Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Michigan tourism leaders headed to NYC for Coney Island & Jamaica Bay clean up (May 29-31)

The beginning of the summer travel season has emerged; travelers have begun to imagine the warm sunny beaches, interactive attractions, bonding memories with family and friends, and festive activities delivered by high quality service professionals. A group of Michigan tourism professionals will spend their first week of the summer season helping create those magical travel experiences for Michigan visitors by helping restore two historic New York City area attractions May 29-31.

Instead of simply helping 600 professionals restore Coney Island and Jamaica Bay, following Hurricane Sandy, eight Michigan tourism professionals will be learning the event model from the event host, Tourism Cares (tourismcares.org), to bring it back to Michigan and restore local treasures for Michigan Cares for Tourism (michigancaresfortourism.org). As Michigan too has treasured sites all over the Upper and Lower Peninsula that need time, attention, resources, and support that Michigan tourism organizations cannot do alone.

These eight Michigan professionals are part of Michigan Cares for Tourism, a joint volunteer initiative in partnership with Grand Valley State University/Hospitality and Tourism Management (GVSU), Tourism Cares, Travel Michigan, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources/Parks and Recreation Division. Michigan Cares for Tourism will coordinate an annual clean-up event at Michigan tourism treasures throughout the state that are in disrepair.

Tourism industry professionals will volunteer their time, talent, and resources to help restore and protect the travel experience for Michigan visitors and residents. The monies generated by sponsorship, and event participation will be utilized to build a grant fund to support future tourism organization revitalization efforts, and tourism student and industry professional development scholarships.

The Department of Natural Resources/Parks and Recreation Division (DNR) has over 350 million dollars in unmet repair and maintenance projects. Home to 101 state parks with lighthouses, beaches, over 240 historic buildings, boating, trails, camping and nature centers, the DNR are the first statewide organization to need help.
Michigan's first project will feature the restoration of the 80 year old Mill Lake camp in the 20,000 acre Waterloo Recreation Area in Chelsea, Michigan October 6 and 7, 2013.

Nestled in the beautiful Big 400 (www.big400.org), Mill Lake, the first Outdoor Center to be built, was completed in 1936. The original occupants of Mill Lake were a group of boys from the Detroit Public School System engaged in their first travel and outdoor recreation experience. Mill Lake Outdoor Center remains the most intact example of a WPA Outdoor Center in the Michigan State Park System, with 15 of the 16 original buildings remaining. Since the operation of the camp was discontinued by Michigan United Conservation Club (MUCC) significant degradation has taken place. The efforts taken by Michigan Cares for Tourism will allow the site to be reopened as a destination for urban youth, corporate retreats, family reunions, and individual travel.

GVSU faculty member, Patty Janes has completed two other clean up events with Tourism Cares taking 50 students and professionals to Mississippi’s Gulf Coast in 2006 to help repair nine tourism sites following the devastation following Hurricane Katrina. She felt that Michigan's tourism industry needed the same support and as a result in participating, indicated that there were few opportunities to give back to the tourism industry directly.

“The opportunity to give back to the tourism industry in such a positive and beneficial way has been unmet by other volunteer experiences for me and those that have engaged with me," says Janes. "Participating in these events made a positive impact on the local economy, created better experiences for travelers, built a stronger sense of team, and personally was rewarding knowing that we were helping others. The groups that participated in these clean-up projects received so many benefits from participating. We were educated about a tourism area, sites, and the challenges faced by these areas. Andrea Pecoraro, a Tourism Cares alumni from Michigan stated "I have a new appreciation for the impact of tourism, have traveled back to, and regularly check to see how the area is doing, in particular, how the site I helped restore. This was one of the best experiences of my life and I can’t wait to be engaged with the Michigan initiative."

For additional information, or to contribute to Michigan Cares for Tourism, visit www.michigancaresfortourism.org.

About Tourism Cares
Tourism Cares, Inc. is a 501c(3) non-profit public charity that benefits society by preserving the travel experience for future generations by awarding grants to natural, cultural and historic sites worldwide; by focusing on workforce development through our student programs which provide support from classroom to career; and by organizing volunteer efforts to restore tourism related sites in need of care and rejuvenation. During the Coney Island event, thousands of local, regional, and global travel industry volunteers will paint benches, light posts, and trash cans, as well as participate in beach cleanup and dune preservation projects along Fort Tilden Beach. Grants will also be awarded to selected tourism related sites that have suffered losses attributed to Hurricane Sandy. For additional information, or to contribute to Tourism Cares, visit www.tourismcares.org.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Traverse Tall Ship Company Adds "Scout" to its Northern Michigan Maritime Fleet

Traverse Tall Ship Company is proud to welcome a new vessel to its fleet in Traverse City. Scout – a classic Cabo Rico 38 XL – offers a luxurious private cruising experience for up to six (6) people on Grand Traverse Bay. Excursions, ranging from three (3) to nine (9) hours, are personalized to meet the needs of the guests.

“Guests can kick back or jump in and learn how to sail,” says Captain Dave McGinnis, owner of Traverse Tall Ship Company. “We want guests to think of this vessel as their personal yacht during the time they’re on board and we’re ready to deliver the utmost in personal service for those who choose to spend their day with us.”

Built in 1988 on a mountain site in Costa Rica, this lively cutter combines vintage design lines with modern construction technology accented with extensive teak woodwork. From her graceful clipper bow and wood deck trim to a stunning symphony of honey-colored teak (all sustainably plantation grown) below decks she will take your breath away. Brainchild of legendary naval architect W. I. B. Crealock, this vessel has won a reputation for legendary soft motion and stout offshore performance.

“A sail aboard Scout is perfect for special occasions such as proposals, wedding ceremonies, anniversaries, birthdays, business meetings, or just as a way to treat family and friends to a true Northern Michigan experience,” Captain Dave says. “Whether sipping a drink under the shade of the cockpit Bimini top lounging below, or stretching out to sunbathe on deck, there is plenty of room for your group of six.”

In addition to the traditional cruises, guests can also opt to add an afternoon of exploring historic Power Island. This 200-acre gem, located in the heart of Grand Traverse Bay, offers three miles of waterfront and five miles of hiking trails, open to the public. Other popular activities include picnicking, sunbathing and rock hunting – specifically searching for Michigan’s famed Petoskey Stones.

For added romance, Scout is available for a special dockside overnight experience. This evening includes a three hour sunset sail, after which the vessel is docked in Center Pointe Marina and the crew departs, leaving you alone to enjoy quiet time alone. Scout can accommodate up to four (4) people in two cozy double cabins. The boat also offers a head (bathroom) and shower, and guests are given access to the marina bath facilities and lounge. Other on-board amenities include a flat screen TV with DVD player, stereo system and full galley (kitchen) including a refrigerator (stocked with soft drinks).

Special cruising opportunities are being offered in conjunction with the National Cherry Festival:

* June 29 (12:30-5pm) — Cherry Festival Air Show Viewing & Sail ($650)
Cruise the bay under sail, after which Scout will anchor so you can enjoy the best seats in the house to view the spectacular air show!

* June 29 (7pm-11:30pm) — Night Time Air Show Viewing and Sail ($700)
Enjoy a sunset cruise followed by a unique night time air show, viewed from Scout’s anchorage on the bay!

* July 4 (7-11:30pm) — Sunset Sail and Fireworks Viewing ($700)
Celebrate the 4th in comfort and style! Scout will cruise the bay until sunset and then will anchor in a prime fireworks viewing location and enjoy the show!

* July 6 (7-11:30pm) — Sunset Sail and Fireworks Viewing ($700)
This display marks the end of the National Cherry Festival! Scout will cruise the bay until sunset and then will anchor in a prime fireworks viewing location and enjoy the show!

Guests are invited to bring their own refreshments or choose from the company’s catering menu (for an additional charge). All alcoholic beverages are BYOB, however soft drinks and snacks are provided at no charge.

The cost for the three hour cruise is $400 with additional hours added at $100 per hour; the Power Island trip (running six to seven hours) is $900; the overnight package – including the three hour sunset sail – is $700 based on double occupancy (up to two (2) additional guests for $50 per person). An overnight option – excluding the sunset sail – is also available for $350.

Since 1987, Traverse Tall Ship Company has been offering sailing adventures on the freshwater Grand Traverse Bay – and beyond, into Northern Lake Michigan. In addition to Scout, the company proudly sails Manitou – one of the largest sailing ships on the Great Lakes. A replica of an 1800s “coasting” cargo schooner, this traditional two-masted, gaff rigged, topsail schooner, measures 114 feet in length with more than 3000 square feet of sail, and can accommodate 59 passengers (24 overnight capacity).

Traverse Tall Ship Company is located at 13258 S.W. Bay Shore Drive (M22) in Traverse City and shares a dock with the fleet from the Maritime Heritage Alliance, creating a unique nautical experience for the area.

To make reservations for any of the 2013 Scout or Manitou sailing adventures, call toll free 800-678-0383. Gift certificates are also available. For additional information about Scout or Manitou, including corporate charters, log on to www.TallShipSailing.com.



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"Summer in Northern Michigan" Collaborative Video Focuses on Traditions of Water, Friends and Craft Beer in the Great Lakes State

North Peak Brewing Company in Traverse City is longing for warm summer days filled with fun in the sun. In anticipation of such days to come, they’ve introduced a true Michigan collaboration!

Michigan artist/singer/songwriter Jetty Rae lends her words and gritty vocals to an inspiring new video by filmmaker Evan Joling – featuring the high-in-the-sky aerial skills of local kiteboarding icons Matt and Keegan Myers (aka “The Broneah Brothers”) and their M-22 branding, paired with North Peak’s seasonal brew Archangel Summer Wheat.

“Everyone at North Peak is READY for summer,” says Greg Lobdell, who – along with Jon Carlson, Ron Jeffries and Mike Hall, are the managing partners of Northern United Brewing Company. “We think this video is a great representation of Summer in Northern Michigan – passionate and creative individuals having fun with family and friends. We can’t wait to share it with everyone!”

The complete video (1:48), shot in the skies over the sparkling waters and along the shoreline of West Grand Traverse Bay, is available for online viewing here.

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. NUBC’s philosophy focuses on a dedication to conservation, inspiration and locally sustainable practices. 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.


Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery Recognized at Top Wine Competitions in the US, Internationally

It’s been an exciting spring season for Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery, located on Old Mission Peninsula in Traverse City. The estate winery has been recognized in the recent weeks with top honors at some of the world’s most esteemed wine competitions – including the International Wine and Spirits Competition in London.

In London, Brys Estate was honored with a “Gold” medal for its 2011 Gewurztraminer – one of only 15 such awards presented to the U.S. The Northern Michigan winery was also among only 17 “Best of Class – Silver” medal winners for its 2011 Pinot Noir and the 2007 “Dry Ice” ice wine. Brys Estate also took two “Bronze” medals for its 2007 Artisan Cabernet Franc and their 2007 Artisan Merlot.

"This is truly an honor to receive these awards. For many winemakers, this would be the highlight of their career, but for me, it's just another example of what can be achieved by proper vineyard management and winemaking," says Brys winemaker, Coenraad Stassen.

The International Wine and Spirits Competition is one of the most prestigious wine competitions on the globe. Entries include more than 15,000 wines from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Wines are put through a blind judging, with the winners continuing onto a chemical analysis to verify that all wines are true to varietal, provide longevity and overall health. If the wines pass the chemical analysis, they then move to London for the final judging.

In another recent competition, Brys Estate garnered three “Best of Class” awards for its 2012 Pinot Blanc, 2012 Riesling and 2011 Merlot, from among the 2000 entries at the 2013 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition, held in Orange County, CA.

"Winning a Best of Class is really a great accomplishment," says Stassen, "but winning a ‘Best of Class’ for a Merlot in California is pretty exciting!"

During the 2013 Riverside International Wine Competition, Brys Estate received “Gold” and “Best of Class” for its 2012 Pinot Blanc, as well as the “Chairman's Award” (Unanimous Gold) and “Best of Class” for its 2011 "Dry Ice" ice wine. There were more than 3500 entries in a variety of categories.

This year’s Tasters Guild International Wine Competition hosted wines from 10 countries and 28 states. Brys Estate was awarded a “Double Gold” for its 2012 Riesling and three “Gold” medals for its 2011 Pinot Noir, 2012 Pinot Blanc and 2012 Naked Chardonnay.

Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery is centrally located in the heart of the Old Mission Peninsula-situated on 80-acres with breathtaking views of the East Grand Traverse Bay-in Traverse City, Michigan. This boutique winery began with the planting of 38 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, estate grown and bottled wines.

3309 Blue Water Road • Traverse City, MI 49686


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

New Holland Brewing's Brett VanderKamp releases first book: Art in Fermented Form: A Manifesto

Brett VanderKamp, president of New Holland Brewing Company, has released his first book titled Art in Fermented Form: A Manifesto.

In this manifesto, Brett guides readers through a discourse on the art and history of craft brewing and distilling as he presents his revolutionary new philosophy. Like the beers and sprits he has spent years perfecting, Brett hopes this book will challenge readers, launch conversations, and present an unprecedented paradigm for tasting a life less ordinary. The book, a collection of stories about VanderKamp’s experiences in the beer and spirits industry, his favorite historical anecdotes and some frank thoughts on the future of craft, hit the market earlier this month.

VanderKamp founded New Holland Brewing Co. when he was just 24-years-old with his best friend and $10,000. He believed that his hometown of Holland and the brewing industry were due for a shake up and since then, New Holland has delivered just that. The same passion for balance, creativity and artistry in brewing and distilling is found in VanderKamp’s very personal manifesto.

“Brett was an early pioneer in the brewing industry and he has moved to the forefront of the distilling world,” says Bill Owens – Founder and President of American Distilling Institute. “His operation in Holland, Michigan, is one of the premier breweries and distilleries in America today.”

ONLINE REVIEWS (via Amazon.com)

Art in Fermented Form: A Manifesto. Somewhere in my education, I made an error and have always associated the word Manifesto with something stern, and associated with politics, policies, and less than educational and entertaining. I now have a new and more pleasant feeling for the word Manifesto thanks to this book. It was a quick read, educational and wry, and unexpectedly, I learned a thing or two, and also realized that to savor is to think, to slow down, and ultimately enjoy. As Wayne Campbell so adroitly said... "I did not know that." and yes, I also did not know how much care, and thought, and reflection goes into the Art of Brewing Craft Beers - whether today in 2013 or eons in the past. Craft Brewing is Humanity being creative, and enjoying the results. Mr. VanderKamp is a gifted writer, and he created an easy and enjoyable Book, with the same passion and humor and care that he puts into making his craft Beers and Spirits. Highly recommend this book. (RBB)

Brett VanderKamp gives a great guide in how important it can be to take a few minutes to connect with people while enjoying one of the wonderful God given gifts -a cold pint of hand crafted beer or spirits. He does it with a walk through history on the origins of these drinks and how important they were/are to our society. It's a very quick/interesting read that you don't need to read in any particular order. I liked how he mixed art (drawings), facts (historical), and perspectives (his, other famous people) in a book that reminds us, life is not just about fast food, flavorless drink and addictive technology. Community, flavorful food/drink and conversation needs to be back in vogue. (GTC)

About New Holland Brewing Co.
New Holland Brewing Company’s deep roots in the craft industry go back to 1997. Our role as an integral member of the artisan approach is something we take seriously, yet engage lightheartedly. We believe the art of craft lives in fostering rich experiences for our customers, through creating authentic beer, spirits and food while providing great service. Recognized for our creativity and artistry, our mission to improve the lives of craft consumers everywhere is seen in our diverse, balanced collection of beer and spirits.

New Holland brews and distills at two locations in Holland, Michigan: our production facility on the north side and our Pub & Restaurant in downtown Holland. The restaurant welcomes guests seven days a week and production tours are on Saturday afternoons. We welcome visitors and locals alike, and appreciate the opportunity to share our artisan approach through warm hospitality and enriching education.

With just under 150 employees, New Holland Brewing Co. sells its beer and spirits across a growing regional landscape, while anchored in the upper Midwest. In 2012, our production facility underwent substantial development including the tripling of our brewing capacity through outdoor fermentation, the addition of a centrifuge and the expansion of our Dragon’s Milk cellar. In 2013, the company is expanding its distilling capabilities, renovating the downtown Holland Pub & Restaurant and focusing on the integration of Michigan agriculture; hops, wheat and barley, into several new and existing brands.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Coaster Design Contest Appeals To Artists, Beer Enthusiasts

This summer, Perrin Brewing Company and SpringHill Suites North are kicking off the area’s first Beer City Coaster Contest, May 24, 2013. The contest was created to inspire local artists and to celebrate Grand Rapids as a beer destination. The winning artist will have their design printed on coasters and served with drinks at Perrin Brewing Company during the timeframe for ArtPrize 2013.

The contest is open to anyone age 21 or older. Contest information and entry forms can be picked up in person at Perrin Brewing Company, 5910 Comstock Park Dr. in Comstock Park, or through the contest Facebook page under the search term “Beer City Coaster Contest.” Entries will be accepted through July 26. Finalists will be announced July 29 and then finalists will be put to a public vote for the winner at Perrin Brewing Company through August 18. The winner will be announced at a private event hosted by the SpringHill Suites North.

SpringHill Suites North, Grand Rapids is a franchisee of Marriott International, Inc. and managed by Pillar Hotels and Resorts. The hotel is located at 450 Center Dr. NW, Grand Rapids, Michigan. SpringHill Suites by Marriott is an all-suite brand that offers design and style at an affordable price, appealing to both business and leisure travelers. For more information or reservations, contact the hotel directly at (616) 785-1600, or visit www.marriott.com/grrsh.

Perrin Brewing Co. is located at 5910 Comstock Park Drive, off 7 Mile Road NW in Alpine Township. Opening in late 2012 Perrin Brewing features an outdoor hop garden, gleaming concrete bar and in-house food truck that serves the 218-seat taproom. For more information visit www.perrinbrewing.com.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Saugatuck Brewing Company Earns "Best in Show" Honors for the Second Year in a Row at World Expo of Beer Competition

For the second year in a row, a beer from Saugatuck Brewing Company has been awarded “Best in Show” at the World Expo of Beer competition in Frankenmuth, MI. (ESB/Amber received the same distinction in 2012.) Receiving a Gold Medal in the American Ale category, Bonfire Brown was then selected tops among the 29 Gold Medal winners and 571 total entries. The competition, which precedes the festival (May 17-18) included entries from over 70 breweries from 12 states and 9 countries. Also, SBC’s Neapolitan Milk Stout was awarded a Silver Medal in the Spice/Herb/Vegetable category.

Brewed with ten different malts plus Cascade and U.S. Goldings hops, Bonfire Brown is billed as a “classic American Brown Ale with a touch of smoke.” It is moderate in alcohol (5.5% ABV) with relatively low bitterness (20 IBUs). Bonfire Brown is distributed in 6-packs and on tap throughout Michigan and greater Chicago.

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 eleven 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

Vander Mill Cider Completes $600,000 Expansion and Begins Canning Hard Ciders

One of the Midwest’s largest craft cider producers – Vander Mill Cider & Winery – is introducing a new line of canned ciders. Earlier this year, Vander Mill completed a 3500-square-foot, $600,000 expansion at its facility in Spring Lake. This includes the addition of fermentation equipment and a canning system, which will produce 1800 16-ounce cans per hour. In all, owner Paul Vander Heide estimates his 2013 production to top 100,000 gallons.

“We expect these cans to significantly increase production – with an expected volume growth of over 100% from last year,” Vander Heide says. “We wanted to decrease the cost to the consumer by increasing automation and using a more cost-effective package.”

Three canned Vander Mill brands – Hard Apple, Totally Roasted and Blue Gold (formerly known as Apple Blueberry) – will hit the marketplace in throughout Michigan in the coming week, with special events scheduled at select venues (check out Vander Mill’s Facebook and/or Twitter feeds for updated information).

“We are going to continue our focus on innovation and creativity with our ciders,” says Vander Heide. “But we wanted to take a few of our core products and make them more accessible to the consumer. Our cans should now be available in more independent stores as well as traditional grocery.” Currently, more than 600 retail outlets and 200 bars/restaurants in Michigan and Chicago serve Vander Mill ciders.

In addition to the expansion in the production area, Vander Mill has renovated its 2500-square-foot tasting room and café, with the introduction of an expanded menu under the auspices of Chef Stephanie Luke. Providing lunch and dinner, offerings include hand-made creations like Pork Belly & Polenta, Marinated Noodle Salad, Housemade Dumplings, Duck Confit Sandwich, Pulled Pork Sandwich and a selection of pretzels, cheeses, salads and more. Vander Mill offers seating for 65 indoors and 100 outside (weather permitting) in a 2000-square-foot Cider Garden.

Vander Mill opened in 2006 in a 5000-square-foot building, serving cider, donuts and fudge, in a market setting. In 2008, they released their first hard cider products in 750ml bottles and on draft. Speciality products will still be available in this larger format and Vander Heide says he’s currently working with Cider Maker Joel Brower on some barrel-aged products and brewery collaborations as well.

Vander Mill Cider Mill & Winery
14921 Cleveland Street
Spring Lake, MI 49456


Monday, May 6, 2013

Grand Traverse Distillery’s “Ole George” Aged Rye Whiskey Named “Best of Category – Gold Medal”

Grand Traverse Distillery has added another accolade to its impressive award-wining portfolio with the recent “Best of Category – Gold Medal” honor in the Aged Rye Whiskey category for “Ole George”. The award was presented in early April in Colorado by the American Distilling Institute at its 7th Annual Judging of Artisan American Spirits. The Traverse City-based distillery has won awards for its various vodka brands – this is its first award in the whiskey category.

“We are honored to be recognized for our aged rye whiskey by such an esteemed organization,” says GTD Owner Kent Rabish. “Michigan as a whole was represented on several levels at the competition, which reinforces our growing industry’s overall goal of producing quality craft beverages.”

“Ole George” Whiskey is distilled in a traditional fashion from a 100% rye mash bill and is bottled at 93 proof. Prior to prohibition, Americans drank rye whiskey – with its unique character that no other grain can provide, as the rye imparts a spicy flavor. “Ole George” Whiskey is made in small batches and is double-distilled in GTD’s copper pot still. It bottled straight from the barrel and is not chill-filtered, which can remove flavor from the whiskey. The goal with “Ole George” Whiskey is to let the unique flavor of the rye come through.

Since opening in June of 2007, GTD has prided itself as a “Grain to Bottle Artisan Distiller” which supports the state’s active agriculture industry and now boasts the “Pure Michigan” seals on most of its products.

Hand-crafted in small batches, GTD products include four vodkas (True North Vodka, Chocolate Vodka, Cherry Vodka and Wheat Vodka) and five whiskey products including the double-barreled Ole George 100% Straight Rye Whiskey (93 proof), Bourbon (92 proof), a 2nd Straight Rye Whiskey (90 proof), White Dog – an un-aged 100% Corn Moonshine Whiskey (80 proof); and Cherry Whiskey (80 proof), as well as a soon-to-be-released gin.

GTD distributes or True North Vodka, Cherry Vodka, Wheat Vodka and White Dog Whiskey to more than 900 retail outlets and 400 restaurants/bars in Michigan via Great Lakes Wine and Spirits. All of the other GTD spirits are available at one of four tasting rooms – including two in Traverse City (the original location on Industrial Circle and in The Village at Grand Traverse Commons), River Place Shops in downtown Frankenmuth, and in Leland on the Leelanau Peninsula, not far from historic Fishtown. A new tasting room is schedule to open during the summer of 2013 in Novi.

Earlier this year, Grand Traverse Distillery was recognized as one of the 2013 “Michgian 50 Companies to Watch,” – an awards program sponsored by the Edward Lowe Foundation and presented by Michigan Celebrates Small Business and has been selected as 2013 Top 10 Small Business by the Traverse City Chamber on Commerce.

For more information about Grand Traverse Distillery, log onto www.grandtraversedistillery.com or find them on Facebook.

Local Culinary Offerings Highlight Tall Ship Manitou's 2013 Sailing Season

Traverse City has been touted as the “Culinary Capital of Michigan” and throughout the summer months, the Tall Ship Manitou offers countless opportunities for visitors to savor tasty

Moomers Ice Cream – voted #1 scoop on “Good Morning America” – is served up during every afternoon sail. Guests are served up two delicious flavors, including Moomers prize winning “Cherries Moobilee.”

Wine Tasting Cruises, featuring wines from Leelanau Cellars and Left Foot Charley paired with savory cuisine from Silver Swan Homemade Foods, are offered on Tuesday and Thursday evening sails.

Sunday evenings deliver the Microbrew & Pizza Cruise, featuring beer from Short’s Brewery and tasty Crusted Creations Pizza.

Specially-catered picnic meals are included during each evening sail, throughout the summer. Served up by local deli “Dockside,” the meals includes a delicious turkey or vegetarian wrap, pasta salad, cookie for dessert and a beverage.

Cooking aboard Manitou is a unique experience. The galley boasts an authentic 1926 woodburning stove and old school ice box. Veteran schooner chef Laura Cavender will be serving up a variety of fresh homemade meals for bed and breakfast and Windjammer guests. Seating for 24 is available in wooden booth-style tables (which later are used for card and board games by overnight guests).

During the “Floating Bed & Breakfast” (offered Tuesday thru Saturday, June to August) guests are served a full breakfast, cooked from scratch, featuring fresh baked goods. Imagine yourself lounging on a warm summer morning with a fresh mug of coffee as the sun rises over Old Mission Peninsula – that’s what relaxing is all about in Northern Michigan.

Three meals a day are provided to passengers during the multi-day Windjammers in September. This one-of-a-kind experience is available for up to 24 passengers, based on various themes – including a Wine Tasting Excursion with sommelier and restaurant proprietor Amanda Danielson from Trattoria Stella in Traverse City. During this unique excursion, passengers learn winemaking histories and taste varietals from different countries, as well as being served dinner featuring wine pairings.

About the Manitou
Since 1987, the Traverse Tall Ship Company has been offering sailing adventures on the freshwater Grand Traverse Bay – and beyond, into Northern Lake Michigan.

As one of the largest sailing ships on the Great Lakes, the Manitou is a replica of an 1800s “coasting” cargo schooner. A traditional two-masted, gaff rigged, topsail schooner, Manitou measures 114 feet in length with more than 3000 square feet of sail.

With a 59 passenger sailing capacity (24 overnight capacity), there is plenty of space for sitting and moving around the decks while under sail. While aboard the Manitou, passengers are free to leave the sailing to the experienced crew or lend a hand and learn the arts of the sailor. An excursion aboard the Manitou allows you to remove yourself from the trappings of modern life: no TV, phone (cell phones are discouraged), internet, email and definitely no itinerary.

In addition to public day sails and multi-day windjammer cruises, the schooner Manitou works with Inland Seas Education Association, providing hands-on environmental education to school kids from throughout the region and state. The Manitou is also available for private charters, making it ideal for corporate outings, wedding parties and family reunions.

Traverse Tall Ship Company is located at 13258 S.W. Bay Shore Drive (M22) in Traverse City and shares a dock with the fleet from the Maritime Heritage Alliance, creating a unique nautical experience for the area.

To make reservations for any of the 2013 Manitou sailing adventures, call toll free 800-678-0383. Gift certificates are also available. For additional information about the Manitou, including its corporate charters, log on to www.TallShipSailing.com.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

3rd Annual Charity Golf Tournament Benefits Carter’s Kids (Aug 9 - Grand Traverse Resort & Spa)

HGTV star and Traverse City native/resident Carter Oosterhouse has made it his personal mission to encourage kids to get out of the house and out to play while, at the same time addressing the serious issue of childhood obesity.

Carter’s Kids was established in 2008 to facilitate the building of community playgrounds to do just that – get kids to play and to bring families together. To date, nearly 20 community-built playgrounds have been open around the country (including three in Michigan) – with dozens more in the works.

One major fundraiser is held in Michigan each year to raise monies and awareness for Carter’s Kids:– the 3rd Annual Charity Golf Tournament will be held on Friday, August 9 at Grand Traverse Resort & Spa in Acme, just north of Traverse City.

The cost is $200 per golfer/$800 per foursome and includes 18 holes of golf on the Jack Nicklaus designed golf course, The Bear – rated the #1 golf course in Michigan in 2012, followed by dinner, an awards ceremony and live entertainment. Additional dinner guests pay just $50 for the evening activities. Sponsorship opportunities range from $1,000 to $25,000.

Registration for teams, sponsors and silent auction donations is open now at www.Carters-Kids.org.

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Carter’s Kids RSS Blog Feed

Carter’s Kid’s is a 501 (c),(3) non-profit founded by Carter Oosterhouse. Carter’s Kids is dedicated to creating and promoting awareness of fitness and self-esteem for America’s youth. The purpose is to increase the activity level of kids by building and developing community parks and playgrounds in their neighborhoods. Kids then have an opportunity to take an active role in building up their communities by using, sharing and caring about their public spaces. Contributions to Carter’s Kids are fully tax-deductible.