Salt of the Earth Announces 3rd Annual Michigan Wine & Beer Dinner Series


In what has become a wildly-popular winter/spring tradition, West Michigan’s Salt of the Earth announces its third-annual monthly Michigan Wine & Beer Dinner Series at its downtown Fennville rustic American eatery, starting on January 11 and running through June 20.

“We’re excited to continue this unique experience where we showcase the finest Michigan beverages paired with our own style of casual cuisine,” says proprietor Mark Schrock. “Winemakers and brewers are present at each event, along with a very special lineup of guest chefs from around the state. We invite you to come celebrate the best of Michigan food and beverage with us!”

The 2012 series will span six months and feature Michigan wineries and breweries exclusively. Multiple courses will be served at each event, paired with the best from each producer. Many taste selections are from wine and beer maker’s personal cellars that are not always available to the public. A “Guest Chef” will also join SotE Chef Matthew Pietsch in the kitchen to prepare the evening’s locally-infused menu.

The series kicks off on Wednesday, January 11 at 7:00PM when the SotE team – along with Chef Drew Turnipseed from Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids – will prepare its first “Wine Meets Beer” themed dinner – a double-tasting, featuring wines from nearby Fenn Valley Vineyards and beer from Grand Rapids’ Brewery Vivant. The five-course menu includes: Course 1 – Salt / Vivant Cured Meats(pork – venison – lamb – beer wort); Course 2 – Soup & Salad (peach – turnip – rye – poppyseed); Course 3 – Swedish Chef (char – potato – beef – parsnip – smoke); Course 4 – Duck, Duck, Goose(confit – roast – poach – squash); and Course 5 – Doughnuts! (sour cream – yeast leavened – cake).  Cost is $65 plus tax & gratuity.  Reservations are required, call 269-561-SALT (7258).


Brewery Vivant opened its doors in late 2010 under the ownership of former New Holland Brewery founder Jason Spaulding, and his wife, Kris. Their aim is to create a world-class experience through beer and food. With a bent toward Belgian styles of beer, Brewmaster Jacob Derylo is constantly experimenting with the highest quality ingredients at his disposal. Additionally, they are now distributing throughout the state with plans to service Chicago in early 2012. Although a natural in producing amazing food, Chef Drew Turnipseed attended culinary school at the Art Institute of New York City. He is a trained sommelier through the International Wine Center and holds a graduate certificate in Food and Beverage Operation from New York University.  His experience ranges from the vineyards in Bordeaux, France to an adventure lodge in Alaska, to the catering company he and his wife Lauron started in Southwest Michigan. (

Fenn Valley Vineyards is a family owned and operated vineyard and winery complex established in 1973. Their goal then, as it is now, was to produce world-class wines from grapes grown along the Eastern shore of Lake Michigan. The Fenn Valley estate is a 230 acre farm located five miles from Lake Michigan just south of Holland, Michigan. Fenn Valley continues to be a progressive estate bottled winery, growing the grapes that are processed in the cellars. The vineyards are located on the top of a large sand ridge that extends inland from Lake Michigan between the Black River and the Kalamazoo River valleys – in one of four federally-recognized viticultural areas in Michigan. The vineyards are being expanded as new varieties are tried and additional plantings are made of those varieties that prove to be successful. The numerous awards and medals that Fenn Valley continues to receive for its wines attest to the fact that they are always keeping an eye on quality.(

Salt of the Earth is a rustic American eatery and bakery, tucked away in a historic building in quaint downtown Fennville – in the heart of the Southwest Michigan’s thriving agricultural region. Under the direction of Chef Matthew Pietsch (protégé of ‘Iron Chef’ Michael Symon), this full service restaurant offers a seasonal menu of made-from-scratch entrees, shared plates, wood-fired oven pizzas, pastas, sandwiches and creative desserts – using fresh ingredients, often sourced locally. Artisan bread is baked in house, served with dinner and available to take home.  You’ll also find a bar stocked with an impressive selection of Michigan wines, craft beers, and spirit, alongside other domestic and international selections. Salt of the Earth is also a popular venue for local and regional musical artists, with live house concerts held weekly.  Winter Hours: Dinner served Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday 5-9pm, Friday & Saturday 5-10pm.  Fresh baked artisan bread is available at the restaurant during dining hours and at select local retail outlets.

What others are saying-

“ Salt of the Earth has done so much with their Michigan wine dinner series, to raise awareness of the quality revolution taking place in Michigan’s wine industry, that they deserve an award – if one existed,” says Jim Lester, owner of Wyncroft Winery and a three-time series participant.

“We have always enjoyed the food at Salt of the Earth, but, the wine and beer dinners really elevate their take on local cuisine to new heights,” says Brian Cain – Grand Rapids Magazine wine columnist. “The braised brisket served at the Short’s beer dinner is the best I have ever eaten!”

“My wife and I have attended three of the dinners…great food, great wines, lots of friendly folks to meet,” says Bill Koski, manger at Rose’s on Reeds Lake and coordinator of the “Wine School” at the Gilmore Collection in Grand Rapids.

For the list of events in this series, visit the ELWM calendar.

Speak Your Mind


Switch to our mobile site