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

Food Trucks roll into Mawby

In September & October, the L Mawby/M Lawrence/Big Little tasting rooms will welcome a couple of the leaders on the Michigan food truck scene to their wineries. The Purple Carrot Truck, Michigan’s first farm to truck food stand, work directly with local farmers to bring the freshest, local ingredients to their truck. As the good folks at The Purple Carrot say, ” food is only as good as the ingredients you start with.”  Roaming Harvest was TC’s first food truck and they seek & deliver delicious, local, and seasonal food from Traverse City area farms.

Here’s the dates – come out and enjoy the taste of fresh & local on your plate and in your glass!

  • Saturday, September 7: Purple Carrot Food Truck
  • Saturday, September 14: Roaming Harvest
  • Saturday, October 5: Roaming Harvest
  • Saturday, October 26: Purple Carrot Food Truck

Here’s the map on Foursquare.

photo via Purple Carrot Food Truck Facebook

Left Foot Charley Harvest Festivus

The annual Harvest Festivus at Left Foot Charley is a FREE German themed, all ages event celebrating the grape harvest!

On Sunday, October 6th from noon to 6 PM LFC (located at the Grand Traverse Commons) will offer kids activities, winemakers in Lederhosen, German Oompah music and horse drawn carriage rides throughout the event. Food and beverage are available for purchase and include fresh apple cider, hard cider, wine and more!

Under the Radar Michigan visits the Grand Traverse Distillery

One of the best shows about Michigan is Under the Radar Michigan. Every show takes them all over Michigan to talk with some of the businesses that are doing things right. Host Tom Daldin says that when you think of high-quality whiskey and vodka, you don’t generally think of Michigan, but the Grand Traverse Distillery is changing that with award-winning creations, including a vodka ranked #6 in the world!

Check out this spot with distiller Kent Rabish and definitely check out their vodka when you have a chance!