Growlers 101: The Old-Fashioned Toting Device Becomes a Trend

Written by Samara Napolitan | Friday, 21 September 2012 11:07 |

The growler is having a moment. The 64-ounce vessel reminiscent of a moonshine jug can often be seen lining the shelves of brewpubs, ready to be filled with a beer geek's favorite beer and toted home to enjoy. Though they are undoubtedly trendy, growlers offer far more than artisanal accessorization.

"I think any brewery should offer growlers," says Kris Spaulding, the co-owner and sustainability director of Brewery Vivant. "Not because growlers are unique, but because being very community-focused, a growler makes sense."

As Michigan breweries expand, industry sees opportunity for growth

Written by Nathan Peck | Monday, 01 October 2012 10:52 |

 What was once a basement hobby for a dedicated few now has many in the state viewing craft brewing as an economic engine for the state.

The growth of the craft beer industry is outpacing that of the rest of beer industry. Craft beer sales grew 13 percent in 2011 compared to an overall 1.9-percent decline within the beer industry as a whole, according to data from the U.S. Brewers Association. Michigan’s craft beer industry generates $133 million in economic activity, and the state ranks fifth in the nation in the number of breweries, according to the Michigan Brewers Guild.

Steins: Go Big or Go Home

Written by Nick Manes | Friday, 21 September 2012 10:48 |

A basic rule of life is that beer is always better when it's served in large quantities. It's even better when it is served in large quantities at inexpensive prices. This sounds like a bit of an anomaly, but two local breweries have you covered on consecutive nights, every single week. Both New Holland Brewing and Brewery Vivant offer stein nights where customers bring their own drinking vessel (as big as they want, but both places have certain restrictions) and the barkeep fills them for a nominal price.

Local Farms Put Food On Restaurant Tables Throughout West Michigan

Written by Charlsie Dewey | Thursday, 12 April 2012 13:36 |

Every Wednesday afternoon, local chefs and West Michigan farmers converge in a warehouse located at the corner of Hall and Godfrey Streets to buy and sell produce and other products produced by the farms.

Know Your Chef: Bartertown's Ryan Cappelletti

Written by Matt Simpson Siegel | Thursday, 23 February 2012 15:06 |

Why did Ryan Cappelletti become a chef? "Basically, I dropped out of high school and worked in a lot of kitchens. I was eating a lot of fast food. I couldn't sit around and just play Nintendo. I had to do something. I was in a lot of bands, travelling the world, trying a lot of food across the board, and then getting into vegetarian food and then vegan food."

February Microbrews: Right Brain Brewery

Written by Ben Darcie | Tuesday, 24 January 2012 11:04 |

Traverse City is now home to a handful of microbreweries, and the beer scene in our upstate is starting to grow. One of the forerunners of the movement is Right Brain, led by Owner Russell Springsteen.

November Microbrews: HopCat

Written by Ben Darcie | Thursday, 20 October 2011 09:55 |

HopCat is known for many things. It may be the relaxed outdoor patio, expansive bottle list, top-notch beer dinners, the 49 taps or the bar's recognition as the third best beer bar in the world by BeerAdvocate. One aspect that's somewhat overlooked however, is its beers.

September Microbrews: Central City Tap House

Written by Ben Darcie | Thursday, 25 August 2011 12:51 |

In a street mall that intersects Michigan Avenue, there are browsing customers and colorful storefronts. Toward the end of the mall lies Central City Tap House with its sun-bathed outdoor patio and split dining room and pub sections inside.

Our October Candy Land Sojourn

Written by Matt Simpson Siegel | Wednesday, 22 September 2010 13:52 |

When October evenings begin stretching shadows into twilight and the only notable mass holiday on the horizon is Halloween, all I can think about is pure comfort food.

Spice Up Your Life

Written by Matt Simpson Siegel | Friday, 27 August 2010 09:25 |

After Labor Day, September becomes a month that triggers a spontaneous whimsy in me that I attribute to some Pavlovian imprint from my hedonistic years. It is rooted in grade school-era visits to autumn apple orchards, indulging in cider and coffee; naked collegiate nighttime soirees in apple orchards, indulging in spiked cider and coffee; the return of the doughnut as an acceptable carbohydrate to the diet.

Some of the best local apples and cider comes from two of the oldest apple orchards in West Michigan. Instead of picking up some hum-drum cider at your grocer, try some from the farm in Kent City at Fruit Ridge Hayrides (11966 Fruit Ridge Ave.). This scenic farm has been operating for more than 125 years. A great excuse to come would be around the third week of September, when owners Kirk and Nancy Briggs launch the Fall Harvest Festival.

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