I don't know about you, but I've never been one to turn down a free drink. Fortunately (or if you ask my liver, unfortunately), my gig as a touring comedian means that I've managed to score one in almost every US state.
'Michigan' on Serious Eats
Having long since outgrown the downtown Kalamazoo facility (which still houses a beer store and the Eccentric Cafe brew pub) and their second brewing facility in nearby Comstock, the company expanded their brewing capacity again earlier this year, with the addition of a 200-barrel production brewery in also-nearby Galesburg. The capacious new space accommodates the brewery's special needs like increased capacity for dry-hopping, good news for any fans of their magically bright Two-Hearted Ale.
Once upon a time, the mitten-shaped state known as Michigan was not known for its coffee. Its bizarrely named "Coney Island" hot dogs and diners, its square-shaped pizzas, its death of industry...sure. But artisanal coffee? Not until recently did this pleasant peninsula begin to stand out, and cities across the state have begun to offer some of the best coffees roasted in the nation—and the mitten itself—at truly lovely cafes. Here are our very favorites.
The story of Journeyman Distillery, which opened its doors to guests for the first time in early October, rambles across continents and centuries. It's about a building in need of a purpose meeting a man in pursuit of his newfound passion. We met up with Journeyman's owner and chief distiller, Bill Welter, to get a behind-the-scenes look.
Have you ever tried wine from Michigan? This was my first, from Black Star Farms in Sutton Bay. (We've covered their cider before.) It's a fruit-driven riesling, with slightly perfumey flower-pollen notes and some nice slate on the finish.
Grand Rapids, Michigan, may not be at the top of your list for coffee destinations...but clear aside some room and let it dwell there alongside the greats. Local roasters MadCap have built national acclaim by sourcing excellent coffees and presenting them to their smaller-city audience and international competition stages alike. Their 2011 Los Lobos coffee from Costa Rica won a Good Food Award, and barista-owner and barista Trevor Corlett and Ryan Knapp have made it to some of the highest ranks of the competition stage. But more importantly—to them and to you—is their goal to change how everyday people think about their coffee.
The American cider scene may be booming in New England and the Pacific Northwest, but we shouldn't leave out the midwest when we talk about the rise of cider. From suburban Detroit all the way north to the Sutton Bay, Michigan has cider fever. Here are a few of our favorite cideries in the Great Lakes State.
We drink a lot of cider from both coasts here on The Cider Press, but there are also exciting ciders coming out of the midwest. The cool climate of northern Michigan is ideal for growing cider apples and Black Star Farms is taking full advantage. We recently caught up with Lee Lutes, Head Winemaker at Black Star Farms, to chat about their cider.