Posts

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

traverse city beer week

Typically, November in Northern Michigan means dark skies before 6:00 p.m., shorter business hours, and an exodus of summer and fall visitors. However, Traverse City Beer Week keeps the area energized with a wide array of special events meant to highlight the creativity and successes of the Traverse City beer scene. This year’s Traverse City Beer Week took place from November 11-17, and contained over 50 events.

tcbeerweek-2

And while Traverse City Beer Week might attract some outside visitors, it is also a great opportunity for locals to enjoy their hometown before winter settles in. With special tastings, exclusive tappings, and unique pairings, it is easy to find a quick stop after work or enjoy an evening out with friends.

This year, The Little Fleet held a different themed event each night of the week. Monday was Founders Bingo. It was free to play, and various Founders brews were on tap, including some exclusive free samples. The Founders rep was also on site to call numbers and give away prizes.  

On Tuesday, The Little Fleet hosted a rare release from Lagunitas, a world premiere of Slow Tako from Brewery Vivant on Wednesday, a sour beer night on Thursday, and a Seafood Dinner on Friday.

Most of these events were casual, making it easy to stop in after work for something special. For instance, Sour Beer Night featured sour beers on tap from various breweries, including Jolly Pumpkin, Short’s, and various cellar exclusives. The weather was warm enough to sit outside, which made an exclusive beer after work even more enjoyable.

Other breweries and taprooms throughout downtown held similar style events. Rare Bird Brewpub hosted a Founders and Dark Horse Tap Jam. Upon walking into Rare Bird, it appeared to be an average evening. However, with a closer look, brewery reps were giving away swag and taps featured an equal selection of Founders and Dark Horse brews. Founders KBS was on tap, as well as Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse. This was only the second time that the barrel aged version of Plead The 5th Imperial Stout had been on tap in Traverse City.

7 Monks Taproom has become known for its unique pairings and themed events during Traverse City Beer Week. This year, the taproom dedicated an evening to Traverse City’s brewing history. The Filling Station brewed a historically inspired Kratochvil Bohemian Pilsner to be a featured tap for the evening, and a large beer history timeline was on display. So, with a pilsner in hand, many visited with friends during happy hour while also examining the timeline. The timeline featured artifacts, maps, and interesting information regarding some of Traverse City’s first breweries.

TC Beer Week

traverse city beer weekMany cities have their own beer weeks which highlight the best of the local craft beer scene. Traverse City Beer Week, held every November, does just that with its own twist. Traverse City has made its mark on the beer map with over a dozen breweries, hundreds of acres of hops, and one of the top 100 beer bars in the country: there’s plenty to celebrate.
This will be the fourth year for Traverse City Beer Week (TCBW), and events will take place from November 11 through November 17. Every year, Imperial Beverage coordinates with breweries, restaurants, and other distributors to highlight the area’s booming beer scene. A wide variety of events take place throughout the week, offering something for everyone.

And, as the beer scene has evolved in Traverse City, so too has TCBW. Some traditions have held strong, like the Short’s Pub Crawl, while venues like 7 Monks, Little Fleet, and Right Brain Brewery get more creative every year.

“We aim to exceed expectations, have fun, and be adventurous,” said Matthew Blanchfield from Imperial Beverage.

traverse city beer weekTraverse City Beer Week has a local focus, but is not just designed for locals. It can be a great week to travel to Traverse City, which is known to be quite busy in the summer time. By November, festivals have slowed down, the weather has cooled, and the tourists have left.

“Fall and beer just go together,” added Coryn Briggs, Digital Marketing & Design Specialist for Traverse City Tourism.

If you’re looking to partake in Traverse City Beer Week, there are a number of ways to enjoy it. TCBW works nicely around any budget and any schedule. Most events are free to attend (with the exception of cost of beer/food) and happen throughout the day.

traverse city beer weekIf you’re from the area, simply attend an event or two after work or stop in to your favorite bottle shop for a beer tasting.  This is a good way to explore new places and brews, as well as experience some of your favorites in new ways.

If you’re from out of town, it’s easy to find a fun place to stay for the weekend. Many area hotels offer special “Fall Fab” packages through the season and still have availability for beer week. If you cannot commit to the entire weekend, beer week is a great reason to take a day trip up north. For instance, you could run (or walk) in the Great Beerd Run in the morning, and then enjoy a nice beer pairing in the evening.

The luxury of Traverse City Beer Week is that there’s more than enough going on to keep everyone busy, but there’s no major commitment to make and each person’s experience can vary.

“It’s good for any type of drinker: we offer everything from casual beer tastings where you can grab a six-pack and go, to five course beer pairing dinners,” said Briggs.

Events to consider:

Short’s Pub Crawl

If you know Short’s, you know it does things a little differently. This rings true for the pub crawl the Short’s crew puts on every year to kick things off on Friday night.

“We try to coordinate a different Short’s beer at each stop,” said Matt Blanchfield from Imperial Beverage.

At the start of the crawl, each participant gets a punch card and then can “choose their own adventure.”

“There’s no set timeline, so you can go on your own. It keeps things busy and staggered throughout the night. And once you get five to six punches, you get a t-shirt,” said Rachel Payne, Short’s Northern Michigan Beer Liberator..

The Short’s crew is usually on site to help direct the crawl, but people travel in all directions along the route. Tip: Start at the opposite end to avoid large crowds.

Guided Beer Tastings

“These are a good way to try something new. And the brewery rep is usually on hand to answer questions,” said Payne.

Guided tastings take place throughout the week, are free, and happen in a variety of locations. These work well if you’re looking for a free and/or quick event. These events work well for a quick stop after work or before eating dinner at a downtown restaurant.

Great Beerd Run

Are you a runner who also enjoys beer? The Great Beerd Run just might be for you. This 5k race is held at the Grand Traverse Resort, features local craft breweries, and fun swag.

traverse city beer week

“There are beer samples at each mile marker and a gathering after,” said Payne.

This year, the race will be on Saturday November 12. Visit http://www.thegreatbeerdrun.com/ to register.

North Versus South Beer Pairing

Another event held at the Grand Traverse Resort, the North vs. South pairing is a more formal event for TCBW.

“Last year, similar style beers from Short’s and Atwater were paired with dishes coordinated by the Aerie chefs,” explained Blanchfield.

This event, and other formal beer dinners, may require the purchase of a ticket.

Tap Takeovers and Beer Pairings

traverse city beer weekRestaurants and taprooms throughout downtown hold their own events throughout the week.
Takeovers feature not only local breweries, but also
Michigan favorites and other well-known breweries throughout the country. Pairings often combine beer and unique food options: tacos, desserts, cheese, etc.


There are a wide array of other options as well. As events are planned, they will be added to the
Traverse City Beer Week website. Traverse City Beer Week information and highlights can also be found on their Facebook page or by following #HoppyinTC.  

 

 

Sponsored by Traverse City Tourism

Photography courtesy Traverse City Tourism

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.

Traverse City, MI —The Traverse City Summer Microbrew & Music Festival will return to the front lawn at the Village of Grand Traverse Commons for the ninth year on August 26 and 27, 2016. This summer’s festival will bring a bevy of some of the best brews in Michigan as well as brews from beyond our high-five border. New Orleans-inspired live musical acts will grace the stage and local food will include a Pit BBQ Competition.
The festival will pay tribute to Michigan’s eclectic craft brewery scene while featuring flavors from over 60 select breweries throughout the U.S and Canada. With over 300 beers, ciders, meads, and wines, the weekend will be overflowing with flavorful beverages, delicious food, talented musicians, and thousands of beer and music lovers. Patrons will be able to explore every corner of the craft brew culture via a Rare Brew Tour, Homebrewer’s Challenge, and a new Brewer’s Collaboration Court. Also, the Hop n’ Brew Shack will make its return and feature extra-special brews and first releases from select breweries.
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and The Revivalists (one of Rolling Stone’s March 2016 10 New Artists You Need to Know) will headline the weekend and will be supported by Traverse City’s own The Accidentals, The Heard, festival favorites That 1 Guy and Heatbox, Graham Parsons and the Go Rounds, The Last Revel, The Change, Detroit Party Marching Band, Violin Monster, Deep Blue Water Samba, and more. The Silent Disco tent with 1500 wireless headsets and the only Michigan Silent Disco Presents company will be rockin’ with a LIVE BAND Silent Disco with That 1 Guy and Heatbox as well as DJs, including DJ Dominate, DJ Johnny Walker and many many more.
Tickets include five 8 ounce tasting tokens and commemorative tasting glass, plus access to a full lineup of national musical talent, merchandise, the Homebrewer’s Challenge 6 beers, Brewer’s Collaboration Court, and Hop n’ Brew Shack. Friday tickets are $50, Saturday tickets are $55, and weekend passes are $100. Early bird tickets are sold out.
The Microbrew & Music Festival has hosted 15 festivals, raising over $100,000 for our collaborative nonprofits, invested over $1M into craft brews, local food, passionate musicians, and sustainable practices and is proud to raise a glass to the great work in the mitten state.
Tickets and more information can be found on microbrewandmusic.com.
 

Traverse City, MI —The Traverse City Summer Microbrew & Music Festival will return to the front lawn at the Village of Grand Traverse Commons for the ninth year on August 26 and 27, 2016. This summer’s festival will bring a bevy of some of the best brews in Michigan as well as brews from beyond our high-five border. New Orleans-inspired live musical acts will grace the stage and local food will include a Pit BBQ Competition.

The festival will pay tribute to Michigan’s eclectic craft brewery scene while featuring flavors from over 60 select breweries throughout the U.S and Canada. With over 300 beers, ciders, meads, and wines, the weekend will be overflowing with flavorful beverages, delicious food, talented musicians, and thousands of beer and music lovers. Patrons will be able to explore every corner of the craft brew culture via a Rare Brew Tour, Homebrewer’s Challenge, and a new Brewer’s Collaboration Court. Also, the Hop n’ Brew Shack will make its return and feature extra-special brews and first releases from select breweries.

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and The Revivalists (one of Rolling Stone’s March 2016 10 New Artists You Need to Know) will headline the weekend and will be supported by Traverse City’s own The Accidentals, The Heard, festival favorites That 1 Guy and Heatbox, Graham Parsons and the Go Rounds, The Last Revel, The Change, Detroit Party Marching Band, Violin Monster, Deep Blue Water Samba, and more. The Silent Disco tent with 1500 wireless headsets and the only Michigan Silent Disco Presents company will be rockin’ with a LIVE BAND Silent Disco with That 1 Guy and Heatbox as well as DJs, including DJ Dominate, DJ Johnny Walker and many many more.

Tickets include five 8 ounce tasting tokens and commemorative tasting glass, plus access to a full lineup of national musical talent, merchandise, the Homebrewer’s Challenge 6 beers, Brewer’s Collaboration Court, and Hop n’ Brew Shack. Friday tickets are $50, Saturday tickets are $55, and weekend passes are $100. Early bird tickets are sold out.

The Microbrew & Music Festival has hosted 15 festivals, raising over $100,000 for our collaborative nonprofits, invested over $1M into craft brews, local food, passionate musicians, and sustainable practices and is proud to raise a glass to the great work in the mitten state.

Tickets and more information can be found on microbrewandmusic.com.

 

north peak

At the corner of Front and Hall Streets sits a building that has been a part of Traverse City since 1899. It was first the Big Daylight Candy Company, then later became an auto parts factory, and now houses a staple neighborhood brewery.

In September 1997, two locals, Greg Lobdell and Jon Carlson, teamed up with Shelde Enterprises to open North Peak Brewing Company. It quickly became a cornerstone restaurant on the west end of downtown. And, as breweries have continued to open in the area, North Peak has continued to grow and flourish while remaining a downtown standard.

north peak

Lobdell and Carlson have continued to expand their reach, refurbishing old buildings throughout the state. Each new brewery and restaurant continues to make its own impression on the craft market. North Peak, which opened at the beginning of the boom, has continued to evolve, furthering its position as a community staple.

North Peak is now a part of Mission Management, which has a reach throughout Michigan, and even distributes outside of the state. Despite this, North Peak does not feel like a large incorporated brewery. It remains unique to the Traverse City area, grounded in its old architecture and local community.

“You can get things here that you can’t find elsewhere. We want to wow everyone and not only meet the standard, but exceed it,” said Mike Lloyd, General Manager of North Peak.

In order to exceed that standard and continue to make an impact, North Peak has set itself apart with a strong commitment to its beer, food, and community. North Peak does have a bottling facility in Dexter, but continues to brew on-site for its taproom, remaining connected to its roots. There are ten local taps: five remain consistent with local favorites, and five are rotating. Brews like Northern Light, Siren Amber, and Diabolical IPA offer the variety many locals desire.

Likewise, North Peak’s food menu offers a unique variety of high quality dishes.

“We continue to grow as time goes on. We now have a culinary experience to match our brewery experience,” said Lloyd. “Roughly 70% of our menu incorporates our beer.”

Menu items include a variety of meat dishes incorporating sauces, brines, and batters made from North Peak beer as well as an array of hearth baked pizza made from hand-stretched dough incorporating its ale.

The last pillar in North Peak’s success is perhaps one of its most important: its people. With a strong commitment to community, North Peak puts an emphasis on taking care of its staff and giving back to the community.

“We’re fortunate to have a great staff. We have the right people and ensure they are properly trained,” said Lloyd. Many of North Peak’s staff have been employed for over ten years, Lloyd included.

Likewise, North Peak helps the local community whenever it can. Earlier this Spring, it hosted Mohawks for Munson, which directly raised funds for the new Cowell Family Cancer Center at Munson. North Peak has long been a supporter of the now popular St. Baldrick’s campaign, and has hosted a variety of other community fundraisers and events, including for local schools.

“We are a local place that’s doing well, and we want to help where we can. We’ve been fortunate, and want to give back,” said Lloyd.

Traverse City, Mich – The Filling Station Microbrewery and the TC Cycle Pub are thrilled to offer TC Cycle Pub™ Pale Ale, which released May 6th.

With hints of citrus and fruits, this medium-bodied pale ale is an easy-drinking 5.4% ABV, the perfect craft beer for summer days on the TC Cycle Pub. This beer is available exclusively at The Filling Station Microbrewery.

the filling station

Starting immediately, all TC Cycle Pub tours will include one (1) free growler (empty), which The Filling Station will fill most of their beers at a discounted rate of only $10 ($2 off, 1 fill only) for TC Cycle Pub riders. Additional growlers can be purchased and filled for $15.

“We’ve been hoping for this collaboration to happen for a few years,” says Kevin Farron, co-owner of the TC Cycle Pub, “and with the new law that allows riders to drink beer and wine onboard our bike tours, the time was right to make it a reality.”

The new law gives quadricycle tour goers – like the TC Cycle Pub riders – the ability to drink beer, wine or cider on board their bikes, while the group is driven by an employee. TC Cycle Pub still maintains restrictions on hard liquor and glass bottles aboard their bikes, and limits tours to 2 hours.

Both the TC Cycle Pub and The Filling Station Microbrewery are family owned and operated business. Located just off the TART Trail in the historic railroad district, The Filling Station Microbrewery specializes in wood-fired flatbread pizzas, fresh salads, and a rotating list of at least 10 beers. They also now house both TC Cycle Pub bikes: The Big Bike, built for 8-14 riders, and the sleeker Circle Cycle, built for 4-6 riders. Booking both vehicles together can accommodate groups of 15-20 riders.

The cost for the Big Bike (8-14 riders) is $300, and the Circle Cycle (4-6 riders) is $175. Both are for 2-hour tours.

The cost for the new TC Cycle Pub™ Pale Ale is $4.50 for a 16oz pint, or $12 for a 64oz growler fill.