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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Embrace Winter with Bell’s Winter White and the Kalamazoo Wings at 2nd Annual Blue Ice Game

Bell’s Brewery, Inc. and the Kalamazoo Wings invite the southwest Michigan community to the second annual Bell’s Brewery Blue Ice Game featuring Winter White Ale on Nov. 15th at Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo.

The Kalamazoo K-Wings will take on the Reading Royals on ice dyed blue in celebration of Bell’s seasonal beer, Winter White Ale.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the first puck will drop at 7:30 p.m.

Winter White will be available through January, a month longer than previously. Fans will be able to enjoy 16 oz. cans of Bell’s winter seasonal from multiple stations throughout the arena.

Michael Fuerst, a Training Coordinator for Bell’s and member of the rock band Knee Deep Shag as well as the acoustic band The Corn Fed Girls will sing the national anthem before a performance with The Corn Fed Girls later that evening at Bell’s Eccentric CafĂ©, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., in downtown Kalamazoo.

K-Wings players will again wear limited edition Bell’s Winter White jerseys that will be auctioned off to fans at the conclusion of the game with proceeds going to Gryphon Place, a Kalamazoo non-profit that provides crisis intervention and support to those who need it.

There will be a Bell’s Winter White giveaway item to the first 500 adults (21 and up) through the door that night and Bell’s representatives will be available to chat with fans and handout other free swag during intermissions.

Individual ticket prices for home games are $14 and $18 for adults and only $8 for kids ages 12 and under. Fans can save money by purchasing K-Wings single-game tickets in advance. Tickets purchased on the day of a game increase by $2 (adults only). Groups of 15 or more may save money by calling 269-271-2915. Tickets for all K-Wings home games are currently on sale at the Wings Stadium Ticket Office, all Ticketmaster locations, including www.ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000. Ticket office hours are Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturdays.

About Bell's Brewers
Bell’s Brewery, Inc. began in 1985 with a quest for better beer and a 15 gallon soup kettle. Since then, we’ve grown into a regional craft brewery that employs more than 280 people over a 20 state area, in addition to Puerto Rico and Washington DC. The dedication to brewing flavorful, unfiltered, quality craft beers that started in 1985 is still with us today. We currently brew over 20 beers for distribution as well as many other small batch beers that are served at our pub in Kalamazoo, the Eccentric Cafe. Our ongoing goal is to brew thoughtfully, creatively and artistically. We strive to bring an authentic and pleasant experience to all of our customers through our unique ales and beers. For more information, please visit bellsbeer.com.

You can also find Bell’s on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr and foursquare.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Boyne Mountain Resort Announces Plans to Build Sports Complex

Boyne Mountain Resort today announced plans for a new sports complex, which will be located on land across from the resort’s M-75 entrance. The property, nearly 200 acres, was acquired in 2012. The complex is expected to offer six grass fields for sporting events and open in summer 2016.

Earlier this summer, Boyne Mountain built a single field on resort property serving as the home turf for Petoskey Lacrosse. The resort plans to add two additional fields as early as spring 2015 to cater to events and tournaments while the sports complex is being constructed. The two phases of development will create up to nine individual fields.

The innovative move of combining quality fields with luxury lodging and resort amenities will make athletic events at Boyne Mountain unique from any other sports complex in the Midwest.

Plans are for teams throughout the Midwest to use the complex for training grounds and competitions. Initially, the complex will cater primarily to lacrosse events, but long-term plans are to add events for soccer and other field sports.

“Our new complex brings an emerging market that will revolutionize our summer business, as well as have a significant economic impact on the region,” said Ed Grice, Boyne Mountain Resort’s president and general manager.

Initial construction has begun on the sports complex site with only limited earthwork and leveling needed and the fields will be irrigated and seeded in the spring.

“The land is ideally suited for these fields,” Grice adds. “The plot was previously farmland and the slope drops only three inches from the front of the property to the back, with substantial expansion capacity for future growth.”

The complex will also offer restroom facilities and food and beverage concessions.

Boyne Mountain has already partnered with True Lacrosse based in Kentwood to host events in 2015 with an expanded schedule expected in 2016 when the complex opens. Brian Main, Boyne Mountain’s events and marketing manager with ties as one of the originators of Petoskey Lacrosse, is leading the partnership.

“True Lacrosse is a pioneer in creating events that balance athletic competition with leadership training,” said Main. “Together we are creating a place where student athletes can gain the tools to be successful in their chosen sport and in life after graduation.”

Lacrosse has been one of the fastest growing team sports in the country for more than a decade according to US Lacrosse, the national governing body of men’s and women’s lacrosse. In 2013, nearly 750,000 players participated in lacrosse on organized teams with more than half of the players competing at the youth level.

Petoskey Lacrosse director Wally Kidd said, “Boyne Mountain’s support to put in fields and work with Petoskey Lacrosse helps to build our programs and gives our sport credibility in the area. Regionally, and because it’s Boyne Mountain, we become the place where everyone wants to come and play. Statewide, Boyne Mountain will become the epicenter for lacrosse in northern Michigan.”

Boyne Mountain’s fields also offer another advantage says Kidd.

“With Boyne’s involvement in golf, they have the know-how to produce a higher quality natural grass field. We were just thrilled with our field conditions last summer, they were perfect.”

Kidd is the founder of Petoskey Lacrosse. A former goalkeeper at John Hopkins University, he played on two national championship teams and has led the Petoskey High School lacrosse team to become two-time consecutive league champions.

For more information on Boyne Mountain’s fields or new sports complex, please call 231.549.6896.

Located in Boyne Falls, Michigan, Boyne Mountain Resort has been a favorite Midwest destination since 1948. The family-owned, four-season resort has earned TripAdvisor Certificates of Excellence, been named among the Top 50 Best Places to Ski and Stay in North America by Conde Nast Traveler readers, recognized as a Top 10 Indoor Waterpark by Budget Travel and is a Spa Magazine Readers’ Choice Favorite. Boyne Mountain offers 60 runs on 415 skiable acres, cross country skiing and snowshoeing, Michigan’s largest indoor waterpark featuring The Big Couloir extreme body slide, Solace Spa, Zipline Adventures, two golf courses, disc golf, lift-serviced mountain biking, beach activities, kids programs, lodging, meeting and wedding facilities and real estate. Boyne Mountain is a member of the Boyne Resorts family of resorts and attractions.

Traditional Turkeyville With a Twist

Four generations of tradition at Cornwell’s Turkeyville…Some things will never change. Grandma Cornwell’s pie recipe, the country setting, time honored turkey dinners, the friendly family atmosphere, and the Cornwell family’s commitment to their guests: “Homemade and Happy”. Cornwell’s legacy began 45 years ago with Grandma and Grandpa. Son Alan, wife Joie and children continued the Turkeyville legacy as the second generation. Today, third generation Cornwells, Blain and Patti, preserve the tradition and legacy with assistance from fourth generation daughter Elyse.

Having added a few new twists…Some things change for the better. Moving forward, the changes are subtle yet significant, always made with the guest experience in mind. Adding turkey burgers and wraps to the menu has been a huge success. Changing the flour to rice flour in the gravy to allow the gluten free guest the ability to enjoy gravy with their turkey dinner. Eliminating dyes and coloring from our cooking to create healthier dishes, all without changing the flavor you have come to know and love.

Stepping up the Dinner Theatre…..Some things change with a new vision. “This isn’t your Grandma’s dinner theatre anymore!” says it all. Twenty five years in the dinner theatre industry, Cornwell’s dinner theatre has taken it up a notch with more interactive shows, including “Let’s Make a Deal,” “Newlywed Game,” and Murder Mysteries. All of these shows allow guests to participate and have more fun. The 2015 season is one of the best with Broadway style musicals, clever twists and a family atmosphere which will entertain multi-generations.

Enhancing the Gift shop with a traditional toy store….. Some things change when going back to the good old days. Cornwell’s gift shop is known for its unique and interesting gifts and trinkets. The smell of the bakery, the old time candy, Turkeyville products and extensive inventory hasn’t changed. Guests can still find that perfect gift, the uniqueness that can’t be found at a box store, and usually something that sparks a memory from their past. Cornwell’s has enhanced its gift shop with a traditional toy store. Just in time for the holidays, those who would like to go back to a more traditional and fun time will find the toys they remember.

Thanksgiving Day with the family….. Some things change to create new traditions. Come and enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with Cornwell’s Turkeyville. As things change: your children can’t make it home for the holidays so there is just the two of you, your family has grown too big for your home, or you are just tired of hosting and want to enjoy the family time, Cornwell’s is here for you. Offering a complete family style turkey meal on Thanksgiving day. The friendly staff and mouthwatering food allows the entire family the opportunity to sit together and appreciate each other.

Continuing with the family traditions that Cornwell’s Turkeyville hold dear, creating new traditions for you and adding a little twist to keep it interesting, Turkeyville traditions with a twist brings homemade and happy to all who visit.

Friday, October 24, 2014

West Michigan Weekend Round-Up: October 24-26, 2014

From free visits to the Hackley & Hume historic sites through the end of the month, to the Grand Bridal Expo at Castle Farms, there's lots going on this weekend in West Michigan!

Friday, October 24

Battle Creek The Great ZooBoo

Boyne City Live Entertainment
Boyne City Latin Churraso
Coopersville Learn to Line Dance
Coopersville The Famous Pumpkin Train
Grand Junction Shadow Hollow Haunt
Lansing Boo at the Zoo
Paw Paw Taylor's Halloween Attic

South Haven Children's Corn Maze
South Haven Shadow Hollow Haunt
Traverse City Wine Dinners at Chateau Chantal
Traverse City Holiday Art Fair

Saturday, October 25

Alto Park Into Dark
Baroda HalloWine
Battle Creek The Great ZooBoo
Boyne City Live Entertainment
Boyne City Latin Churraso
Grand Junction Shadow Hollow Haunt
Lansing Boo at the Zoo
Pentwater Spooktacular

Traverse City Latin Churraso
Traverse City 2014 Old Mission/Leelanau Winery Passport
Traverse City Jacob's Corn Maze
Traverse City Holiday Art Fair

Sunday, October 26

Battle Creek The Great ZooBoo
Boyne City Live Entertainment
Coopersville Learn to Line Dance

Fennville Get Lost in Our Corn Maze!

Gaylord Fall Spooktacular Crop and Shop
Grand Junction Shadow Hollow Haunt


Lansing Boo at the Zoo


Saugatuck Touching Strangers Exhibit

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Slows Bar-B-Q to Open First Expansion in Grand Rapids Downtown Market

The Grand Rapids Downtown Market today announced Slows Bar-B-Q, the nationally renowned barbecue joint based in Detroit, will open a new, full-service, barbeque restaurant inside the Downtown Market. It is the first restaurant to commit to the Market, and the restaurant’s first expansion outside of Detroit.

Slows Bar-B-Q Grand Rapids will be located in the Market’s southeast side, at the corner of Ionia and Logan streets. It will feature a similar menu to the Detroit location, including slow-cooked barbecue favorites such as brisket, ribs, pulled pork, smoked turkey, jambalaya and more, along with several dozen Michigan-based artisan and craft beers on tap. The restaurant plans to open in spring 2015.

“Slows is a notable success in downtown Detroit. Its upcycled atmosphere, delicious menu, commitments to their communities and their craft make them an ideal addition to the Downtown Market,” said Mimi Fritz, president and CEO of the Downtown Market. “Unlike any other place, the Market offers us the chance to know our food and the people who make it. We are thrilled to introduce Slows and their authentic take on barbeque to West Michigan.”

The Market is tasked to create a thriving ecosystem of food entrepreneurs who commit to locally produced ingredients and to community building. Created by owners, Chef Brian Perrone, Phillip Cooley and others, with the intention of becoming a neighborhood joint and a contributing force in the community, Slows has become the anchor of a neighborhood’s commercial revitalization and a Detroit destination.

“The Downtown Market is just the type of community-centered, neighborhood location that fits who we are,” said Brian Perrone, executive chef and co-founder. “We are completely devoted to barbecue — studying it, making it and teaching customers about the process. We are excited to join such a great group of artisans to create a friendly, welcoming, accessible and open environment.”

In addition to its restaurant space, Slows plans to expand its popular Slows-To-Go service, which includes catering. The program will launch with special events at the Downtown Market and plans to expand to serve a larger area in the future.

Slows opened in 2005 on Michigan Avenue, at the edge of downtown Detroit, in Corktown, across from the long-abandoned Michigan Central Station. Today it has become one of the most popular barbecue joints in Michigan and has received significant recognition in national food and entertainment media. It is owned by Brian Perrone, Phillip Cooley, Ron Cooley and Mike Metevia.

“If it’s possible for one restaurant to have done more than its share for Detroit, it’s Slows,” added Fritz.

Construction on Slows’ Grand Rapids location will begin in early 2015. The restaurant plans to open in spring of 2015.

About Slows Bar-B-Q
Slows Bar-B-Q in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood has been serving a distinct spin on classic American barbecue since September 2005 in two restored 1880’s buildings.  Slows was created by the owners, Chef Brian Perrone and Phillip Cooley, with the intention of becoming a neighborhood joint and a contributing force in the community.  After numerous awards and accolades, Slows has become the anchor of a neighborhood’s commercial revitalization and a Detroit destination.  Slows-To-Go opened in a 6,000 sq. ft. abandoned building in Midtown in December 2010 offering full service catering to Metro Detroit.  In three years, Slows-To-Go has become a caterer of choice for weddings and events and a fixture at Detroit-area festivals.

About the Grand Rapids Downtown Market
The Grand Rapids Downtown Market is the region’s new choice for fresh, delicious foods and amazing public market merchants. The Market is a $30 million, self-sustaining, LEED-certified, mixed-use facility that brings together production, distribution, marketing and education about local foods and growing. It incorporates entrepreneur and experimentation space for both emerging and experienced food artisans and merchants including a 24-vendor Market Hall and large outdoor farmer’s market. More at www.downtownmarketgr.com.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Area Wineries Invite Holiday Shoppers to Save on Wine and Gifts

The Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail’s annual Cellar Sale takes place in the tasting rooms the first two weekends of December

Planning to purchase for a wine lover this holiday season? Look no further than the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail. Twenty-three tasting rooms along the trail are participating in the annual no-cost event, scheduled for December 6 & 7 and 13 & 14, 2014.

Head out to Leelanau Peninsula and check off your shopping list when both wine and gift items are at the best prices of the year. In addition to gifts, local wine adds the perfect touch for holiday entertaining and taking to dinners and parties.

While shopping, stay for a while to taste wine and relax in the comfortable tasting rooms. Fires will be roaring and wine will be flowing from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday and from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Sunday.

For more information about discounts and deals, visit www.lpwines/cellar-sale.


The Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association (LPVA) is a member-driven, winery association founded in 1998. The mission of the LPVA is to spread the word about all the good things happening along the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail. The trail is divided into three mini-trails for easy touring: the Sleeping Bear Loop, the Northern Loop and the Grand Traverse Bay Loop. The Leelanau Peninsula AVA is home to 25 wineries located within diverse microclimates uniquely suited for a variety of wine grapes. Among the internationally acclaimed varietals are Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. The local wines continue to achieve national and international accolades with each passing vintage.

Niles Haunted House Greets 1,600,000th Visitor

The Board of Directors for the Niles Haunted House Scream Park is pleased to announce that they welcomed interior visitor number 1,600,000 on Friday, October 17th, 2014. The lucky individual is Meghan McNulty of South Bend. As a result of her good fortune, she received a special “ghost pack” from the Niles Haunted House.

Now 14, Meghan’s first trip to the Niles Haunted House Scream Park was in 2008 when she was 8 years old. She cried the whole time! She wasn’t brave enough to come back the following year, but in 2010, she came to the Scream Park again and has been coming ever since. Her older sister, Lily, started coming in 2006 and her brother has also visited!

Meghan comes because she “likes to be scared,” and her favorite things are the strobe lights, the Field of Screams and the main Niles Haunted House. Her favorite character at the Scream Park is “Death.” Her father, Kevin, brought Meghan and her friends for this visit, but her mother didn’t come because she “doesn’t do scary stuff”!

Open weekends until November 1st plus Thursday, October 30th, the Scream Park is located on Mayflower Road in Niles, Michigan. The Park easily is accessed by taking Exit 5 (Niles-Buchanan Road) from the US 31 Expressway.

For more information call 269-687-FEAR or check out the website at www.haunted.org.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Think You're Brave Enough to Make it Through The Haunt in Grand Rapids this Halloween Season?

TICKET GIVEAWAY: Enter on our West Michigan Facebook Page to win free SpeedPasses to The Haunt! Contest ends 10/22/14 at 4pm.


We've heard reports of grown men crying, groups demanding to be let out before they've reached the end, and even those who needed a new pair of pants by the time they reached the end... Sound like fun to you? The Haunt in Grand Rapids delivers world-class scares, and should definitely be on your "Must List" of Halloween activities this year!

Now on their 14th year of scaring the people of West Michigan, The Haunt has perfected the art of terror. As you make your way through their 20,000 square feet of scares, you'll encounter whatever it is that lurks in the back of your brain & shows up in your nightmares. Clowns, zombies, spiders, ghosts, and more lurk in the shadows, just waiting for you to come closer.

You'll feel immersed in the atmosphere as soon as you arrive in the waiting area, where the Haunt Dancers will entertain you & set the mood as you wait to be admitted to the main attraction. Only six people at a time are admitted, so be prepared to split your group up if it's bigger than that. The Haunt itself takes about 25 minutes to walk through, but feels like much, much longer than that as you weave your way through their maze of surprises.

The Haunt takes pride in preying on all of your senses as your journey through. You'll be disoriented by strobe lights, unnerved by noises where you're sure nothing was lurking, and even startled by the brush of an unseen monster. The Haunt enforces a "no touching" policy among its workers, but there are a number of props that could reach out & get you, just when you thought it was safe. Also adding to the realism of the experience are the smells you'll encounter. They got a new scent to use in The Haunt this year, and I'm told its official name is "Raw Sewage," so try to prepare yourself for that encounter!

You'll travel through setting after setting on your journey through The Haunt, moving from a forest to a cave, from a sewer to a graveyard, always building the excitement and suspense in your head. There's no time to rest and recover; once you're in, you're in until the end. You'll definitely want to bring along a friend or two to help you make it through, but don't be surprised if you find yourself separated from the rest of your group...

We obviously can't give away too many of the surprises here, so take a look at their schedule for the rest of the season and plan your visit! Tickets for all three of The Haunt's attractions are $20, with the option to upgrade to a SpeedPass and skip the lines for an additional $10.

The Haunt is located at 2070 Waldorf St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49544. For more information, visit them on Facebook, or online at The-Haunt.com.

Grand Rapids Symphony Embarks on Music Director Search

Exceptional conductors from around the world will lead the Grand Rapids Symphony in concerts as the orchestra plans for the conclusion of David Lockington’s remarkable tenure as Music Director.

The Grammy®-nominated Grand Rapids Symphony, the second-largest performing arts organization in the State of Michigan, is receiving strong interest in the Music Director role from outstanding conductors from across the United States and internationally. One of the guest conductors on the Richard and Helen DeVos Classical Series will be named as the new Music Director of the Grand Rapids Symphony.

International Music Director Search
The organization’s Music Director Search Committee is comprised of members of the Grand Rapids Symphony, members of the GRS Board of Directors, and other community leaders, working closely with the organization’s senior administrative leadership. The Search Committee is Co-Chaired by GRS Board Members Larry Robson and Mary Tuuk.

Subsequent to David Lockington’s announcement of his intention to conclude his tenure as Music Director, numerous conductors expressed interest in the possibility of succeeding Lockington in this role leading the Grammy®-nominated Grand Rapids Symphony, which has been recognized nationally for the excellence of its concerts and educational programs.

Kynan Johns, Marcelo Lehninger and James Meena are guest conductors who are candidates that will conduct the Grand Rapids Symphony during the 2014-15 Season.

This month, Kynan Johns will lead the orchestra on October 24 and 25 in concerts featuring Copland and Brahms. Later this season, Brazilian-born Marcelo Lehninger will lead the Symphony in music of Dvorak, Bernstein and Haydn on February 20 and 21, 2015. Subsequent to this, James Meena conducts music of Mozart, Barber and Tchaikovsky on March 27 and 28.

Along with conductors who led the Symphony last season, including Mei-Ann Chen, the 2015-16 Season will introduce up to eight guest conductors who will lead the orchestra as it seeks its next Music Director.

Upcoming guest conductors will lead performances on the Symphony’s Richard and Helen DeVos Classical Series during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 Seasons. Conductors have been chosen from an international slate of talented artists from around the world.

In addition to each conductor’s remarkable musical skills, the Symphony seeks a leader who is willing and able to provide leadership in the multi-faceted role of Music Director of an organization with a busy and wide-ranging schedule of performances.

Sustaining Excellence
Search Committee Co-Chair Mary Tuuk spoke about the Search Committee’s approach for selection. “The role of Music Director requires a talented musical leader with a diverse range of abilities on and off the podium,” said Tuuk. “At the same time, the Search Committee recognizes that the music comes first. Musicianship is our top priority. Candidates who demonstrate the desired artistic excellence will then be further differentiated utilizing other considerations in our decision process.”

“The appointment of a new music director is an extraordinarily important decision for our Symphony,” said Larry Robson, Co-Chair of the Music Director Search Committee. “Our musicians, board members, staff and other community leaders will continue to work together as potential candidates are considered for this fundamental role affecting the future of our orchestra and its role in our community.”

Grand Rapids Symphony President and CEO Peter Kjome spoke about the search process and importance of sustaining artistic excellence. “Our orchestra continues to receive wide attention for achievements related to both artistic and operational excellence, and our Symphony is well positioned for the future,” said Kjome. “We are encouraged by the very high level of interest by exceptional conductors who are excited by the possibility of building on David’s work as a superb artist and community builder.”

Appointment of Music Advisor
The Grand Rapids Symphony has appointed a Music Advisor to help ensure continued artistic excellence during the term of the search process. Larry Rachleff will guide planning for the 2015-16 Season and will conduct the orchestra for several weeks. Rachleff is not a candidate for the Symphony’s Music Director role. Rachleff is the Walter Kris Hubert Professor of Music and Music Director of the Shepherd School Symphony and Chamber Orchestras and serves as Music Director of the Rhode Island Philharmonic in addition to his guest conducting engagements.

Lockington Appointment as Music Director Laureate
Following the Symphony’s 2014-15 Season, David Lockington will conclude his tenure as Music Director, a record 16 years in this role. At that time, he will become the first Music Director Laureate in the Symphony’s history. Lockington will continue to hold leadership roles with orchestras in California and Spain and maintain a busy guest conducting schedule.

About the Grand Rapids Symphony
The Grand Rapids Symphony was officially organized in 1930 and is nationally recognized for the quality of its concerts and educational programs. Led by Music Director David Lockington, ten concert series are presented, featuring a wide range of music and performance styles. More than 400 performances are presented each year, touching the lives of some 170,000. Nearly half of those who benefit are students, senior citizens and people with disabilities reached through extensive education and community service programs. The Symphony’s Affiliated Organizations include the Grand Rapids Bach Festival, Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus, Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra, and Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Choruses. The Symphony also provides the orchestra for Opera Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Ballet Company. To learn more about the Symphony, please visit www.grsymphony.org.

Grand Rapids, Michigan Welcomes Great Lakes Water Conservation Conference — October 21-23, 2014

Craft brewers will gather in Grand Rapids, MI, this fall to learn about water quality, water conservation, waste water treatment and alternative energy systems, with presentations by industry experts and speakers donating their time and expertise. The sixth Great Lakes Water Conservation Conference (@GLWater) will be held Oct. 21-23 at the Eberhard Center, Grand Valley State University Downtown Campus.

Panels and presentations begin on Wednesday of the conference, with a welcome address by Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell, a city honored as “Beer City USA” and as a leader in water sustainability.

Conference speakers include Marc Smith of the National Wildlife Federation with an update on the Great Lakes Compact; a panel with Kent County Water Conservation and Clean Water Action; Karl Ockert, technical director of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas, discussing emergency preparedness and water quality; Chuck Skypeck of the Brewers Association discussing sustainability case histories; Walker Modic of Bell’s Brewery discussing waste water treatment at Bell’s Brewery; Jason Spaulding of Brewery Vivant and Autumn Sands of BarFly Ventures discussing sustainable on-premise and kitchen operations; and an afternoon panel of case histories on waste to energy alternatives with breweries such as Goose Island, Sun King, and more. View samples of past presentations and speaker bios at www.conserve-greatlakes.com.

Tours for registered attendees are planned for Tuesday at Founders Brewing Co. and on Thursday, a bus tour will be offered to Bell’s Brewery in Galesburg and HopHead Farms in Hickory Corners. The bus tour is limited to 45 attendees, at an additional cost of $20 per person, thanks to donations by Bell’s Brewery.  Conference sponsors include Briggs of Burton, Inc., The Antea Group, Williams Creek Consulting, with in-kind donations from S. S. Steiner, Inc. and the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.

“Why participate?” says Lucy Saunders, conference organizer. “Water policy in the Great Lakes region – the source of 20 percent of the world’s supply of available freshwater – is changing rapidly. The Great Lakes Compact requires all water-intensive businesses within the watershed to implement water conservation practices.  This conference offers case histories and practical solutions for water and energy efficiency.”