7 monks

Traverse City, Mich. – Seven years ago Matt Cozzens and Jim Smolak had a dream to bring great beer and great food to Traverse City. They dreamed big, opening their craft beer bar with an almost unheard of 46 taps; wine, cider, local mead; and an ever changing bottled beer selection. Fast forward to today and 7 Monks Taproom – thrice named to Draft Magazine’s 100 Best Beer Bars in America – is celebrating a monumental anniversary.

According to co-owners Matt Cozzens and Jim Smolak, it’s time to party. And they plan to do just that on Sept. 22 as they present the “7 Monks Experience” from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Back Abbey.

“This celebration captures the best of our past 7 years of friendships created through beer,” said Cozzens.

Those friendships will be highlighted with 7 different brewery tents:

  • Short’s Brewing Company Tent featuring multiple past 7 Monks Taproom  anniversary ales/lagers plus this year’s edition; Gratitude – a hoppy farmhouse ale

  • Odd Side Ales Tent featuring the 7 Monks 7th Anniversary Dank Juice IPA

  • Local’s Tent featuring Low Bar, Filling Station and Earthen Ales

  • Schilling Beer Co./Resilience Tent featuring Travese City friends who operate these great breweries out in the White Mountains of New Hampshire

  • Trappist Tent featuring Chimay, Rochefort, and other Trappist gems

  • Founders Brewing Co. Tent

  • Left Foot Charley Winery and Tandem Ciders Tent

Taqueria Las Lagunas food truck will be on site in the Back Abbey, and Timed Tappings will take place throughout the event, including:

4 p.m.: Transient Artisan Ales (Bridgman, MI)

6 p.m.: Speciation Artisan Ales (Grand Rapids, MI)

8 p.m.: HOMES Brewery (Ann Arbor, MI)

10:30 p.m.: Mystery Tapping

No party is complete without live music, and 7 Monks is ready to serve up the best.

“We are thrilled that we will be joined by Jesse Ray and the Carolina Catfish and The Go Rounds,” said Smolak.

Tickets are $7 each and include your first pour (12 oz.) of any draft beer featured in the Back Abbey. Event tickets may be purchased by visiting 7 Monks Taproom in Traverse City or by going online to ?. Additional drink tickets will be available to purchase on-site for $5 per 12 oz. draft pour. Attendees must be 21+ to enter the Back Abbey.


About 7 Monks Taproom:

7 Monks Taproom is a craft beer bar and gastropub that has twice been named one of America’s Best Beer Bars by Thrillist and to Draft Magazine’s 100 Best Beer Bars in America for three consecutive years. With a heavy focus on Belgian Ales, especially Trappist beer, European ales and lagers, 7 Monks also offers a variety of wine, cider, and the best craft beers from Michigan, the United States, and the world. 7 Monks-Traverse City is located at 128 S Union St and 7 Monks-Grand Rapids. Visit them online at

seven monks7 Monks Taproom will officially open its doors at 740 Michigan Street NE on April 21, 2017 at 4 p.m. The opening will feature an impressive, one-of-a-kind selection of specialty beers that have been brewed specifically for 7 Monks over the years. Short’s Funky Boss, Short’s Whatcha Whatcha Want, Mighty Things (a Brewery Vivant/Schilling Beer Co. Collaboration), Mendelian Inheritance from Speciation Artisan Ales – even Jared’s Mom (from Odd Side Ales) will be there.

“We have been honored by great partnership’s with some of the nation’s leading breweries, and are thrilled to bring our own unique take on craft beer to Grand Rapids,” said co-owner Matt Cozzens.

That take, as co-owner Jim Smolak explains, will include 51 taps featuring seasonal craft beers from Grand Rapids, the state and around the world; an emphasis on Trappist beer; gastropub food highlighting Michigan products; live music; charitable events; and a taste of Northern Michigan served up by head chef Danielle Garlock.

7 Monks will also offer its popular Friar’s Union membership program at the Grand Rapids location. A lifetime membership, the benefits include $1 off all draft options, special food/beer pairings, tasting events, 20% off crowler fills and more.

seven monks

Opening hours for the taproom will be from 4 to midnight on April 21 and 22, and 11 a.m. to midnight on April 23.  Opening hours will be 3 p.m. to midnight Monday thru Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays.  7 Monks plans to open for lunch seven days a week beginning June 1.

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, MI—Northern United Brewing Company, parent company to North Peak and Jolly Pumpkin, is pleased to announce a yearlong sponsorship with TART Trails, a Traverse City non-profit organization that works to enrich the Traverse region by providing a network of trails, bikeways and pedestrian ways; and encouraging their use. Since 1998 TART Trails has provided this region with world-class trails linking people to the beauty of the Traverse area year round.

The sponsorship is part of North Peak and Jolly Pumpkin’s dedication to Traverse City and it’s up north, outdoors lifestyle.  “The sponsorship just made sense to us, says Northern United Brewing Company partner Jon Carlson, “several of our staff members are die-hard outdoor enthusiasts who actively use the TART Trails for running, biking, and cross country skiing. We also see the trail system has a pivotal asset to this community. Not only are the trails used for outdoor recreation but they serve as a sustainable means of transportation for the area.”

“TART Trails is thrilled to be North Peak and Jolly Pumpkin’s nonprofit partner for the year. Northern United Brewing appreciates our efforts to make the Grand Traverse region a better place to live, work and play in all seasons.” Pam Darling, Development Director.

Throughout the year the breweries will help raise awareness of TART Trails and play a key role in several of their year-round events and initiatives.  Recently, Jolly Pumpkin hosted their annual Fall Pumpkin Pedal; a free organized group ride on Old Mission Peninsula with donations benefited TART Trails. The past two Pumpkin Pedal events have raised over $2300 for Tart Trails.

Up next this year will be a TART Trails Happy Hour at North Peak on Tuesday November 29 for the National Day of Giving. North Peak will match any donations made to Tart Trails on that day, up to $2500.

tart trails

Northern United Brewing Co. encompasses the North Peak, Jolly Pumpkin and Grizzly Peak craft beer brands, as well as Nomad Cidery, Civilized 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, all in Traverse City; Jolly Pumpkin and Grizzly Peak, in Ann Arbor.


Traverse City, MI – This November, Right Brain Brewery will debut their 2016 CEO Stout Boardroom Series brews. The series is based on Right Brain’s flagship brand CEO Stout, which is a light bodied, sessionable stout brewed with real coffee from Roaster Jack’s (Traverse City).rightbrain_boardroom

This year’s line-up will include Bourbon Barrel-Aged CEO, Imperial CEO, Peanut Butter CEO, and Pumpkin Spice CEO, all brewed with real natural ingredients made in house, or locally sourced. “The idea for the Boardroom Series came out of the love of pairing beer with food. Peanut butter and chocolate are amazing, and who doesn’t love having coffee with their pumpkin pie? There are so many things you can pair with rich chocolate and coffee flavors, which made it hard to narrow down the series to four beers,” says Right Brain owner Russell Springsteen.

The CEO Boardroom Series will be released November 25th (Black Friday) at Right Brain Brewery’s tap room in Traverse City, and will be available in 22 oz bottles and on draft. The series will also be released into distribution around Michigan in very limited quantities.


MI local hops

TRAVERSE CITY, MICH — MI LOCAL HOPS has successfully completed their first hop harvest. Working with EMPIRE HOPS , MI Local harvested over 250 acres of Northern Michigan grown hops starting on August 23 and ending on September 15, 2016. The varieties harvested this season were Centennial, Cascade, Michigan Copper, Chinook, Crystal, Nugget, Willamette, and Brewer’s Gold. MI Local Hops is a 200 acre hop farm with full processing, pelletizing, packaging, and cold storage capabilities in Williamsburg, MI, six miles outside of Traverse City, MI. Administrative offices are located in downtown Traverse City, MI.

Video of the harvest and of the 30,000 square foot harvesting facility in full operation are featured on the homepage of the company’s new website. “We wanted to launch the site after we shot video footage of the harvest facility in operation” says Mike Moran, Sales and Marketing Manager. “The goal is to showcase the fact that we’ve made the investments in the infrastructure and quality standards that are being demanded by the craft brewing industry”. The website will feature information on available hop varieties, quality standards, and the craft beers that feature MI Local Hops.

MI local hops

The first breweries to feature MI Local Hops in this seasons wet hopped ales are Founders Brewing Company (Harvest Ale with Cascade hops), Short’s Brewing Company (Kind Ale with Chinook and Cascade hops), Stormcloud Brewing Company (24:30 with Centennial, Cascade, and Chinook hops), and Beards Brewery (Triumphance with Cascade hops). All beers will be on tap and available to the public on Wednesday October 12th at 7 Monks Taproom in downtown Traverse City, Michigan.

MI Local Hops farm is the largest hop operation east of the Rockies. Through a joint venture partnership with Empire Hops, which specializes in custom farming and custom trellis installation, the two businesses managed almost 350 acres and harvested over 250 acres of Northern Michigan grown hops in 2016.

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

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 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