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Old 08-14-2010, 12:10 AM   #1
Yooper
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I'll be spending about 5-6 days in mid September driving around lower Michigan. I was thinking about starting in Traverse City, and going along the Lake Michigan coast for scenery, brewpubs, wineries, etc. I think when I get to the southern part of the state, Founders, Bells, and maybe Dark Horse will be on the agenda. Otherwise, I don't know what else is offered for brewpubs.

Do any of you have good ideas on can't miss things to do in western/southern MI?
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Old 08-14-2010, 01:38 AM   #2
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If you're traveling the coast and go just a little bit further south, you can hit Round Barn Brewery/Winery. A smaller, less known place, but people drive over two hours from Chicago to make a day at the place. They have some really good deals on the beer/wine tasting glasses as well.

http://www.roundbarnwinery.com/brewery.php
http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-round-barn-winery-baroda

If you come down that far, let me know, I'll swing by for a few beers!

 
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:00 AM   #3
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I put that on my list! I don't know what we'll do for sure, but I'd love to meet up if we're down there. It's a long drive, of course, and we're only talking about a week total. That's a nice website- I saved the "Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail" site. I know we'll go to Saugatauk but I don't know how much farther SW we'll go.
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:08 AM   #4
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Yeah, admittedly there isn't much to see south of Holland in terms of beer, but there are quite a few wineries down here in the far SW corner. It's pretty sad, but I live only a few miles away from many of the wineries down here and I've only had Tabor Hill and St. Julian. Both are excellent, but my wife and I really need to just get a babysitter and make room for a weekend of tasting.

But in the end, I'd say as long as you get to Founders in GR, you've done made it worth your time to come down this far. They are amazing.

Anyway, yeah keep me updated if you swing down to Round Barn or another place and I'm sure I can swing by!

 
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:20 AM   #5
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Big +1 for Founders.

We're headed up to Torch Lake for Labor Day weekend. I'm going to try to get the group I'm traveling with to hit Shorts while we're up that way.

My wife and I stopped in at the Saugatuck Brewing Co. last year after visiting Saugatuck. I only had one brew while I was there since it was the start of my drive back to the other side of the state. But we had a very tasty lunch and the beer was good. Worth stopping by if you're in the neighborhood.
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:32 AM   #6
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Oh, I just noticed your post said wineries too. Obviously there are a ton in the Leelanau / Traverse City / Mission Peninsula area. Have you been to any there before?

I know you like to make cheese, so if you haven't been there's a winery called Black Star Farms in that area. They make awesome fresh raclette cheese, wine, and an apple brandy that's pretty yummy. Also, if you've not been to Cherry Republic it's a fun stop for all yummy things cherry.
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neovox View Post
Oh, I just noticed your post said wineries too. Obviously there are a ton in the Leelanau / Traverse City / Mission Peninsula area. Have you been to any there before?

I know you like to make cheese, so if you haven't been there's a winery called Black Star Farms in that area. They make awesome fresh raclette cheese, wine, and an apple brandy that's pretty yummy. Also, if you've not been to Cherry Republic it's a fun stop for all yummy things cherry.
Oh, that sounds great! Bob is more of a "wino" than I am, but wineries sounds great! I've never been to a winery at all, so I'm excited about visiting one or two. We'll be traveling on week days so I'm not sure what each place offers during the week. I'll be calling ahead to check, and make preliminary motel reservations.

Thanks for the ideas! If anybody thinks of any more, I'm all ears!
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:52 AM   #8
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There are many wineries in that area. But if you do decide to head up on to the Mission Peninsula to Black Star Farms, don't overlook Chateau Grand Traverse Winery. They give a nice tour--I think it's free--of the winery and grape farm. Their Late Harvest Riesling is fantastic too, if you like sweeter white wines. And it's only about 5 miles up the road from Black Star.
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Old 08-15-2010, 01:06 AM   #9
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Raftshol vineyards in leelanau county has free wine tastings, as far as I know most of the other wineries in the area charge for tasting. They make some great stuff too, and they have mead (well, pyment,anyway. Its pretty good). It's some of the best wine I've had from that area, although my opinion may be a bit skewed as a good friend of mine works there. And to tell you the truth I'm more of a beer guy than a wine guy anyway.

If you head up M-22 north of traverse into leelanau county there are a bunch of wineries. Chateau de Leelanau and Cicone (not sure if I'm spelling that right) also stuck out to me as having really good wine. Cicone, Chateau de Leelanau, and Raftshol are all within about 10 miles of each other, so it may be worth the drive. That area is absolutely beautiful.

As far as breweries go, I've really been digging Jolly Pumpkin lately. If you like sour beers, you'll enjoy their stuff. It seems like it might be hard to get JP up in your neck of the woods. Dark Horse also rocks, and don't miss out on Short's. If you happen to venture near East Lansing, Harper's brewpub makes some pretty good beer as well, but honestly it's not something I would want to go too far out of my way to get. Harper's is good, but...not mindblowingly so.

Oh yeah, and Wednesday night (at least I think it's wednesday, maybe it's thursday) in traverse is pint night, all the bars have crappy beer for a dollar a pint, and craft beer for $2 a pint! Last time I was up there I got slammed on 2 hearted for less than 10 bucks (including tips)! All the bars that I've been in traverse have a great selection of craft brew.


 
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Old 08-15-2010, 02:02 AM   #10
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I am envious!

My wife came back from Florida visiting her family and having her 25th HS anniversary. She applied for sainthood by bringing me back some Two Hearted ale in her checked baggage. She knows I <3 it from our trip to DC where I spent a few hours drinking it at RFD.

I envy you Yoop! Drink some for me.

BTW: I have had Oberon, but what other Bells beers are worthy of checked baggage from Tampa to Boise? Take pic's and post them so we can live vicariously through you!
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