Looking back is always one of our favorite things to do each year - and 2017 was another great trip. We were all over the US once again, with stops in Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan; and most importantly the Broadway Brews Project powered forward, with the release of Brews number two and three, with more to come! Get ready for 2018, and “Craft Beer for Good” with us. CHEERS!
We're starting off the New Year with a healthy dose of caffeine and a lot more from Mighty Good Coffee in Ann Arbor, MI. Turns out coffee is as complex and interesting as any other Craft Beverage. Ever wonder what happens behind the scenes at your favorite roastery? Click play and get your buzz on.
It's time for The Happy Hour Guys' yearly tradition: Looking back on everywhere we've been in the past year! And 2016 was a doozy, with travels all over the USA including Texas, Montana, Michigan, Massachusetts, NYC...and speaking of NYC (and Broadway), 2016 was the first year of possibly our proudest accomplishment... THE BROADWAY BREWS PROJECT. Click play for a rundown.... and Happy New Year!
When is a camping trip NOT just a camping trip? WHEN IT'S A BEV-TOUR.
In this episode Jimmy, Joe and AJ spend a little more time in Northern Lower Michigan, including a stop at a terrific brewpub in downtown Traverse City, a new discovery of a Hops Farm overlooking Grand Traverse Bay, and a return to Short's to taste more of their fantastic brews. Enjoy!
Jimmy, AJ and Joe stop in to Bellaire, MI to check in with our old friends at Short's Brewing, and my how things have changed. Is Bellaire still a quiet Hamlet or a Beer Mecca? And is the slogan still "Michigan Only, Michigan Forever"? (hint: both times, check the latter.) Enjoy a visit with some old friends. Cheers!
Or: Blackrocks Brewery, 5 years later.
First came the beer: Two home-brewing pals that made terrific beers in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Next came the Nano: The Happy Hour Guys first started following Blackrocks Brewery in Marquette, MI in late 2010, when Andy and Dave had taken the leap of faith and had a tiny 1 barrel Brewery, just out of the gate, impressing their community and regularly selling out of beer each week.
Then came the growth: Just 5 short years later, Blackrocks has changed incredibly: Join us at their production facility where they let us in on their personal (and highly specific) manifesto for Success in the Brewing Industry. Enjoy!
Over and over again on our show, we've proven the Rule of the Exceptional: You'll find Craft in amazing places. Even in the middle of a 50,000 acre State Park in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
The Tahquamenon River's tannin-rich, tea colored water flows through the northeastern Upper Peninsula, old canoe/portage shortcut for the natives that were traveling along the southern shores of Lake Superior to trade in Sault Ste Marie to the west. And unbeknownst to many, in the midst of that river line is the second highest waterfall east of the Mississippi, beaten in height only by Niagara Falls. The entire park contains wonder after wonder - stunning views, hiking and cross-country ski trails, nature as varied as moose, martens, black bear, wolves, and... Craft Beer?
Jack Barrett of the Barrett Logging company purhased the land adjacent to the falls because he and his wife, Mimi, enjoyed the beauty of the area so deeply. In the 1950s, he built a road to the site near the falls and gifted most of the land to the State for use as a Park, with a detail in his instructions that the road must terminate 3/4 of a mile from the falls, near Camp 33. If you want to see the water, you've gotta walk.
"People come in the restaurant and say, 'Oh, I can't see the falls from the window here,' laughed Lark Ludlow, the Owner and 'Brewster' of Camp 33, or the Tahquamenon Falls Brewery. "And my answer always is, 'Nope. No, you can't.'" They want it that way.
Lark is Jack's granddaughter - the family set aside a 2 acre parcel at the termination of the road into the Park that they still own - a rare private property inside of a State Park - and perhaps the only one in the US that has a Craft Brewery on site. The structure was christened Camp 33 when originally built, as most logging camps are numbered instead of named, and it would be the 33rd logging camp of the Barrett Logging Company. The grandkids rebuilt it in 1990 to serve the Park, and in 1996 Lark had the idea that maybe this 'Craft Beer thing' might be a good addition. But who would brew? Well, she did. And still does.
She started brewing onsite with a 10 barrel system in 1996, making her only the 3rd Craft Brewer in the Upper Peninsula, after The Vierling Brewpub in Marquette and Lake Superior Brewing in Grand Marais (also a brewpub). She offers a rotating lineup of beers, and had 4 taps running the day we visited. Our favorite was a lovely Stout that leaned towards the sweeter side, with plenty of roasty/chocolate-y notes. A full restaurant with a menu of local items (get the whitefish!) offers plenty to pair with.
Camp 33 is an unusual and extremely welcoming part of a trip to a gorgeous area - The Happy Hour Guys recommend a beautiful drive, an even prettier walk to the thundering falls, and the capper (as always) a terrific pint to make the day even more memorable.
And we'll see you next time. Cheers!