The leaves are changing color, a crisp chill in the air and we are off to do what every Midwesterner does once October rolls around………the mandatory trip to the Mitten State, i.e. Michigan! So buckle up, pack a preppy cardigan, your Hunters and let’s go basic in Berrien County, Michigan!
Berrien County, aka “Harbor Country” is just a mere 90 minutes from the Loop and is known as the “Hamptons of the Midwest“. Boasting nautical charm, sandy beaches and dozen upon dozens of wineries, breweries and distilleries…..it’s basically a lush’s dream vacation. Our cottage, the Worthenbury Country House was within
walking stumbling distance of Tabor Hill Winery and Round Barn, so clearly a perfect spot for us to be at. It really is beautiful country, lots of rolling hills, vineyards, and so many places to get a drink or two.
We opted for Tabor Hill, since we went to Round Barn last year. The Demi-Sec was DELICIOUS AF! Crisp, not too sweet and just the wine to sip while we prepared two monumental lasagnas for our group dinner. Plus, it was under $20 and Plus Part II….we were supporting local business, can’t beat that! Getting sloshed for a good cause… I can get used to that.
A quick break from the booze. If you go to the corner of Hinchman Road and Scottsdale Road you’ll find a tiny, unincorporated village known as Hinchman. It’s darling! There really isn’t that much there aside from a Methodist church(Hitchman United Methodist), an empty storefront and a few hours but it’s quiessentially fall in Michigan! Fall colors everywhere, a literal golden carpet of leaves and quiet solitude. This place is out of a storybook, but enough about fairytales, we is grown ups and we needs more dranks….onto more booze!
So we ended up in Brigman to go grocery shopping but surprise, surprise….there’s a brewery on Lake Street! Actually there are two, Tapistry and Transient, which are across the street from each other. We ended up at Transient Artisan Ales, which I will admit I was not a fan of last time I was there. However this time I had a gay ole time. It wasn’t packed, there were plenty of dogs for petting, and the beer was both delicious AND strong! I had the Dulce de Leche stout………FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC! Jared had the Juice is Loose, and Josiah……well Josiah had almost everything. He’s quite the connoisseur of beer. Sampling beer was a great way to spend a rainy hour in the early afternoon while we waited for my Josiah’s kid to wake up from her nap and his wife to get ready (women, I tell ya!) But the sky is STILL falling so let’s continue with the indoor activities! Let’s get some cider in Buchanan, shall we?
Lehman’s Orchard Brewing & Farmhouse, SUPER chill environment, repurposed WWII building and providing the whole gamit of boozy delights—-from ciders, beers, wine AND spirits. If you want something to drink, they probably make it.
Since they’re known for being an apple orchard I opted for a flight of hard ciders; Johnny Apple, Honeycrisp, Raspberry and Pear, each one was delicious but MY favorite (and I’m apparently the only one who thought this) was pear. It was AMAZE BALLS!! It was like biting into a boozy, fresh pear, and that’s saying a lot because I’m not a huge fan of pears. The rest of the group chose the Johnny Appleseed and the Bourbon Barrel one as their favorites. But definitely, Lehman’s was my favorite discovery while in touring Berrien County.
So let’s continue with booze (ALL of the booze) and head north in Harbor County to the county seat. So buckle up, bitches! Next stop, Saint Joseph!
Silver Harbor Brewing Company smokes their beer for you! They’re upfront…..they can technically smoke any beer for you, both the stouts will taste the best, the rest will kinda taste weird. So stouts we got! I got an oatmeal stout, let it smoke for three minutes (the recommended time) in hickory goodness and tried it…………AMAZING. It’s like beer with a side of campfire.
Removing the lid and inhale the smoky goodness.
Ta-da! A smoked beer!
But why stop with one beer, let’s continue this tour-de-hops, buckle up again! We’re off to Brigman (again) since the sun is shining and I wanna see some of the fall color us Midwesterners are cray about.
Haymarket Brewery, of Chicago fame has an outpost in the area so clearly we had to stop by. Their beer is tasty, the pizza is divine and the views…….NOW THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT! Outdoor seating, firepits and the colors of autumn make drinking libations here almost a religious experience for outdoorsy folk (and those of us who want to pretend to be). This is what I picture Michigan to be, plus this is the color of foliage I was craving in my life.
Oh Michigan, I can see why so many people fall in love with your charms, quirks and delicious booze. The sun is beginning to set and what a sunset it is! Time to unwind, sip more wine and gather around the fire with the friends 🙂
Good night from charming Harbor Country, the sunsets here are BREATHTAKING!
Signing off from Baroda
-Anthony & Jared