Brewvine: Mackinaw Trail Winery & Brewery

March 21st may still be over a month away but the brewers at Mackinaw Trail Winery and Brewery in Petoskey are already hard at work getting ready for a pretty special dinner.

“Super busy,” said head brewer Ted Monroe. “Between the beer, the wine and the cider we’ve been hard at work back there for sure.”

Super busy preparing for a big event.

This year Mackinaw Trail Winery and Brewery will be hosting their third annual experimental beer dinner where guest will get to try some very unique creations.

“The cool part about the experimental beer dinner, they kind of leave it up to me,” said Ted. “The first year I did a beer with Pez, second year I did, for example, a beer with dill, a dill pickle Gose which turned out awesome. We’re just going into distribution and that’s one of our four beers that are going to be out throughout the whole state of Michigan.”

It’s an experiment that has been a hit with craft beer enthusiasts for the past two years.

“We’re selling 50 tickets this year for the dinner, we’ve sold out the last two years,” he said. “We’re on track to sell out here pretty soon for the dinner this year also. Each of the beers comes with a small plate of food. People don’t leave thirsty or hungry. It’s a great time.”

Each year they come up with ten new beers for their guests to sample during dinner and this year event-goers can even have their favorite brew canned to take home and enjoy later.

“This year we have anything from a raspberry lime sour to a blonde stout brewed with coffee from big medicine ranch roasted out in Eastport,” said Ted. “We have a peanut butter and jelly ale coming out in March.”

The philosophy in this brew house could be summed up as: you never know until you try.

Ted said “if it sounds good, I’m going to try it. We have a lot of the basic styles like the IPA’s and the stouts also but, I mean, how many other dill pickle beers do you see on the market? So I think the creativity part sets us aside.”

Even if you can’t make it to the dinner this year, you may soon see some of their most popular concoctions at a bar or store near you.

“Right now we’re just focusing on bars and taprooms,” he said. “We just got a new bottling line here recently so starting this summer, you’ll start seeing our bottles out in different bottle shops and stuff also.”

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