What makes northern Michigan so iconic? One could argue that it’s the 105 miles of “fresh coast” surrounded by countless hiking trails, ski hills, lake life, and the world-renowned Sleeping Bear Dunes. Others would say it’s the dozens of festivals hosted throughout the year including the Cherry Festival, Film Festival, or Polka Festival. Some may say it’s simply the diverse foodie options served by that sweet midwestern hospitality. But, only one thing pairs well with all of these iconic experiences: wine. Rove Estate & Winery in northern Michigan is an absolute staple of all things Traverse City, therefore may be one of the most iconic locations of them all.
What is kombucha exactly? The simplest answer is “fermented tea” – a statement that rarely encourages a first time sipper to indulge in the sweet and tart flavors that the fermentation process produces. I fell in love with the drink myself when living in Seattle, one taste-bud-convincing sip at a time. The beverage was different, and I can’t lie and say that I was crazy about the stuff on day one – but as time went on I found myself using it to quench that desire for a sweet and flavorful beverage. Years ago, I remember visiting the UP from Seattle, and not being able to find Kombucha in the stores at all. However, in the last few years, the UP has gained some fantastic brewers who are changing the local culture.
Lauren Bloom and Matt Ritchey don’t have much time these days for anything that doesn’t ferment. The couple is putting in long hours at their new business, Bløm Meadworks, a space for mead enthusiasts and those trying the beverage for the first time. “We wanted to build a business around what we love to drink and share that with Ann Arbor,” says Lauren.
Ponder for a moment the number of people that metro San Diego is home to (about 3 ½ million)…and consider all the locally sourced food and beer they have access to in that big city (hint: it’s A LOT). Next envision that same number of people coming through a tiny village on the northern tip of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, squeezed in over only three to four months of the year. Now imagine only having one small, burgeoning brewery in that entire town to service all those travelers in that short span of time.
When you hear Gaylord, people from downstate will list the golf courses they have played and the beautiful outdoor activities they have participated in. When you’re looking for the up-and-coming food scene, people tend to go more towards Traverse City or Petoskey area. We, at Main Street Bistro, are trying to change that.