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Tastemakers: Lulu‘s Bistro Short‘s Beer Dinner/ Short‘s Black Licorice Lager

Rick Coates - April 18th, 2011
LuLu’s Bistro
Short’s Beer Dinner
Chef Michael Peterson has been a fixture on the Northern Michigan culinary scene for the past 20 years. After graduating from The Culinary Institute of America and training in Paris at the prestigious Le Grenadine, Peterson returned to his native Northern Michigan and launched the popular Spencer Creek Landing in Alden. In 2001, along with his wife Rebecca, he moved his culinary talents to downtown Bellaire and opened LuLu’s Bistro. They also recently opened Siren Hall in Elk Rapids.
In its 10 years of operation LuLu’s has helped to revitalize Bellaire. Toss in Short’s Brewing Company that opened seven years ago and the recent restoration of Shanty Creek Resort, and the Antrim County community has become a year-round destination.
The synergy between Short’s Brewing Company and LuLu’s was instantaneous. Patrons of both establishments have been known to bounce between locations, either going to Short’s for brews and then heading to LuLu’s for dinner, or heading to Short’s for after-dinner beers. When Short’s first opened its brewery Lulu’s was among the first restaurants to offer their neighbor’s brews on tap.
Despite only being 100 yards, apart LuLu’s and Short’s have yet to come together to offer a beer dinner until now. On Thursday April 21 the first Short’s Beer Dinner will take place and the culinary talents of both Peterson and Chef de Cuisine Henry Bisson will be on display.
Cocktail hour starts at 6 pm and the first course will start at 6:30pm. As with Short’s eclectic approach to brewing, the five course dinner is unique with some not so typical culinary offerings and the menu is loaded with locally grown items. For fans of Short’s brewing diversity you will not be disappointed.
The LuLu’s Short’s Beer Dinner is a sure bet, seating is limited and advance reservations are suggested. To view the menu check out or call them at 231-533-5252. --Rick Coates

Short’s Black
Licorice Lager

Joe Short opened his Bellaire brewing operations seven years ago this month. In a very “short” period of time he has grown Short’s into one of the top craft breweries in Michigan (the state now has over 90 breweries and counting) with a nationwide reputation. His brews have become so popular elsewhere that craft-beer enthusiasts from other states plan Northern Michigan vacations to visit his downtown brewpub.
Success for Short’s has required them to expand brewing operations to Elk Rapids to accommodate larger equipment and a bottle line to keep up with demand. Between the two locations Short’s will employ close to 50 people this summer.
Short and his team have developed some wild beers over the years, like a Peanut Butter & Jelly brew. Most recently their Carrot Cake Ale has been a big hit and they even tried a Michigan wild mushroom ale. The beer dinner this week (see Tastemakers) will feature a couple of standards but will also offer some unique brews such as the Black Licorice Lager.
This is a seasonal brew released every year at this time and Joe Short describes it this way: “Chocolate and roasted malt characteristics compliment the additions of Madagascar vanilla bean, anise, and fresh chocolate mint. Vanilla aromas greet the nose and are tasted in the initial flavors, followed quickly by the anise. The finish, especially when the beer warms a bit, show cases the crisp, sweet chocolate mint.”
The Black Licorice Lager has been receiving excellent reviews and took a Bronze Medal at the 2010 World Beer Championships. The LuLu’s culinary team on Thursday night will pair this with their dessert offering Le Succès an Anise Meringue, Mint Chocolate Mousse with Almond Espresso Dust, served over Vanilla Coconut Ice cream. While the Short’s Black Licorice Lager lends itself nicely as a dessert beer, do not overlook this brew during the cocktail hour, especially with Brie. For dinner pair with grilled duck and a black licorice sauce.
Short’s Black Licorice Lager is available in six-pack bottles so look for it at various beer retailers around Northern Michigan. For more info on Short’s beers check out --Rick Coates
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