Arbor Brewing Company serves organic pub fare that incorporates local farmers’ and growers’ fresh, seasonal meats and produce. The dinner menu showcases Lake Superior whitefish ($13) and the Ar-burger ($13), a 1/3 pound patty of beef from McLaughlin Farm, a local producer of grass-fed, hormone-free cattle. Vegetarians rejoice when served the beer-battered tempeh sandwich ($8) from the lunch menu. Night owls can nosh hearty bar fare from the late-night menu, such as pierogies ($8) or a half pound of chicken strips ($7).
In addition to sating stomachs with pulled-pork sandwiches and entertaining ears with live music, Cellar Brewing Company's dedicated staff fills glasses with libations fresh from its microbrewery, winery, and artisan distillery. The restaurant's plush, leather sofas sit beneath its rust-hued ceiling, and at a blond-wood bar, bartenders serve house brews and a variety of wraps and sandwiches. A glass of stout awakens taste buds craving a darker brew, and the cellar's servers pluck bottles of Michigan Apple Delight wine directly from in-house wine trees to complement sun-dried tomato and turkey sandwiches and soft pretzels.
Lorenzo Lizarralde's two passions—winemaking and aeronautics—may seem unrelated, but they coexist in harmony at Chateau Aeronautique Winery. There, the winery shares its space with an airplane hangar and grass runway on which the vintner frequently lands his 1956 Cessna 172. Fermented from Michigan grapes, the chateau's handcrafted wines span the gamut, from dry to semisweet, wafting strawberry bouquets, apricot aromas, and floral notes.
To spotlight his elixirs, Lorenzo regularly hosts events amid his idyllic environs, which take inspiration from the wineries in Bordeaux, France. Guests traipse across the grounds en route to a gazebo or the hangar, where they can revel with up to 80 fellow sippers. For more intimate flavor exploration, they flock to a private tasting room, replete with an ornate, wooden bar that provides the coziness of a grandparent's wine cellar, but with more wine and fewer Clark Gable posters.
In 1997, Kip and Dennise Barber sold their suburban home. But it wasn't because they were downsizing or moving to the city. Instead, they used the money to purchase a large, wooded plot of land in Grass Lakes, which they cleared and planted with rows of grapevines. And thus, Lone Oak Vineyard Estate was born. Over the years, the couple worked to add more and more varietals to the vineyard, and today, their estate is home to 12 types of grapes spanning 25 acres. Handpicked at the peak of ripeness, each of the European grapes is transformed into estate wines, such as dry reds, semidry whites, and utterly sarcastic dessert wines.
Master distiller Jon Dyer leaves nothing to chance, tasting every batch of vodka before it goes into bottling. With Ugly Dog Distillery’s ever-expanding distribution market, he recognizes it’s a potentially daunting responsibility—but he wouldn’t want it any other way. Along with his partner Dewey Winkle, Jon follows in the tradition of early American moonshiners, distilling one potent, handcrafted batch at a time. Jon processes the Michigan winter wheat with his handmade grinder, transmuting the wheat into the slow, clear drops of the distillery’s near-final product through copper tubing into a large vat. Originally starting with vodka, Jon and the gang have expanded into rum and a unique brand of bacon-flavored vodka, with more flavors in the works. The small but thriving distillery sometimes works round the clock, with Jon juggling the duties of company accountant, salesman, marketer, dishwasher, and occasional graphic designer. Visitors can tour the bubbling copper workshop during the day, and share beauty tips with Ruger, the German wirehaired pointer who gave the company its name.
Leaf, Barley & Vine specializes in facilitating locals with the tools they need to live the good life: fine food, rich wine, and high-end cigars. Explore the expansive wine menu, showcasing more than 75 vineyard vintages from around the world, sold by the glass ($5–$21) or the bottle ($16–$142). The epicurean hosts serve upscale spirits and mindfully mixed specialty cocktails, including the Ceasar Ritz, which combines gin, St. Germain elderflower liquor, cucumber, and mint ($8–$10). Build a food nest for wine to roost in with a seasonal snack from Leaf, Barley & Vine's bistro-style menu, featuring items such as lobster pot pie ($15), cheese plates ($11), and a delicate galette made with caramelized pears, brown butter, fresh thyme, and blackberry sake sauce ($7). Although this Groupon cannot be used to purchase cigars ($6–$17), this pleasure palace has a substantial collection of more than 60 smoking sticks, as well as a separate cigar lounge with its own ventilation system, a TV, and gaggle of stogie-fans desperate to end America's embargo against the island nation of Greenland.