Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Snowhogs Day w/ New Not So Pure Michigan video

Michigan Expats - News - See All News

Spring is near! The seer of seers, prognosticator of prognosticators, Punxsutawney Phil awoke this morning at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and did not see his shadow foretelling the coming of an early spring.

It'll feel like an early spring is due here in Arlington today where the forecast calls for temperatures reaching the 50's, but it certainly doesn't look or feel like spring is near back home in Michigan and most of the midwest who are still experiencing or digging out from the "SnowprahWinfrey: 'YOU get a blizzard and YOU get a blizzard and YOU get a blizzard! EVERYBODY GETS A BLIZZAAAAAAAAARD!'" (Well, everybody in the midwest anyways). Credit for most of the puns goes to @aebusch and the Pure Michigan Living blizzard naming contest from their Twitter feed, @PureMichigan, earlier this week.

With snowfall from 10" to 15" in the Grand Rapids area including snow drifts up to 5', this blizzard actually lived up to the hype. Of course many Michigan schools and universities are closed today including classes canceled at Michigan State University. At least it lived up to the hype in West Michigan, the Detroit area was a different story as Jeff T. Wattrick humorously puts in perspective.

Indeed the all-to-familiar experience of the eager anticipation of a snow day due to local media over-hype only to awaken to the disheartening disappointment of having to get up and go to school or work is one most Michiganders can relate to and it has inspired the latest video from John Kerfoot at Enjoy...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Michigan Exports Go Quickly in Nation's Capital

Michigan Expats - Culture - See All Culture

"I've never seen such devotion in a droid before."

I was excited today when I came across a tweet stating that a Bell's Hopslam firkin keg would be available at a bar in DC today. More importantly, it was the only such keg in the our nation's capital. This excited me as both a Michigan Expat and as a beer connoisseur.

The bar opened at 4PM. Since I usually get off work at the same time, I figured I would be in good shape to arrive at the bar in time and enjoy a couple of pints of the fine Michigan brew. Although I was held up at work a little longer than usual, I still decided to take public transit (DC Metro), even though it would extend my travel time, because I am a responsible Michigan beer connoisseur.

I arrived at the bar at 5:45PM, less than 2 hours after it had opened and ordered without looking at the beer list - I knew what I wanted, I had made a special trip into the District from Northern Virginia, including a rare trip on the Metro - only to hear the dreadful reply, "sorry, dude, we're all out." 

All out? WTF ("Win the future")! I had made a special trip for this one beer and they'd already killed the keg? It had been less than two hours. I was devastated, and frustrated that I had made the trip in. Still, I should have known, Hopslam has been flying off shelves around the region all month.

Nonetheless, I'd gone this far, might as well have a beer. Fortunately, Churchkey has an excellent beer selection. I ordered a delicious cask Cappuccino Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Co. and followed it up with a Michigan brew, Founders' Double Trouble.

The pint of a solid, hoppy IPA, from my hometown quickly helped turn the evening around. Talking to the bartenders and listening to the customers, I quickly observed that I wasn't the only patron who had come specifically for the Hopslam. Customer after customer came forward to the bar ordering the Bell's beer, receiving the same reply: "we're out, it flew out of the cask."

Granted this was a well informed beer consumer crowd. Still, the mere mention of the Bell's firkin had drawn numerous beer fans, such as my self, to this single bar, for the common objective of enjoying the special brew from Kalamazoo.

I soon learned that not only had I missed the final pour by less than 10-15 minutes, but that the entire bar had shared a moment of silence when the Hopslam had gone dry. Slowly, disappointment from missing out on a pint of the Hopslam, grew into pride and respect for the reputation of the Bell's brewery and the Michigan beer industry.

Not many breweries carry such clout and reputation. It is a great reflection on the quality of the Bell's brand that it can clear out a keg prior to the heart of happy hour on a few hours notice in a town over 600 miles away. 

It's fantastic to see a Michigan product command such popularity and demand. The Michigan craft beer industry is evidence that business can continue to innovate, expand, and thrive in a national market based out of Michigan and represents hope in the state's entrepreneurial spirit.

Now if only I could get more of the Michigan brews in my local market. There's still areas from these businesses to expand. In the mean time, would somebody please pick up a six-pack of the Hopslam for me?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

MichiganExpats Podcast Episode #22–What is it good for?


MichiganExpats – Culture – See All Culture

By Mr. Sig

Another great lineup of songs coupled with professional quality production featuring the microphone from a Logitech webcam and some trial and freeware software.  It amazes me how easy it is to put on a quality production these days.  Technology truly makes once difficult tasks very easy.

Be sure to purchase any of this week’s lineup if you really like the song(s).

As always – keep a lookout for the tweets.  You can call in and be on the show live. 

Be a part of the show!  Share some Michigan music that you own via Dropbox.  Just share one of your dropbox folders with

Glenn Frey – The Heat is On – Purchase on Amazon

Elzhi – That’s the One – Purchase on Amazon

Funkadelic – I’ll Stay – Purchase on Amazon

Suzi Quatro – 48 Crash – Purchase on Amazon

The Electric Six – Gay Bar – Purchase on Amazon

The Von Bondies – Pale Bride – Purchase on Amazon

Jack Scott – Oh, Little One – Purchase on Amazon

Edwin Starr - War – Purchase on Amazon