although Hillside Homestead was definitely the surprise star attraction of the weekend in Traverse City, MI, we did manage to tear ourselves away for some of the area’s famous wine and beer. my mom, my dad, and I started off at the main Black Star Farms location, outside of Traverse on the wine trail (considered Suttons Bay, I think). this is definitely one of our favorite wineries (I speak for all three of us here – there’s something we each love here). we did a tasting and split a case. we surprised my mom with a bottle of their special ice wine, which she loves. this was a belated birthday gift – we had all unfortunately been so busy since January that we weren’t able to get together for her birthday between then and the first weekend in April. after BSF, we hit up Forty-Five North Vineyard, which has a very interesting spread of wines.
after the tasting, we headed back into town for dinner at Trattoria Stella. and if we hadn’t filled up enough there, we then stopped in at North Peak Brewing Company, also located in town. it was a busy night for them, so we had to wait to be seated. unfortunately, because we’d just come from dinner, we received poor service once it was clear we’d only be ordering drinks for my dad. so, we didn’t stay long – he had one beer and we hit the road again.
when we returned to Hillside Homestead, around 9:30p, we enjoyed an actual cream pie with freshly-made real whipped cream that Susan made for us (which I hadn’t ever had before – it was amazing!), gelato, and dark chocolate cupcakes to celebrate my mom’s birthday. my mom opened her gifts and then we all dragged ourselves away from the wood-burning stove and to bed. I don’t have any evening photos because Susan keeps the historic side of her bed and breakfast traditional – so there were only oil lamps burning and it was a bit too dark for any decent photography.
Sunday, before heading out of Northern Michigan, we made the additional hour trip North to Short’s Brewing Company (worth it!). I discovered Short’s while talking with one of their reps at a wine and beer event I attended last March. they’re well-known to Michiganders and craft brew enthusiasts of the mid-west, but not much outside of that. they offer a wide variety of beers, but you’d never guess it from the look of the outside of their Bellaire location – they just look like a little pub. but don’t let that fool you! they’ve got everything available and tastings too. and true to what the Short’s rep suggested, their food is pretty stellar too. if you’re in Northern Michigan, you should definitely give them a try!