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Tastemakers: Hudsonville Ice Cream Lake Affection/ Great Lakes Brewing Company Christmas Ale

Rick Coates - December 13th, 2010
Hudsonville Ice Cream Lake Affection
Hudsonville Creamery & Ice Cream (located between Grand Rapids and Holland) started in 1895 as a farmers’ cooperative in Hudsonville, MI when a group of area farmers joined together to create a better way to sell their dairy products.
Today the Hudsonville Creamery & Ice Cream Company is synonymous with great ice cream and is one of the top producers in the Midwest of this frozen treat. In 2010 they launched three new Limited Edition flavors (Blueberry Cobbler and Country Apple Pie) to this popular series with the latest addition released last week Lake Affection, made with Lake Michigan Blue mint ice cream swirled with snow vanilla ice cream.
“As Michigan residents, we wanted to poke a little good-natured fun at how much we all tolerate the winter weather – and just how changeable living on the shores of Lake Michigan can be,” said Anne Sukup, spokesperson for Hudsonville Ice Cream. “So we created Lake Affection, our homage to an otherwise dreaded weather phenomenon of lake effect snow.”
Hudsonville attributes its success to Michigan’s agricultural heritage and its ability to obtain an abundance of seasonal offerings as well as a year round supply of fresh cream and milk from local farms.
Equally important to their success over the years was the 1926 invention of the Continuous Process Freezer. The continuous freezer revolutionized the ice cream industry, allowing manufacturers to mass-produce their product for the first time, and creating a new demand for what had traditionally been a summertime treat. Fourteen years later, ice cream had become a staple product for the Hudsonville Creamery, and in 1940 the company began producing their six original flavors (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, butter pecan, orange pineapple, and tutti-frutti) of ice cream year-round.
In the 70 years since, they have added several flavors to their lineup, including a Heritage line in addition to their limited addition ice creams that are only available seasonally. Lake Affection is available at several stores throughout Northern Michigan. For details on this and other flavors offered by Hudsonville Creamery & Ice Cream Company check out: -- Rick Coates

Great Lakes
Brewing Company
Christmas Ale

The idea for a special brew during the Christmas season dates back to the Middle Ages when monks and brewers added spices to add flavor and create medicinal qualities to beer. The concept died out but re-emerged 100 years ago when brewers started creating specialty holiday beers as gifts for their best customers.
The concept spread across the Atlantic and today most breweries offer a holiday beer that is dark, full-bodied with hints of cinnamon, clove and other baking spices.
Anchor Steam creates a special label and changes its recipe slightly each year. In Michigan, several breweries now offer a holiday seasonal with one of the favorites being Bell’s Christmas Ale.
One of the best Christmas ales on the market is from the Great Lakes Brewing Company, taking home the Gold Medal four out of the past five years at the World Beer Championships in the Holiday Ale category.
The Great Lakes Christmas Ale is brewed with honey and spiced with fresh ginger and cinnamon. This brew is full-bodied and works well in a variety of settings. Enjoy unaccompanied in a wine glass (get those aromas working for you) by a roaring fire. It also pairs well with holiday meals. Consider bringing as a Christmas party gift for your host. Certainly this is a great dessert beer with Christmas cakes.
The Great Lakes Brewing Company is based out of Cleveland and was one of the beer capitals of America in the 1800s, reaching 30 breweries by the 1870s. By 1982 the last of the Cleveland breweries closed its doors until the city’s great brewing tradition was restored in 1988 when brothers Patrick and Daniel Conway opened the Great Lakes Brewing Company, Ohio’s first microbrewery. This brewery, along with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum, have made Cleveland a popular tourism destination.
The good news for Northern Michiganders is there is no need to travel to Cleveland to get this Christmas Ale or other offerings from the Great Lakes Brewing Company as their beers are widely available in the region at eateries and shops offering craftbrews. To learn more check out --Rick Coates
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