Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Kuhnhenn Brewing Announces Expansion Plans

New Production Facility to Increase Capacity by Nearly 1500%

Kuhnhenn Brewing Company is expanding into a full-scale production and packaging facility, located at 36000 Groesbeck Hwy in Clinton Township, MI. The property formerly held a Home and Garden Center retailer, but has been vacant for several years.

The 35,000 square foot building will be divided into production, cellaring, packaging and cold storage, in addition to a tasting room and administrative offices. The brewery will feature a four-vessel, 38-barrel Huppmann brewhouse and enough fermentation tanks to allow for a projected capacity of nearly 20,000 bbls (1 bbl = 31 US Gallons).

Kuhnhenn has acquired a high-speed Krones bottling line for packaging beer for the sale to retail stores, while canning is also being considered. Production and distribution of Kuhnhenn Mead will also increase, thanks to the purchase of a 24-head Gea bottling line, specifically designed for packaging wine.

Distribution of keg and case product will initially focus on Southeast Michigan, with further penetration into the rest of the state within the first year. The focus will be on four year-round brands, three seasonals, and several limited release offerings.

“This is something we've been wanting to do for a number of years,” stated Eric Kuhnhenn, Partner and Brewmaster of Kuhnhenn Brewing Company. “It's exciting to think that we'll finally begin to make at least a short-term dent in the demand that has grown for our beer.”

“Furthermore, we are extremely excited to keep the production of our beers in Macomb County, which we all call home,” stated Bret Kuhnhenn. “We hope this will draw more attention to the growing beer scene in Metro-Detroit, and contribute to the economic rebirth in Macomb County.”

With the opening of the new facility, Kuhnhenn Brewing Company is expected to hire an additional 20-30 staff members, in both production and the tasting room. The facility is projected to be operational in the first quarter of 2014. The current Warren location will remain open, with a full line of beers, and focus on the production of small-batch experimental brews, as well as an increased barrel-aging program. A Small Distillers License is also being added at the Warren location, with more information to come.

While the beer market as a whole remains relatively stagnant in Michigan and throughout the US, sales of craft beer continue to grow at exponential rates. With this growth, wholesalers and retailers are taking notice.

“We find ourselves in a unique position,” stated Jon Piepenbrok, Director of Marketing and Sales for Kuhnhenn Brewing Company. “We have built the brand and created demand for the beer; now we get to expand at a time and degree we feel comfortable. We've watched the industry expand with us and around us, all the while developing a plan for growth. Now we can make that jump.”

About Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Bret and Eric Kuhnhenn began brewing their own beer in college. Kuhnhenn Brewing Company was founded in 1998, selling homebrew supplies out of the family hardware store. A Microbrewery License was granted in 2001, and the brothers began selling their beer by the pint and growler out of the Warren brewery. Their flagship, Loonie Kuhnie Pale Ale, continues to be the brewery's best seller.

Kuhnhenn Brewing Company is consistently ranked in the top breweries in the world on beer rating websites Beer Advocate and RateBeer. They are known both for their high-gravity experimental beers, as well as their accurate interpretations of traditional styles.

The brewery has won countless awards at competitions across the world. In 2012 they were awarded a Gold Medal in the IPA category at the World Beer Cup for DRIPA (Double Rice IPA), the largest category entered and one typically dominated by large West Coast breweries. Kuhnhenn Braggot (a mead/beer hybrid) also took home a Bronze Medal in the 2012 Great American Beer Festival.

Kuhnhenn Brewing Company is a proud member of the Michigan Brewers Guild.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

St. Julian Head Winemaker Nancie Corum-Oxley Honored with Purdue University's "Outstanding Food Science Award"

Nancie Corum-Oxley, the award-winning* head winemaker at St. Julian Winery in Paw Paw, will be recognized by her Alma Mater on October 10 when Purdue University presents her with an “Outstanding Food Science Award.” The award recognizes individuals who have brought significant honor to Purdue University and the Department of Food Science, and have contributed to the field of food science.

To be considered and ultimately chosen for this award, “recipients must have earned a Purdue degree or have had an extraordinary impact on the department of Food Science and have demonstrated excellence in the industry, academia, government or other endeavors related to food science as exemplified by leadership and accomplishment,” according to Dr. Suzanne Nielsen, Head of the Department of Food Science. “Your significant achievements exemplify all of the stated criteria.”

As the first professional commercial female winemaker in Michigan, Oxley has been with St. Julian for 12 years. Starting as a lab manager and enologist, she quickly moved up the ranks to Assistant Winemaker in 2003 and Associate Winemaker in 2008. She was promoted to head winemaker in 2010.

Oxley earned a Master of Science degree in Food and Agribusiness Management from Purdue University-Indiana University in West Lafayette, IN, in 2010 with the MBA portion of her degree completed at the Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

Purdue’s long-standing strengths in agribusiness and food science, coupled with Indiana University’s expertise in management education, delivers the best of both worlds – an industry-specific focus on current issues and food and agriculture, paired with a general MBA. Both schools have international reputations and are highly regarded for their quality programs.

In 2002, she received Bachelor of Science in Food Manufacturing Operations and double minors in Agribusiness Management and Organizational Leadership & Supervision. While at Purdue, Nancie was a member of several organizations, including Kappa Alpha Theta, Institute of Food Technologists and the American Wine Society.

During the course of her undergraduate studies, Oxley assisted enologist Dr. Richard Vine in making wine as a part of Purdue’s grape and wine research program, as well as assisting in the coordination of the esteemed Indy International Wine Competition. She completed an internship at Geyser Peak Winery in California, under the tutelage of winemaker Daryl Groom, before heading back to the Midwest in 2002 to join the team at St. Julian.

The family-owned St. Julian winery, Michigan’s oldest and longest-operating winery, was founded in 1921.

*Recent Awards for St. Julian Winery

Vineyard & Winery Management 2013 International Women’s Wine Competition (Sonoma County, CA)

Best of Class - St. Julian Sweet Nancie Sparking Traminette
Double Gold - St. Julian Sweet Nancie Sparking Traminette
Gold - 2012 Braganini Traminette Lake Michigan Shore Reserve
Gold - St. Julian White Heron Semi Sweet White
Gold - St. Julian Pinot Grigio Lake Michigan Shore Reserve
Silver - Braganini Riesling Michigan Reserve
Silver - Braganini Syrah Michigan Reserve
Silver - St. Julian Red Heron Semi Sweet Red Wine Lake Michigan Shore
Silver - St. Julian Blue Heron Lake Michigan Shore
Bronze - St. Julian Riesling Lake Michigan Shore Reserve

Michigan Wine & Spirits 2013 Competition (East Lansing, MI)

Gold - Braganini Reserve 2012 Albariño
Gold - St. Julian Solera Cream Sherry
Silver - St. Julian 2012 Reserve Late Harvest Riesling
Silver - All That Razz
Silver - St. Julian Blue Heron
Silver - St. Julian Cock of the Walk
Silver - St. Julian Sweet Nancie Sparking Traminette
Silver - St. Julian Red Heron
Bronze - Braganini Reserve 2012 Estate Bottled Pinot Noir
Bronze - Braganini Reserve 2011 Syrah
Bronze - Braganini Reserve Whole Cluster Riesling
Bronze - St. Julian 2012 Reserve Riesling White Heron
Bronze - St. Julian Founder’s White

NOTE: The Sweet Nancie Sparkling Traminette – with its flavors of peach, pineapple, and lemon zest – is named for winemaker Nancie Corum-Oxley, who also designed the label for this award-winning wine.

Saugatuck Brewing Company to release Oval Beach Blonde Ale in 16 Oz. Cans

SBC has partnered with Michigan Mobile Canning and will begin offering their flagship Oval Beach Blonde Ale in 16 oz. cans (4-packs) beginning Aug. 23. (Blonde will continue to be available in 12 oz. bottles also.) To celebrate the occasion, SBC will host a Launch Party at the brewery on Friday, Aug. 23 beginning at 5:30. The evening will feature live music, free promotional items, a live radio feed on 101.3 “The Brew”, special pricing on the new cans and the announcement of the raffle winner of a custom Oval Beach Blonde paddleboard.

Saugatuck Brewing Co. is a microbrewery with a traditional family style pub featuring a full menu, outdoor seating and live entertainment year round. Fifteen unique beer styles, all brewed in house, plus wine and hard cider are served daily in the Pub. “SBC” also distributes twelve styles in 6 and 4-packs. These plus many others are also available on tap throughout Michigan and metro Chicago. The brewery also features the only active brew-on-premise facility in Michigan, utilizing five copper kettles and an array of natural ingredients and recipes, for the public to become “Brewmaster for a Day.”

Saugatuck Brewing Company
2948 Blue Star Hwy.
Douglas, MI 49406

Monday, August 12, 2013

Five Top Chefs Team Up for Harvest Dinner - Benefitting Fair Food Matters, Kalamazoo

Five of the region’s top chefs will team up on Sunday, August 25 (6-8pm) for a Harvest Dinner at Carlson’s Farm in Lawton – a culinary experience benefitting Kalamazoo’s Fair Food Matters. The unique farm-side dinner is being coordinated by Food Dance, West Michigan’s premier locally-focused eatery.

Exectutive Chef Robb Hammond – who has been with Food Dance for five years – has invited four of his colleagues to join him in this one-of-a-kind, on-the-farm five-course dinner, celebrating the best of the season’s offerings. These chefs include the James Beard nominated Chef Matthew Millar from Fennville; Chef Matthew Pietsch of Salt of the Earth in Fennville, Chef Matt Green of Reserve Wine & Food in Grand Rapids; and Chef Chad Miller of Soe Café in Sawyer.

Food Dance has been a long time supporter and promoter of Fair Food Matters and its various initiatives. Dinners such as this support programs that protect the stewardship of our land and strengthen our local economy by educating the next generation about food and where it comes from.

Fair Food Matters exists to improve access to healthy, local food by educating, connecting and empowering the Kalamazoo community. It’s programs include the Can-Do Kitchen (a licensed incubator kitchen facility), Common Ground (a collaborative program supporting community gardens throughout Kalamazoo County), Growing Matters Garden (a children’s educational gardening project), Douglass Farmers’ Market (featuring local producers on the north side of town) and Southwest Michigan Community Harvest Fest (celebrating local food, local farming and sustainable living with speakers, music and more).

The cost for the Harvest Dinner, including entertainment by local musicians Paul Hoffman and Joshua Davis, is $75 per person (plus tax/gratuity). Space is limited to 100 and reservations are required by calling 269-382-1888.

Other upcoming dinners in the 2013 Farm to Fork series include:

Thurs., Sept. 5 • 6-8pm
Celebrate tomato season with a five-course tomato dinner featuring Kirklin Farms. Seem a bit over the top? Not when you consider the flavors and versatility of thousands of varieties of tomatoes. You’ll never think of them as just plain ol’ sliced fruit again. $55 per person

Wed., Sept. 18 • 6-8pm
Useful Kitchen Skills, not just recipes! Come learn how to preserve the flavors of the harvest for months to come. In this class you will learn techniques of preserving food with modern flavors. $65 per person

Thurs., Oct. 17 • 6-8pm
October is National Cheese Month. Celebrate with us at this special dinner featuring three local artisan cheese makers. Chef Robb will create four courses with Evergreen Lane Creamery, Zingerman’s Creamery and another creamery, TBA. $55 per person

To make reservations for any of the Food Dance dinners, classes or events, call 269-382-1888.

Food Dance creates opportunities for people to come together and connect through the experience of food. We passionately cook with the freshest locally produced ingredients and believe in giving great, caring service, and providing great experiences for everyone we come in contact with.

401 E. Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo MI 49007

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Pink Heals National Tour Comes To Allegan - Sunday, August 18

As we prepare Allegan JayCee Park to welcome our esteemed visitors, we ask our community to join us in celebration.

Calling all motorcyclist to help Escort the Pink Heals Tour to Allegan – on Sunday, August 18. We will meet at JayCee Park at 11:15 and leave at 11:30 sharp to ride to the New Buffalo Welcome Center at the State Line. We will meet up with the Pink Heals National Tour here at 1:00 and lead them along 94 to 40 with a stop at Family Fare in Paw Paw to refuel. Gathering there at about 2:30 for those who want to join in at Paw Paw and check in with the Pink Fire Truck! We will then lead the Pink Heals Tour the rest of the way into Allegan alone M40 North. Bikers are welcome to join in anywhere along the route. Community members along the route are invited to get your pink on to show support. Welcome Party for the Pink Heals Nation Tour is at Allegan JayCee Park 5-8 pm. Sloppy Joe with sides and dessert donation drive will be available. The Red Cross will be on hand and Gas stations also close by.

Pink, being embraced as the color of Women is the perfect choice for this fast growing movement. It is our belief that women give and love us with selfless commitment. We need to take care of her and she will take care of us. Likened to the Statue of Liberty, a woman who has given us the symbol of everything worth fighting for. Anyone who is battling Cancer, survivors and those who have lost a loved one to Cancer are invited to sign the truck. Pink Heals believes that funds raised locally should stay locally. The Chapters deliver 100 percent of the money generated by fundraising to the people who need it most - Women and their families who are battling any illness, starting with cancer.

To sign up for the motorcycle escort go to

For more information on Pink Heals go to

Pink Heals Allegan Chapter Contact:
Leonard Ruthruff 269-355-9083 |

Pink Heals Tour Motorcycle Escort Contact:
Rick Smith 269-929-1665, Ride Captain (please leave message)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

“Summertime on Old Mission” means Fresh Water, Stand-Up Paddleboarding and Jolly Pumpkin

There’s something about getting out on the waters of Northern Michigan – a ritual, a tradition, a culture, a passion, a lifestyle! “Summertime on Old Mission” – the third in a 3-video collaborative series* from Northern United Brewing Company (NUBC) – focuses on the popular activity of stand up paddleboarding (SUP), on the clear waters of Grand Traverse Bay.

Filmmaker Evan Joling has teamed up once again with Michigan artist/singer/songwriter Jetty Rae for this soothing 1:44-minute video highlighting a group of paddleboarders enjoying a leisurely afternoon on the water. You can view the video online here.

“Ron and Laurie Jeffries of Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales have been avid paddleboarders before the sport even made it to the mainland,” says Jon Carlson, who along with Ron Jeffries, Greg Lobdell and Mike Hall is a managing partner of NUBC. “From their trips to Hawaii for beer festivals and amazing collaborative beer initiatives, they fell in love with this graceful sport. Paddleboarding is now extremely popular on the Great Lakes and nothing is more relaxing than heading out on the waters at Bowers Harbor, either before or after visiting Jolly Pumpkin.”

When he’s not actively brewing his award-winning Belgian-style beers, Ron Jeffries has been known to craft custom paddleboards – which he and Laurie use on those rare occasions when they’re able to escape the brewery for some well-deserved quiet time.

Several local outfitters in the Traverse City area offer SUP rentals, for those who don’t have their own equipment. Many often deliver for free. Other companies offer group excursions as well. For a list of such companies, visit

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales is part of Northern United Brewing Co., which also encompasses the North Peak and Grizzly Peak craft beer brands, as well as the Civilized line of spirits and the Mission Table restaurant on Old Mission Peninsula in Traverse City. 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.

2319 Bishop Circle East
Dexter, MI 48130
(734) 426-4962

311 S. Main Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 913-2730

13512 Peninsula Drive (Old Mission Peninsula)
Traverse City, MI 49696
(231) 223-4333


1. “Summer in Northern Michigan” from filmmaker Evan Joling and featuring singer/songwriter Jetty Rae, M22 and the Broneah Brothers, and North Peak Beer, available for online viewing here.

2. “Farm-to-Table” from filmmaker Evan Joling and featuring music by Michigan singer/songwriter Danny Kline, available for online viewing here.

Monday, August 5, 2013

6th Annual Great Lakes Cider & Perry Festival Planned for September 7 at Uncle John’s Cider Mill

Craft cider is more popular now than ever before and to celebrate this growing Midwest passion, the 6th Annual Great Lakes Cider & Perry Festival returns to Uncle John’s Cider Mill at 8614 N US 127, St. Johns – just north of Lansing.

More than one hundred different ciders and perries from dozens of producers from throughout the region will be available for sampling on Saturday, September 7 at this annual gathering, presented by the Great Lakes Cider & Perry Association.

General festival admission runs from 2-7pm. At $15 per person, regular admission includes a commemorative glass and 10 sample pours. Group tickets are also available for general admission ($25 for 2 tickets | $40 for 4 tickets | $75 for 10 tickets). Tickets for the may be purchased online here. All profit proceeds from the festival benefit the Great Lake Cider & Perry Association (est. 2008).

Entertainment this year includes the Jagwire Country Band (1-5pm) on the Cider Mill Porch followed by 16-year-old Taylor Taylor from 5-7pm at the Tasting event.

Jagwire Country was formed by Dan Hullihen and features several talented, local musicians and singers including Randy Wooley on drums; Jaxie Hartman on bass guitar and vocals; Del Shorts on lead guitar and vocals; Martin “Luther” Hutchinson on rhythm guitar, lead guitar and vocals; and Hullihen on steel guitar and vocals. The band has developed a small following in the mid Michigan area, playing music for dancing – everything from waltz to line dancing, with some up tempo two-step numbers as well as some old rock and roll.

Taylor Taylor is a 16-year-old native of Lansing, MI with African American and Colombian roots. She has been cultivating her jazzy-pop style with classical guitar skills, warm and charismatic vocals and songwriting lyrics, which reveal her intelligence beyond her years. This singer-songwriter enjoys performing at venues around the state and has won several singing and talent competitions. Highlights of her career so far have been performing in Nashville, TN for various songwriting showcases, including the Bluebird Cafe, opening for Radio Disney's, Shane Harper and releasing her first EP in 2012. While Taylor stays busy with school, sports, music lessons and volunteering, her passion is to perform. Taylor is a genuine, humorous and all around great young lady. She believes a philanthropic mind and love for music can change the hearts for those who listen.

Individuals interested in volunteering at the event should contact Mike Beck at 989-640-2763 /

The Great Lakes Cider & Perry Association (GLCPA) is a nonprofit organization formed to showcase and promote fermented apple and pear beverages and to help educate consumers and producers about them. Our members include both commercial and non-commercial producers, as well as affiliate members located outside the region. Come join us at one of our events and discover some of the finest North American ciders and perries!