander Mill Hard Cider, B. Nektar Mead and Valentine Vodka onboard. Everything available to sample at this event will be made in Michigan. The goal of this event is to expose people to the many great beers and spirits that are being produced in Michigan.

Your event ticket includes 15 sample drink tickets, an appetizer buffet and a boat cruise along the Detroit River. Tickets are $49.99 each and can be purchased at our website: or

About the Detroit Princess:
The Detroit Princess Riverboat is a 5-story boat that is located on the Detroit River between Cobo Hall and the Detroit Renaissance Center. It has been in operation in Detroit since 2005. The boat has a capacity of 1500 people and has had many beautiful cruises since calling Detroit its home.

About Motor City Tour Company:
Come join us to gain a new perspective about Michigan made products. We offer year-round guided Bus, Bike & Walking tours to breweries in Michigan. Motor City Tour Company produces events under the names of Motor City Brew Tours and Motor City Bike & Brew Tours.

Find us online:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kick Off Summer at a Pure Michigan Campground

Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds Invites Families to Rediscover Michigan Camping During Upcoming Memorial Weekend
Travelers looking for destinations and activities that will stretch their minds and imaginations, without stretching their wallets, are invited to rediscover Michigan camping this summer. Camping is ranked the #1 outdoor vacation activity in the United States by the Travel Industry Association of America.

There are plenty of camp sites – for tenters, RVers and cabin-dwellers – available at private campgrounds throughout both the Upper and Lower Peninsulas for the upcoming Memorial holiday weekend. Below, nearly three dozen campgrounds are reporting in with availability, including:

Berwagana Campground, Vassar (989-673-7125)
Clementz's Northcountry Campground, Newberry (906-293-8562)
Crystal Lake Campground, Ludington/Scottville (231-757-4510)
Drew's Country Camping, Holland (616-399-1886)
Drummond Island RV Park, Drummond Island (877-493-5445)
Gaylord KOA, Gaylord (800-562-4146)
Hidden Hill Family Campground, Harrison (989-539-9372)
Holiday Camping Resort, New Era (231-861-5220)
Holiday Park Campground, Traverse City (231-943-4410)
Indian River RV Resort & Campground, Indian River (888-792-2267)
Irons RV Park & Campground, Irons (231-266-2070)
Kalkaska RV Park & Campground, Kalkaska (231-258-9863)
Kampvilla RV Park, Bear Lake (800-968-0027)
Lake Leelanau RV Park, Lake Leelanau (231-256-7236)
Lakeview UM Campground, Lakeview (989-352-6896)
Leisure Time Campground, Irons (800-266-8214)
Mackinaw Mill Creek Camping, Mackinaw City (231-436-5584)
Matson's Big Manistee River Campground, Manistee (888-556-2424)
Myers Lake Campground, Byron (810-266-4511)
Oak Grove Resort Campground, Holland (616-399-9230)
Paint River Hills Campground, Crystal Falls (906-875-4977)
Pickerel Lakeside Campground, Bitely (231-745-7268)
Sharp Park Campground, Middleville (269-795-3846)
Snow Lake Kampground, Fenwick (989-248-3224)
South Haven Family Campground, South Haven (269-637-6153)
Traverse City KOA, Buckley (231-269-3203)
Troll Landing Camp. & Canoe Rental, West Branch (989-345-7260)
Twin Oaks Campground & Cabins, Wellston (877-442-3102)
Vacation Trailer Park, Benzonia (231-882-5101)
Waterways Campground, Cheboygan (888-882-7066)
Wooded Acres Family Campground, Houghton Lake (989-422-3413)
Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park, Indian River (231-238-8259)

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 May 23, 2012. Availability subject to change. Reservations are required.

ARVC represents some 180 member campgrounds with nearly 30,000 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 2012 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 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.

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 (

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Registration Open Now for 2012 Arts & Eats – A Self-Guided Agri-Cultural Driving Tour of SW Michigan

Participant registration is now open for the 2nd Annual Arts & Eats weekend, which is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, October 20-21, throughout portions of Allegan, Barry, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Kent and Van Buren Counties. Applications for artist studios, galleries, farms and restaurants are available online at, under “Applications” and are due by close of business on June 15.

Arts & Eats is a free self-guided driving tour of artist studios, eateries featuring locally-grown food, and farms that feature the best in Michigan specialty farm products. Travelers are encouraged to explore the back roads to visit participating farms, art studios and central venues, which will be open both days from 10am to 5pm. Restaurants will be open during normal business hours, and many will kick-off the tour the night before (October 19).

Art enthusiasts can visit dozens of different galleries and central venues to view the works of local painters, potters, photographers, sculptors and other artisans. Artists welcome guests to their studios, while galleries feature some of the most talented local art for the tour. Artists who do not have a public studio have been invited to display their works at several different central venues, which will be announced in the coming months.

Participants can also experience local foods both at the farms where the food is grown and area restaurants. Participants can visit farms that grow the food that we eat or farms that grow the fiber we wear. Several farms raise fiber animals including alpacas and sheep. This tour is a unique opportunity for people to visit farms that may not normally be open to the public. Participating restaurants are featuring special menu items using local products, with chefs using their creative culinary talents to pull together some fabulous menu items for the event.

Arts and Eats was introduced last fall by the Barry County Tourism Council and this year welcomes the Allegan County Tourist Council, along with other partner organizations, including the Barry County Chamber of Commerce, Hastings Public Library, Michigan State University (MSU) Extension, Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, Promote Michigan, Thornapple Arts Council, and area artists and studios. The premier sponsor in 2011 was State Farm.

According to organizers, the tour has multiple purposes including raising awareness and appreciation of the region’s rural areas, and educating people about the economic, environmental, and health benefits of buying and consuming locally grown foods. Another purpose of the tour is to support Michigan artists as entrepreneurs and also to connect farmers with local restaurants which can provide locally grown foods.

“The idea driving Arts & Eats is to invite tourists to explore rural artists, agricultural venues and restaurants, all the while soaking in our beautiful fall scenic landscape,” says Ginger Hentz, Barry County Tourism Co-Chair and Barry County MSU Extension Educator.

A listing of participants will be posted online as they are confirmed, at A tour guide and map will be available at all the sites the days of the tour. An online map will be available by September 1.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Saugatuck Brewing Company launches Brewer’s Reserve Series” with Continuum IPA

Saugatuck Brewing Company this week introduced the first style of the Brewer’s Reserve Series, Continuum IPA. A continually hopped India Pale Ale brewed with Centennial, Cascade, Nugget and Summit hops, Continuum IPA has an ABV of 8.5% and comes in at 110 IBUs. The next release, Double Diamond Black will release in October and Hop-Scotch Ale January, 2013. All three limited release offerings are in the 8-8.5% ABV range and are specifically targeted to the high gravity craft beer drinker. They will all be available in 4-packs and on tap throughout Michigan.

Saugatuck Brewing Co. is a microbrewery with a traditional Irish style pub and upscale banquet room, “The Singapore Room” featuring hand crafted beer, wine, food, and service. Fifteen unique beer styles, all brewed in house, plus wine and hard cider are served daily in the Pub. “SBC” also distributes six styles in 6 and 4-packs, plus kegs throughout lower Michigan. 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 Company
2948 Blue Star Hwy.
Douglas, MI 49406
269) 857-7222

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Traverse City Welcomes Inaugural Great Wakes Festival Coming June 1-2

A weekend-long community celebration of water sports, activities and conservation is heading to Traverse City’s bayfront this June.

Porterhouse Productions and Bay Area Recycling for Charities are partnering up to launch the first annual Great Wakes Festival June 1 and 2 in downtown Traverse City. The festival will focus on raising funds and awareness for water-focused non-profits, supporting efforts to protect and keep clean the region’s rivers, streams and lakes and offering a wide variety of water-themed activities and entertainment throughout the weekend. Festival proceeds, which will be distributed by Bay Area Recycling for Charities, will help benefit local non-profit organizations focused on water-related causes.

Highlights of this huge bayfront festival will include:

*the country’s largest self-contained wakeboarding pool system in downtown’s Open Space, featuring professional wakeboarding demonstrations and a Wakes War Tournament Cup with local and professional riders;

*paddle, kayak, and kiteboarding demonstrations and displays;

*boating displays and events; delicious water themed food court and soda jerk ice cream stations;

*water education activities; family-friendly games and events;

*a teen zone featuring a silent disco tent and activities produced by local student-run Youth Union;

*a community aerial art display project in partnership with GoodWill Industries of Northern Michigan (creating a large-scale image, when photographed from above, of the Great Lakes using volunteers, two tons of blue jeans and recycled materials);

*Coast Guard helicopter tours and search-and-rescue demonstrations;

*a competitive stand-up paddleboarding race down the Boardman River;

*a Great Wakes beach volleyball tournament (which will help raise funds for new beach sand for the West End volleyball courts);

*the first annual Traverse City Beach Race (organized in partnership with the Traverse City March of Dimes);

*local beach and water clean-up;

*and regional partner events, including the Grand Traverse Area Sport Fishing Association 2012 Trout Derby.

Festival tents on-site during the weekend will highlight award-winning Michigan microbrews and wines, as well as local food and local and national music on multiple stages.

Online registration for competitive events begins on Monday, April 23 at The Great Wakes Stand-Up Paddleboard Race, which will highlight the Boardman River dam removal project and the efforts of the Grand Traverse Conservation District, will take place on Saturday at 11 a.m., June 2. Registration is $25 per entrant and is limited to 50 racers per heat in beginner, intermediate and advance categories.

The first annual Traverse City Beach Race will take place on Saturday, June 2 from 9-11 a.m. The fun obstacle course-themed 2K event, which will begin at the West End Volleyball Courts and proceed down West End beach and back, will challenge racers of all ages and skill levels with zany water-themed challenges and obstacles, such as the Squirt Gun Alley, Beach Ball Sand Pit, Pool Noodle Forest and Frisbee Challenge. Advance registration is $10 without a participant t-shirt or $25 with a participant t-shirt. Prizes and medals will be awarded, and all participants will be invited to a post-race awards show featuring free local ice cream and Northwoods Soda Root Beer Floats. The race will be held in partnership with the Traverse City March of Dimes, with proceeds benefiting that organization and the Great Lakes Aerial Art Project.

The Great Wakes Volleyball Tournament will be held throughout the day on Saturday, June 2. Entry cost for the tournament is $50 per doubles team. Prizes will be awarded to winning teams. Proceeds from the event will go toward a matching grant fund to upgrade the sand at the West End beach volleyball courts.

Headlining music acts for the Great Wakes Festival include acclaimed “one-man entertainment system” and champion beatboxer Heatbox, high-energy dance 8 piece band Funktion, reggae indie-rock soul band Roster McCabe, local high school bands Ratone and Motus Mixus, Garrett Borns Band, Northshore, One Hot Robot and “musical mad scientist” That 1 Guy. Roaming entertainment is a circus of fun from LED hula hoopers to fire twirlers and champion parkour urban gymnastics. Additional local and national acts will be announced in the coming weeks to fill the multiple stages including one being the Nauti-Cat on the water.

Festival hours will be 5-10 p.m. on Friday, June 1 and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturday, June 2. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door and include spectator access to all festival tournaments, activities, music and events. Attendees 21+ will have access to a Michigan microbrew & wine tent on-site featuring award-winning Michigan beverages and pint/pour specials. Saturday, June 2 is Family Day during the day and will feature free festival admission from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with family-focused entertainment and events highlighted throughout the morning and afternoon. Festival tickets go on sale on Tuesday, May 1 and can be purchased online at This is a zero-waste, recycling-focused event, with free water featured on-site at the festival.

Complete ticket and festival information for the Great Wakes Festival can be found online at Interested sponsors, vendors, partners and participants can contact Porterhouse Productions at 231-499-4968 or for more information or to get involved.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Food Dance welcomes local forager Andy Davis for spring "From the Wild" Dinner - Thursday, May 17

Join Saveur magazine’s “Local Forager of the Year” Andy Davis for an exclusive spring-themed dinner at Food Dance in downtown Kalamazoo, on Thursday, May 17. Foodies are invited to savor the bounty of Davis’ ways during the “From the Wild” Dinner. The dinner runs from 6-8pm and cost $49 per person, plus tax/gratuity.

Among the items that Chef Robb Hammond will be crafting into the four-course dinner are ramps, morels and fiddleheads. The exact menu will be a surprise, based on the harvest in the days leading up to the dinner.

Andy and his family – wife, Michelle and their three children – collectively love the outdoors and have found foraging a joyous recreational activity that they can all take part in.

“Foraging gives us powerful tools for teaching our kids about the world and helps to satisfy our need to be in the wild,” Andy says. “ Foraging encourages the kids’ curiousity and interest in nature, while providing a template for introducing them to economics and planning, as well as the importance of good stewardship and respect for others.”

Andy – a builder, geologist and field naturalist, and Michelle – a geographer and experiential/environmental educator – share a passion for living close to the earth and have a small piece of land outside of Kalamazoo where they keep a large organic garden, raise heritage meat chickens, make maple syrup and landscape for biodiversity.

“We both have a lifelong interest in all things edible and collectively have years of experience finding, tasting, testing and tracking down wild edibles to set on our table,” says Andy. “In doing so, we have developed an intimate relationship with the habits, habitats and haunts of our local flora and fauna.”

To make reservations for the Food Dance “From the Wild” dinner with Andy Davis, call 269-382-1888.

Food Dance is a locally-owned company committed to growing profitability through positive relationships between suppliers, staff and guests. As one of the original West Michigan farm-to-fork restaurants dedicated to using locally-produced food, the culinary team at Food Dance works to provide a positive environmental impact and educates its staff and guests on the importance that this mindset has to the culture and community in which we live. Food Dance also supports the belief that we are all mutually-accountable to obtain excellence, by providing opportunities that create community engagement through great food and great service.

401 E. Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo MI 49007

Saugatuck Brewing Company’s - ESB/Amber Awarded “Best in Show” at World Expo of Beer

Saugatuck Brewing Company is pleased to announce their ESB/Amber has been awarded overall “Best in Show” at the World Expo of Beer competition, held on April 28 in Frankenmuth, MI.

This year’s competition included over 600 entries from 73 breweries in 13 states and from 10 countries. Inspired by English pub ales, the ESB (Extra Special Bitter)/Amber is brewed with 6 different malts as well as Tettnang, Goldings and Willamette hops. It is available in 6-packs and on tap throughout Michigan. SBC also was awarded a Silver medal in the Spice/Herb category for their Serrano Pepper Ale.

Saugatuck Brewing Co. is a microbrewery with a traditional Irish style pub and upscale banquet room, “The Singapore Room” featuring hand crafted beer, wine, food, and service. Fifteen unique beer styles, all brewed in house, plus wine and hard cider are served daily in the Pub. “SBC” also distributes six styles in 6 and 4-packs, plus kegs throughout lower Michigan. 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 Company
2948 Blue Star Hwy.
Douglas, MI 49406
(269) 857-7222

South Haven Family Campground to Double in Size

A major expansion is underway at South Haven Family Campground meaning more family fun for West Michigan campers and outdoor recreationalists. The expansion nearly doubles the offerings and amenities at the campground, which sits on 50 acres just ¼ a mile from the Kal Haven Trail and 5.5 miles east of the sandy shores of Lake Michigan.

“We are so excited and yet overwhelmed with the growth this year,” says Susan Novotny, who owns the park with her husband, Kyle. They purchased the land in 1999, opening their main building in 2007 and the campground in 2008. “We started to camp as a family when our oldest was six months old,” Susan says. “Now, our children – Katie and Kylie – are in college, yet we still share in the joy of camping together.”

Currently, the campground offers 37 sites, five cabins and one cottage, as well as a camp store, restroom facilities, dump station, laundry facilities, game room, “Triple K” Raceway and Camp “Grounds” Espresso Bar and CafĂ©.

The expansion adds to that 33 water and electric sites, three cabins, two park models, a 40x120 pavilion and pet park area. Special attractions will also include a jumping pillow, water-wars feature and several new bikes for campers to rent. All cabins are outfitted with Keurig coffee makers and a new security gate is also being installed.

Renting cabins at South Haven Family Campground start at $64 per night up to $159 per night, depending on the amenities. Two of the cabins have outdoor hot tubs, which means they usually are rented first.

Families enjoy unlimited activities at South Haven Family Campground, with themed weekends – including the September 28 Halloween Spooktacular and the “Everything Chocolate” Weekend with a chocolate slip-n-slide, chocolate pudding wrestling, chocolate milk guzzling (out of a baby bottle) and other planned activities. Craft projects and events like outdoor movies, are also offered throughout the summer.

South Haven Family campground is open April 15 through October 30 each year. It has been one of the “A” rated parks for the fourth year in a row for customer service on Only 44 parks nationwide were given this honor in 2011.

03403 64th Street
South Haven, MI 49090
(269) 627-6153

South Haven Family Campground is a proud member of the Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds – Michigan (

Monday, May 7, 2012

Motor City Tour Company Presents: 2012 Motor City Bike & Brew Tour Dates

Learn about prohibition, gangs and Detroit's brewing history from your own two wheels. Motor City Tour Company presents guided bike tours to historical bootlegging and brewery sites in Detroit. Discover the "D" from the seat of your bike! 20 public bike tour dates are available from April through October. We can arrange private bike tours by request for groups as small as 8.

Our tour guides will take you on a bike ride through Detroit’s past and present. We offer 2 different bike tours to choose from, "Prohibition" and "Brewery" history themed tours. Both tours offer you a relaxed pace for all biking abilities. Click on this link to see a video of the bike tour in action on the Motor City Brew Tours You Tube page.

Your ticket includes guided bike tour with support staff, historical overview at each site, beverage (beer or soda) and lunch. Please note that our bike tours are "BYOB", Bring Your Own Bike. Bicycle rental options are available. Tickets are $27.99 each and can be purchased at our website:

Tour #1 - Brewery History Bike Tour - Learn about Detroit's brewing past and present. You will see former brewery sites in downtown Detroit and bike by the new generation of breweries. This is a 10-mile tour route for all biking abilities.

Tour #2 - Prohibition History Bike Tour - Learn about Detroit's bootlegging, rumrunners and gangs during Prohibition. This bike tour will take you to Belle Isle and back. This is a 15-mile tour route for all biking abilities.

About Motor City Tour Company:
Under the names Motor City Brew Tours and Motor City Bike & Brew Tours, we want to show that the locally made movement is alive and well in Michigan. Come join us to gain a new perspective about Michigan made products. We offer year-round guided Bus, Bike & Walking tours to breweries in Michigan.

Find us online: