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My Town: New Cafe takes shape in Portage

My Town: New Cafe takes shape in Portage

PORTAGE, Mich.—A new coffee shop is popping up in Portage.

Water Street Coffee Joint is working on opening its fourth storefront at the Portage Centre Plaza, at 245 West Centre Street, Suite B.  The café will include a full service coffee bar, sandwiches, soups, salads, desserts, flowers, bagged coffee and tea and a gift area.  The business will also include new features, including a slow bar for coffees brewed by the cup and a drive-through.
 

Water Street Coffee Joint operates five businesses in Kalamazoo, including a coffee roaster site and kitchen.  The new storefront is expected to open late this year. 

My Town Kalamazoo: Henderson Castle 'wine cave' approved

My Town Kalamazoo: Henderson Castle 'wine cave' approved

KALAMAZOO, Mich.---  The wine will soon be flowing from a "cave" at a Kalamazoo landmark.

On Thursday, Aug. 14,  Kalamazoo Project Coordinator Pete Eldridge says the zoning board of appeals unanimously approved allowing the proprietor of Henderson Castle  open a 180-square-foot “wine cave” on the property.  The board also waived a city ordinance requiring additional off-street parking.

My Town: Local brewery among best in the U.S.

My Town: Local brewery among best in the U.S.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—  Grand Rapids is home to the best craft brewery in the nation, according to The Daily Meal.

Founders Brewing Co. took the most votes during the food and drink publication’s online survey. Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo also made the cut, coming in at No. 5. More than 13,000 votes were cast nationwide. 

The contest started with 118 nominations by a panel of craft beer experts with The Daily Meal; online voters helped narrow down the list to 50 finalists, which included several of last year’s winners.

To see the entire list, visit The Daily Meal’s website here.

My Town: Local restaurants named winners of wine

My Town: Local restaurants named winners of wine

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—At least half a dozen restaurants in West Michigan have made the cut for the corks they pop.

They are among 3,748 restaurants worldwide to make Wine Spectator’s 2014 Restaurant Wine List Awards.  For the first time this year, top honors went to Clos Maggiore in London, La Toque in Napa, Nice Matin in New York, Saison in San Francisco, The Stonehouse in Santa Barbara and Studio in Laguna Beach.  They join 68 other winners of the Grand Award, which honors restaurants that generally offer guests 1,500 or more wine selections and for superior cellars, service, ambiance and cuisine.

The program’s entry-level Award of Excellence went to 2,791 restaurants; another 883 restaurants earned the Best of Award of Excellence for typically offering a list of 350 or more quality wine selections.  Locally, the following restaurants made the cut:

Caught Being Safe program launches statewide

Michigan State Police, local law enforcement and Michigan’s Field Neurosciences Institute have teamed up with McDonald’s of Michigan to once again launch “Caught Being Safe,” a statewide bicycle/scooter helmet safety program. Kids wearing helmets and “caught being safe” by participating law enforcement officials will treated to a free ice cream cone or Apple Dippers at McDonald’s. 

According to the Field Neurosciences Institute (of Michigan): “Caught Being Safe! has shown a significant increase in both helmet utilization and public awareness regarding the critical importance of wearing a bicycle helmet. This program has impacted not only children but adults as well.” 

My Town: Local breweries home to some of the best beer in the country

My Town: Local breweries home to some of the best beer in the country

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (Lansing State Journal)-- Congratulations are in order for Kalamazoo-based Bell’s Brewery, Inc.

Bell’s Two Hearted Ale has been named the No. 2 beer in the country by readers of Zymurgy Magazine, the publication of the American Homebrewers Association.

Two other Michigan beers also made the Top 10: Bell’s Hopslam (No. 4) and Grand Rapids-based Founders Brewing Co.’s Breakfast Stout (No. 9). Founders’ also scored three more spots inside the top-ranks beers list with Kentucky Breakfast Stout (No. 11), All Day IPA (No. 34, tie) and Backwoods Bastard (No. 49, tie).

Zymurgy Magazine earlier this week released the results of the poll, in which readers named their 20 favorite beers that are commercially available in the U.S. California-based Russian River’s Pliny the Elder took the No. 1 spot.

5 flavorful Michigan breweries worth the drive

5 flavorful Michigan breweries worth the drive

(Anne Erickson, Lansing State Journal)-- For many Michiganders, summer and beer go hand-in-hand. Drive through Mitten towns on any given summer weekend, and you’ll likely spot folks sitting on their front porches, sipping on the cool, flavorful drink.

Michigan, of course, has endless top-notch choices when it comes to craft beers and Michigan-made brews. In fact, our state is currently fifth in the U.S. in the number of breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs, according to Pure Michigan.

So, raise a pint and get to know a few great Michigan breweries and distilleries.

Founders Brewery Co.

• Where: Grand Rapids