Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hudsonville Ice Cream Expands Chicago Presence with Limited Edition Fall Seasonal Flavors - including #BearTraxx & #CaramelPopcorn

Michigan-based Hudsonville Ice Cream is expanding its presence in the Windy City this fall with the introduction of three new Limited Edition seasonal flavors that are sure to leave Chicagoans hungry for more.

Inspired by your Chicago Bears, just in time for football season, Bear Traxx is made with Hudsonville’s Original Chocolate ice cream, with peanut butter ripple and fudge pieces. It will hit store shelves in early September, just as the NFL season begins.

Another stadium favorite, Chicago Caramel Popcorn offers a sweet-n-salty flavor, made with caramel popcorn ice cream, a salty ribbon of caramel and crunchy clusters.

Paying homage to its home state, Hudsonville Ice Cream will also deliver Pure Michigan Caramel Apple to Chicago this fall. This flavor was deemed the most “Pure Michigan” by an online contest in 2012, where consumers could submit their favorite Michigan-inspired flavors to be produced for regional distribution. This mouthwatering flavor is a combination of fresh Michigan apples folded into a special caramel-infused ice cream that tastes just like caramel apples on a stick!

“This is not our first year in Chicago, but this is our first big push in the area,” says Caryn Beatty, from Hudsonville Ice Cream. “Over the past five years, we’ve built relationships with several retail outlets—the newest being Jewel Osco, which we look forward to being a great partner within the Hudsonville family.”

“Jewel-Osco is excited to offer the quality Hudsonville Ice Cream brand to our customers,” says Bob Brown, assistant sales manager. “The new flavor, Bear Traxx, is sure to be a favorite for both Bears’ fans and ice cream lovers alike.”
In addition to Jewel-Osco stores you can also find Hudsonville Ice Cream at Meijer, Strack & Van Til, Ultra Mariano’s Fresh Market, Berkots, Angelo Caputos, Sunset Foods, Tony’s Finer Foods, Fairway Foods, Walts and many others. Chicago residents looking for their favorite Hudsonville Ice Cream flavor can log onto and click on the “Scoop Locator” to find a complete list of store offerings.

Started in 1895 as a farmers’ cooperative, the Holland-based Hudsonville Creamery & Ice Cream is the largest manufacturer of branded ice cream in Michigan. For more than 80 years, this Midwest company has been producing its creamy, delicious ice cream – using many of its original flavors, while at the same time creating refreshing new recipes inspired by the Great Lakes.

Michigan's Ghostly Beacons Makes a Presence this Fall at Two Northwest Michigan Libraries

What is it about lighthouses that attract ghostly spirits? Maybe it’s simply a passion that will not go away. Lighthouse keepers were known to be extremely dedicated to their profession and it seems that many were never able to give it up — even after death.

Join Dianna Stampfler of Promote Michigan as she shares “Michigan’s Ghostly Beacons” on Monday, September 22 (7-8pm) at the Petoskey District Library and Wednesday, October 15 (6:30-8pm) at the Traverse Area District Library. Both programs are free and open to the public.

Nearly two dozen lights in Michigan are rumored to be haunted. From the smell of cigar smoke at Seul Choix Point Light to the mysterious housekeeping at White River Light Station and the antics at Waugoshance Shoal, these stories will entertain all ages — just in time for the Halloween season.

Since 1997, Dianna has been presenting lively and upbeat programs about the area’s historic lighthouses, ghost towns, islands and other unique destinations and activities in her home state of Michigan. Dianna is a passionate professional speaker, with a degree in communications from Western Michigan University and 20+ years’ experience in radio broadcasting and public speaking.

An established freelance writer, Dianna is a regular contributor to Michigan Blue Magazine and Grand Rapids Family Magazine. She has also been published in Pure Michigan Travel Ideas, Lake Michigan Circle Tour & Lighthouse Guide, Country Lines, Michigan Living, West Michigan Carefree Travel, Michigan Home & Lifestyle Magazine, Tasters Guild International and Grand Rapids Magazine, among others.

Over the years, she has held memberships in the Great Lake Lighthouse Keepers Association, Michigan One Room Schoolhouse Association and Historical Society of Michigan. She is currently active with the West Michigan Tourist Association, Kent County Lodging Association, Ferris State University Hospitality Advisory Board and Michigan Culinary Tourism Alliance, among other groups.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hudsonville Ice Cream Headed to "Taste of Traverse City" for Labor Day Weekend

Michigan-based Hudsonville Ice Cream is making its inaugural appearance at the “Taste of Traverse City” event on Saturday, August 30 from Noon to 6pm at Grand Traverse Resort & Spa.

Chef Ray Sierengowski, Director of Product Development for Hudsonville Ice Cream, will be scooping up samples of Grand Traverse Bay Cherry Fudge and making “Bacon Maple Sundaes” with Classic Vanilla Ice Cream.

Grand Traverse Bay Cherry Fudge is inspired by the “Cherry Capital of the World” – evoking the taste of chocolate covered cherries by blending sweet chunks of cherries, creamy amaretto-flavored ice cream and a thick ripples of fudge. It’s described as “vacation in a bowl” for good reason!

“We’re very excited to have a presence this year at the Taste of Traverse City,” says Sierengowski. “It’s going to be a great way to end this Pure Michigan summer in one of the state’s top tourist cities.”

Started in 1895 as a farmers’ cooperative, the Holland-based Hudsonville Creamery & Ice Cream is the largest manufacturer of branded ice cream in Michigan. For more than 80 years, this Midwest company has been producing its creamy, delicious ice cream – using many of its original flavors, while at the same time creating refreshing new recipes inspired by the Great Lakes.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

“null” Grand Opening Set for Fri Sept 5 in Dexter

Taphouse to Showcase Northern United Brewing’s Beer, Wine, Cider & Spirits Brands - next to Jolly Pumpkin Production Brewery

The long-anticipated opening of the null Café & Taphouse at Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales production brewery is just around the corner. Executives at Northern United Brewing Company have announced Friday, September 5 at 7pm as the Grand Opening at 2319 Bishop Circle East in Dexter.

"This tasting room has been in the works for decades,” says Ron Jeffries, Jolly Pumpkin co-founder, co-owner and Brewmaster. “We’ve always wanted to have a great place for people to enjoy the beers that we brew on-site and we’re excited to unveil this new space which will allow us to do just that.”

Designed and built using all recycled or reclaimed materials, null (which stands for “Northern United Liquid Libations”) is intended be a warm haven and comfortable environment within the 70,000-square-foot production brewery building. The taphouse will proudly feature products from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, North Peak Brewing Co., Civilized Spirits, Old Mission Spirits, Nomad Cidery and Bonafide Wines.

NUBCo encompasses the Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, North Peak and Grizzly Peak beer brands, Civilized Spirits and Bonafide Wines, all dedicated 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; and null Café & Taproom in Dexter.

(nl) null Café & Taphouse @ Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales - Dexter

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Rockford Brewing’s Beer Tent will set the Stage for Harvest Festival

On the weekend of Sept. 26, 2014, thousands of people will pour into Rockford’s scenic downtown for Harvest Festival, and in anticipation for this event, Rockford Brewing Company (RBC) has prepared a special lineup of entertainment.

RBC prides itself on its continuous involvement in the Rockford community and strives to build on the town’s already reputable appeal. It has become the company’s goal to represent a fun, mindful lifestyle, through the means of outdoor recreation and fresh products from the local agriculture community. As Rockford Brewing continues to grow, so too does its involvement with the city and local businesses.

The festivities are set to kick off on Friday, Sept. 26, at 5 p.m. and will run until 11 p.m. in RBC’s south parking lot. There will be live music from Channing and Quinn at 5.p.m., while Delilah Dewylde & The Lost Boys headline the night, taking the stage at 8 p.m.

On Saturday, Sept. 27, the tent will be open from noon until 11 p.m. and will feature a variety of events, which includes a chili cook off inside the tent! Contestants are expected to arrive at 8 a.m. and the judging will take place at 12 p.m. Samples of the chili and RBC brews will then be available to the public. After the competition is complete, RBC will once again feature live local bands for the rest of the night. The Legal Immigrants will begin at 5 p.m. and Hannah Rose and the GraveTones will take the stage at, roughly, 8 p.m.

Along with the chili cook off and live music, RBC is hosting a collaborative event, Coq to the Fly, with Brewery Vivant on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. The two breweries will host a bike ride from Vivant to RBC, and each release a special collaboration beer for the event (Coq2Fly), which will be available inside the brewery’s beer tent at 2pm along with live music from The Moonrays. In honor of Harvest Festival, RBC will also release the exclusive Harvest Ale series!

If you would like to sign up for the chili cook off please contact the Rockford Chamber of Commerce at or call (616) 866-2000.

For all other inquiries please contact RBC event coordinator Derek Grantham at or call (616) 951-4677.

Official FB Event
Online Info

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales Earns Gold & Silver Medals at LA International Beer Competition

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales earned two medals at the Los Angeles International Beer Competition earlier this summer in California. The Dexter, Michigan-based craft brewery received a Gold Medal in the American Style Brett Ale category for its Oro de Calabaza and a Silver Medal in the American Style Sour Ale division for its La Roja.

Oro de Calabaza (8% ABV) is brewed in the Franco-Belgian tradition of strong golden ales. It is spicy and peppery, with a gentle hop bouquet and the beguiling influence of wild yeast.

La Roja (7.2% ABV) is an artisan amber ale brewed in the Flanders tradition. A deep amber in color, it offers earthy caramel, spice and sour fruit notes that are developed through the natural barrel aging. It is unfiltered, unpasteurized and blended from barrels ranging in age from two to ten months.

Both are available in year-round production, on draft and in new 375ml bottles (along with the original 750ml bottles).

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

Find NUBCo 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 Artisan Ales
2319 Bishop Circle East — Dexter, MI 48130 — (734) 426-4962

Traverse Tall Ship Company Offers Multi-Day Autumn Excursions Aboard the Schooner Manitou

Leave your busy schedules and the daily grind in the wind as you head out on the freshwaters of Grand Traverse Bay aboard the Schooner Manitou. The Traverse Tall Ship Company is once again offering a series of educational and entertaining multi-day cruises throughout the fall color tour months of September and October. During these trips, guests enjoy a relaxing, stress-free get-away, while visiting quaint coastal villages and soaking up the panoramic views of the northern Michigan shoreline. This is definitely a Pure Michigan experience.

Excursions with remaining availability for this fall include:

• 4-Day Wine Cruise (September 11-15, 2014) – Cost $739 per person.

Explore the great wine regions of the world with expert Chaad Thomas. Each evening aboard Manitou we will discuss the winemaking histories and taste the varietals of different countries. Dinners will feature paired wines chosen as a perfect complement to our meals.

Thomas, a partner in the Ann Arbor-based U.S. Wine Imports, came into the wine business through working in restaurants – where he learned and practiced the art of wine and food pairings. From there, a retail wine shop stint introduced him to the commodity side of the business and stirred an interest in the supply chain, linking the vineyards to the wine glass, which ultimately led him into importing and wholesale distribution.

Founded in 2006, U.S. Wine Imports initially specialized in Italian wine, but has grown over the years into a more complete, global portfolio – including wines from across Europe, South America and the United States, including Michigan. The company serves primarily independent restaurants and retail shops with family-owned, small production boutique wines.

• 4-Day Astronomy Cruise (September 25-29, 2014) – Cost $739 per person.

Astronomer Mark Nussbaum will be our guide as we study the brilliant northern Michigan heavens. Hillsdale College professor and avid amateur astronomer Mark Nussbaum will be our guide to the moon and stars as we study the brilliant northern Michigan heavens.

Charting a course just like sailors centuries before, this is a weekend for those who are awed by the vast wonders of the sky. Passengers will see how the stars rise and set, just like the sun, and appear to circle around Polaris (the North Star) as the earth rotates. Passengers may bring their own small telescope or binoculars. A telescope and half-dozen pairs of binoculars will be aboard the ship for the group to share.

Nussbaum will provide star charts and discuss the distances and sizes of the stars and how it is that we are actually looking back in time as we view deeper into space. A professor of analytical chemistry and chemistry for non-science majors, Mark has taken courses in astronomy and astrophysics and has taught astronomy at the college level. He’s also led or assisted at outdoor viewing sessions on several occasions.

• 4-Day Photography Cruise (October 2-6, 2014) – Cost $659 per person.

This cruise offers the extraordinary experience of traveling with seasoned photographer Chris Bickes — who appreciates whatever camera skills you may have or equipment you bring, and will work with you in capturing your unforgettable vacation story through camera management and photo composition.

Bickes has been hosting photo-walks and photo workshops in Northwest Michigan for the past three years. Workshops have included Ansel Adams Black and White Winter Sculpture, Sunset & Evening Photography, Classic Car Photography, and Wild Flower & Nature Photography. Previous to that Chris was a summer instructor at the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite California and is a former student of Ansel Adams.

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.

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.

Trips are limited to 24 individuals, with accommodations provided in 12 double-bunk cabins. Fare includes lodging, all meals and sailing activities.

To make reservations for any of the 2014 Manitou sailing adventures, call toll free 800-678-0383, ext. 2 or order tickets online. Gift certificates are also available. For additional information about the Manitou, including its corporate charters, log on to

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.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Great Apples + Great Lakes = Great Cider!

Craft cider is the fastest growing beverage in the market these days, and to celebrate this growing Midwest passion, the 7th 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 6. This annual sampling, along with great food and live music, is presented by the Great Lakes Cider & Perry Association.

General festival admission runs from 1-7pm. 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). All profit proceeds from the festival benefit the Great Lake Cider & Perry Association (est. 2008).

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!

North Peak Beer’s Diabolical IPA Wins First Major International Award

North Peak Beer’s Diabolical IPA garnered its first international award earlier this summer when it was honored with a Gold Medal at the Los Angeles International Beer Competition, for best English-Style India Pale Ale.

“We’re excited for our first major international award for the North Peak Beer brand,” says Jon Carlson, who – along with Greg Lobdell, Ron Jeffries and Tony Grant – are the managing partners of the Northern United Brewing Co. (NUBCo). “Diabolical is our flagship beer and to have it recognized as top of its class, on an international scale, speaks volumes to the quality of this Michigan brew.”

The Michigan-based North Peak Brand was launched in bottle distribution in its home state in 2009, with Diabolical being one of the original offerings. From there, the brand was introduced to Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Ohio. California was the seventh state to add North Peak to the market, during the first quarter of 2014.

Available year round as one of North Peak’s signature beers, Diabolical IPA (6.6% ABV / 66.6 IBUs) has hops from nose to tail. This IPA is unfiltered and dry-hopped, with Michigan-grown Chinook and Cascade hops. It has a smooth malt character, with citrus and pine aroma.

As with all beers in the North Peak portfolio, Diabolical is steeped in legend, as represented by the jackalope—best described as a rabbit with deer antlers.

It is possible that the tales of the mythical jackalope were actually inspired by sightings of them in Northern Michigan, generations ago. Folklore offers many claims as to the creature’s habits, including an almost un-quenchable thirst. It is commonly believed that a jackalope may be caught by putting a flask of whiskey out at night. Drawn by the rich aroma, and a need to drink, the creature consumes its fill, thus making it easier to hunt.

“We actually encourage people to set out a pint of Diabolical to lure the little critter,” Lobdell says. “He’s sure to be knocking on your door for more.”

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.

Find NUBC products at stores, restaurants and bars all throughout Michigan, including: North Peak Brewing Company, Mission Table and Jolly Pumpkin Brewery, in Traverse City; Jolly Pumpkin and Grizzly Peak, in Ann Arbor. Brands may also be found outside of Michigan, in select markets.

Northern United Brewing Company
2319 Bishop Circle East — Dexter, MI 48130

Monday, August 11, 2014

Keweenaw Excursions Offers 3-Day Fall Color Tour Through the St. Mary’s River and Beyond

There’s no better way to soak up the fall colors of Pure Michigan than from the water. Keweenaw Excursions is offering a 3-day excursion that will take passengers up the St. Mary’s River, through the Soo Locks and into Lake Superior, aboard its 110-foot Keweenaw Star. The trip runs Saturday, September 27* through Monday, September 29.

The trip begins Saturday morning at the State Docks in the village of DeTour, in the eastern Upper Peninsula. From there, the Star will travel north to explore the hundreds of tree-filled islands of Potagannissing Bay, through the North Channel of Georgian Bay and over to the Canadian town of Bruce Mines, to view the lighthouse at McKay Point. From there, its west past Sister Rock lighthouse and through the narrows of the Wilson Channel, then over to the north side of St. Joseph Island, which should be ablaze in fall colors. Just past the Shoal Island Lighthouse, the Star enters the St. Mary’s River in the Middle Neebish Channel and heads north toward Sault Ste Marie. The evening concludes with a trip through the Soo Locks and out into Lake Superior, before returning to Sault Ste Marie for the night.

Sunday offers options for passengers. The first is to board a bus for trip to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point in the town of Paradise, including a stop at nearby Point Iroquois Lighthouse.+

Or, those wishing to stay and explore Sault Ste Marie can take in attractions such as the Museum Ship Valley Camp, Tower of History and the viewing platform for the Soo Locks, for up-closing viewing of the transiting freighters.

On Monday, the Star begins her voyage south down the St. Mary’s River, with passage through the famed Rock Cut and back to the dock in DeTour.

Cost for the excursion is $475 per person, based on double occupancy ($550 per person, single occupancy) and includes transportation, two night’s accommodations at the Kewadin Casino in Sault Ste Marie as well as a gaming package, and most meals. Space is limited and reservations are required by calling 231-237-9365.

The Keweenaw Star offers a full cash bar with snacks, as well as a climate-controlled main cabin, full dining room, walk-around main deck and open-air top deck.

Operating since 2000 Keweenaw Excursions is owned and operated by brothers Jason and Kraig Funkey. The company originated in Houghton, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and moved to Charlevoix in 2009. With a capacity of 130 passengers, the Keweenaw Star offers a range of cruises from mid-May through mid-October, including sunset tours, sightseeing trips and multi-day lighthouse and ship-watching cruises. The boat is also available for private charters, for events such as corporate outings, weddings, rehearsal dinners and reunions.

*A block of rooms has been set up at the Cedarville Lodge in the town of Cedarville, just 20 minutes from the State Dock in Detour, for $79 for Thursday and Sunday evenings, for those needing additional accommodations. Be sure to ask for the Keweenaw Excursion block when making reservations.

+The bus tour option is an added $55 per person and includes transportation, admission to both museums and lunch at Whitefish Point, and is limited to the first 57 passengers.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Manistee County Introduces 3 Ways to Explore Its Newly Updated Historic Buildings Tour

Manistee County boasts one of the finest collections of historic buildings in the nation, according to the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office. More than 80 of these sites have been cataloged—with histories, addresses and photographs—in a new publication released this month.

Four self-guided routes take visitors through the historic central business district of Downtown Manistee, East and West historic home district, as well as destination sights throughout the county. Each tour starts and ends at one of the Historic Museums, where you can stop in and the experienced staff can assist you in learning more about any one of the great historic sites you have explored.

These detailed routes are outlined in a 52-page printed pocket-sized directory, available for free at the Visitor’s Bureau office. It can also be requested by calling 877.626.4783 or by requesting it online at, while supplies last (3,000 copies were printed).

A digital version of the publication can be downloaded in a flip-book format by clicking here.

The Historic Building Tour routes can also be accessed remotely, via the Manistee County mobile app, available in Apple and Android platforms, by following the links below.


The first settlers arrived in Manistee County in 1841 and it was formally organized in 1855. During its first census, in 1860, the county recorded 975 residents. In 1871, the year of the “Great Fire” in Chicago also proved devastating to Manistee, when over half of the city’s buildings were destroyed. The town quickly rebuilt itself and by 1885, the region was flourishing with nearly 15,000 people. In fact, at the time, the area claimed to have more millionaires per capita than any other city in the United States. Lumbering was the first major industry here, given the flowing rivers and Lake Michigan access. Salt mining followed, as did agriculture and fishing, among other smaller commerce operations.

Today, approximately 25,000 people call Manistee County home. The city of Manistee is the county seat, and the only actual city in the county. There are, however, five incorporated villages, eight unincorporated villages and 14 townships in the county. While there are some ties to past industries here, tourism is now driving the local economy—with an emphasis on natural resources, agriculture and historic preservation.

There are 28 properties in Manistee County listed with the State of Michigan as Historic Sites or as having Michigan Historical Markers; 15 properties are listed with the National Register of Historic Places, through the National Park System.

Located along 25 miles of sugar-sand Lake Michigan beaches, Manistee is a Pure Michigan destination, nestled in the heart of the Manistee National Forest. The scenic M-22 highway begins here, at the intersection of US-31, as it heads north 116.6 miles through the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

The Manistee County Visitors Bureau is an official travel and tourism organization, incorporated in 1997, as a non-profit agency, to promote Manistee County. Its mission is to promote Manistee County as a travel destination, to increase overnight visits and be the lead organization focusing on building the local tourism economy.