Thursday, September 27, 2012

Salt of the Earth & New Holland Brewing Company Host 2nd Annual Harvest Dinner (Thurs Oct 18)

A five-course Harvest Dinner – showcasing the award-winning craft beers from New Holland Brewing Company and the region’s agricultural bounty – will grace the table at Salt of the Earth in downtown Fennville on Thursday, October 18 at 7pm.

In the days before the dinner, teams from Salt of the Earth and New Holland Brewing will visit local farms – walking fields, tasting produce, talking to farmers and gathering ingredients and inspiration for this special menu. These farms include Evergreen Lane Farm & Creamery, Coachstop Farms, Cranes Orchard & Eaters Guild. The crafting of the menu and the meal itself will be a collaboration between Salt’s Executive Chef Matthew Pietsch and New Holland’s “Beervangelist” Fred Bueltmann.

Each course will be paired with beers from New Holland – likely to include Hopivore, a Harvest Ale wet-hopped with 100% Michigan hops; Ichabod Ale brewed with pumpkin; Grain of Salt - an ale with Michigan wheat and hops, collaboratively brewed earlier this summer to celebrate Salt of the Earth's 3rd Anniversary; and a barrel-aged Grain of Salt, with smoked blueberries.

New Holland’s “Harvest Series” is a collection of events running mid-September through mid-October that celebrate the local agriculture bounty. Through this series, guests are invited to learn about farms, artisan producers and more at various soirees designed to boost awareness of the incredible agricultural region in which we live. Events take place both in the Pub in Holland and out and about in the market.

Space for the dinner is limited to 50 people, and reservations are required. Call 269-561-SALT (7258). The cost for each dining experience is only $60 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Dinner starts at 7pm and is expected to last approximately two hours.

Salt of the Earth - rustic American eatery and bakery is located in a historic building in downtown Fennville, in the heart of southwest Michigan farm and orchard country. A meal at the restaurant is an authentic Midwest American rustic food experience, built from a foundation of fresh high quality seasonal ingredients from growers within a fifty-mile radius of Allegan County. Under the direction of rising star Chef Matthew Pietsch, the SotE kitchen cooks from scratch to create dinner entrees, wood oven fired pizzas, creative soups, fresh salads, desserts, and artisan breads.

A full-service bar proudly serves Michigan craft beers, hard ciders, spirits, and wines alongside other domestic and international products. Salt of the Earth is also a popular entertainment destination presenting the finest roots musicians on the scene at weekly house concerts.

Expect a high quality destination dining experience in a relaxed and casual atmosphere. Please call 269.561.7258 or visit for menus, current hours of operation, house concert, and event schedules.

New Holland Brewing Company, established in 1997, has grown from a scrappy two-man start-up to a thriving regional craft brewery and craft distillery, recognized for its creativity and artistry. Their mission “to enhance customer’s quality of life by providing the most remarkable experience possible and empower an artistic approach in all aspects of our craft” shows up in our diverse, balanced collection of beer and spirits. New Holland brews and distills at two locations in Holland, Michigan (a production facility on the north side and the Pub & Restaurant, downtown). The restaurant welcomes guests seven days a week and production tours are on Saturday afternoons. In 2012, New Holland Brewing will ship more than 20,000 barrels of beer across 15 states and shipped several thousand cases of spirits to more than eight Midwestern states. For more information about this award-winning brewery, distillery and restaurant, visit

Monday, September 24, 2012

"Lord of the Gourd" Takes 2012 Show on the Road

Be awed and inspired this harvest season with the intricate artwork demonstrations by custom pumpkin carver Pat Harrison – the self-proclaimed “Lord of the Gourd.” Harrison, who hails from Allegan County and currently resides on the Leelanau Peninsula, showcases his creative carving skills at throughout the state in the coming months. The schedule is below.

“It all started more than a dozen years ago in Oakland County at Oakhaven Farm near Holly where Nick and Pam Nichols saw what I did and asked if I'd be interested in carving at their farm on weekends…it just grew from there,” Harrison says.

Harrison is making autumn rounds throughout Michigan, transforming pumpkins and gourds into intricate decorations, while also entertaining his crowd by providing musical entertainment via harmonica.

“Everything I carve, I do freehand…I prefer to make it up as I go along,” says Harrison. “If you try to make it look like something, sometimes you end up fighting the pumpkin instead of doing what feels naturally. I'll start with a pair of eyes and just take it from there.”

Much of his free time is spent driving around seeking the perfect pumpkin for sculpting. “The more unusual the shape, the better,” he says. ”Sometimes I can already see what the pumpkin has to be when I see the shape.”

During the course of the day, Harrison can create as many as 10 works of art, depending on the size of the pumpkin and the level of interaction with his audience. Sometimes he carves whole pumpkins and sometimes they are hollowed out, so that they can be illuminated. Each offers a very different overall look to the finished project.

Because of the sharp tools, he’s careful not to rush his projects. “Safety has to come first…I consider it a successful day if I still have 10 fingers at the end of the day!” Harrison says his tools are very basic and include an Exacto blade, penknife, paring knife and clay carving chisels used to clean up the edges. “I actually got my two favorite knives at garage sales!”

“People ask so many interesting questions and also the basics like ‘How long does it last?’ or ‘Where do you get your ideas,’” says Harrison, who jokes that his designs are not borrowed from Martha Stewart.

To read more about the Lord of the Gourd, check out this article by Promote Michigan’s Dianna Stampfler, which appeared in the fall 2011 issue of Michigan HOME & Lifestyle Magazine:


Sept 29-30 South Lyon Pumpkin Festival (11am-5pm)
Oct 2 Grand Traverse Pavilions (9am-4pm)
Oct 3 St. Mary's of Hannah in Kingsley (9am-3pm)
Oct 4 Nonna's at The Homestead Resort in Glen Arbor (5-8pm)
Oct 5 12-4 the Fruit Dock in Traverse City (Noon-4pm)
Oct 6 Benzie Fall Fest in Beulah (10am-3pm)
Oct 7 Great Water Festival St. Ignace (11am-3pm)
Oct 11 Kingsley Library (3:30-6pm)
Oct 12 the Pathfinder School TC (Noon-1:30pm)
Oct 13 Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor (Noon-4pm)
Oct 14 the Jolly Pumpkin Pumpkinfest III on Old Mission Peninsula (Noon5pm)
Oct 15 Oshtemo Library (2-7pm)
Oct 16 Otsego Library (2-7pm)
Oct 17 Kalamazoo Library (2-7pm)
Oct 18 Allegan Library (1-5pm)
Oct 21 Robinette's Cider Mill in Grand Rapids (Noon-5pm)
Oct 22 Mattawan Library (2-7pm)
Oct 24 Bay Ridge Assisted Living (12:30-4:30pm)
Oct 25 Charlevoix Library (10:30am-4:30pm)
Oct 27 Jeep Creep in Gladwin (2-7pm)
Oct 30 Fife Lake Library (1-6pm)
Nov 3 Cherry Republic in Traverse City (1-3pm)

More dates/venues may be added.

To book the Lord of the Gourd, contact Pat Harrison:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hooligan Strikes Again! North Peak's Pumpkin Ale Bottle Form

The shenanigans continue as North Peak Brewing Company announces the return of Hooligan – a hoppy 5.5ABV/35IBU pumpkin beer, just in time for the fall harvest season. For the first time, Hooligan makes is arrival not only on draft but also in the brand’s trademark 12-ounce stubby-bottle 6-packs.

“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 now through October when the last pumpkin is smashed. Find it throughout Michigan and Ohio, wherever your favorite North Peak beer is 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 Civilized line of spirits and Bonafide Wines. 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 its 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

Monday, September 17, 2012

Saugatuck Brewing expands into Chicago market

Saugatuck Brewing Company has entered into a distribution agreement with Louis Glunz Beers, Inc. and will be offering product throughout metro Chicago beginning this month. This adds to the existing distribution of the full state of Michigan.

To celebrate the launch, SBC will be hosting promotions and “tap takeovers” in various Chicago craft beer pubs during the week of Sept. 24.

SBC recently underwent its third brewery expansion in less than 12 months, more than doubling their brewing capacity during this period.

Saugatuck Brewing Company is a microbrewery with a family friendly pub/restaurant, complete with outdoor seating and an upscale banquet room (“The Singapore Room”). Fifteen unique beer styles, all brewed in house, plus wine and hard cider are served daily in the Pub. “SBC” also distributes eight styles in 6 and 4-packs, plus kegs throughout Michigan and metro Chicago. The brewery features one of 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

The Brew Trail Starts In Michigan!

Great American Brew Trail Announces Launch of Television Series On ABC Affiliate WOTV4 Sponsored By Spartan Flagship Stores

Premiering Friday September 28, 2012 at 7:30 PM on WOTV 4.

The Great American Brew Trail is a Grand Rapids MI based, nationally produced program that captures the excitement and growth of the microbrewery industry.

“After three months of production throughout Michigan the 1st season will premier September 28,” says Executive Producer Matt Renner. The 13-episode season features talented Host, Home Brewer and Chef, Amy Sherman “Tasting her way across the USA one pint at a time.”

Traveling throughout Michigan in Season 1, the Great American Brew Trail spotlights breweries that are top shelf in craft beer creations. GABT is a journey into the growing culture of food, beer and fun.

Small breweries have been a staple of local communities throughout history and the resurgence of local craft beer is something sponsor Spartan Flagship Stores (D&W, Family Fare, VG’s and Glens) are excited to support – especially here in Michigan, where around 100 breweries now operate. The Great American Brew Trail program highlights the passions and creativity of the breweries in the TV style of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.

In April, 2012, the Great American Brew Trail won the inaugural Eclipse Award for excellence in TV series production for its pilot episode. Presented by WKTV in Grand Rapids, with the West Michigan Film Video Alliance, the Eclipse Award honors the best original works in film, video, sound and television production. GABT Show Creator & Executive Producer, Matt Renner, and Host & Producer, Amy Sherman, accepted the award.

For up to date info on the Great American Brew Trail visit: |

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Homestead Plans 4-Day Oktoberfest Celebration (October 4-7)

In 1810, the Crown Prince Ludwig was married to Princess Therese of Bavaria. The party they held was so popular that they decided to repeat it every year. In celebration of this honored Oktoberfest tradition, The Homestead is planning a weekend gathering, October 4-7.

A series of events designed to pay tribute both to German traditions and Northern Michigan’s own local harvest will provide an opportunity for people to come together and celebrate the bounty of the autumn harvest, along with good company, good food and good beer.

The weekend’s activities include:

Thursday, October 4 (6-8pm) – Nonna’s Beer Tasting: guests will sample a variety of the best local and international beers, all carefully chosen and presented by The Homestead.

Friday, October 5 – Nonna’s Beer Dinner: featuring the microbrews from the award-winning Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, carefully matched to a variety of dishes by Executive Chef John Piombo. (Cost: $65 per person, plus gratuity and tax).

Saturday, October 6 – Charcuterie Demonstration: Chef Piombo – who trained in Germany as well as Italy, France, and the United States – will share information (and samples) about charcuterie (the craft of smoking, salting and curing meats). (Cost: $50 per person, plus gratuity and tax).

Sunday, October 7 – Car Show & Cookout: guests will round out the weekend with some traditional fare such as Weisswurst and soft pretzels, while admiring a variety of vintage cars on the lawn of The Inn. The car show and cook-out from 11am to 4pm. Show participants may register the day of the event for $10 per vehicle which includes lunch.

Weekend lodging packages available including lodging, breakfast buffet each morning, beer dinner and charcuterie demonstration.

The Homestead is Northern Michigan’s largest waterfront resort community located in the heart of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, an area voted by viewers of ABC’s Good Morning America as the “Most Beautiful Place in America”. 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 or call 231.334.5100. “Like” The Homestead on Facebook: and follow on Twitter at @TheHomesteadMI.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Michigan Wine Goes Viral:

Cherries & Grapes, a Michigan-based business, launched an online marketplace in August offering a variety of Michigan wine and specialty products. Consumers can now have their favorite wine, cider and specialty products shipped directly from Michigan producers on the marketplace. Likewise, Michigan businesses can now easily and safely offer their products online, with no upfront cost.

“We are doubling down on Michigan,” says the Cherries & Grapes Team. “Anyone that has spent time in our great state knows that Michigan has amazing products and wonderful people. We’re putting our money on that winning combination.”

Wineries and cider producers are now able to quickly get up-and-running with, complete with automated ID verification and logistics assistance.

“We like to think that we make life easier for Michigan businesses that want to sell online,” representatives from Cherries & Grapes says. “The best part is that producers avoid the headaches of developing their own solution, and leverage the collective marketing and technology experience offered by Cherries & Grapes.”

According to Michael Mikhjian, Cherries & Grapes Chief Technology Officer, a store can be online and processing orders in a day or two.

Cherries & Grape’s first online retail store is Chateau de Leelanau, a Michigan Vineyard and Winery located just north of Traverse City on the Leelanau Peninsula.

“Chateau de Leelanau has award-winning wines, but they are not available outside their tasting room in Suttons Bay,” comments the team. “By offering their wines on, they are able to deliver wine to customers anywhere in Michigan in a very cost-effective way.”

In addition to providing an online storefront, Cherries & Grapes also promotes its partners on various social media platforms and via other marketing channels.

Companies interested in featuring their wine, cider and specialty products on should email:

Cherries and Grapes, LLC
2232 S Main St., Suite 441
Ann Arbor, MI 48103-6938

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Saugatuck Brewing Company launches fall seasonal Bonfire Brown Ale

Saugatuck Brewing Company has introduced its fall seasonal offering, Bonfire Brown Ale. Brewed with ten different malts and Cascade and U.S. Goldings hops, it is a classic American Brown Ale with a slight smoky character. It is moderate in alcohol volume (5.5% ABV) with relatively low bitterness (20 IBUs). To celebrate the occasion, SBC will host a “Party on the Patio” Sunday, September 9th from 3-6 pm. Bonfire Brown is available in 6-packs and on tap throughout Michigan and will be available this fall in the Chicago market.

Saugatuck Brewing Company is a microbrewery with a traditional Irish style pub and upscale banquet room (“The Singapore Room”). Fifteen unique beer styles, all brewed in house, plus wine and hard cider are served daily in the Pub. “SBC” also distributes eight styles in 6 and 4-packs, plus kegs throughout Michigan (plus Chicago, fall 2012). The brewery features one of 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

October is Full of Flavor & Color on Beaver Island

The weekend of October 6 will be among the most colorful, recreational and flavorful on Beaver Island.

Beginning at 10am at the historic Print Shop, the Island Boodle 5k Run takes participants through scenic St. James, along the waterfront and back through wooded trails during one of the most beautiful times of year. Benefitting Island Sports Boosters, the event draws serious runners as well as families, many with babies in strollers and four-legged friends.

As Mother Nature paints the trees in vibrant shades of reds, yellows and oranges, the island’s amateur and professional chefs will be serving up tasteful samples of seasonal treats during the 11th Annual Bite of Beaver Island Food Festival. Enjoy bite size bits of everything from soups and pizzas and other specialty fare, all at affordable prices. Activities will be held from Noon-3pm at the Holy Cross Hall.

Also part of the day’s festivities is an Arts & Crafts Show will take place at the Community Center from 11am-4pm and an “Apple Pie Contest” at Holy Cross Hall at 1:30pm. During the evening, the island’s pubs will be offering live music and entertainment.

Once on the island – whether participating in the Boodle or Bite of Beaver – visitors will find plenty of fall colors and natural activity to keep busy. The West Michigan Tourist Association features a Beaver Island Color Tour Route as one of 26 on its website:

“Starting at the ferry dock in "downtown" St. James, turn right at the Do It Best Hardware. Turn left at the top of the hill onto The Kings Highway heading south out of "town". Turn left on McCauley's Road. Turn right on East Side Drive. At the south end of the island it becomes West Side. Don't forget to stop and visit the Lighthouse just before Iron Ore Bay. Cross the 4-way intersection onto Paid Een Ogs Road. Turn left onto The Kings Hwy back to town.”

“Beaver Island's fall colors are spectacular and occur a little later than on the mainland because of the temperature moderation brought about by Lake Michigan,” says Steve West, Director of the Beaver Island Chamber of Commerce. “By early October, colors should be making a spectacular show – just in time for the Island Boodle and Bite of Beaver.”

Overnight rooms during the fall season on Beaver Island start at $75/night and Oak Wood Condos is offering two-bedroom suites (with kitchen and living areas) starting at $95/night.

Getting to Beaver Island is easy. The Beaver Island Boat Company runs through December, with limited runs in the early and late season. The 32-mile ride takes approximately two hours. Participants of the Island Boodle can get a discounted fare – at just $40/roundtrip for adults and $20/roundtrip for children. Fresh Air Aviation and Island Airways also both provide plane service to the island. All three services operate out of Charlevoix.

Those searching for a truly removed up-north destination will find it on Beaver Island, one of the purist four-season vacation destinations in Michigan. When it comes to natural escapes, nothing compares to America’s Emerald Isle – Beaver Island. For more information, call 231-448-2505 or log onto

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Jolly Pumpkin’s De Viento Brew to Benefit Dexter Relief Fund and Victims of Spring Tornadoes

On March 15, 2012, a devastating tornado touched down in the small southeastern community of Dexter, Michigan – the hometown of one of the nation’s most noted craft breweries: Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales. While the brewery itself was not damaged in the storm, the compassionate owners and staff felt the immediate need to help out their neighbors who were affected by doing what they do best – make beer.

“Teaming up with co-conspirators Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company, Schera’s Algerian Restaurant and The Abu Nawas Beverage Company, we’ve come up with a beer like none other,” says Brewer Ron Jeffries.

This dark and smoky-sour Saison is full of rich aromatic coffee and the spicy heat of Algerian spices – like grains of paradise, cinnamon, coriander and saffron – aged in oak barrels. Named “De Viento” – which in Spanish means “wind” – this beer is affectionately called “Tornado Relief Beer” by those at the brewery.

100% of the proceeds from the sale of this beer will be donated to the Dexter Area Tornado Relief Fund.

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales is dedicated to more than the traditions of old world craftsmanship. Everything they do is designed to create ales of outstanding art and flavor. Focusing on traditional rustic country style beers brought to life through labor and love, Jolly Pumpkin strives to create beers to lighten the spirit and soothe the soul

The Jolly Pumpkin is part of Northern United Brewing Co., which also encompasses the Grizzly Peak and North Peak Beer Co. craft beer brands, as well as Civilized Spirits and Bonafide Wine. 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 5600-square-foot facility on Old Mission Peninsula adjacent to Mission Table restaurant (former Bowers Harbor Inn) or at the original Jolly Pumpkin brewing 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.

Jolly Pumpkin Brewing Company