Rare Bird Brewpub ready to open!


If all goes well with their final inspection, Rare Bird Brewpub will open their doors to the public next week. Co-owner and brewer Tina Schuett shares, “It’s been a long road. We’ve worked really hard to make sure everything’s just right and are excited to open the doors to let everyone see what we’ve built.”

Read more

Hop Lot Brewing Co. coming to Suttons Bay this Summer

The microbrewery boom continues as the latest on the scene, Hop Lot Brewing Co., starting construction in Suttons Bay early this month and on track for a summer 2014 opening.

Read more

Traverse City “Brew Bus” seeking funds

Troy Daily, the local entrepreneur who started the TC Cycle Pub and founded the TC Ale Trail, is readying another promising venture. The Traverse City Brew Bus will provide all-inclusive brewery tours with sampling, brewhouse tours, talking with brewers and brewery owners and even some Cicerone* led tours. It’s all designed to be educational, fun and more than what you’d get if you were to visit the brewery on your own. Read more

Ask Me Anything w/ Joe Short of Short’s Brewing!

Joe Short of Short’s Brewing Co. founder Joe Short did an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit on Wednesday, November 13th on the Michigan Beer subReddit. We grabbed some of our favorite responses – many more at Reddit! Read more

Beer and Food Pairing Dinners for Traverse City Beer Week

To celebrate Traverse City’s first annual Beer Week (November 9-15, 2013), several restaurants have created beer dinners. Beer and Food pairings to make your heart sing. These events will sell out fast, so get your reservations right away.

Saturday (Nov 9)

Hangover Breakfast at The Towne Plaza  9-3
This a la carte breakfast includes your meal and beer pairings, presented by the people of Greenbush Brewery.  For once, enjoy the headache of your hangover, as you have a little hair of the dog! Prices are a la carte, and based on consumption. Reservations are strongly recommended but not required. 231-929-0900 Read more

Brewer Tina Schuett of Rare Bird Brewery and Taproom


Rare Bird Brewery and Taproom is slated to open in December at 229 Lake Avenue, about midway between Firefly and Patisserie Amie. We had a chance to sit down with brewer Tina Schuett to talk about the plans for the latest addition to TC’s beer scene. Enjoy the article and be sure to read to the end for a chance for you to get in on the ground floor with all kinds of perks and benefits with their Indegogo crowd-funding campaign!

Tina Schuette of Rare Bird Brewery

Tina Schuett of Rare Bird Brewery

How did you get started brewing and what made you decide to take it to the next level with your own brewery?

I started homebrewing in college, and kept it as a hobby while I was a park ranger in California and New Zealand. I couldn’t resist the urge to do it professionally and was able to land a job at Sand Creek Brewery in Wisconsin. My mom is from the area, so when I got an opportunity to brew at a local brewery, I moved here. I worked there and also as the contract brewer at Sugarfoot Saloon.

I had worked with Nate and we really hit it off, so when the opportunity to work with him presented itself and we found this location, I jumped right in. It was always my dream and goal to have my own brewery.

Traverse City has a lot of brewpubs – what’s going to make Rare Bird unique?

We won’t simply be a brew pub. Our full class C liquor license means we’ll be able to have 6-10 of my beers on at a time and fill out the rest of the 35 taps with some really interesting and hard to find beers. We’ll also have a full menu of liquor, wine and cider, so we will be a spot where everyone can get something yummy that fits their taste.

We’ve also been searching out reclaimed materials into old barns that have collapsed – going to the source to find the right pieces. Our tabletops are all being made from a giant cottonwood tree that died of natural causes. Read more

Greening of the Great Lakes goes to Workshop Brewing

Pete Kirkwood Workshop Brewing Traverse CityDr. Kirk L. Heinze served in the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources for three decades and now hosts the Greening of the Great Lakes on News/Talk 760 WJR. He has a great interview with Pete Kirkwood of TC’s new Workshop Brewing Company discussing Pete’s vision for a sustainable, connected brewery that you can check out on mLive along with a short article:

Pete credits his employees for The Workshop Brewing Company’s adoption of zero waste. “They drove zero waste, and everything we use here is recycled, composted or reused, which is obviously good for the environment, but it may also end up saving us money.” Pete’s brews feature organic grain, much of which is purchased locally. And his spent barley goes to a local farmer who uses it for livestock feed. “When you buy and sell locally, it is amazing to track the economic reverberations in a community.” Pete admits to originally viewing the locavore movement as “effete and elitist,” but now I better understand and appreciate the powerful economic ripple effect buying locally can create.”

Click over to mLive to hear lots more including Pete’s hope to bring renewable energy into his brewing process. Definitely make a point to taste the Oktoberfest and other brews on tap right now at The Workshop Brewing Co!

Traverse City Beer Week ~ November 9-15, 2013

The new Traverse City Beer Week looks to add another way to celebrate the beauties of brew – through a decentralized celebration of craft brewing that focuses on our breweries, tap rooms and restaurants. Kalamazoo-based Imperial Beverage used this model to get the Kalamazoo Beer Week going:

“Traverse City Beer Week will help restaurants, bars, and retail locations to do what they do well even better,” says Ann Drummond, marketing and public relations with Imperial Beverage. “It’s not intended to pull consumers away from the places where craft beer is already appreciated. Instead, these events are fashioned for the sole purpose of craft beer appreciation, consumer education, and experiential learning in the breweries, brewpubs, restaurants and retail locations of Traverse City.”

right brain tapsImperial Beverage, named Craft Beer Distributor of the Year in 2010, used the same model to create a successful Beer Week in Kalamazoo two years ago. The idea is not to organize a festival at all, she says, but to give local breweries and restaurants a chance to host their own events on their own premises while promoting closer relationships among brewers, chefs and retailers who sell craft beer.

For instance, a brewery or restaurant could schedule a “special release” tasting with a presentation by the brewer or a “vertical tasting” where participants can taste examples of the same beer from a series of consecutive release years. Or a restaurant could hold a workshop on how to pair beers with food, presentations on home brewing, tastings of special seasonal brews, cheese/beer pairings, and cooking demonstrations where beer is a featured ingredient in the recipe.

Stay tuned to Traverse City Beer Week updates at or via Traverse City Beer Week on Facebook.

Photos courtesy Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Microbreweries: How many is too many?

This morning’s Crains Detroit Business checked in with Steve and Andrew Lutke who are building the new  microbrewery with outdoor beer garden and hops garden on a 5-acre site in the village of Suttons Bay. The article strikes a cautionary tone with our old friend Rex Halfpenny of the Michigan Beer Guide leading the charge, saying that the market is tight and new breweries could face tough sledding. He compares the industry to the California Gold Rush saying.

“As you know, they didn’t find any gold.”

Rex definitely knows the business. The big brands control 88% of the Michigan beer-drinking market and established microbreweries like Bell’s & Founders control another 3.75 % leaving just over 8% for everyone else. Still, I have to draw on my Portland, OR experience for what a market can support, especially one that is as focused on “Michigan Made” and locally produced as we are. The Oregon Craft Beer Association estimates that just under half of all draft beer consumed in Oregon is brewed in Oregon.

facebookFor more about Hop Lot brewing you can check out their Facebook page and also these features from Drink Michigan and Northwest Michigan’s Second Wave. On October 9th they go before the Suttons Bay Planning Commision.

Photo Credit: Hop Lot Brewing