The Kunhenn brothers spend every day of the week brewing and overseeing the production of beers at Kuhnhenn Brewing. That kind of dedication is what makes the brewery a well-deserving recipient of numerous brewing awards. In 2012, the highly sought-after DRIPA?or Double Rice IPA?took home a gold medal at the World Beer Cup, and the insanely popular Raspberry Eisbock has consistently been one of the highest-rated beers in the world since its release in 2004. Inside the brewery's lively tasting room, visitors can sip on flights to sample a variety of beers, or order larger glasses or pints of their favorite brew.
Fueled by the passion of winemaker and obsessive-compulsive grape-stomper Lisa Berry, Vintner's Cellar offers several wines fermented in Royal Oak. During your tasting, you'll get to sample five different wines from a diverse range of red, white, fruit, and specialty libations. You'll also get to snack on cheese, crackers, grapes, and crackery grapecheese creations while soaking in the lively décor of intermingling dark and vivid tones like a sponge tuxedo. The wine tasting is good for two people, so buddy up or carefully wheel a frenemy's bed to the cellar before he or she wakes up.
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 Lake, 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.
Since 1946, John Christ Winery has been a destination for locals and tourists alike, who stroll across the verdant property and sip samples of the many wines made onsite. The Kopf family took over day-to-day operations in the early 1990s, and continue to welcome visitors to the rustic tasting room decorated with Americana memorabilia and plenty of windows to let in natural light. Taking a seat at a table or sidling up to the bar, visitors can sip samples of the red, white, and perpetually embarrassed blush varietals.
Shannon and Cortney Casey have journeyed all over the state of Michigan in pursuit of their passion: wine. Michigan By The Bottle started as a blog, but their readers' demand for locally produced wine spurred them to open their own tasting room. Now, though the pair still creates wine-focused videos and interviews Michigan winemakers, they spend much of their time inside the Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room. Between walls hung with works by Michigan artists, they pour wines from six Michigan wineries.
These six partner wineries represent the state's four major wine trails: Lake Michigan Shore, Leelanau Peninsula, Old Mission Peninsula, and the Southeast Michigan Pioneer trail. Each is also one of Shannon and Cortney's favorite boutique wineries, chosen in part because they use only their own estate-grown or locally sourced fruit.
Chateau de Leelanau Vineyard and Winery makes wines and ciders from fruit grown on the family farm. Peninsula Cellars expresses its region through cherry, apple, and grape wines, and Domaine Berrien Cellars’ proprietors handcraft wines from 21 varietals. Chateau Aeronautique Winery, with an airplane-themed decor, places emphasis on the setting of a tasting, and Gill's Pier Vineyard and Winery is modelled after boutique vineyards of France and California. The family-run Sandhill Crane Vineyards works with local ingredients and contributes to local charities.
In the Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room, servers pair these libations with snacks ranging from sustainable cheeses to organic single-origin chocolates, each made by in-state producers. In addition to special wine tastings, the tasting room also hosts events such as food-and-wine pairings as well as onsite massage and yoga. Open to the public Wednesday through Sunday for drop-in tastings, the tasting room holds private and special events on Monday and Tuesday.
The seasoned chef at Filippa?s Wine Barrel pays homage to the history of American cuisine with a menu of classic comfort dishes, seafood, and steak-house cuisine created from seasonal ingredients from local sources whenever possible. A large, rotating wine list includes pours from local Michigan wineries, as well as Napa Valley reds. Diners tuck into the upscale eats inside cozy, horseshoe-shaped booths or sup al-fresco on the patio surrounded by a lush landscape of high grasses, the gurgling of a small pond, and the soft, lilting melodies of an opera-singing garden gnome.