I moved up here from the East Coast five years ago. Around the time I was making that decision, I remember asking some of my (now) colleagues what folks did on weekends around here. To a person, everyone reported spending time up near “The Lake” (aka Lake Michigan). I remember thinking—what’s the big deal? It’s just a big lake?
Well, now I have been here half a decade and if it’s the weekend, I am in town and there is even a hint of sunlight, I am up by The Lake. There are so many good restaurants and breweries. Each waterfront town (St. Joe, New Buffalo, etc.) has its own character. And just when I think I’m starting to exhaust the nearby options, another awesome place opens up.
That’s exactly my feeling about Cultivate, a new brewery set up on a beautiful patch of countryside in Berrien Springs, MI. Bob, McK, Sid, Viveca and I headed up there last Saturday to check it out, after getting a lot of recommendations from our friends.
It’s a quick drive (~40 min) from the Bend, but you feel like you are on another planet when you get out there. They have huge posts set up for growing hops. We each got a flight of beers (on their Michigan shaped flight boards). I tried four of the porters and dark IPAs, all of which have optimistic names—Think! Explore!— and all were incredible. I also tried McK’s saison, which consensus held was the best beer of the day. Even better, we were able to sit, talk and relax on their big open patio, with none of the rush of, say, a visit to nearby Greenbush.
On weekends in warmer weather they have food, and even on this chilly Saturday there were some good snacks inside. We coupled our trip with a visit to the new restaurant at Journeyman—Staymaker. McK has the post responsibility for that one…
Love the Lake,