crystal mountain

Memorial Day weekend: a weekend that boasts endless activities, events, and happenings under the hopeful curtain of a warm spring sun. Barbeques, boating, backyard hangouts, downtown strolls, outdoor festivals. So, how does one choose what to do?

The staff at Crystal Mountain think people shouldn’t have to choose—they’ll be there waiting with beer, brats, music, and a welcoming community that Saturday, May 27th, when their 12th annual Beer & Brat festival kicks off at four o’clock.

 

 

“What we found with our festival is that it’s a good time of day,” says Brian Lawson, Director of Public Relations.

“A lot of people might do an early BBQ or might be opening their cottage that morning, and by the time four o’clock rolls around, they’re ready for a little bit of fun. People can cap off their busy days with some fun and relaxation at our resort.”

The relaxation and fun are guaranteed! Crystal Mountain has hosted this event for going on 12 years, with attendance and activities growing every year. To make things extra special, the resort is celebrating their 60th anniversary. To the resort staff and surrounding community, this casts an even brighter light around everything in 2017.

The festival itself will offer its usual awesome array of Michigan craft—local brat vendors, breweries from all around the state, and local musicians.

Skarcasm, a power trio hailing Traverse City, will be returning this year with some original sounds and rock’n’roll covers. Joining them will be newcomers to the lineup, Lookin’ Back, a Bob Seger tribute band who consider themselves a forward-looking group united to perform Seger’s hits at their highest possible standard.

“This band makes it a point to invite Bob Seger to all of their gigs. And they play certain covers in the same key he would, so if he did happen to show up, there would be a smooth transition into him joining in,” says Lawson.

While enjoying the music, festival goers can enjoy the many smells and tastes offered under the food and beer tents. Honor Family Market, Buntings Cedar Market, Maxbauer Market, Ebel’s, Kaleva Meats, Sander’s Meats, and Mikowski’s Meat Market & Deli will be providing the traditional brat fare and sides, and all are local Michigan markets.

Like the Michigan craft industry in general, Crystal Mountain increases in number of breweries represented every year. And for this 12th year, the event boasts the highest number of first-time-in-attendance breweries, including: Pigeon Hill Brewing Company, Creston Brewery, Big Lake Brewing, Tapistry Brewing, Oddside Ales, Roak Brewing, and Latitude 42 Brewing Company.

“The combination of music, breweries, and the brats are a great way to start the summer. Having it all focused on Michigan makes it special, too,” says Lawson.

And what makes this event unique? It’s perhaps the small details that actually have a huge impact on atmosphere.

“We have a cool venue at the base of the mountain, which I guess is kind of obvious. But as a resort, we tend towards a different atmosphere than most. We’re very family friendly and are surrounded by a tight knit community that has grown up here alongside us. The sense of community—it feels very inclusive here. You can just kind of feel it,” says Lawson.

The event offers a child care camp if parents want to slip away for a bit and set up a blanket on the lawn with beers and brats in hand.

The annual Tesla car show will also happen again this year, but event attendees will now have the opportunity to talk to Tesla and Chevy representatives while test driving on-site the morning before the event.

And although the event happens Saturday, Crystal Mountain will extend the fun into Sunday this year. For the first time, the resort will be hosting Micros on Mountaintop, a Sunday afternoon mini-beerfest at the top of the mountain. The event caters to the 400+ North Mitten Race runners who will be completing their 5k, 10k, and half marathon distances early that morning—but anyone is welcome to buy admission to attend later that afternoon. Local brews, food, and music will greet attendees as soon as they step off the chairlift!

Memorial Day weekend traditionally launches all of the resort’s summer offerings. Mountain biking, golfing, rock climbing, archery (new!), chairlift rides, local craft tours to Iron Fish Distillery and St. Ambrose Cellars, guided rides on the Betsie Valley Trail into Frankfurt—where one can stop at Stormcloud Brewing Company—these are just some of the options available to resort guests.

When visiting, be sure to check out the newest addition to the resort—a brand new section dedicated not only to more rooms for guests, but also a market and restaurant.

“You won’t be able to miss it, [the new building], says Lawson. “It’s the new centerpiece of the village.”

The addition won’t be open for guest use until later in the summer, with the market and restaurant following in the fall, but Lawson says the plan is to have the Grand Opening coincide with their 60th Anniversary celebrations, a true culmination to a great year filled with new things.

In the meantime, kick off the summer in true Michigan style, by heading up north for barbeque, beer, and family at the Beer & Brat festival.

Tickets available on the Crystal Mountain website.

 

Sponsored by Crystal Mountain Resort

 

prolonged enjoyment shorts

prolonged enjoyment shorts

It’s certainly not the clearest looking IPA I’ve encountered, but great lacing with a medium-sized frothy head begs me closer. The beer is almost a muddied amber color, and looks great in the glass. I am being invited to take another slug from this “Prolonged Enjoyment” Session India Pale Ale from Short’s Brewing.

It’s a staple nowadays, these session IPA’s, as we leap into the freshness of the spring season and allow ourselves more of the quaffable beers out there to combat the newfound warmth and sweat that comes with preparing everything for the hot days ahead.

In Prolonged Enjoyment, a mildly fruity smell, almost grape and strawberry-like, wafts up and balances alongside the sesame seed and cracker notes of the malt. It’s a bit bready as well, with a deep, danker, greener note mixed in coming from those hops. The aroma entangles itself with these characteristics and leave you presented with a mild but pleasant smell. It reminds me of the scent I get when walking past a brewery in production.

prolonged enjoyment shortsThe beer is unpretentious and certainly quaffable. The flavor dissolves into a plethora of green character with a touch of spiciness from the hops. It’s the kind of flavor that, when exhaling, you feel like your mouth smells like hops are being ripped open inside of it. The mild breadiness of the malt and the casual overall spiciness breezes by the in background, and the brew leaves you feeling a dry finish and a snappy bitter bite. All I can do is say, “Ahhhhhhhhhh” and reach back for another pull from the glass.

Drink up responsibly and enjoy these relaxing days ahead with this beer in hand for those moments when you just want to refresh yourself in an unhurried manner. Prolonged Enjoyment will then be able to live up to its name for you.

 

Cheers!

 

shortsElk Rapids, Mich. – In true Short’s fashion, just one month in advance of their biggest party of the year, Short’s Brewing Company announces the addition of the Salvacious Planemo Sour Series and Slurm to their 2017 Release Schedule. The Salvacious Planemo Sour Series will begin with the release of Anni Ale 13irteen, a dry hopped American Sour Ale with black currants. Slurm, Short’s first New England style India Pale Ale, will be distributed in May. Both new releases will be served on tap at Short’s Anni Party 13irteen.

A departure from Short’s Anni Ale ‘09 – ‘16, Anni Ale 13irteen will be released first at Short’s thirteenth anniversary party. This American Sour Ale will head to shelves and taps in Michigan and throughout Short’s expanded distribution footprint (Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin) beginning May 1st.

Fans of past Short’s releases Peachy Pom Pom and Wishful Sinful have much to look forward to. Subsequent Salvacious Planemo Sour Series releases include Exeter, a new American Sour Ale with strawberry and lemon and the eventual return of Critterless. First released in the fall of 2016, Critterless is an American Sour Ale with mango and cherry that quickly proved to be a fan favorite.

shortsOn the other end of the beer spectrum, Short’s Slurm, a juicy, hazy, New England style IPA will also make it’s debut on tap at Short’s Anni Party 13irteen. Packaged in six-packs of 12 oz bottles and kegs, Slurm will only be available in Michigan. According to the company, distribution will take place in May.

Taking place on April 29th, 2017, Short’s Anni Party 13irteen will feature 30 Short’s brews and Starcut Ciders, local food, two specialty Private Stache bottle releases (Terr Bear, a barrel aged sour Wheat Ale fermented with Northern Michigan raspberries and Bourbon Wizard, a barrel aged Barleywine), and performances by Laith Al-Saadi, May Erlewine & The Motivations, and the first ever winner of Short’s Battle of the Bands.

Tickets to Short’s Anni Party 13irteen are available now. Order today at: shortsbrew.com/anniparty.

shortsElk Rapids, Mich. – In true Short’s fashion, just one month in advance of their biggest party of the year, Short’s Brewing Company announces the addition of the Salvacious Planemo Sour Series and Slurm to their 2017 Release Schedule. The Salvacious Planemo Sour Series will begin with the release of Anni Ale 13irteen, a dry hopped American Sour Ale with black currants. Slurm, Short’s first New England style India Pale Ale, will be distributed in May. Both new releases will be served on tap at Short’s Anni Party 13irteen.

A departure from Short’s Anni Ale ‘09 – ‘16, Anni Ale 13irteen will be released first at Short’s thirteenth anniversary party. This American Sour Ale will head to shelves and taps in Michigan and throughout Short’s expanded distribution footprint (Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin) beginning May 1st.

Fans of past Short’s releases Peachy Pom Pom and Wishful Sinful have much to look forward to. Subsequent Salvacious Planemo Sour Series releases include Exeter, a new American Sour Ale with strawberry and lemon and the eventual return of Critterless. First released in the fall of 2016, Critterless is an American Sour Ale with mango and cherry that quickly proved to be a fan favorite.

shortsOn the other end of the beer spectrum, Short’s Slurm, a juicy, hazy, New England style IPA will also make it’s debut on tap at Short’s Anni Party 13irteen. Packaged in six-packs of 12 oz bottles and kegs, Slurm will only be available in Michigan. According to the company, distribution will take place in May.

Taking place on April 29th, 2017, Short’s Anni Party 13irteen will feature 30 Short’s brews and Starcut Ciders, local food, two specialty Private Stache bottle releases (Terr Bear, a barrel aged sour Wheat Ale fermented with Northern Michigan raspberries and Bourbon Wizard, a barrel aged Barleywine), and performances by Laith Al-Saadi, May Erlewine & The Motivations, and the first ever winner of Short’s Battle of the Bands.

Tickets to Short’s Anni Party 13irteen are available now. Order today at: shortsbrew.com/anniparty.

suds and snow

Over a decade ago, Suds & Snow started as a small beer festival meant to break up the winter. On Saturday, the 11th annual Suds & Snow was larger and more alive than ever.

Held at Timber Ridge Resort each March, Suds & Snow continues to be the “ultimate party in the woods.” Throughout the remainder of the year, Timber Ridge Resort is a campground; in the winter, however, it transforms into a place where locals can still enjoy the outdoors. The resort hosts fat tire bike races throughout the winter, maintains groomed cross-country ski trails, and finishes the season with a unique beer festival.

suds and snow

With a Mardi Gras theme, this year’s Suds & Snow was colorful, light-hearted, and full of funk and jazz. Many attendees return each year, bringing along new friends to enjoy the festival. There were over 2,500 tickets sold online for this year’s festival, with even more sold at the door. Offered again this year were early bird and VIP tickets, which allowed early access into the festival as well as an exclusive festival Silipint.

Upon arriving to the festival, attendees had to make the legendary hike back into the woods. The festival could be found in a valley toward the back of the resort, encircled in breweries, food vendors, and live music.

The festival set up in the valley allowed for what seemed like two different festivals. The front space adorned a bonfire and live music as well as hilltop adirondack chairs and cornhole. A throughway in the middle led to the back of the festival which featured more breweries, food vendors, and a DJ.

This year, the festival hosted 23 breweries from around the state, including Beards Brewery, New Holland Brewing, Tandem Ciders, and Blackrocks Brewery.

The food vendors were local favorites, MI Grille and Roaming Harvest. MI Grille served a Mardi Gras jambalaya while Roaming Harvest featured their well-liked tacos.

The live music exemplified the theme, bringing a little bit of New Orleans to Northern Michigan. Jesse Ray & The Carolina Catfish, from Grand Rapids, energized the crowds with their upbeat rockabilly-influenced music. Hannah Rose & The Gravetones kicked things up with an interesting mix of funk, jazz, blues, and rock. Tell Yo Mama closed out the night with an eclectic mix of cover songs.

The 12th Annual Suds & Snow will take place at the beginning of March 2018, and is sure to be even more memorable. You can visit their website for updates and more information.

 

Photography: Kaitlyn Rickman

short's

Bellaire, Mich. – Short’s Brewing Company announces the lineup for their Anni Party 13 Battle of the Bands. Over the course of the next two months, 21 selected bands will battle for a paying gig to perform as the opener at Short’s 13th Anniversary Party on April 29th, 2017.

Selected bands will take the pub stage on seven Sundays this winter and spring, three each evening, to show off their skills. Each band will play three songs (one song must be original) in front of a live audience and Short’s panel of celebrity judges including representatives from the Crosshatch Center for Art and Ecology and Earthwork Music. Bands will be evaluated on their stage presence, “tightness,” original song, and overall party “vibe.” The band(s) with the highest overall scores will move on to the semi-finals. A final battle will be held on Sunday, April 2nd.

The Battle of the Bands will begin this Sunday, January 22nd, with performances by Benjamin James and Zander Michigan beginning at 4:30 pm. Other bands vying for a spot in the musical lineup for Short’s 13th Anniversary Party include Hurry Home, Red Herring, The Gasoline Gypsies, Jack Pine, ellyeahdehd, Impulsive Hearts, Dos Ultra, Tell Yo Mamma, and Strobelite Honey. A full lineup can be found by visiting shortsbrew.com/battleofthebands2017.

 

About Short’s 13th Anniversary Party

Celebrated each April, Short’s Anniversary Party brings an estimated 3,000 party attendees to downtown Bellaire for Short’s brews, Starcut Ciders, live music, and local food trucks. Headlining acts for #SBCANNIPARTY13 will be announced with ticket sales on Friday, February 17th.

About Short’s Brewing Company

Located in the heart of Downtown Bellaire, MI, Short’s Brewing Co. was established in 2004 by Joe Short.  In 2009, Short’s began keg and bottle distribution in Michigan via their Elk Rapids Production Facility. Starcut Ciders is a division of Short’s Brewing Company born out of a desire to celebrate the bounty of Michigan orchards. The brewery is known widely for their flagship and experimental brews including Huma Lupa Licious and Soft Parade. Short’s prides themselves on producing fearlessly creative beers, handmade by people who care in Northern Michigan.

 

short's

Bellaire, Mich. – Short’s Brewing Company announces the lineup for their Anni Party 13 Battle of the Bands. Over the course of the next two months, 21 selected bands will battle for a paying gig to perform as the opener at Short’s 13th Anniversary Party on April 29th, 2017.

Selected bands will take the pub stage on seven Sundays this winter and spring, three each evening, to show off their skills. Each band will play three songs (one song must be original) in front of a live audience and Short’s panel of celebrity judges including representatives from the Crosshatch Center for Art and Ecology and Earthwork Music. Bands will be evaluated on their stage presence, “tightness,” original song, and overall party “vibe.” The band(s) with the highest overall scores will move on to the semi-finals. A final battle will be held on Sunday, April 2nd.

The Battle of the Bands will begin this Sunday, January 22nd, with performances by Benjamin James and Zander Michigan beginning at 4:30 pm. Other bands vying for a spot in the musical lineup for Short’s 13th Anniversary Party include Hurry Home, Red Herring, The Gasoline Gypsies, Jack Pine, ellyeahdehd, Impulsive Hearts, Dos Ultra, Tell Yo Mamma, and Strobelite Honey. A full lineup can be found by visiting shortsbrew.com/battleofthebands2017.
 
About Short’s 13th Anniversary Party
Celebrated each April, Short’s Anniversary Party brings an estimated 3,000 party attendees to downtown Bellaire for Short’s brews, Starcut Ciders, live music, and local food trucks. Headlining acts for #SBCANNIPARTY13 will be announced with ticket sales on Friday, February 17th.

About Short’s Brewing Company

Located in the heart of Downtown Bellaire, MI, Short’s Brewing Co. was established in 2004 by Joe Short.  In 2009, Short’s began keg and bottle distribution in Michigan via their Elk Rapids Production Facility. Starcut Ciders is a division of Short’s Brewing Company born out of a desire to celebrate the bounty of Michigan orchards. The brewery is known widely for their flagship and experimental brews including Huma Lupa Licious and Soft Parade. Short’s prides themselves on producing fearlessly creative beers, handmade by people who care in Northern Michigan.

 

Traverse City, MI – Not many industries thrive on collaboration. In the brewing industry, however, working together can lead to amazing beer for everyone. In this spirit, Right Brain Brewery is excited to share details of its upcoming 3rd annual Collaboration Day, taking place on February 11, 2017. The event celebrates the collaborative nature of the brewing industry, and will feature unique beers on tap that Right Brain brewed with local Michigan companies such as Storm Cloud Brewery, Tapistry Brewery, Starving Artist Brewery, Lake Charlevoix Brewery, BeeWell Meadery, and Cultured Ferments. 

right brain

“This year, we teamed up with breweries we’ve never worked with before and also used ingredients we’ve never brewed with before, including peach fritters, pineapples, ground ginger, and Kombucha,” says owner Russell Springsteen. “The collaboration brews don’t just occur at Right Brain. We provide great learning opportunities for our brew crew to travel to the other breweries we’re working with and brew the same exact beer at their facility. It’s a win-win because our partner brewery’s fans get to enjoy a unique collaboration beer, and our brewers get to learn from some of the best breweries in the state!” Right Brain will also release barrel-aged brews using barrels from Two-Lads Winery and Grand Traverse Distillery. 

In addition to Collaboration Day, Right Brain’s tap room will host the Grand Traverse Art Bomb’s second artist reception, featuring live music and performance art throughout the day. Both events are family-friendly and there is no cover charge to attend. Doors will open at 11 AM

right brain