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Right Brain Brewery to celebrate IPA Day, Tattoo Art and Traverse City Beer Week

The Michigan hop harvest is in full swing, and I ran into Jeff and Bonnie Steinman of Hop Head Farms last week who can attest to that fact. They were grabbing a quick meal at Old Mill Brewpub and Jeff had barely gotten three hours of sleep the previous night. Not only are they harvesting and processing their own hop crop, but truckloads of hops from Northern Michigan are arriving for processing and bailing as well.

Hop Head Farms supplies hops to many Michigan, as well as out-of-state brewers.  Our own Jesse Sensenig of Goshen Brewing Company has visited their farm and uses some of their hops.  He plans to continue using Hop Head Farms hops when the brewery opens.

My own Cascade hops are ready and I plan on harvesting them this week. Check back soon to find out my plans for this year’s hop crop.

Although most beer styles are brewed with hops, India Pale Ales are the showcase beer for big, bold, hops with high alpha content. And if you are a hop head, Right Brain Brewery has an event just for you. Whenever I’m in Traverse City, I always stop in to see what owner/brewer Russ Springsteen has going on.

If you are interested in visiting Right Brain Brewery (as well as Brewery Terra Firma and some other Traverse City food and drink venues), there are still spots available for the Dining a la King foodie trip, Oct. 19-21.

Here are three upcoming events from Right Brain’s newsletter:


An all-day event celebrating the harvest of Traverse City’s hop crop!

It’s that time of year again; Michigan’s hop yards are busy harvesting the fruits of their labor while breweries across the state are dreaming up the next big recipes to showcase this bitter little cone, and for good reason.

To celebrate this special time of year, Right Brain Brewery is proud to announce IPA Day, an all-day hop-focused event, taking place on Oct. 25, immediately following the Traverse City Zombie Run.

Right Brain brewers will feature at least 10 different IPAs on tap, including several ultra-rare specialty brews and the highly coveted Wet-Hopped series. (‘Wet Hopped’ means using hops that were picked on the same day that it was brewed.) “We’ve been squirreling away IPAs all year, and, of course, have a few tricks up our sleeve. It’s going to be pretty epic,” said Nick Panchame, RBB’s head brewer.

Other plans for the day include a piñata smash, IPA tasting workshops, specials on food and a hopping marathon for a chance to win a lifetime membership into the brewery’s highly coveted mug club. The day will wrap up with live music from Soul Patch, Levi Britton and Shady Hill.

“If you call yourself a ‘hop head’ and are a fan of Right Brain, this is basically your wet dream,” said Leif Kolt, RBB’s events coordinator. “For everyone else, there’s still a wide spread belief that ‘IPAs can only be bitter.’ That’s simply not the truth, and with so many variations on tap, we really think that IPA Day will be a great chance to educate people on just how much variety can be found within the style.”

IPA Day is free to the public and is family friendly. It kicks off at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25. Live music starts at 7 p.m.


Celebrate RBB’s new tattoo exhibit with live music, demos and more.

From the traditional to the modern: 50 years ago, if you asked people to picture a person with tattoos, they might have imagined a gruff biker, hardened felon or their ex-military grandfather. Fortunately, we live in a much more accepting time, and tattoos now adorn people from all walks of life. Tattoos are so inked into the fabric of society that they have inspired clothing brands, television shows and now… art exhibits!

Right Brain Brewery’s next art exhibit (they rotate every three months) is billed as the All Tattoo Art Show, and will feature works by professional tattoo artists from across the state and beyond.

“Everyone knows us as ‘the artsy brewery,’ so we feel a responsibility to try and offer as much diversity in our exhibits as possible,” said Leif Kolt, RBB’s art curator. “Many people don’t realize that a lot of tattoo artists also do a wide variety of other kinds of work.”

Featuring illustrations, photography, paintings and even tattooed sculpture on ‘Pounds of Flesh,’ the RBB All Tattoo Art Show will feature artists from some of northern Michigan’s most popular studios like Traverse City Tattoo and Front Street Tattoo, as well as artists from farther downstate and across the nation.

The exhibit kicks off with an opening reception at Right Brain Brewery at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10. The free event will not only be a great chance to meet some of the artists, but will also feature live music from Girls With Guitars artists Olivia Mainville and Missy Zenker, as well as tattoo demos, an employee tattoo slideshow, and a tattoo photo booth.

“No more lighthouses and paintings of Seagulls,” says Kolt. “The focus of our exhibits is to break the status quo of what galleries are willing to display in Northern Michigan. This tattoo show is going to do just that. Not only will it be fun for people who are already into tattoos, but it will also expose a lot of other people to the amount of creativity, variety, and fine-art skill found throughout the tattoo industry.”



A week full of Right Brained events, beer releases, and eduction.

Right Brain Brewery recently announced a full week of events to celebrate Traverse City Beer Week, Nov. 7-14. Ranging from a mini golf-themed beer tasting to an epic Amazing-Race style keg hunt, there is a little something for everyone. They’re even throwing a tailgate party. You have a chance to learn a lot about beer and win some cool prizes, like a lifetime membership to RBB.

Most events are ticketed and have a limit on space, so check out the full list and pick up your tickets before they run out.

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