Cheers to Michigan Beer! Here Are Our Fans’ Favorites

When people think of Michigan, they often think of pristine beaches and thrilling winter sports. But lately, many are beginning to think of craft beer! Ranking fifth in the nation for in overall number of breweries, it’s no wonder the Michigan Brewers Guild uses the tag: “Michigan. The Great Beer State.”

And with so many verities to choose, we wanted to know. What are our fans favorite Michigan beers?

IPAs

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According to a recent Pure Michigan Twitter poll, IPAs are our fans’ favorite type of Michigan craft beer!

Storm Cloud Brewing Company’s (Frankfort) 31 planes. Bell’s Hop Slam (Kalamazoo). Big Lake’s (Holland) Ryco. Upper Hand (Escanaba) UPA. New Holland (Holland) Mad Hatter.” – Tom V.

“Gravel Bottom Brewery’s Front Porch IPA (Ada) and Short’s Huma Lupa (Elk Rapids)” – Martha I.

“Two Hearted, Red’s Rye, Hopslam and Double Trouble – in no particular order!” – Nick F.

Stouts & Porters

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“While I love Ellison Brewery + Spirits’s (East Lansing) Tiramisu Stout and Old Nation Brewing Co.’s (Williamston) Two Crow Black Sugar Stout, my very favorite is Jaden James Brewery’s (Grand Rapids) Peanut Butter Porter.” – Heather C.

“The Poet. New Holland Brewing. For a special occasion, Dragon’s Milk.” – Karen F.

Founder’s (Grand Rapids) porter is one of the BEST porters I have ever had!” – Harry R.

Lagers

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“So many great breweries…but was at Perrin Brew (Comstock Park) Sunday and always enjoy Perrin Black, but really quite endless.” – Natalie J.

“Love Perron’s Raspberry Blonde, but recently had OCP by Pigeon Hill (Muskegon) and it was delicious.” – Holie D.

“Whitsun by Arcadia Brewing Company. (Arcadia)” – Dave P.

Wacky Beers

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“Peter Piper Pepper Pale Ale from Rockford Brewing Company! (Rockford)” – Chad C.

“OMGWTFBBQ from Short’s (Bellaire) is actually pretty great.” – Woody H.

“I don’t know what the Mangalista Pig Porter from Right Brain Brewery (Traverse City) tastes like but with a name like that, I’d be willing to try it!” – Joel M.

Discover more about Michigan’s craft beer industry and where you can find your local brewery, brewpub or taproom.

The Beginner’s Guide to a Pure Michigan Winter Adventure

The car is packed with warm clothes, good boots and a whole bunch of outdoor gear. You’ve even put together a special Michigan mix of Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band and Motown favorites consisting of heavyweights like The Temptations and lesser known acts like The Velvelettes. But do you have an honest clue of what sights, sounds, tastes and experiences to take in, making you want to come back to Michigan for more every winter?

Well, that’s where we’re here to help.

If you’re going to Michigan for the first time this winter, we’ve got some activities and places you have to put on your list to get the true Michigan experience. These are the places that make the Mitten State a distinctly great destination when the snowfalls.

So throw on that mix and open up the navigation app on your phone, because you’re going to experience what a Pure Michigan winter really is.

Festivals

Just because there’s snow on the ground and the mercury isn’t rising above the 30s doesn’t mean you should stay indoors snuggled under blankets all day.

Some of Michigan’s best festivals happen during the winter at destinations that are thriving with action and fun.

Frankenmuth is famous for its celebration of German heritage, but it’s also where you’ll be able to experience the long-running Zehnder’s Snowfest on Jan. 25-30. With larger-than-life snow sculptures and intricately detailed ice carvings, Zehnder’s Snowfest also features a warming tent, petting zoo, children’s activity area and fireworks display.

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Zehnder’s Snowfest is an annual favorite for many Michiganders, PC: Frankenmuth

Over on the shores of Lake Michigan is Ludington where you can experience the Pure Ludington BrrrewFest. Held on Jan. 28, this annual festival celebrates bundling up and enjoying a cold beer during a Michigan winter. Enjoy live music while sampling the some of the best beer from brewers across the state.

If you’re more interested in visiting the Motor City during the winter, then you should check out the Meridian Winter Blast, held during the month of February in downtown Detroit. From live entertainment that will have you moving to the beat and local cuisine even the fussiest of foodies would drool over, Winter Blast is a tradition that is beloved by Detroiters and visitors alike.

Snowmobiling

Does tearing down a freshly groomed snowmobile trail sound like a great way to spend a winter day?

Well Michigan has more than 6,500 snowmobile trails and one of the most extensive systems of interconnected trails in the United States. The state also boasts a varied terrain, which includes national forests and 11,000 frozen lakes.

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A snowmobiler exploring the winter season in Boon, PC: Instagrammer andypeninger

Some of the most popular places for snowmobiling are Grayling, Gaylord, Cadillac and Mancelona, with a large number of trails that allow you to take off in just about any direction.

Farther north in the Upper Peninsula, the snowmobile season goes from Dec. 1 to March 31. A popular spot for snowmobilers is Trout Lake Township, which is just 30 miles from the Mackinac Bridge and is home to one of the main crossroads for Upper Peninsula snowmobile trails. Heading southwest from there is the Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum in Naubinway, where you’ll find loads of vintage snowmobiles.

Skiing

The feel of fresh powder on your face as you rip down some of the best skiing spots in the Midwest is a true Michigan winter tradition.

With pitch and vertical drops on par with what you’ll find in New England and out West, Michigan is home to 51 ski areas and more than 260 lifts and 1,000 runs.

Two of the most popular places to go are Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls and Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville. Boyne Mountain offers 60 downhill trails, 12 lifts and ski-in/ski-out accommodations. Crystal Mountain, located 28 miles southwest of Traverse City, is a family-owned resort with 58 downhill slopes and almost 19 miles of cross country skiing.

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Michigan’s ski scene offers fun challenges for first-timers to pros

In the Upper Peninsula is where you’ll find the Mont Ripley in Hancock and Porcupine Mountain Ski Area in Ontonagon.

Mont Ripley gets an average 250 inches of dry lake effect snow every year, adding to the experiences you’ll have with its 440-foot vertical drop ski area on 173 acres and 24 runs

Billed as the place with trails and views that get kids outdoors, the Porcupine Mountains Ski Area, has 600 feet of vertical drop with 13 trails and four gladed areas. Visitors can also choose to rent snowshoes and experience the peaceful solitude of Michigan’s northern forests as they enjoy a quiet trek through the snow.

Ice fishing

Are you looking forward to landing a big one from one of Michigan’s 11,000 inland lakes as you breath in the fresh winter air?

Then grab a bucket and pole because the Great Lakes State has some of the best ice fishing in the nation, making for a relaxing way to spend a day angling.

Almost any fish available in the summer can be caught during the winter months through the ice. And the ice fishing tradition is so strong in Michigan, that many lake communities host festivals centered on the sport.

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Ice fishing offers a unique experience for those looking to relax while enjoying the outdoors

One of the most popular ice fishing events is Tip-Up Town U.S.A., held Jan. 20-24 and Jan. 29-31 in Houghton Lake. Attracting thousands from the Midwest, the annual winter festival is great fun for the entire family with children’s activities, a parade and chili cook-off, as well as an ice fishing contest weigh in and fireworks.

Scenic beauty

Sure there’s plenty to do in Michigan during the winter, but what if you just want to spend some quiet time enjoying the natural beauty of the outdoors, filling up your social media with picturesque photos of sunsets and wildlife.

Maybe you should consider a trip to Tahquamenon Falls State Park in Paradise, which has 50,000 acres of beauty surrounding the Tahquamenon River and waterfalls. The Upper Falls is one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi with a length that is more than 200 feet across and a drop that almost reaches 50 feet.

Another remarkable place to experience is Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Munising, which is rated as one of the most beautiful places to visit in the United States. Between the solitude and beauty of its forest and the elegant ice formations along the jagged cliffs, visitors will have the adventure of a lifetime witnessing this exquisite backdrop.

Something different

What if you want to do the unexpected?

Well if you’re craving to come home with a great story to tell about your winter Michigan trip, than here are a couple of ideas to consider. For example, have you ever considered taking a dog sledding tour?

Nature’s Kennel Sled Dog & Racing Adventures in McMillan offers tours and day trips for guests of all ages and abilities. Guests can learn to drive their own dog sled team and can select from 10- and 20-mile dog sled trips. They can also choose between day rides or an overnight adventure.

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Dogsledding should be on everyone’s Michigan bucket list, PC: Gina Dewey

Another great exploit is learning to ice climb. Michigan’s miles of sandstone cliffs are lined with hundreds of frozen waterfalls, creating some of the best ice climbing spots in the nation ranging from 20 to 210 feet in height. There’s even the Michigan Ice Fest, held Feb. 15-19 in Munising. Filled with classes for all skill levels and after parties, attendees can have fun while getting great experience from some of the best climbers in Michigan.

So what are you waiting for?

Pack your bags, set the vacation notice on your work email and prepare for a Pure Michigan winter adventure that will have you coming back for more.

What would you suggest a newbie do to have a fantastic winter in Pure Michigan? Let us know in the comments!

8 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Michigan Enthusiast on Your List

Looking for the perfect holiday gift with a Great Lakes state touch?  Finding the perfect Michigan-made gem is a battle within itself. To help with some of your gift decision making, guest blogger Hailey Anderson from the MEDC, has compiled a list of some of the most novel items on the Michigan market as well as the benefits of buying local.

There are a number of reasons to consider Michigan-made products when holiday shopping this season, but here are just four specific appeals:

1. 2017 Pure Michigan Calendar – $14.95

The official 2017 Pure Michigan calendar highlights 12 professionally photographed landscapes and landmarks from all across Michigan. Among these “bucket list” locations are Tahquamenon Falls during a winter freeze, Comerica Park during a spring afternoon and Highway M-41 as fall’s colors blanket our state.  If you spend more than $100 on the Pure Michigan store, you’ll get a 2017 calendar FREE!

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Pure Michigan calendars make for great gifts while also keeping important dates in mind

2. Pure Michigan Seasonal Mouse Pad – $9.95 (each)

Pure Michigan mouse pads make a perfect gift for those who might be stuck in the office but are dreaming of the outdoors. Each mouse pad features a beautiful photographic representation of one of our state’s four seasons and measures approximately 8.5″W x 7.5″H

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Enjoy Michigan’s outdoors from the home or office with these seasonal mouse pads

3. Pure Michigan Cutting Board (small) – $39.95

Constructed with alternating strips of cherry and maple wood, this small cutting board is as beautiful as it is practical. In addition to the board’s stunning construction, a burned-in map of Michigan and the “Pure Michigan” logo add delicate yet artistic accents. Larger cutting boards also available.

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Perfect for the culinary-enthusiast you know, Pure Michigan cutting boards are an eye-catcher

4. Pure Michigan Lake Signs – $39.95

In a perfect world, every meeting would be held around a campfire. This beautiful lake sign measures approx. 24″ x 7″ and would serve as a great reminder of all campfire memories. Why we love this Pure Michigan Lake Effect sign: Some of our favorite memories have been made around a campfire. Graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows sold separately! Check out all of the Pure Michigan lake signs to decorate your home or lake house.

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Photo Credit: Samantha Elizabeth

5. Lightweight Unisex Tri-blend Hoodie – $49.95

Looking to show off your Pure Michigan pride while working out or during a cool evening? This hoodie isfor you. With it’s ultra soft and ultra comfy feel, you’ll be feeling great while looking even better. A perfect gift for the training athlete in your family!

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As comfortable as it is stylish, this Pure Michigan hoodie will delight any recipient

6. Pure Michigan Stormy Kromer Cap - $54.95

It all started in 1903, when George “Stormy” Kromer asked his wife, Ida, to stitch him a cap that could withstand high winds and freezing temperatures. Fast forward over 100 years, and the story of Stormy Kromer lives on as one of the Midwest’s most iconic brands. A longstanding passion for American-made quality and tradition has continued Stormy Kromer’s appeal to new generations of customers. If you aren’t already a fan of Stormy Kromer, we are confident that you will love the quality, attention to detail and traditions they offer in every one of their products.

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The classic look of the charcoal Stormy Kromer cap matched with the Pure Michigan logo is stunning

7. Pure Michigan Tervis Tumblers (set of four) – $59.95

It’s easy to show off your love for the Great Lakes state with these Pure Michigan Tervis Tumblers. Tervis 12 oz tumblers are the perfect size for casual use in and around the home. The unique blue patch adds the right touch of Pure Michigan pride while maintaining that classic Tervis look. This set of four doesn’t include lids.

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Drink in style with these Pure Michigan Tervis Tumblers

8. Tri-fold Pure Michigan Wood Picture Frame – $79.95

Constructed from alternating stip of cedar and featuring durabale hinges, this picture frame promises to become the focal point of any room you put it in. What better way to show off your favorite photos and memories than with a subtle reminder of where it all happened.

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Show off your favorite photos with this tri-fold Pure Michigan picture frame

Be sure to check out the Pure Michigan store for more great ideas!