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brewery ferment

Breweries come in all shapes and sizes—some experiment with unconventional ingredients while others focus on specific styles, some only distribute and some intentionally do not distribute. Brewery Ferment in Traverse City recently celebrated its fourth anniversary, and has found a way to stay small and creative amongst growing competition.

brewery ferment

Dustin and Kirsten Jones, a unique sibling team, opened Brewery Ferment with a creative and experimental vision. Upon moving back from Chicago, Dustin decided to turn his homebrewing into a small, creative neighborhood brewery. Since opening, their plan and vision has evolved as their business has grown.

“There wasn’t much when we started,” said Dustin. “We never expected to be one of a dozen in such a concentrated area. Now, it’s more than just those from the neighborhood coming in.”

Around the time Brewery Ferment opened, a number of other breweries opened in Traverse City. This led to increased competition, causing Ferment to adapt while also staying true to its individuality and creative flair.

“We are still a boutique brewery. Now, it’s about the education process and experimental beers,” said Kirsten.

True to the boutique style, the taproom is small and eclectic. Hop flowers can be found in the windows, on hand-crafted pillows, and on the tables. The tap handles are made from driftwood, and the atmosphere is very casual, maintaining a neighborhood feel. Kirsten has also designed a number of merchandise items for sale in the taproom, including hop jewelry, sweatshirts, and dresses. Even the snacks are unique—pickled eggs are made in house and come in three different varieties.

brewery ferment

Kirsten and Dustin Jones

Likewise, in their four years, Brewery Ferment has gained a reputation for its unique approach with sour beers. Dustin often draws inspiration from the farmer’s market, searching for items that will bring new flavors and aromas to a brew. Rhubarb, tomatoes, mushrooms, and unique peppers have all found their way into their beers.

And now, Ferment has started bottling select brews in small batches.

“Beer is about having an experience. With bottling, I want to present it in the best possible condition. Bottling creates a different beer,” said Dustin.

The bottles are sealed with wax and a Michigan stamp and are currently available at the taproom. In fact, if you use the bottle on-site, you will save 10% and the bottle can be reused. There are also plans for distribution and monthly special bottle releases.

brewery ferment

Kayak, Bike and Brew

There are a number of ways to have a memorable Traverse City adventure throughout the summer and fall. With 19 breweries and taprooms, alongside unique tour options such as TC Ale Trail, TC Cycle Pub, Brew Bus, and Paddle for Pints, there seems to be something for everyone.

Kayak_Bike_Brew (8)The most recent addition to this band of experiences is Kayak, Bike and Brew, which allows participants to explore the downtown area by pedal and paddle. Recently, MittenBrew joined a tour to get an inside glimpse at how this unique experience works.

Upon arrival, we were prompted to put together a swag bag and test out a bike. The swag set the tone for the good times ahead: sunglasses, tattooes, stickers, Kind bar, $10 Pangea’s Pizza Pub gift card, a TC Ale Trail map, and a bag to put it all in.

Our guide, Paul, made sure we were comfortable on our bikes and gave us a run-down of our route before we took off. Then, to start the tour, we pedaled across a bridge (that we would soon paddle under), went through a tunnel, and made our way onto the Traverse Area Recreation Trail (TART). We rode the trail along the water, through a downtown neighborhood, and merged onto the Boardman Lake Trail. We crossed another bridge, which led us to our first stop: Right Brain Brewery.

Kayak_Bike_Brew (1)

Once inside, we were given forty minutes to enjoy a brew or two. It was 90 degrees outside, so most opted for something light and refreshing. This particular tour group only consisted of six people (some get as big as twenty), so we were able to get to know each other as we sipped at our first stop. There was a couple from Detroit, and another from Chicago. Both were up for long weekends and a desire to explore the wide variety of beer in the area.

Our group continued on to our second stop by hopping back onto our bikes and taking the Boardman Lake Trail back around the lake to The Filling Station Microbrewery. With saison in hand, pizza on the table, and live music in the background, this was a great summer stop.

After The Filling Station, we switched from bikes to kayaks. We launched our kayaks right behind The Filling Station, along Boardman Lake and into Boardman River. We paddled past condominiums, under bridges, and around large trees to the Union Street dam.

This was our portage point for our third stop, which would be Rarebird Brewpub. Our guide stayed with us at each stop, checking in, inquiring about our beer selection, and giving out suggestions for other great local spots to stop, all while keeping us on time.

In fact, we found ourselves with a little bit of extra time, and were able to squeeze in an extra stop at Brewery Ferment. Then it was back to our kayaks for the rest of our paddling adventure. This leg of the river had more tree cover, with periodic exposure of downtown buildings and parking lots.

We paddled past many downtown landmarks and soon approached the last river bend. Part of the Boardman River’s beauty is this last bend—it is where you transition from a secluded urban river to a wide open bay. Turning this bend suddenly revealed the Grand Traverse Bay we, and would take us along the final stretch of our tour into Clinch Park.

Once the paddling ended, the tour crew loaded the kayaks, and we made our way back to Pangea’s. The whole tour lasted roughly four hours, was a smaller compliment to Paddle for Pints, and allowed for new comradery and plenty of fun.

To learn more or book your own Kayak, Bike & Brew  tour, visit http://kayakbikebrew.com.

holiday gifts

We, at MittenBrew, may know a thing or two about craft beer. We can even argue we are a bunch of snazzy looking models (check us out in the photos). But when it comes to gifting that special beer lover in your life something unique and inventive for the holiday, we let the local beer enthusiasts speak for themselves. From all around the Mitten, our state’s love for local craft beer is not in question. The list is sure to please every type of beer lover in your life as much as it pleased us to model for it.

 

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Club Mich has the gift that keeps on giving. The thought of receiving gifts all year round is any inner child’s dream. Let me introduce to you the Michigan Brewery T-Shirt Club. This club delivers a t-shirt from a different Michigan brewery to your doorstep every month. The mystery lies in the box with exclusive designs not available anywhere else. Any person that loves their state and loves craft beer is sure to enjoy this gift that keeps on giving! Memberships are available for 1, 3, 6, 9, or 12 month increments.  

holiday gifts

 

The Brewery Explorer

Detroit’s rich history is deeply rooted, but with technology these days the newer excitements in the city aren’t being documented. The Detroit Beer Field Guide is designed for both Detroit area residents and visitors. The guide breaks down the stats on 48 different Metro Detroit breweries, and leaves space for you to jot down notes about your visit. The DBFG is a keepsake to treasure for years to come. No more worrying that a new exciting app will come along and replace your beer app. This is a great incentive for any beer lover to take a trip to Detroit, or for locals to explore more of their local breweries.  

 

The Fashionable One

Make the boys envious by giving the beer lovin’ ladies in your life beautiful jewelry made using hops. At Brewery Ferment, they don’t just use their hops to brew beer, they take it to the next level by capturing the beauty of the flower in pendants, rings, and earrings. If you can take your eyes off of the beautiful jewelry, you will also notice playful dresses, shirts, and apparel designed for the lover of Michigan and craft beer.  

 

The One who Points at their Hand

No more using our hands, imagining a map with cities and highways, to point out to your friends where you camped last summer. Michigan Mittens puts an actual map of Michigan right onto your hands. Comfortable and cozy, these mittens are the perfect gift for any Winter Beer Fest goer. Nothing can top Michigan beer wrapped in the warmth of its own state. Or, my favorite pastime, Michigan Mittens can be your companion in a good old fashioned snowball fight.

holiday gifts

 

The Rustic Beer Drinker

Bad Moon Studio designs and builds one of a kind utilitarian furniture and decorative accessories out of barrels—barrels that were once a home for bourbon or some of our state’s aged beers. Each piece comes with its own story and is ready to start its new chapter with someone as a growler rack, beer cap opener, or table. The rustic, imperfect flair is sure to add uniqueness to any home or office.

 

The Social Media Enthusiast

Pound Michigan Beer is locally produced to praise and share favorite local beers with each other through social media channels. A way to reach out to the masses expressing how we feel about specific beers all over the state in one spot. #MICHIGANBEER is your one stop shop for shirts, pint glasses, buttons, and stickers. Simple and easy to recognize, even our grandparents can get on board with this one!

holiday gifts

 

The Wanderlust

For the beer drinker far and wide, the gift of the Journey Jug is sure to cover some miles. The Journey Jug is a growler with its own tracking number allowing you to follow the growler’s actual journey. Every time the growler is filled or shared is an opportunity to add to its story online. You can also create a journey with your own growler by placing a journey jug sticker on it. Share the fun by passing along your growler so all can enjoy the journey it embarks.

 

The Jokester

We all have that one person in our lives that loves a good practical joke. The Peter Popper is your answer. It is a great conversation piece sure to create many laughs. Not only is it fun to joke about, but the perfect size to fill your hand and, with just the right skill, to really get things poppin’…open up a beer bottle of course!  

 

The One Who Likes Variety

Sometimes it is nice to bring a little variety into your life. Sticking to one thing can be a bit boring. With the handmade beer caddy from G3 Studios, you are sure to bring variety wherever you go. These beautifully engraved beer caddies made from poplar wood hold up to six beer bottles, with an attached beer opener. Or take it solo and gift a cap catching magnetic beer opener to keep mounted by the beer cellar. Either way, the gorgeous wood engravings are sure to draw some attention as little pieces of functioning artwork.

holiday gifts

 

The Dare Devil

Many of us have a bucket list silently haunting our thoughts, tempting us to do wild and crazy things before we die. For the craft beer drinker that likes to get wild – there is sure to be a list of beers they are wanting to try before time escapes them. From Michigan Wine and Beer Apparel the daring drinker can wear their beer palate on their sleeve with The Craft Beer Bucket List hoodie. Options also include apparel for the local college sports fanatic and wine connoisseur.

 

The Beer Aficionado

What better way to learn more about something you love than with a documentary. Film director Kevin Romeo and Rhino Media Productions, set out to combine the worlds of beer fandom and movie fandom to create The Michigan Beer Film. It touches on how our pastime values have steared into a new generation of community driven consumers. The Michigan Beer Film will educate viewers on the hardships that brewers and entrepreneurs face in a rapidly booming industry.

holiday gifts

 

The One Who is a Festival Groupie

Giving the gift of The Michigan Brewers Guild Enthusiast Membership turns any groupie into a VIP. The Enthusiast Membership offers exclusive sign-ups to festivals before the average joe, exclusive brewery tours, a member t-shirt, as well as the priceless value of entering festivals an hour before everyone else. This gift is sure to please any Michigan beer lover.

 

The Home Cook

Every curious beer connoisseur who spends time in the kitchen has wondered which beer would best pair with their evening’s dinner. The Beervangelist’s Guide to the Galaxy by Fred Bueltmann, Vice President of Brand & Lifestyle and Partner of New Holland Brewery, overflows the reader with knowledge on the culture of cooking, drinking, and entertaining both those knowledgeable about craft beer and those not. Focusing on seasonal recipes and pairing beer with food, the pages overflow with scrumptious photography by Grand Rapids photographer, Jeff Hage. Not only should you gift this book, but gift two books, so one can go through the wears and tears of the kitchen while the other sits elegantly on the coffee table.

holiday gifts

TRAVERSE CITY — Summertime in Northern Michigan means spending as much time along the water as possible. And even with rain looming overhead, hundreds took to the water on Saturday for a unique paddling adventure.

Paddle for Pints, now in its second year, is a TC Ale Trail event and combines some of Traverse City’s best features: fresh water, craft brews and delicious food. Similar to a pub crawl, this pub paddle takes attendees to six downtown breweries all while paddling down the Boardman River.

Starting at the Filling Station, paddlers launch across Boardman Lake to get to Right Brain Brewery. A paddle back across the lake winds into the river, which paddlers take to the Union Street portage point. The next stops include Brewery Ferment and Rare Bird Brewpub. After hopping back into kayaks, participants complete the paddle at Clinch Park, with stops at North Peak and Workshop Brewing.

The concept was successful in its first year and is in even higher demand this year. This year started with eight events, each with three waves. Each of these eight events sold out before summer really even started. In an effort to stay on top of demand, TC Ale Trail co-founder Troy Daily added Paddle for Pints 2.0, which added eleven paddle dates. The 2.0 events are smaller, with just one wave and four breweries.

Expanding at such a great capacity takes a tremendouseffort to keep things running smoothly. Building from last year, Daily and his team were able to coordinate with breweries and other local officials to ensure a positive experience for attendees.

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“The success this year is in the people and my team. Eighteen paid employees help out for each of the big events which makes things run a lot more smooth,” said Daily.

And things did run smooth and efficiently. The Paddle for Pints team ensured everyone arrived safely at each stop, helped portage kayaks, and blew whistles to keep everyone moving on time. They were even on hand to keep supervise kayaks at the end. This led to an enjoyable experience for all, and it is what has groups sharing their experiences and/or planning trips with friends and family.

“For each event, at least 85% of the people have been from out of town,” said Daily.

In fact, there have been some events where nearly 97% of the attendees were not from Traverse City. Groups from Chicago, Indiana and Ohio were present at Saturday’s event and many had plans to explore the surrounding area.

“The power of social media is why it is so popular this year and will continue to be,” stated Daily.

As the event becomes more popular, the local economy continues to benefit. From food specials at the breweries to having time at the end to further explore downtown, attendees were able to experience more than just unique brews. Visiting the six breweries through a unique experience gives those from the area and from outside the area a taste of what downtown can offer.

While all of this year’s events are sold out, be sure to stay tuned to PaddleforPints.com for more information about next year’s offerings.

During a time of year when the skies are grey and the temperatures are sub-zero, the Traverse City Winter Microbrew & Music Festival provides the reprieve so many need. The sixth rendition of this winter festival was held on Saturday and recreated the fun, vibrant and supportive atmosphere that Traverse City has become known for.
While similar to the Summer Microbrew & Music Festival also hosted by Porterhouse Productions, the winter version carries a different connotation, atmosphere and character.
“Winter has a different soul. Folks come out of hibernation and it is a much needed community-energizing cultural medicine for all,” said Sam Porter, owner of Porterhouse Productions.
This “cultural medicine” is light-hearted, energetic and inspiring. It contains more “up north” spirit and spunk. Over 50 breweries were present at the festival, most of which were Michigan based; a majority of the wide range of musical acts also come from Michigan.
Four tents were set up, each containing a different set of breweries and performers. Festival goers could also enjoy food from local food trucks on site, follow the rare brew tour and participate in a homebrewing contest.
“Education is at the front of the craft beer movement and we aim to specialize in building a diverse audience with the different genres of music and market that gathers and grows the market. Craft beer fans are intelligent, curious and ready to learn more about something they love,” said Porter.
Opportunities to learn more and experience something new were aplenty at the festival.The rare brew tour, for instance, created an excitement for new experimental brews. A new brew was tapped each half hour, which led to lines and “tap that keg” chants. And many of the rare beers — including a coffee infused Dragon’s Milk from New Holland — were gone in about 15 minutes.
Breweries large and small were present, which gave festival-goers a chance to find their favorite breweries, while also learning about newer breweries that are also doing amazing things. Short’s once again created their fun ski-bar and brought a wide range brews, including a bourbon-aged Evil Urges and Smugglin’ Plums, a dark stout with a surprisingly tart-fruit twist.
Northport Brewing, which opened less than a year ago, found the festival to be a great opportunity to bring its brews to a wider audience.
“We’ve had a long line all night. It’s been nonstop!” said co-owner Pamela Cain.
Brewery Ferment, another small brewery in the area, had festival goers excited about its unique brews. One of the only breweries in the area known for its sour beers, Ferment featured TC Black, a sour black cherry brew that was tart and refreshing. For those with a sweeter palate, they also had Fluffer Nutter, a stout brewed with marshmallows and peanuts.
While education about and experiencing the craft beer market may be at the forefront of the festival, this event also raises money for the local community. 100 percent of all alcohol net proceeds are donated to the festival’s partner non-profits. The Porterhouse team holds multiple events throughout the state each year, all of which help our state in numerous ways.
“It is a great pairing behind the celebration. We have hosted over 35 festivals in Michigan, including 14 Microbrew & Music Festivals, and raised over $100,000 for nonprofits,” said Porter.
Porter hopes to continue to expand the Porterhouse Production team as well at the Microbrew & Music Festivals, creating new and dynamic experiences along the way. The next brewfest will be the Summer Microbrew & Music Festival, a two-day event held in late August.
Follow Microbrew & Music Festival on Facebook for updates on future festivals.

During a time of year when the skies are grey and the temperatures are sub-zero, the Traverse City Winter Microbrew & Music Festival provides the reprieve so many need. The sixth rendition of this winter festival was held on Saturday and recreated the fun, vibrant and supportive atmosphere that Traverse City has become known for.

While similar to the Summer Microbrew & Music Festival also hosted by Porterhouse Productions, the winter version carries a different connotation, atmosphere and character.

“Winter has a different soul. Folks come out of hibernation and it is a much needed community-energizing cultural medicine for all,” said Sam Porter, owner of Porterhouse Productions.

This “cultural medicine” is light-hearted, energetic and inspiring. It contains more “up north” spirit and spunk. Over 50 breweries were present at the festival, most of which were Michigan based; a majority of the wide range of musical acts also come from Michigan.

Four tents were set up, each containing a different set of breweries and performers. Festival goers could also enjoy food from local food trucks on site, follow the rare brew tour and participate in a homebrewing contest.

“Education is at the front of the craft beer movement and we aim to specialize in building a diverse audience with the different genres of music and market that gathers and grows the market. Craft beer fans are intelligent, curious and ready to learn more about something they love,” said Porter.

Opportunities to learn more and experience something new were aplenty at the festival.The rare brew tour, for instance, created an excitement for new experimental brews. A new brew was tapped each half hour, which led to lines and “tap that keg” chants. And many of the rare beers — including a coffee infused Dragon’s Milk from New Holland — were gone in about 15 minutes.

Breweries large and small were present, which gave festival-goers a chance to find their favorite breweries, while also learning about newer breweries that are also doing amazing things. Short’s once again created their fun ski-bar and brought a wide range brews, including a bourbon-aged Evil Urges and Smugglin’ Plums, a dark stout with a surprisingly tart-fruit twist.

Northport Brewing, which opened less than a year ago, found the festival to be a great opportunity to bring its brews to a wider audience.

“We’ve had a long line all night. It’s been nonstop!” said co-owner Pamela Cain.

Brewery Ferment, another small brewery in the area, had festival goers excited about its unique brews. One of the only breweries in the area known for its sour beers, Ferment featured TC Black, a sour black cherry brew that was tart and refreshing. For those with a sweeter palate, they also had Fluffer Nutter, a stout brewed with marshmallows and peanuts.

While education about and experiencing the craft beer market may be at the forefront of the festival, this event also raises money for the local community. 100 percent of all alcohol net proceeds are donated to the festival’s partner non-profits. The Porterhouse team holds multiple events throughout the state each year, all of which help our state in numerous ways.

“It is a great pairing behind the celebration. We have hosted over 35 festivals in Michigan, including 14 Microbrew & Music Festivals, and raised over $100,000 for nonprofits,” said Porter.

Porter hopes to continue to expand the Porterhouse Production team as well at the Microbrew & Music Festivals, creating new and dynamic experiences along the way. The next brewfest will be the Summer Microbrew & Music Festival, a two-day event held in late August.

Follow Microbrew & Music Festival on Facebook for updates on future festivals.

There was a lot to learn on Sunday as Brewery Ferment hosted Homebrewer’s Day as a part of Traverse City Beer Week.
Bryan Snyder, owner of Bad Teacher Brewing Supply, was on-site to guide attendees through the brewing process. Bad Teacher Brewing Supply recently celebrated its second anniversary and has seen a steady increase in business.
Schedules have slowed down from the summer, fruit has been harvested and the weather has gotten cooler.
“We’re entering our busy season,” stated Snyder.
Bad Teacher Brewing Supply is one of the few brewing supply stores in the area, and also offers educational workshops regularly. Beer week was a great opportunity for Snyder to reach out to a broader audience.
And Brewery Ferment was the perfect location for the event to take place. Dustin Jones, co-owner and head brewer of Brewery Ferment, is known for his experimental small batch brews. Focusing on local ingredients in small batches allows him to stay true to a recipe, without having to worry about large scale distribution.
Jones and Snyder worked together on the homebrewed belgian ale, brewed outside in the snow and rain. Participants were able to see the brewing process from start to finish. Ferment also offered beer specials and had the Lions game on TV.
Brewery Ferment is hosting a variety of other events throughout Traverse City Beer Week. To view the full schedule of events, visit http://www.traversecity.com/events-523/.

There was a lot to learn on Sunday as Brewery Ferment hosted Homebrewer’s Day as a part of Traverse City Beer Week.

Bryan Snyder, owner of Bad Teacher Brewing Supply, was on-site to guide attendees through the brewing process. Bad Teacher Brewing Supply recently celebrated its second anniversary and has seen a steady increase in business.

Schedules have slowed down from the summer, fruit has been harvested and the weather has gotten cooler.

“We’re entering our busy season,” stated Snyder.

Bad Teacher Brewing Supply is one of the few brewing supply stores in the area, and also offers educational workshops regularly. Beer week was a great opportunity for Snyder to reach out to a broader audience.

And Brewery Ferment was the perfect location for the event to take place. Dustin Jones, co-owner and head brewer of Brewery Ferment, is known for his experimental small batch brews. Focusing on local ingredients in small batches allows him to stay true to a recipe, without having to worry about large scale distribution.

Jones and Snyder worked together on the homebrewed belgian ale, brewed outside in the snow and rain. Participants were able to see the brewing process from start to finish. Ferment also offered beer specials and had the Lions game on TV.

Brewery Ferment is hosting a variety of other events throughout Traverse City Beer Week. To view the full schedule of events, visit http://www.traversecity.com/events-523/.

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