Thursday, January 31, 2013

Valentine Distilling Adds Liberator Gin to Award-Winning Portfolio

Detroit-based Valentine Distilling Co. announces the release of Liberator Gin to its award-winning portfolio. Eight of the world’s finest botanicals were hand-selected to craft this latest American-made spirit.

“In limited batches, we delicately impart the flavors through our award-winning process, says Rifino Valentine, micro-distiller and owner of Valentine Vodka in Ferndale. “The bold flavors are macerated for several days before alembic distillation, while the delicate profiles are infused using a specially designed botanical vessel designed especially for Valentine Distilling Co. by Christian Carl Stills of Germany.”

The result, says Valentine, is a well-balanced, multi-layered flavor – beginning with soft juniper, carried through with cardamom and coriander, and finishing with a light cinnamon flavor.

Liberator Gin is named in honor of the B-24 Liberator Bomber. Early in World War II, Ford Motor Company built the Willow Run plant near Detroit to produce the B-24 Liberator – cementing Detroit’s nickname as the “arsenal of democracy.” Carefully hand-crafted, this delightfully-unique gin salutes Rosie the Riveter and all the American workers who helped secure victory.

First introduced to the marketplace in March 2009, award-winning triple-grain Valentine Vodka was Detroit’s first micro-distilled spirit since Prohibition. In 2012, Valentine released the delicate and fragrant White Blossom – infused with the flowers of Elderflower.

Last year, the original Valentine Vodka was recognized by Anthony Dias Blue, editor-in-chief of The Tasting Panel magazine as one of the top vodkas in the country with a 94-point ranking – placing higher than noted international brands like Belvedere, Ketel One, Grey Goose and Absolut. It was awarded a Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2012. In 2011, it received a Double Gold Medal in the “Best Domestic Vodka” category by The Beverage Tasting Institute also awarded Valentine Vodka with a Gold Medal “Exceptional” in both 2010 and 2011.

Valentine Distilling products can now be found in more than 1800 outlets throughout Michigan, Illinois and Tennessee.

161 Vester Street – Ferndale, Michigan

Monday, January 28, 2013

Kent County Hotels, Restaurants & Businesses United to Fight Breast Cancer

This coming February, local hotels, restaurants, businesses and special lecture series will be rolling out the pink carpet to educate the community on breast cancer through Susan G. Komen West Michigan

More than 23 Local hotels and, restaurants, and multiple businesses are taking action to end breast cancer by partnering with Susan G. Komen West Michigan for the entire month of February in an endeavor titled Experience Pink. Every 74 seconds, somewhere in the world, someone dies from breast cancer. Experience Pink will spread awareness and raise needed funds for the ongoing fight to end breast cancer. This year there will be a lunch and learn lecture series hosted by the JW Marriott featuring local authors who are breast cancer survivors on Feb 15 and 26 from 12-2pm. There are events, hotel packages and much more to see and do all month long.

Show the love – make an impact. The community is encouraged to enjoy a night out at one of the many participating Kent County hotels or downtown businesses or restaurants, knowing a portion of their evening will go towards funding grants to local hospitals and community organizations that provide breast health education and breast cancer screening and treatment programs.

“Many families in Kent County are affected by breast cancer as well as many families coming into Grand Rapids’ Medical Mile,” states Doug Small, president Experience Grand Rapids. “Experience Pink is a great collaboration with Susan G. Komen and our tourism industry to give back to the community and help in the continued dedication to finding a cure and providing hope.”

“We are thrilled by the generosity of the community and this opportunity to bring awareness and an end to breast cancer. 75% of the funds raised by Susan G. Komen West Michigan stay right here in West Michigan, helping women who need it the most. One out of every 8 will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime and having services locally to support them is vital,” said Jennifer Jurgens, executive director of Susan G. Komen West Michigan.

“The JW Marriott considers it an honor to be taking part in this endeavor and as President of the Kent County Lodging Association we felt it was vital to do something to make a difference and bring the community together. I lost my mom to breast cancer and ever since then my family and I have been very passionate about making a difference. The Experience Pink event allows us all to create awareness, fundraise and change lives, together we are stronger,” said Brian Behler, director of Rooms at the JW Marriott.

“Downtown and its merchants are happy to support this important campaign that is working to end breast cancer and will welcome survivors and their families and friends to Grand Rapids. Our merchants will participate in several ways to show their support and turn the downtown pink,” said Nicole Weichelt, marketing coordinator for the Downtown Alliance.

For a list of participating hotels, restaurants, business and special events go to For more information on how you can join the fight to end breast cancer visit

About Susan G. Komen West Michigan

The West Michigan Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® is dedicated to combating breast cancer at every front. Up to 75 percent of the Affiliate’s net income goes toward funding grants to local hospitals and community organizations that provide breast health education and breast cancer screening and treatment programs for medically underserved women. The remaining net income (a minimum of 25 percent) supports the national Komen Grants Program, which funds groundbreaking breast cancer research, meritorious awards and educational and scientific programs around the world.
The Komen West Michigan Affiliate’s services area covers Kent, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, and Ottawa counties. Thanks to the thousands of people who participate in the Susan G. Komen West Michigan Race for the Cure® and other Affiliate events each year, dedicated corporate partners and generous donors, Komen West Michigan is playing a vital role in fighting breast cancer in our community.

About Experience Grand Rapids the convention & visitors bureau

Grand Rapids is the second largest city in Michigan located in the heart of Michigan’s West Coast. This destination provides a remarkable combination of urban sophistication and smalltown warmth in a region of abundant natural resources. Start your experience of Grand Rapids, Kent County and Michigan’s West Coast at

Wolverine State Brewing Company announces capacity expansion

The Wolverine State Brewing Company is expanding for the second time in two years. With the arrival and installation of new fermentation and conditioning tanks being added to its cellaring operation, the brewery’s production capacity is doubling. Sales in 2012 exceeded company expectations with nearly 1100 barrels sold between retail and wholesale business.

In 2012, the company declared that it is “Leading the Lager Revolution,” and it remains one of the nation’s only lager-centric craft microbreweries with 15 different lagers currently on tap in the Tap Room. The brewery’s three flagship beers—Wolverine Premium, Dark, Amber lagers—are available in six-packs at most major grocery store chains in Washtenaw and Livingston counties including several Meijer, Whole Foods, Busch’s and Kroger stores. In 2013 a fourth year-round bottled beer will be available: the unique and highly sought after Gulo Gulo. This ground-breaking beer is styled as an “India Pale Lager,” and is brewed with over 3 lbs. of hops per barrel and dry-hopped twice.

As a lager-centric small brewery, the Wolverine State Brewing Company is proud to push boundaries for a once-maligned segment of beers. This year, patrons will be able to try numerous new one-of-a-kind lager beers, including:

• BARISTA, a brown lager made with coffee in collaboration with RoosRoast of Ann Arbor;
• REVILO, an India Red Lager;
• GREENTHUMB- a lower alcohol, more citrusy version of the India Pale Lager, Gulo Gulo;
• CHRYSALIS, a Belgian Wit lager;
• VERANO, a Mexican style lager;
• WOOD AGED SERIES including a German-style bock aged on hickory and an India Pale Lager aged on soft maple.

The brewers at the Wolverine State Brewing Company hand craft every batch with care and precision and allow ample time for all the lagers to come into their own. This means that the time “from grain to glass” is much longer, and the amount of beer available for sale or purchase is less, than at ale-centric breweries. The sales numbers can be deceiving since many ale breweries can produce and sell up to 5000 barrels with the same or similar tank capacity. But when the founders of The Wolverine State Brewing Company decided to “go all lager” they put their time, money and craftsmanship behind this unique and expensive business model. So far, all signs point to success, with a Tap Room expansion done, and standing room only crowds most nights.

The lagers-versus-ales-debate is one of taste and preference for drinkers, but for breweries, it is a matter of business choice. The Wolverine State Brewing Company has become a local favorite very quickly. And has more plans for expansion in the works.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Saugatuck Brewing Company launches 3rd Annual "Beer School 101"

SBC will again be hosting a series of tasting events designed to educate the craft beer community. They will be held on the last Thursdays of Jan, Feb, March and April at 7 PM and will be hosted by SBC Sales Manager Scott Farney and brewers John Stewart and Dexter Gauntlett.

Tickets are available at the door only at $10/person ($8-Pint Club members) (except for Thurs. April 25th $15/pp, $12/Pint Club members).

Topics will cover:

Thurs. 1/31 – The Wonders of Beer Yeast

Thurs. 2/28 – All About Hops

Thurs. 3/28 – World Beer Styles

Thurs 4/28 – The Flavors of Beer with Food (will include pairing of 5 different beers with small food portions)

More detailed information can be found at

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 ten styles in 6 and 4-packs, plus kegs throughout Michigan and metro Chicago. The brewery features one of the only active brew-on-premise facilities 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

Harmony Brewing Celebrates First Anniversary on February 1 with Party & Commemorative Brew

On Friday February 1st Harmony Brewing Company at 1551 Lake Drive in Eastown will celebrate its year anniversary by throwing a birthday party. As part of the festivities they will release the commemorative beer: Birthday Barleywine.

According to Co-Owner and Co-Brewer Jackson Van Dyke, “We thought that because we are a new member to Beer City U.S.A. and part of a state that is emerging as a beer powerhouse that to celebrate our anniversary we would brew a beer with hops grown in the city of Grand Rapids and use grain grown and malted in Michigan. It is a malty, slightly sweet beer that has a strong hop bitterness and aroma. It is also smooth, so its 9% alcohol by volume is deceptive and will have you in a celebratory mood."

The party, which will include the normal birthday party traditions like cake and balloons will celebrate Harmony’s tremendously successful first year. Harmony quickly established itself as a fixture in the Eastown neighborhood and drew large crowds and a loyal customer base with its small batches of well -balanced beer and rustic wood fired pizzas. In November Harmony was awarded the prestigious Gerald R. Hemholdt Award for excellence in a Neighborhood Business District. They were also awarded the first ever “Best Neighborhood Pint” award.

"It is an amazing time to be in the beer industry!” said co-owner and co-Brewer Barry Van Dyke. “This city is a BEER TOWN: the people know and love their beer. Combine the constant engagement with a pumped up and dedicated client base with the amazingly synergistic relationship that exists with other breweries in the area, and you get a brewery culture that pushes everyone to be highly creative and produce a truly excellent product. I think that everybody expects big things to evolve from the Grand Rapids Beer scene. We're so happy that our little brewpub gets to be part of the action, it's more than we could have imagined in just one year’s time."

Harmony Brewing Company is poised for continued growth. An expanded menu is in the works and there are plans for reinvestment in the brewpub’s facilities. Harmony will also be adding taps and featuring a bi-weekly cask aged series.

“We love being a part of this neighborhood.” said co-owner Heather Van Dyke-Titus. “We’ve been able to employ 26 local folks this year. Many of them walk to work. For us to have such a great reception in a neighborhood that we care so much about—that’s a true success. It means the world to us.”

According to Chef and Host of the Great American Brew Trail, Amy Sherman, “Hyper-local is the new local. Places like Harmony Brewing Company and The Mitten Brewing Co. here in GR are perfect desire to distribute, strong commitment to their neighborhood, thriving places to hang out and drink their own craft beer. I think we will see more of this in the bigger cities, a return to when there was a brewery in every neighborhood. So far this has been a formula for success for the Van Dykes and Harmony. I'm excited to see what this next year brings.”

Harmony Brewing Company is a Neighborhood Brewpub co-owned by three siblings: Barry and Jackson Van Dyke and Heather Van Dyke-Titus. They also own the sustainable real estate company: Bear Manor Properties-whose motto is “investing in communities”.

For more information check out our website: and our Facebook page.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cherries & Grapes Online Michigan Wine Marketplace Expands and Excites

Cherries & Grapes – an online marketplace for Michigan wine, cider and specialty products – has continued to expand its products and capabilities. Cascade Winery and Burgdorf’s Winery are the latest wineries to join the online marketplace for Michigan wine. In addition to more products, Cherries & Grapes has continued to add new capabilities, including club management and a Facebook App that allows wineries and cideries to sell their products directly from their Facebook page.

“We are excited by the warm welcome that we have received from Michigan wine and cider fans,” says Michael Mikhjian, co-founder and technology lead at Cherries & Grapes. Local Michigan wine and hard cider fans will benefit from online access to their favorite wineries and cideries. If customers cannot make a trip across the state to the tasting room, they are able to easily order online and receive their delivery within a couple days.

Over the past month, Cherries & Grapes has added a number of features that help customers easily purchase wine online. “We are particularly excited about the launch of our Facebook App,” says Michael. “Our clients can extend their online store to their Facebook page, where their customers spend most of their time visiting.”

In addition to their Facebook App, Cherries & Grapes has continually improved their social experience for customers. Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter support is built-in to allow customers to share their favorite products with friends and family.

While Cherries & Grapes is designed to be a customer-centric website, it also simplifies life for Cherries & Grapes clients. “Cherries & Grapes makes selling online easy,” says Michael. “Our wineries benefit from instant age verification, shipping automation, club management and useful reporting. They realize that they can quickly start selling online without any upfront investment or on-going commitment.”

Local Michigan wineries, cideries and specialty companies that are interested in selling online can contact Cherries & Grapes at info @

About Cherries & Grapes
Cherries & Grapes is an online marketplace of Michigan wine, cider and specialty products. Launched in 2012, as a Michigan-based start-up company, Cherries & Grapes has quickly grown to be the leader in online sales of local Michigan wine. Cherries & Grapes simplifies the process of selling online for wineries, cideries and specialty product companies.

Cherries and Grapes, LLC

Monday, January 21, 2013

Highly Anticipated Beer Hound Membership Card Features Discounts at 50+ Michigan Breweries & Beer Bars

The time has come for the launch of the Beerhound Membership card. This is a new and exciting way for all the loyal Howling Hounds across Michigan to actively participate in the Beerhound experience and to save money on food and merchandise while doing it at several dozen bars, restaurants, and breweries around the state.

The card costs $20 and comes with a full year's membership, or $35 for the card, membership, and exclusive 2013 Beerhound T-Shirt designed specifically for the card's release. Each participating location will be offering their own specific deal, most being around 10% to 15% off food or merchandise. There are currently over 50 participating locations around the state and the goal is to bring many more on board as time goes by.

This Membership Card is the product of many long hours of hard work by the Beerhound staff and they are proud and excited to be able to offer these savings to their loyal following. Eventually, the goal is to incorporate monthly member events at various participating locations throughout the state with tap-takeovers, special beer releases, and other exciting promotions.

About I'm a Beer Hound:
I'm a Beer Hound recently celebrated its second anniversary, but it started out as a simple, video beer review website. It has since grown into much more. Now, I'm a Beer Hound is a Michigan Beer News Website that releases usually an article each day that focuses on keeping up with the Michigan Beer scene. The site also has great features such as an extensive events calendar and an interactive user review system for beers, breweries, beer bars, and beer stores. They offer a unique way for Michigan beer lovers to interact and voice their opinions on the products and places they love in Michigan. In addition to their extensive online and social-media presence, I'm a Beerhound actively helps promote beer events & festivals around the state and holds monthly events of their own at various local bars and venues in the Lansing area.

Find Us Online at or

Friday, January 18, 2013

Hungry Village Tours Brings Gourmet Cooking Classes to Fennville’s “Salt of the Earth”

“Knead it,” “Grind it,” and “Toss it” at Salt of the Earth this winter! Join your friends at Salt of the Earth (SotE) for an exclusive glimpse into their kitchen as they present three intimate evenings with Chef Matthew Pietsch. These events will be demonstration based with hands-on elements throughout. Each event will begin at 6 p.m. and will last two to three hours. Included in these events will be a light, simple meal as well as recipes and instructional handouts.

“Salt of the Earth is typically closed on Tuesdays,” said David Geen of Hungry Village Tours. “Chef Matt is opening the restaurant specifically for these lessons so we have full use of the kitchen, restaurant, and most importantly, the complete and undivided attention of the chef!”

Tuesday, January 29th - “Knead It: The Secrets Behind SotE Seedy Salt and other Bread Techniques”. Salt of the Earth is known for their exceptional hearth-baked breads, including their signature loaf, Seedy Salt. Learn the secrets behind the SotE wood fired oven, wild cultured yeast, cold fermentation, and how to bake bread as it has been baked for hundreds of years. After the lesson, a simple dinner will be prepared and enjoyed with Chef Matt. Included with the lesson will be recipes for a simple approach to achieve SotE quality bread at home. Each participant will receive fresh-baked bread to bring home!

Tuesday, February 26th - “Grind It: The Art of Making Sausage”, also features a Michigan craft beer pairing. Pork is King at Salt of the Earth! SotE has featured its own house-made sausages since day one. Here is a chance to discover which cuts of meat are best to use, along with how to simply season pork. Discussion and demonstration will cover marinating, grinding, casing, and techniques for cooking a perfect link. As an added bonus, Michigan craft beer pairings will be explored with the flavor profiles in each sausage.

Tuesday, March 26th - “Toss It: Wood-Fired Pizza and Wine Pairing” will complete the series. At the centerpiece of the Salt of the Earth kitchen is an artisan wood fired oven. Chef Matthew has spent years perfecting SotE’s pizza dough and is anxious to pass this knowledge on. Amazing hand tossed dough combines with fresh locally sourced ingredients to create the perfect pie. Using a few special techniques for the crust, and under the direction of Chef Matt, participants will enjoy creating their own signature pizzas. Discussion will include tips to prepare amazing pizza at home. In addition, SotE Sommelier Jeremy Duggan will lead the group in a wine pairing discovering which varietals best accompany the pizza.

Classes will be limited to 20 people to maximize the experience. The cost for each event is $50.00 per person plus tax and gratuity.

For more information and reservations, call Hungry Village Tours at (269) 857-1700 or Salt of the Earth at (269) 561-SALT, or visit or

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Find ARVC Michigan’s Annual Private Campground Directory at these Consumer Shows in 2013

Each year, the Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds of Michigan (ARVC Michigan) attends a variety of consumer shows around the state – and beyond – to share information about its member campgrounds and the outdoor recreation industry. This year, nearly 20 shows are on the schedule including a handful in partnership with the West Michigan Tourist Association,* where ARVC Michigan will distribute its annual directory. The publication will also be available at 25 shows via Anderson Brochure Distribution Service.

The 2013 show schedule includes:


17-20 - Family RV Show MSU Pavilion, East Lansing
17-20 - Grand Rapids Camper, Travel & RV Show
24-27 - Toledo Camping & RV Show
26-27 - Chicago Travel & Adventure Show*
31-Feb 3 - Fort Wayne RV & Camping Show


1-3 - Mid Michigan Woman's Expo, Lansing*
1-3 - Hamilton RV Show Freelton, Ontario
7-10 - Detroit Camper & RV Show Novi
13-17 - Chicago RV Camping Show
21-24 - Outdoorama, Novi*


7-10 - Battle Creek Camper & RV Show
8-10 - West Michigan Woman's Expo, Grand Rapids*
14-17 - Flint Camper & RV Show
21-24 - Traverse City Northeast Camper & RV Show
21-24 - Ultimate Sports Show, Grand Rapids*


2-5 - International Women's Show, Novi*

ARVC-Michigan will also distribute literature at these shows, via Anderson Brochure Distribution Service:

Jan. 9-13 - Ohio RV Super show Cleveland, OH
Jan. 11-13 - Washington DC Expo Chantilly, VA
Jan. 11-13 - Lehigh Valley RV Show Allentown, PA
Jan. 12-20 - Pittsburgh RV Show Pittsburgh, PA
Jan. 15-20 - Florida RV Super show Tampa, FL
Jan. 17-20 - Toronto RV Show Toronto, Canada
Jan. 18-20 - New Jersey Camping Show Edison, NJ
Jan. 25-27 - North Carolina RVDA RV Show Charlotte, NC
Jan. 25-27 - Atlanta Camping &RV Show Atlanta, GA
Jan 31-Feb. 3 - Boston RV &Camping Expo Boston, MA
Feb. 2-10 - Eastern Sports &Travel Show Harrisburg, PA
Feb. 7-10 - Erie RV &Camping Spectacular Erie, PA
Feb. 8-10 - Richmond RV &Camping Expo Richmond, VA
Feb. 15-18 - Springfield RV Camping Show Springfield, MA
Feb. 15-18 - Northeast RV Show Suffern, NY
Feb.15-17 - Maryland RV Dealers Assoc. Show Timonium, MD
Feb. 22-24 - Maryland RV Dealers Assoc. Show Timonium, MD
Feb. 28-Mar. 3 - Central NYRV &Camping Show Syracuse, NY
Mar. 1-3 - Ottawa Show Ottawa, Canada
Mar. 1-3 - Greater Philadelphia RV Show Oaks, PA
Mar. 7-10 - Montreal International RV Show Montreal, Canada
Mar. 8-10 - Campers World RV Show York, PA
Mar. 21-24 - Quebec International RV Show Quebec, Canada
Apr. 5-7 - Vacationland RV and Camping Show Portland, ME
Sept. 9-15 - Pennsylvania RV &Camping Expo Hershey, PA

ARVC Michigan represents nearly 170 member campgrounds with more than 25,000 sites available throughout the state. These private campgrounds are promoted in an annual Michigan Campground Directory, available at various locations statewide, including all Welcome Centers. 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 and Campgrounds. (

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Fred Bueltmann Presented "Tom Burns Award" for Pioneering Spirit of Michigan: The Great Beer State

Nearly 200 leaders in the state’s craft brewing industry were present at the Michigan Brewers Guild annual conference which took place at the Radisson Plaza Hotel, where the “Tom Burns Award” – recognizing the pioneering spirit of the “Great Beer State” – was presented to Fred Bueltmann of New Holland Brewing Company

“As a past President of the Brewers Guild, and a mentor to many in our industry, there isn’t a person who is more deserving of the Tom Burns award,” says Eric Briggeman, Guild President. “Fred is very active at both the local and national level and is one of the top promoters of the Michigan beer scene. His passion for championing craft beer and the Michigan Brewers Guild is second to none.”

Bueltmann – aka “The Beervangelist” – is a managing partner in New Holland Brewing Company, Past President of the Michigan Brewers Guild and Certified Cicerone™. An avid home cook and expert at pairing beers, he’s an ardent advocate for quality food and craft beer’s place at the table. Bueltmann serves as a judge for the Brewers Association’s Great American Beer Festival and authors of “Beer and Food with the Beervangelist,” a regular column in Michigan’s “Food for Thought” and “Flavor 616” magazines. Fred’s first book, “Beervangelist’s Guide to the Galaxy” is due in Spring of 2013.

“The Michigan beer scene is a beautiful thing to behold, due in large part to the efforts of the Michigan Brewer’s Guild,” says Bueltmann. “I am immensely proud of the organization and continually inspired by the cast of characters that make up our Michigan brewing community. I am honored and humbled to receive the Tom Burns recognition award. I strive to live up to the example he set with his remarkable and pioneering spirit.”

The award was named after Detroit & Mackinac Brewing Company founder and brewer, Tom Burns, who passed away of cancer May 1, 1994. Burns, a “recovering attorney” whose passion was brewing, is credited with many of the advancements in brewing legislation, rules, and regulations in the 1990s which paved the way for a thriving industry which is currently ranked #5 nationally.

“Nominations for the award were submitted by members of the Guild’s Board of Directors,” Briggeman stated. “Tom Burns truly was a pioneer for the Michigan brewing industry, and the Guild felt that naming this award after him was a great way to honor Tom as a person, while recognizing his legacy that has been the foundation for the “Great Beer State!’”

Founded in 1997, the Michigan Brewers Guild oversees the organization’s administrative and promotional affairs, including four annual public events: Winter Beer Festival in February in Grand Rapids, Summer Beer Festival in July in Ypsilanti, UP Fall Beer Festival in September in Marquette, and Detroit Fall Beer Festival in October, as well as its annual Winter Conference in January. Currently, the Guild represents 106 member breweries – the highest number since the organizations inception.

Michigan’s thriving brewing industry conservatively contributes more than $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 #5 in the nation – thus supporting its claim as “The Great Beer State.”

The Michigan Brewers Guild exists to unify the community of brewers, to increase the sale of Michigan Craft Beer, to contribute culturally and economically throughout the state, and to monitor and assure a healthy brewing industry. By working collaboratively with proponents of craft beer, we strive to achieve 10% share of all beer sold in Michigan by producing world-class events, increasing public awareness, educating consumers, and encouraging responsible consumption. For more information, including a list of Michigan microbreweries, log on to

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Homestead to Host THRIVE Women’s Retreat

If you’re like us, your vacations are usually balancing acts in an attempt to accommodate different work schedules, diverse interests, and everyone’s needs. At The Homestead, we strive to provide something for everyone. But we also recognize that sometimes what you need is a little time just for you. Time to relax with a friend you haven’t seen for years, or to make new friends. Time to allow your body, mind, and spirit to be nurtured. That’s why we’ve partnered with licensed therapists Mia Moyad and Megan Gunnell to organize a weekend for women like you, for women like us.

Join us Thursday, January 24 through Sunday, January 27 for a women’s weekend of solitude, discovery, and replenishment. Experience the ambience of live harp music while engaging in group activities. Delight in cooking classes with healthful intent. Awaken the body through outdoor recreation. Luxuriate in rejuvenating spa treatments and unwind with yoga.

You’ll be welcomed to a community of women committed to experiencing THRIVE: Transform for enrichment; Harmonize with environments; Replenish for joy; Integrate mindfulness; Visualize for growth; Empower for strength.

Package prices begin at $217 per person, per night based on double occupancy or $195 per person, per night based on triple occupancy. No matter which option you choose, you price includes a stunning suite at Stony Brook Lodge, two dinners, two lunches, three breakfasts, and the many activities scheduled during the retreat. They do not include: spa treatments, or outdoor activities such as skiing, gratuity or tax and tariff on the room. An advance deposit of $350 per person is required at the time of reservation. Cancellation prior to 7 days is subject to fee of $50. Cancellation within 7 days forfeits deposit.

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.

Salt of the Earth Plans “50-Mile Dinner Series”

Join your friends at southwest Michigan’s premier farm-to-fork eatery for a series of dinner and beverage events featuring ingredients and beverages sourced within a 50 mile radius of Salt of the Earth. The four-event series will begin in January and run through May 2013.

“This series essentially highlights what we do here every day at Salt of the Earth, bringing the best of southwest Michigan to your table on a plate or in a glass,” says proprietor Mark Schrock.

The 2013 schedule includes:

Thursday January 24 – 'Michigan Madmen' Cocktail Party with Journeyman Distillery. Travel back to the mid-century for 1960’s themed cocktails, appetizers, and multi-course dinner with SW Michigan spirit producer Journeyman Distillery. Prizes for the best-dressed Madman & Madwoman! (Cost: $60 per person, plus tax & gratuity).

Thursday March 7 – 'Welcome to the Neighborhood' Cider Dinner with Virtue Cider. Chicago based artisan hard cider producer Virtue Cider recently located to the Fennville area. Join Gregory Hall and the Virtue Cider team to learn about this exciting line of ciders, while enjoying a cider inspired five course dinner from Chef Matt Pietsch. (Cost: $65 per person, plus tax & gratuity).

Thursday April 18 – '50 Mile Michigan Brewers Guild Dinner'. Enjoy a five course dinner paired with the finest southwest Michigan craft beers selected by our staff , with commentary by Fennville resident and New Holland Brewing ‘Beervangelist’ Fred Bueltmann and other Michigan Brewers Guild leaders. (Cost: $55 per person, plus tax & gratuity).

Thursday May 16 – '50 Mile Michigan Wine Dinner'. Spend an evening with Salt of the Earth Sommelier Jeremy Dugan as we taste through a five course dinner, paired with southwest Michigan's finest wines. (Cost: $75 per person, plus tax & gratuity).

Space to each dinner is limited and reservations are required by calling 269.561.7258.

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.