Thursday, April 5, 2018

Brews In The Blue

"Local Beer" in the Blue Water Area goes back to the mid 19th century. According to the website Old Breweries the first documented brewery in the region was the J. Stein Brewery which opened for business in 1856.

In the 1901 city directory, there were two breweries listed in the city of Port Huron itself and, save for the years of prohibition, the C. Kern Brewery was in business at 511 River St. brewing it's flagship Cream of Michgan Cream ale as well as Old Dominion and other styles until it closed in 1950.

Over the last couple of decades, tastes have shifted back towards regional flavors and craft workmanship when it comes to sipping a beer and our region has some great options to do just that.

Located in the Riverview Plaza, St Clair's War Water Brewery started making and selling beer in July 2015. Since it's opening the brewery has grown and in 2017 embarked on $5 million expansion in the plaza and in the city.

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Before 2018, War Water did not offer any in house food options but that changed when Anchor Point Bistro opened inside the brewery's location serving things such as flatbreads, subs, wraps and sandwiches that have a huge emphasis on fresh preparation and ingredients.

About a 10 minute drive north of War Water is the Harsens Island Brewery in Marysville. Opened in 2015 in a building that used to be a Wonder Bread/Hostess bakery by Brian Phinney and his father Spencer, the brewery has 8 different on-site brewed beers on tap.

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The Phinney's use regionally sourced products as much as they can for their beer. They also keep that theme with what they name the their brews, Tashmoo Steamer, a California Common is called after steamship which brought visitors to the area from Detroit between 1900 to the mid 30's and the Hump which got its from a popular fishing spot in Lake St, Clair.

Along with some fine beer, Harsens Island has some great food options too with a menu that has tasty appetizers such as their fried mushrooms and huge onion rings, excellent burgers, delicious salmon and a whole lot more.

Oh, and why is the brewery named after Harsens Island but is located in Marysville? The Phinney family owns a house there but found the island to be a bit too small to launch the endeavor. The building the are in is perfect for it.

Less than a 30 minute drive north up Michigan's east coast from Marysville is Lexington. The village of a little over 1,000 people is well known to roadtrippers for it's shops, beaches, harbor and marina but also over the past few years, the beer that the Lexington Brewing Company and Wine House brews has put another new thing for people to check off their listing when visiting Sanilac county. Open seasonally, the brewery got its modest start at the back of the Old Town Hall Winery tasting room. A couple years back, the beers started to become the main attraction for both thisty visitors from out of town as well as the locals.

Along with the mighty roasty stout Molly Malone, some traditional quaffs such as Ludy's Pilsner, the unique Tropicana Ale which is Belgian style ale accented by citrus flavors, the brewery also has a light menu featuring flatbread pizzas, sliders and charcuterie plates.

Weekend during the summer at the Lexington Brewing Company, the place grooves to live jazz, blues, bluegrass, folk and pop classics from a variety of local combos.

Find out more about what the Blue Water Area has to offer when you 
Discover The Blue at

Monday, March 19, 2018

Cast A Line In A Blue Water Area Fishing Tournament

Now that the calendar says spring has arrived, many Michiganders will be getting their boats ready to ply the waterways. A lot of those vessels will have fishermen on board looking to reel in the many varieties of fish that the Great Lakes have to offer.

While all Blue Water Area anglers bait their hook and cast their line to catch what's below the water's surface and to enjoy the relaxing pace of the day, there's some that want a little more excitement and friendly competition when it comes to reeling the big one in. For them, there are several tournaments throughout the season.

Lexington starts off the competition season with the Lake Huron Spring Fling Fishing Tournament on April 21st & 22nd. This two event is growing to one of the largest salmon & trout fishing tournament on Lake Huron. The biggest fish bring the biggest prizes. Give John a call at 1-810-841-0070 for more information and to register.

The angling action heads St. Clair way at the end of April when the Blue Water Salmon Stakes happens on April 28th. The tournament, first organized by Quota International of Port Huron and the Blue Water Sportfishing Association almost 40 years ago, is the longest running contest of its kind in the area. 

Blue Water Salmon Stakes catches photo via the Times Herald

At the Salmon Stakes anglers will compete for a share of thousands of dollars in prize money for the largest King, Coho, Steelhead, Brown Trout, Lake Trout and Walleye in addition to the “super skipper”.  

Fishing is from 6 am to 1 pm by boat on the day of the tournament, with the weigh-in taking place in St. Clair at the Voyageur Restaurant. Potential prize-winning catches will be open for viewing by the general public from 12:00 p.m. until 4:00 pm in the Voyageur’s parking lot, along with great prize raffles and activities for children or all ages. 

Proceeds from the tournament go to support various service projects benefitting the hearing and speech impaired and disadvantaged women and children in the Blue Water Area. 

You can register for the 2018 Blue Water Salmon Stakes at The Voyageur Restaurant and Anderson’s Pro Bait.  For more information visit the Blue Water Sportfishing Association on the web

St. Clair is also the host of the annual Blue Water Marbleye Classic which runs from May 18th through the 20th this year. On this weekend hundreds of fishermen drop their boats and lines into the quick and swift currents of the St. Clair River in hopes of landing the Hog-the biggest walleye during the annual tournament.  Visit the Marbleye Classic's Facebook page to register and to get the latest updates.

On Saturday, May 5th, many boats and hundreds of fishermen will be on the waters of Harbor Beach for the 2018 Can2Can Fishing Tournament. Hosted by the Thumb chapter of the Steelheaders, proceeds from this event go to help their Net Pen Project, which helps maintain and preserve the fish stock of the region. Visit the Can2Can website for more information and registration.

Harbor Beach is also home to the Pro King Fishing Tournament on Saturday, June 2th as well as where the Thumb Area Steel Headers host a Veterans Fishing Outing on June 9th.

Entering its 80th year in 2018, the Algonac Lions Club Pickerel Festival is one of the celebrations of its kind in the Blue Water Area. Running June 30 through July 4th this year, the festival not only includes daily cash prizes for the three largest fish but also a grand prize of $1,000 for the “whopper” which is awarded on the final day, as well as carnival rides, food and other family fun throughout the weekend. Visit the Algonac Pickerel Festival website for more information and how to register for the tournament.

July brings the 2nd Annual Captain's Memorial Summer Challenge in Grindstone City. This tournament, which honor's the fallen captain's of Lake Huron, runs July 27th through the 29th and will be offering over $15,000 in prizes.

The best of luck to all the anglers out there. Fish on!

Find out about more summertime things to do in the Blue Water Area on our events page

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Port Huron's St Paddy's Celebration

March 17th is St. Patrick's Day. It's a time for those who are Irish (or simply Irish at heart) to wear their best green and celebrate. With the things going on to commemorate the holiday in the Blue Water Area, celebrating is definitely on the agenda.

The party in Port Huron starts the week before on Saturday the 10th. In the morning you can raise your spirits and your heartbeat with the Y’s Leprechaun Loop in Port Huron at 9am.

Photo by Dale Merrill
Also at noon on Saturday, March 10th, the streets of Port Huron will be filled with the Celtic spirit when the St. Patrick's Parade starts at Pine Grove Park and then winds through downtown.

Following the parade, the revelry continues in Port Huron with the 2018 Pub Crawl. Purchase a wristband for $10 before 6pm on March 9th (after 6 they go up to $15) and ride the party buses to many watering holes in the city between 1pm and 7pm.

Many of the stops along the party bus route will have live entertainment.

At the Blue Water Convention Center on that day, it's St. "Practice" Day. There will be a selection of Irish eats such as corned beef and Reuben sandwiches. WBTI will be broadcasting LIVE from 1pm - 3pm, DJ YEO will be spinning tunes throughout the day and Toxic Candy will be providing live music between 2-5pm.

Just a hop away from the Convention Center, Freighters will have have the Family Tradition Band playing live between 1 and 6pm. Also, a special to pub crawlers only they will be serving up Pulled Pork Sliders for $1 and Mac and Cheese Cups for $3.

Ultimate Sounds DJ's will be at Rix's Rooftop. They will also be having drink and shot specials throughout the day and FREE Corned Beef Sliders with drink purchase.

At the Roche Bar, DJ's J-Me & Me II will have all the sounds to make you wanna get down!

DJ's will be bumping the beats of all sorts on both the main floor and upstairs at Blackfish through the day and into the evening too.

Tailgators starts off Pub Crawl afternoon with the live sounds of Chain Reaction. Following them is Homewrecker. Between sets, Lightning Larry will be on the DJ decks.

The Outpost will be rocking with 3 different bands on the stage throughout the festivities of the day. 86 Noodles kick it off early in the day. After them, Ulterior Motive takes the stage and the evening will be capped off with Blue Blaze.

Other establishments will have something special planned for the day. Watch our Facebook page for the latest updates.

Check out the map to see all the places the party buses are stopping. To hop on a bus, you need a wristband. They are available for $10 each til 6pm on March 9th ($15 after 6pm that night) and are available at all the participating pubs and the Blue Water Area CVB.

Use the hashtag #PHPubCrawl on your social media and share with the world about how your partied on the day.

There's also a couple other events happening in March in Port Huron to get you in the Irish spirit too.

The Citadel Stage is presenting The Irish Wake of Patty O'Toole weekends through St. Patrick's Day weekend. 

McMorran Place will have the party atmosphere of a Dublin pub on Friday, March 23rd when the Irish Comedy Tour comes to town.

To find out more about these events along with many other things happening in the Blue Water Area this month, Discover The Blue's event page.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

TBT: Breakers at North Shore (Lexington, Michigan)

The waves break along the shore in this undated postcard of Lexington, Michigan.

The sun rises over Lake Huron hence the name The Sunshine Town in the caption.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Getting Ready for the 2018 Port Huron St. Paddy's Pub Crawl

If you have not ever been out for the annual St. Paddy's Pub Crawl in Port Huron, you're missing out on one of the biggest parties the Blue Water Area has to celebrate the ending of winter and the eventual start of spring again.

This year it will be no different as twenty different locations participate festivities and the good times to be had by all on Saturday, March 10th.

Celebrate the Irish day in style by riding the St. Paddy's party buses to Port Huron's favorite pubs. All stops will have entertainment and lots of fun!

This year's participating pubs are:

Many stops will have entertainment and all a lot of fun planned.

So, right now you may be asking yourself "How can I manage to stop at all of them in one day?" Well, the Blue Water Area Convention and Visitors Bureau has arranged party buses to run in a continuous loop between 1 and 7pm, stopping at all the places above throughout the entire afternoon.

To get on the buses though, you need a wristband. They're available now at all the participating pubs and the Blue Water CVB offices for $10 each until 6pm on Friday, March 9th. After 6pm on that day, they go up to $15 per person.

Come on down to the port town. Sport your green and dig the St. Paddy's Pub Crawl scene.