Weekend Roundup: February Festival Edition

drink-my-brewcast-podcastForget about July – February has become festival month in Traverse City! We’ve assembled a guide to the happenings this weekend including the Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival, the Great Indoor Folk Festival and NMC’s Festival of Foods along with a preview of next weekend including the Traverse City Winter Comedy Festival and Romancing the Riesling on Old Mission.

Before we get to that, however, we’re very excited to share eatdrinkTC’s appearance on the Drink My Brewcast podcast! Editor Andy McFarlane sat down with Los Bob, Carly, Shauny Boy and  Mike to talk about eatdrinkTC, the Winter Comedy Fest, TC’s Festival Fatigue issue and of course beer. Give a listen below and definitely tune in to this locally produced podcast celebrating the bounty of beer we’re blessed with from near & far.


February Dinner at Black Star FarmsThe Village at Grand Traverse Commons Indoor Farmers Market celebrates its 5th year as a cold weather food haven at their annual potluck dinner at 6 PM tonight in The Minervini Group offices above Trattoria Stella. It’s a chance to dine & talk with your favorite farmers and producers and have the opportunity to influence the future of your community’s farmers market.

Executive Chef Jonathan Dayton’s artfully prepared dishes will inspire you to savor each bite while fully enjoying the relaxing ambiance at Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay with a 4 course pre fixe menu with or without wine pairings. Seating is at 6:30 pm.

The crew at 7 Monks gets Microbrew Fest weekend going with Green Flash Brewing Co. from Southern California at the Green Flash Northern Michigan Release Party.

On the music front Seth Bernard joins Joe Wilson at the Workshop in what should be a real treat and Don Julin & Billy Strings take the stage at Little Bohemia from 8-10 PM.


Frostbite Food Drive

Collecting food at the Frostbite Food Drive

The 20th Annual Father Fred Frostbite Food Drive will be collecting donations of non-perishable food items and cash for the food pantry February 7-16. In addition to collecting food, the Father Fred Frostbite Food Drive also includes a Donation Match Challenge – where donations of food and cash will be matched dollar for dollar – making your donations work twice as hard! Currently this match is at $50,000.

On the first Friday of each month from 5-8pm (& later) the Grand Traverse Commons features art, food & drink samples, shopping & wining/ dining specials, live music and more in their First Fridays at the Village. Highlights include Don Julin & Billy Strings at Left Foot Charley, Dan Oberschulte at Gallery Fifty, the Village Invitational Quilt Show at Notably Natural, the Free Art Friday Promo Party at Cuppa Joe and…

…a chance to Savor the Tastes & Flavors at Tastes of Black Star Farms from 5-8 PM. The theme is “A Tale of Two Chardonnays: To Oak or Not to Oak?” and they will feature oaked & un-oaked Chardonnays along with house made pork rilletes and red lentil crackers and thoughts about additional food pairing concepts. $3 per person and $5 per couple.

Beervangelist Fred Bueltmann

Beervangelist Fred Bueltmann

As part of our microbrew-infused weekend, the Grand Traverse Resort is hosting a Brewer’s Dinner from 7-10 PM. The dinner event will feature 11 hand-picked craft brews paired with 11 delicious small plates prepared by Resort chefs. Fred Bueltmann, commonly known as “The Beervangelist” and an owner of New Holland Brewing Company, will serve as your special host for the night. eatdrinkTC has an in-depth feature on the dinner that includes the pairings and you can purchase tickets by calling 800-236-1577.

In addition to welcoming Laith Al-Saadi, the Workshop is tapping two experimental firkins: Imperial Porter with Bourbon vanilla beans and a Belgian Tripel with local hardy kiwi!

Friday night at 6:30 the Boathouse brings in a wild selection for their 9th Annual Wild Game Dinner featuring CRABBED AGGRESSION. Dinner is $89 per person and reservations are required – call 231-223-4030.

Friday & Saturday Women Who Rock the Mountain happens at Crystal Mountain. This 2 day event is sponsored by Founders Brewing and will feature free live music by local female artists at the slopeside Vista Lounge. All ages can enjoy great music from Miriam Pico, The Accidentals, Preacher’s Daughter and Sweet Joe Williams & Blake Elliott and The Robinson Affair on Friday and Hannah Rae Beale, Jetty Rae, E Minor & Blake Elliott and The Robinson Affair.

Back by popular demand is Dueling Pianos: Encore! It’s a fun-filled night of entertainment as the musicians from Piano Wars! take requests from the crowd and battle the night away. Singing along and dancing is highly encouraged – tickets are GA $20, VIP $30 in advance and $25 at the door.



Chef Jennifer Blakeslee at the Festival of Foods

eatdrinkTC is very excited to be attending NMC’s Festival of Foods on Saturday starting at 10 AM. Each of the four, one-hour sessions highlights four workshops in the kitchen and classrooms you select with chefs including Pete Peterson, Eric Patterson, Jennifer Blakeslee, Randy Chamberlain and Mickey Cannon along with some of our area’s leading food producers. It’s just $69 for a day of tasting and learning and we have an in-depth guide right here that includes registration information and detailed information about sessions and how the event works.

Maya James and The BOX are pleased to present their first TC poetry SLAM! Participants can look forward to winning a trip to compete at next level.

Photo by Michael Poehlman

Photo by Michael Poehlman

The annual Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival starts at 4 PM on Saturday and features 30+ breweries packing over 150 craft brew flavors along with local food and a great music lineup! We’ve compiled a collection of the brews & bites that await you at the link above. Tickets are limited and they’ve sold out the last few years, so if you’re planning on attending you’d probably better get them today!

The 10th Annual Wild Game Dinner at The Boathouse starts at 6:30pm and features Michigan wild game paired with wines from Bowers Harbor Vineyards. Pairings include venison broth French Onion Soup with Leelanau Raclette & Bowers Harbor Vineyards 2012 Chardonnay RLS Reserve and a Michigan Surf and Turf with juniper smoked venison rack and sumac seared lake trout with the 2010 2896, Langley. The dinner benefits the Conservation Resource Alliance. $89 per person and reservations are required – call 231-223-4030 for reservations. Be sure to check out the eatdrinkTC feature!

Hummingbird Truffle from Grocer's Daughter

Hummingbird Truffle from Grocer’s Daughter

February is the month of love and what better way to celebrate than with chocolate & wine? There are just 2 spots left to join Grocer’s Daughter Chocolate at Chateau Chantal. Owner Jody Dotson and their food enthusiast Michael Beery to learn how to use chocolate in both sweet and savory recipes including a quick and easy method for making delicious chocolate truffles at home. Taste chocolates and then prepare a 3-course dinner of chocolate delicacies including Lamb Stew in Chocolate Sauce, Pork with Apples and Chocolate, Chocolate Chili Rubbed Chicken, Harissa Pate with Nibs, Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes in Chocolate Chili Rub, Vegan Chocolate Mousse, no gluten Queen of Sheba Chocolate Cake and various Truffles. WOW! The price is $95 per person with 12 maximum per class – call 800-969-4009 for reservations!

Love is in the air Saturday and Sunday at the annual Taste the Passion weekend featuring wine, chocolate and love! Tickets allow you to create your own trail as you venture between wineries on the Leelanau Peninsula, enjoying food and wine pairings and other optional winter and Valentine-themed activities. If you didn’t get enough of Andy’s voice in the podcast, check out the Taste the Passion video below for a look at a pretty cool wine touring experience.

Speaking of Leelanau, from 5 to 7 pm at the Old Art Building in Leland you can taste award-winning Leelanau wines from L. Mawby Vineyards paired with gourmet hors d’oeuvres by Martha’s Leelanau Table at the Winter Wine & Vine Experience. Tickets are $35 – call 256-2131 for reservations.

The Microbrew Festival After Party at InsideOut starts at 10 pm and features the Third Coast Kings – a Detroit based deep funk and soul outfit who are playing the Festival. There’s also the Workshop After Party and a chance to warm up Northern Michigan style with The Chardon Polka Band!



Robin Lee Berry at the Indoor Folk Fest!

Sunday morning from 10 am – 1 pm it’s back to the Workshop (or did you ever leave?) for the Scratch brunch to cure what ales you with huevos rancheros, hickory-smoked slab bacon, spent-grain biscuits with duck sausage gravy, blueberry muffin bread pudding and crispy hash browns with cream cheese, caramelized onions, and peppers from chef Scott for just $10!

The Great Indoor Folk Festival at the Village is one of northern Michigan’s coolest music events. Dozens of area musicians take to 5 intimate stages in the Mercato at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons in an all-ages celebration of folk music.

Join eatdrinkTC at the Party In The Pantry Launch Party at InsideOut. Party In The Pantry is a local culinary entertainment show featuring our area’s most celebrated local food and musical artists (read our feature and see the trailer). It starts at 6 PM with cooking with chefs from the show followed by the premier of the first episode at 7pm and then tastings and music by Levi Britton, The Accidentals, Blake Elliott, EMINOR and much more!

Join M23 Strings at Brew from 8-11 PM for a free, all ages show.

Next Week

On Monday Food for Life starts Kickstart Your Health classes to teach you how to prepare dishes rich in vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes that can enhance your health and support your wellness and weight loss goals. Next Thursday – Sunday the Winter Comedy Festival takes over downtown with top-level comedy acts and free fun on Front Street.

Friday night Tastes of Black Star Farms hosts A Perfect Pairing where 10 single men & 10 single women enjoy a food and wine pairing with a wine tasting class while mingling with other singles. Other events include Romancing the Riesling at Old Mission wineries and a Short’s Beer Dinner at 7 Monks.