2016 Traverse City Beer Week – November 11-17

tc-beer-week-2017

Traverse City Beer Week starts tonight, and the annual celebration of beer & breweries runs November 11-17 with over 40 events!

Highlights include tonight’s TCBW Pub Crawl from 6-10 PM. It’s sponsored by Short’s Brewing Company, and stops include Bubba’s, The Little Fleet, U & I Lounge, The Franklin, Brew Traverse City, 7 Monks Taproom, Union Tap and Grill, Union Street Station and Rare Bird Brewpub. You can pick up a Passport that you can redeem for a TC Beer Week shirt (while supplies last).

Other highlights from today & tonight include the Brewery Vivant Night at 7 Monks from 3-midnight, Michigan vs. West Coast Beers at State Street Grille, the Perrin Brewing Company Tap Takeover at Nolan’s Tobacco and Cigar Bar, and the Tapistry Tap Event at Pangea’s Pizza.

The fun continues tomorrow at 10 AM with the Great Beerd Run at Grand Traverse Resort & Spa sponsored by Short’s, Beards Brewery & Right Brain Brewery with post-race Beer Tent featuring a Best Beard Contest, race grub, music, and beer. Other highlights for Saturday include the Atwater Brewery & Bowers Harbor Vineyards Dinner at Boathouse Traverse City, a beer & pulled pork slider pairing at Brewery Terra Firma, Tapistry Brewing vs Saugatuck Brewing Company at Brew, and Reflect Bistro’s Short’s Brewing Company Beer Dinner!

Looking ahead to Sunday, the good folks of Stormcloud Brewing Company in Frankfort will join Alliance Restaurant for a 5-course beer dinner featuring Stormcloud’s Barrel-Soured ales.

On Monday at 5 PM Terra Firma hosts a Cheese and Beer Pairing featuring John’s brews paired with cheeses from Manny’s Specialty Cheese. There’s also Founders Brewing Co. Bingo Night at Little Fleet and German Heritage Night with Cedar Springs Brewing at 7 Monks Taproom.

Tuesday you can get your Belgian on with the Jolly Pumpkin Brewery / Leelanau Brewing event at 7 Monks, the Lagunitas Brewing Co Willett BA Release Party at Little Fleet, and a Short’s tasting at Kap N Keg Party Store.

Wednesday’s theme is 3 tap takeovers with the Dark Horse & Founders Tap Jam at Rare Bird, a Brewery Vivant Sour Beer Tap Takeover at the Little Fleet, and a Greyline Brewing Co. Tap Takeover at 7 Monks Taproom. There’s also a TC Beer Week Sib & Dab at Blue Tractor that offers a chance to create an original work of art guided by a local artist.

Thursday features the Greenbush Beer Dinner at MI Grille, Sour Beer Night at Little Fleet, TC Beer History Night at 7 Monks Taproom, and also the North v South Brewery Battle at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa which pits Short’s Brewing Company vs Atwater Brewery at five “Battle” stations with brews from each brewery and food to pair.

Wrap it up Friday night with a Seafood Beer Dinner at The Little Fleet!

Get details on these and more TC Beer Week events at the Traverse City Tourism website!

2016 Short’s Anniversary Party

Short’s annual party is on tap for Saturday April 30, 2016 from 4-10 PM.

Short’s Space Rock now gluten free

Space Rock, the newest flagship beer from Short’s Brewing Company is now crafted to remove gluten. Space Rock, an American Pale Ale, joins the flagship lineup alongside Huma Lupa Licious, Soft Parade, Bellaire Brown, and Local’s.

New Space Rock from ShortsAccording to Short’s Director of Quality, Tyler Glaze “The recipe for Space Rock always contained Brewer’s Clarex, a naturally occurring enzyme, to remove chill haze. The same enzyme eliminates gluten and we suspected that the enzyme completely removed gluten just like in Alien Einstein. So, we decided to send a bottle out to be tested at the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program’s lab at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The results came back great! It turned out that all we needed to do was add a little more Brewer’s Clarex and the gluten was completely removed from the beer. The taste hasn’t changed a bit. It’s still the same, delicious, moderately bitter American Pale Ale with floral and orange aromas but with the added bonus of the gluten being removed.”

“We are stoked to release Space Rock with the ‘Crafted to Remove Gluten’ labeling now. Such a tasty beer. We hope our customers are as excited and thirsty as us!”

In order to distinguish Space Rock that has been crafted to remove gluten from the original release, Tanya Whitley, the artist behind many Short’s beer labels, updated the artwork. You’ll see changes to Joe’s spacecraft and outfit as well as a new “Crafted to Remove Gluten” insignia.

Morel Dinner (and Hunt!) at Black Star Farms

by Emily Lechowicz

Emily and a big morel!

Emily and a big morel!

Luck was on my side of the bay this past Wednesday as the only beautiful and sunny day of the week happened to fall on the same evening as the Black Star Farms monthly Harvest Dinner. These six-course, wine paired dinners are each designed to feature one or two ingredients in every course. The theme for May? Morels, of course!

As a unique add-on, Black Star Farms offered attendees the chance to learn the art of “moreling” by hunting for morels in the woods that border the farm with two of Michigan’s first certified mushroom experts Jim Moses and Linda Grigg. Jim and Linda, who are also husband and wife, brought samples of the different morels they had picked, and explained to the guests what to look for, how to look, and most importantly how to tell the difference between true & false morels.

Visitors came to the hunt on a perfect mid-May day, excited and equipped with plastic mesh bags to carry the morels they hoped to find. Because it’s been so dry in the area lately, it was truly a hunt to find the morels in the woods. After searching for a good twenty minutes, the mushroom hunters were getting slightly discouraged, especially those from out of town who rarely experience the tastiness of the morels and the fun of hunting them.

Morel Mushrooms in Leelanau“I found one!” someone shouted, and the guests swarmed around the newly found mushroom like they had just found gold. There it was: a small, white morel, barely peeking out from under the leaves. Everyone huddled around the mushroom to snag a picture of it in the ground before the knife was taken to pluck it from its roots. Before the excitement could die down from the first morel found, another morel hunter yelled, “Here’s another one!” Seems like we found a good spot for a group of white morels, despite the dry spell.

Along the way, Jim and Linda spoke about their different experiences in the woods finding their favorite fungi and also shared some tips on how to look for morels. “The best way to find morels is to just stare at an area,” said Linda, “then your eyes will adjust to the ground around you.”

As the hunt went on, I got to tag along with Linda for a while, and she talked about her farm of organic vegetables, along with other fungus that she and her husband find in their woods. “I like to dry the Hen of the Woods (another fungus), crumble them and put them in soup!” Linda commented, “They’re very healthy.”

Morels in May DinnerAfter the hunt, it was on the table. The setting reflected Black Star Farms perfectly, with centerpieces lined with mason jars and lights lending a back-to-farm yet elegant ambiance to the event. From the a mushroom bruschetta with wild ramp taster paired with a gin and a morel simple-syrup cocktail that welcomed us and through courses including ragout of morel mushroom and a venison, farm egg, and lemon ramp risotto, Executive Chef Jonathan Dayton and his culinary team showcased many aspects of morels. A favorite amongst the guests were the morel mushroom buttercream cake, morel mushroom meringue and candied morels for dessert.

Chef Dayton shared his feelings about Spring saying, “It’s exciting for me because we can finally go foraging in the woods and get outside of the kitchen and hoop houses. It’s not just morels we’re looking for and using – we use wild leeks (ramps), asparagus, and perennial herbs that have returned in our gardens.”

Morel Bruschetta with wild rampStephanie Lee Wiitala, Events Coordinator and pastry chef at Black Star Farms, simply wowed the guests with her expert wine pairing with each and every delicious dish that was brought from the kitchen. As each of the six courses came out, Lee Wiitala introduced each dish, and why she choose the specific wine that she chose to pair with the course. She outdid herself by pairing the chocolate-frosted morel buttercream cake with the honey-infused, sharp, tangy Sirius White dessert wine to create a delectable delight.

Cynthia Goodrick, a dinner guest, raved about her experience. “Each of the courses had a fine wine pairing that left you seeking another bite, no, another sip, no yet another bit. Each dish involved daring and inventive flavors, but also included were a few perfectly prepared standbys, delicately balanced and finished.”

Dinner was a complete success, and with the added fun of the morel hunt with Jim and Linda Moses. Lee Wiitala did an outstanding job putting together the event, and

The team at Black Star Farms put together an experience that left attendees happy and satisfied, full of amazing food and wine and new knowledge in the art of moreling. I even walked away with a morel of my own from the hunt!

You can click the link for information & reservations for upcoming Harvest Dinners at Black Star Farms.

Friday Cocktail Hour: Pamplemousse by Gary Jonas of The Little Fleet

eatdrinkTC’s Friday Cocktail Hour is a new feature where we feature original cocktails from some of Traverse City’s most creative cocktail artists. Our thanks go out to Michael Ruhlman for letting us share his Friday Cocktail Hour concept

Gary Jonas and the

Gary Jonas and the Pamplemousse

The Little Fleet is a laid back neighborhood bar featuring beer, wine, and cocktails in an open air environment. Owners Gary & Allison Jonas with an emphasis on bringing the community together.

Although it was snowing outside when we shot this on the first day of Spring, the cocktail was inspired by everyone’s need to feel that the end of winter is out there … somewhere. The name “Pamplemousse” is French for grapefruit.

Pamplemousse

3 oz fresh squeezed ruby red grapefruit
3 oz Lillet Rosé
2 1/4 oz New Holland Knickerbocker gin
Dash of St George Absinthe

Chill coupe glass
Fill mixing glass with first 3 ingredients and ice, shake with shaker.
Dump ice from coupe glass, put dash of absinthe in glass, swirl absinthe so it coats all parts of glass, dump excess absinthe
Strain cocktail from shaker into coupe glass and garnish with a big twist of grapefruit.

Starcut Ciders released in Traverse City on Wednesday

 

Starcut Ciders Tap Handles

Short’s Brewing Company will be releasing Starcut Ciders in Traverse City tomorrow – Wednesday, February 11th. A Starcut rep will be on hand at each tapping to share more about the ciders. Get the schedule of tappings below.

Made with Antrim County apples from Altonen, Boals, Friske and King Orchards and Jeff Dewey, Starcut has been on tap at Short’s in Bellaire since November. Short’s Head Brewer Tony Hansen has led the development of Starcut Ciders and says, “This launch is the final step in what has been a very exciting project that started over a year ago. We spent a lot of time researching, procuring and transforming local apples into Northern Michigan style cider. Now that we have our cider-making program developed, we’re ready to share it with a broader audience.”

Follow Starcut on Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram.

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BBQ Bash at Left Foot Charley next Thursday!

Left Foot Charley Cider

Next Thursday (January 22nd) from 5pm-9pm Left Foot Charley invites you to their Mid-Winter Summer BBQ Bash, Cider Release and Menu Takeover featuring summer tunes with a reggae flavor, a fire pit and fun for everyone.

It’s a chance to throw off the Polar Vortex and get your July on with the release of a new medium dry cider from Boals’ Farm in Antrim County and an amazing menu to pair with their wines and ciders designed by Chef Keil of Bay Town Kitchen.

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The Remedy Cafe Grand Opening on Jan 25

Waffles at the Remedy CafeThe Remedy Cafe will have their Grand Opening on Sunday, January 25th. It’s a project of Pete Kirkwood, owner of The Workshop Brewing Company, and located in the same building in  TC’s Warehouse District (in the former location of Xylo Bistro).

The Traverse City Record-Eagle had a short feature on The Remedy Cafe:

The Workshop Brewing Company built a success story for owner Pete Kirkwood. The brewpub/restaurant has a loyal clientele. Business is strong.

Now, Kirkwood plans to serve breakfast, but in a new location. It’s not too far from The Workshop — in the same building, just a few steps down the hall.

“I want it to feel like part of the same community,” Kirkwood said. “You’ll know you’re in a different place, but they’ll be connected.”

The two eateries will have separate identities and separate kitchens. But they’ll share an executive chef, Scott Williams, current chief in The Workshop’s kitchen. Each also will have its own dedicated chef. All 14 employees at The Workshop will be cross-trained so they’ll be comfortable in both spaces, said Kirkwood. A few new employees will join the mix.

…He plans to carry The Workshop’s model of using local, seasonal ingredients in offerings at The Remedy. When The Remedy isn’t serving breakfast, it will be available for party and event bookings, Kirkwood said.

The Workshop’s beverage license will extend to The Remedy, he said, so both establishments will offer drinks.

Stay tuned to their Facebook page for updates and click below to view some photos of the new space!

 

Ice Wine Season

December 11, 2014: It’s a coincidental Throwback Thursday! Yesterday Black Star Farms released the wine we saw being made: 2013 A Capella Ice Wine.

Ice wine or ‘eiswein’ in the original German, is a rare dessert wine that requires great care and skill to produce. Last week Cortney Casey of Michigan By the Bottle was on Michigan Radio’s Stateside program talking about Michigan ice wines (at 44:20).

With the chill that settled over the area and the late harvest this year, it seemed to be a great time for a short article about this rare delicacy. In a happy coincidence, when I called Black Star Farms winemaker Lee Lutes on Monday, he told me that they’d be picking and pressing at Black Star Farms on Old Mission Wednesday. I hope you enjoy this photo feature on the process of making ice wine. Stay tuned to the end for a great video about the process too!

Work-Ahead

While December 11, 2013 was by no means the coldest December 11th on record (that would be 1977 at -11), it was a bone-chilling day with temps hovering around 11 degrees with a wind chill that never got above zero after 9:30 AM.

In short, as Black Star Farms winemaker Vladimir Banov explained, the perfect day for the ice wine harvest.

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