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

IPA-Beers-Graphic

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

Stouts-Porters-Beer-Graphic

“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

Lagers-Beer-Graphic

“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

Wacky-Beers-Graphic

“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.

Four Thanksgiving Recipes Inspired by Local Michigan Produce

On a chilled November day, warmth and conversation will fill the room as family members converse over a delicious Thanksgiving feast that was prepared with love. Thanksgiving is a time to savor everything you have to be thankful for. There is no better way to celebrate life’s abundance than with a comforting home-cooked meal made with fresh ingredients that moved from the local farm to your table. Local Michigan produce is just one of many reasons to be thankful for the mitten state.

Delicious seasonal fruit and vegetables such as pumpkin, squash, apples, carrots, and sweet potatoes from local Michigan farms will make this year’s Thanksgiving dinner one for the books. The following recipes are meant to bring you ideas and creativity while planning your Thanksgiving dinner, and encourage you to take advantage of the wonderful seasonal produce that Michigan has to offer, courtesy of guest blogger Kristen Guilbert from Awesome Mitten.

Pumpkin Twists

Pumpkin Twists

Photo and recipe courtesy of The Novice Chef

These fancy pumpkins twists are sweet, flakey, buttery, and look a lot more difficult to make than they actually are. Made with local Michigan pumpkin, these tasty twists are much more interesting than the common dinner rolls and will make your relatives think you are way more handy in the kitchen. Add these to the dessert table, serve as appetizers, or maybe even as a side dish! These are versatile and will be a sweet addition to your Thanksgiving table.

What you need:

Makes 4 large twists

Twists:

1 large egg

2 teaspoons water

4 sheets puff pastry

1 cup fresh pureed sugar pumpkin, or canned pumpkin

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

coarse sugar, optional

Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water, set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, sugar and pumpkin pie spice.
  4. Lay puff pastry flat and divide pumpkin mixture evenly across the top. Spread pumpkin into an even layer.
  5. Starting at one end, roll the pastry over the pumpkin mixture.
  6. Using a sharp knife, slice down center, but leave about an inch on one end of the pastry connected.
  7. Crisscross  the two pieces together, making sure to keep the pumpkin filling sides facing up.
  8. Form the pastry into a circle by pulling the two ends together and pressing together.
  9. Place pastry on prepared baking sheet leaving room for spreading.
  10. Brush the pastries lightly with the egg wash you made earlier (the egg and water). Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  11. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
  12. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract. Drizzle on top of warm baked pumpkin twists and serve!

Butternut Squash Apple Bruschetta

Butternut Squash Apple Bruschetta

Photo and recipe courtesy of Whitney Bond

I bet you didn’t think that butternut squash could get any better…  until you added apples and made this awesome autumn-inspired bruschetta! This recipe creates the perfect combination of tart, savory, and sweet, and will be the perfect appetizer before the big feast. What better way to start off the Thanksgiving festivities than with a bang? This bruschetta will do all that and more.

What you need:

Makes 8

2 cups diced butternut squash

1 cup diced apples

6 tbsp olive oil (divided)

½ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

¼ tsp allspice

¼ tsp ground cloves

1 tsp kosher salt (divided)

1 tsp black pepper (divided)

8 slices french bread

1 cup ricotta cheese

4 cloves garlic (minced)

6-8 fresh sage leaves (chopped)

2 tbsp balsamic glaze

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  2. Toss the butternut squash and apples with 2 tbsp olive oil, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, ½ tsp kosher salt and ½ tsp black pepper.
  3. Place in an even layer on a baking sheet and into the oven for 15 minutes.
  4. While the squash and apples are roasting, brush the sliced bread with 2 tbsp olive oil and set aside.
  5. Combine the ricotta cheese with the remaining ½ tsp black pepper and ½ tsp kosher salt, set aside.
  6. In a small skillet, add the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat.
  7. Add the garlic and sage leaves, saute for 1-2 minutes.
  8. Remove from the heat and toss with the squash and apples when they come out of the oven.
  9. Place the slices of bread into the oven for 4-5 minutes, or until toasted to your liking.
  10. Remove the bread from the oven and top with the ricotta cheese, then the roasted squash and apple mix.
  11. Drizzle with the balsamic glaze.

Brown Butter Garlic Honey Roasted Carrots

Brown Butter Garlic Honey Roasted Carrots

Photo and recipe courtesy of RasaMalaysia

This may just be the perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving feast. The combination of locally grown carrots, browned butter, garlic, and honey is simply delicious. These jazzed up carrots are satisfying and will be a comforting addition to your amazing home-cooked meal. It pairs wonderfully with turkey, stuffing and other Thanksgiving sides. You won’t regret giving this recipe a try!

What you need:

Serves 3

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb baby carrots

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 dashes ground black pepper

1/2 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon chopped thyme or parsley.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Heat up an oven-safe skillet and cook the butter on medium heat until it starts to form and turn into golden brown.
  3. Add the garlic and quickly sauté before adding the carrots and stir a few times.
  4. Add the salt, black pepper, honey and thyme or parsley.
  5. Transfer the skillet and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the carrots become tender. Serve immediately.

Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Pie

Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Pie

Photo and recipe courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction

This pie will be an excellent addition to the dessert table. This is the dessert that your relatives will rave over! Different and unexpected, this pie is a great alternative to pumpkin pie, and will have everyone asking for more! Made with Michigan sweet potatoes, and sweetened with brown sugar, you cannot go wrong making this delightful dessert for your Thanksgiving festivities!

What you need:

Serves 8-10

Homemade or store bought pie crust

1 lb sweet potatoes (about 2 medium)

1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar

1/2 (120ml) cup heavy cream

2 large eggs

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk

optional: whipped cream

Directions:

  1. Prepare crust if using homemade.
  2. Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil on the stovetop. Boil for 45-50 minutes, or until super soft.
  3. On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of chilled dough. Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until the crust is about 12 inches in diameter. 4. Carefully place the dough into a 9×2 inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth. Use a small paring knife to trim excess dough off the edges. Flute the edges then set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
  5. Drain the boiling water and run the potatoes under very cold water. The skin should peel off easily at this point. Allow them to cool until they are easy to handle. Slice the potatoes into large chunks, then place into a mixing bowl.
  6. Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the potatoes on medium-high speed until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients except the egg wash and whipped cream. Beat on high speed until smooth and combined.
  7. Spread filling into prepared pie crust.
  8. Brush the edges of the crust with egg wash.
  9. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until the center of the pie is only slightly jiggly. A toothpick inserted into the center of the pie should come out mostly clean. After 30 minutes and if desired, place a pie crust shield on top of the pie to prevent the edges from over-browning.
  10. Place the pie on a cooling rack and allow to cool for at least 1 hour at room temperature before serving. The pie will slightly deflate as it cools; this is normal. Decorate with whipped cream. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Kristen Guilbert (2)

Kristen graduated from Grand Valley State University and now resides in Eastern Michigan. She is artsy and loves expressing her creativity through her writing and art. She enjoys coffee, cooking and baking, and can frequently be found practicing yoga, or spending time in nature. She especially loves the nature to be found in her home state of Michigan, and thinks there is nothing quite like a cozy camping trip to one of the Great Lakes.

 

 What do you love to eat on Thanksgiving? Share with us in the comments!

Here’s How to Eat Your Way Through Detroit in One Day

Detroit is a food mecca with an abundance of options. When you plan on visiting the city, it can be hard to choose a restaurant due to the wide variety. Read more below as guest blogger Dan Fuoco from Visit Detroit provides a few tried-and-true food spots known for delicious fare. 

Breakfast 

It may be hard to get out of bed but eating breakfast at one of these Detroit locations will help anyone rise and shine!

Mercury Burger & Bar: Once you get passed the fact that it say “burger” in the name, you’ll actually find amazing breakfast entries. Mercury serves gastro pub style food which means that their dishes will tingle every taste bud!

mercury

Photo Courtesy of Visit Detroit

The Whitney: This mansion and the food in it are absolutely top notch. The best part of breakfast at The Whitney is the ambiance. From the decorated walls to the fine furniture to the marble and exquisite staircase, taking in the scenes are… breathtaking. Side Dish:This mansion located off of Woodward in Detroit’s Midtown was once the home to David Whitney, a lumber baron. There are reports of his wife’s spirit visiting the house.

Lunch

After a morning of wandering about Detroit, you’ll need a spot that will fill your tank.

7 Greens Detroit Salad Co.

7 Greens Detroit Salad Co. prides itself as a fresh destination for “healthful, great tasting food” to enjoy in a “fun, fast, casual and gourmet way” which means that it is possible to eat healthy, fast food. It’s a custom-created-salad shop with a checklist of items to add to your bowl, proving that salad creation can be fun and different – every time!

Detroit Vegan Soul

“Soul food made from whole food” is how they describe themselves. They offer vegan sandwiches, soups, salads, smoothies and sweets and will show you that vegan food can be healthy while tasting good.

vegan soul

Green Dot Stables

This is slider haven! Green Dot Stables has an assortment of sliders – 20 to be exact! Beef, chicken, lamb and more. Go with a friend or a group and remember, it’s normal to order at least 3-5 sliders per visit.

Slows Bar BQ

This corner bar made international headlines when Travel Channel’s Adam Richman featured the Yardbird on his “Best Sandwich in America” list. Slows Bar BQ is mixes southern style BBQ with some Detroit flare. They’ve made their own style and it’s no mistake that Adam visited – when you do, you’ll see why that sandwich – and others – are worthy of these titles.

Photo Courtesy of Visit Detroit

Photo Courtesy of Visit Detroit

Jolly Pumpkin

Earlier this year, President Barack Obama visited Detroit for the North American International Auto Show and visited Jolly Pumpkin for a spontaneous lunch. Best known for its pizza and beer, Jolly Pumpkin on West Canfield has become quite a popular destination for lunch, so much that President Barack Obama even dined here this winter.

Dinner

Relax and mingle with friends at these restaurants after hours hangouts.

Buddy’s Pizza

When in Detroit, you need to try Detroit-style pizza from the style’s creator: Buddy’s Pizza. Buddy’s has been in Detroit for 70 years and created Detroit style pizza shortly after. It’s a unique combination which includes a chewy dough. Deep dish and thin crust are good but if you’ve never tried Detroit-style, you’re missing out!

Roma Cafe

Detroit’s oldest Italian restaurant brings old-world flavor to the Motor City. The sauce is fresh and every dish tastes like it was air delivered that day from Italy! Make no mistake, this isn’t a “cafe” in the American diction – it’s an upscale, sit-down restaurant with speedy waiters who know you are there to eat, not network. So from the moment you sit down, it’s clear that they are there to serve.

Central Kitchen + Bar

Another gastro pub that sits in Detroit’s First National Building and serves upscale bar food – and liquid nitrogen ice cream – is Central Kitchen +Bar. The scene is trendy with Edison lighting and earthy toned decor. For lunch and dinner, it can be loud but the food is exceptional and the experience is memorable.

Bonus: Dessert

Astoria Pastry Shop

If you’re in Detroit’s Greektown, you have to stop in and grab a dessert from Astoria. This pastry shop has an assortment of traditional American sweets mixed with Greek favorites. The best part? It’s open until 11:00 P.M. which means you can indulge into the late hours of the night.

Photo Courtesy of Visit Detroit

Photo Courtesy of Visit Detroit

Detroit Water Ice Factory

Have you ever tried water ice? Think: lemon ice with multiple flavors. Each flavor is Motown-inspired and all proceeds are donated to S.A.Y. Detroit, a local charity.

Where do you love to grub in Detroit? Share in the comments!