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Tastemakers: Grand Traverse Pie Company Northport Pumpkin Pie/ North Peak Brewing Company - The Stubby Collection

Rick Coates - November 23rd, 2009
Grand Traverse Pie Company Northport Pumpkin Pie
The Grand Traverse Pie Company is busier than normal this week, filling thousands of Thanksgiving orders for its Northport Pumpkin Pie, or for that matter, any of the 30+ pies they offer daily. So if you are unable to buy one for your Thanksgiving table this week, at least slide down to their Traverse City or Petoskey location and have a slice of their pumpkin pie with a scoop of Moomer’s vanilla ice cream and a cup of coffee for a mid-day stress break as you prepare for this festive weekend.
Since opening in 1996 in Traverse City, the Grand Traverse Pie Company has expanded to 17 locations throughout Michigan and Indiana with plans to add more locations in 2010. What started out transporting you to those magical pie moments in Grandma’s kitchen has now grown into a full fledged restaurant operation with a selection of sandwiches, soups, salads and delicious homemade pot pies.
The Grand Traverse Pie Company is committed to both quality and Michigan. From the very beginning they have been committed to using the freshest, local ingredients. Over 95% of the ingredients used come from Michigan growers and businesses.
So if you missed out for Thanksgiving, be sure to order your pies early for Christmas. But why wait? These tasty pies are a great way to celebrate any day and every pie is helping the Michigan economy to boot. For more information check out --Rick Coates

North Peak Brewing Company
- the “Stubby” Collection

Okay, so why should the NFL corner the market on “throwback” jerseys? Just stroll through your favorite shop that sells beer and catch a glimpse of a new line of brews from the North Peak Brewing Company and you are immediately thrust back into time. “I wanted that 1973 El Dorado feel to the packaging,” said master brewer Mike Hall of Jolly Pumpkin Brewery (Old Mission Peninsula).
Jolly Pumpkin Brewery (based in Dexter, Michigan) opened their Northern Michigan operations last spring at Bowers Harbor Inn, brewing their legendary line of artisan ales. Partnering with North Peak Brewing Company (that place with the awesome white cheddar ale soup and mustard croutons) they have released three beers in a bottle: Siren Amber Ale, Majestic Wheat and Diabolical IPA.
But these are not just any beers: they are bringing back the “stubby.” Not only do these brews taste great they look cool. “I come from an era when great beers were in “stubbys,” Said Hall. “I was pissed in the ‘80s when Canadian and European brews started going to the longnecks.”
Hall was one of the leaders in the emergence of the craftbrew industry who helped launch several breweries (Traverse Brewing, Grizzly Peak) over the years. Jolly Pumpkin brewer Ron Jeffries had been trying to get Hall, who had been in Nova Scotia for the past six years, to partner with him for several years. “I told him when he could make me an offer I couldn’t refuse, call me,” said Hall. “The phone rang and he said: ‘How about brewing beer at Bowers Harbor on the Old Mission Peninsula?’ That was an offer I couldn’t refuse.”
The new line of beers is flying off the shelves. “Our distributor called and after a month they have already ordered more.” The brews are distributed currently around Northern Michigan and soon in the Detroit market and eventually throughout Michigan. That is if Hall and the others can keep up with production. They are a little busy and their new still arrives this week. They will soon be launching a Michigan Sugar Beet Rum, a Canadian-style whiskey, a grape vodka, and eventually a line of liqueurs. For additional information go to or visit the brewery at Bowers Harbor. Ask for the beers on tap at your favorite watering hole or pick up a six pack. --Rick Coates

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