The Michigan Brewers Guild wanted something very specific when it turned 15: it asked the state’s breweries to concoct a 15th-anniversary ale for its summer beer fest. Chef and home brewer Amy Sherman, host of Great American Brew Trail, went behind the scenes at the celebration, where she interviewed local breweries’ staff members about their celebratory brews. Reports like these are typical of her show, Great American Brew Trail, for which she travels to microbreweries across the country and unveils the creative and culinary processes behind beer.
When Ed Dunneback founded his business in 1925, he didn’t have to rely on anything fancy to attract attention—just freshly harvested apples and other fruit. Today, third and fourth generations of Dunneback women carry on Ed's tradition at the same location. Not much has changed on the farm since the '20s; the property still produces the same fresh fruits it did some 80 years ago, plus cherries, pumpkins, and hops. Located inside a nearly century-old barn, the farm's bustling market slings seasonal produce, as does the bakery, where housemade donuts and pies bake to golden-brown fruition within ovens. Visitors can work up an appetite picking their own pumpkins or while navigating through the Art of Farming corn maze, complete with trivia questions about pop culture, agriculture, and history.
Tree Huggers at Home's name isn't merely whimsical—it's a philosophy. The eco-conscious business aims to put the Earth first in all of its services. Its bulk grocery store, for instance, stocks completely vegetarian products, many of them vegan and sourced from Michigan. The staff members also research each product to ensure its status as sustainable and eco-friendly. The ever-growing inventory spans items such as tempeh, Dayia cheese, assorted grains, and dried fruit, along with household products such as green toiletries and cleaners for a less chemical lifestyle.
The shop's focus on less wasteful living extends beyond the products themselves. All items are package-free, relying on guests to bring reusable containers such as canvas bags or old mason jars. That environmentally-conscious touch extends to Tree Huggers' recycling center, which accepts materials not often picked up curbside. The organization's team members also travel off-site to homes and businesses, giving consultations and workshops on healthful practices.
All-wooden decor and warm crimson walls invite families to fill their stomachs with seafood and classic American dishes in Beechwood Inn Restaurant's comfortable atmosphere. The Dutch broaster chicken tempts taste buds with secret seasoned De Zwaan windmill flour, the wood-grilled certified angus beef steaks tempt tastebuds, and the perch fillets come crispy and golden brown.
With two locations in Battle Creek, Vision Center At Meijer's eye mavens outfit more than 700 frames with lenses carefully crafted in their own laboratory to specifically suit the eyes and face of each patient. Professionally administered eye exams determine the prescription strength required to correct eyeball anomalies, and the laboratory can upgrade any lens with tints, Transitions, or antireflective coatings that save one from endless staring contests with one's own eyes.
Pioneered nearly 30 years ago by a Michigan farming family, Heffron Farms Markets dish up a bounty of naturally raised meats, organic dairy, and other wholesome edibles. Apple sausage links ($3.97 for 10) amplify morning protein levels in preparation for chicken-wing-ding ($2.75 for 16 oz.) lunches and thick-cut New York strip steak ($11.89 for 11 oz.) dinners. Toothsome dairy products such as eggs and Amish cheeses supply nutritive variety, and rainbows of individually quick-frozen fruits and vegetables fill in troublesome voids in food-pyramid ice sculptures. Pet owners can also stock up on eats for four-legged friends with ground chicken and bone dinners ($1.99), turkey gizzards ($2.69 for 16 oz.), and other chop-licking unmentionables. All prices may vary by location.