Tag Archives: Michigan

New Beer’s Eve: Six client beers

Among the many joys of working with beer, wine and restaurant clients, we learn quite a bit of great trivia. Like the fact that April 6 is celebrated by some as an unofficial U.S. holiday, “New Beer’s Eve.”

Vinotecca, Wine

Other perks include the occasional chance to catch one of Vinotecca’s monthly wine dinners.

Some basic research tells us that shortly after the end of U.S. Prohibition, the sale of beer became legal once again on April 7, 1933. Anticipating their first legal sip of beer in over 13 years, people lined up outside of taverns and breweries on April 6 to await midnight – making April 6 New Beer’s Eve.

If you’re looking to celebrate New Beer’s Eve, here are six of our clients’ new beers and signature classics that you can enjoy on April 6:

1. Buddy Brew at Buddy’s Pizza

Created in partnership with Griffin Claw Brewing Co., Buddy Brew is an American Pale Wheat Ale brewed with coriander and grapefruit peel, which perfectly complements their original Detroit-style square pizza. With a bright golden yellow color reminiscent of freshly baked pizza dough, the beer charms taste buds with a smooth, subtle sweetness to balance the richness of Buddy’s classic pizza flavors.

Buddy Brew became available in January and can be found at Buddy’s eight full service locations across metro Detroit in Auburn Hills, Dearborn, Detroit, Farmington Hills, Livonia, Novi, Warren and Shelby Township.

Detroit-style pizza, Buddy Brew

So many great flavors from Buddy’s in one photo.

2. Biere de Mars at Jolly Pumpkin Detroit

Biere de Mars is a seasonal flanders-style sour clocking in at 7% ABV — quite sour, and a standout among American wild ales. Its malty sweetness is balanced by firm oak notes, and the aroma hints sour cherries and light vanilla. As this beer warms, it opens up to reveal flavors reminiscent of leather, apricots, pears and wet leaves.

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales are created by master brewer Ron Jeffries. Check out more Jolly Pumpkin Detroit beer here.

Jolly Pumpkin, Beer, Taps

There’s no shortage of great options on tap at Jolly Pumpkin Detroit.

3. Annie’s Spring Elixer at Grizzly Peak Brewing Co. in Ann Arbor

Annie’s Spring Elixer is a classic peppery and buoyant Farmhouse Ale made with 100% Michigan hops. This lighter, refreshing beer is a seasonal option for spring time, with 5.8% ABV.

Grizzly Peak’s beers are created by head brewer Duncan Williams. Check out more Grizzly Peak beer here.

Grizzly Peak Brewing Co., Beer Sampler, Beer Flight

Or you can always go for the variety of a sampler. Photo: Grizzly Peak Brewing Co. Facebook.

4. Sprechen Sie IPA at Old German in Ann Arbor

Sprechen Sie IPA is an American India Pale Ale made with German hops. The beer has a clean malt and a spicy, earthy hop – as opposed to the citrusy, fruity flavor of American hops.

Old German’s beers are created by head brewer Duncan Williams. Check out more Old German beer here.

Old German , beer

There’s no better place to grab a stein than Old German. Photo: Old German Facebook.

5. Cherry Imperial Stout at Bastone Brewery in Royal Oak

A strong beer with subtle fruitiness and a hint of cherry juice, Bastone’s Cherry Imperial Stout is a seasonal offering with 8.75% ABV.

Bastone’s beers are created by brewer Rockne Van Meter. Check out more Bastone beer here.

Bastone Brewery, Cherry Imperial Stout, Beer

Cherry Imperial Stout, pictured on the bar at Bastone Brewery.

6. Wittekerke at Monk Beer Abbey in Royal Oak

Monk Beer Abbey is the place to find Belgian style beers, with offerings like Wittekerke, an authentic Belgian wheat ale with 5% ABV, created by De Brabandere Brouwerij in Belgium. Monk rotates kegs of beers like Wittekerke, regularly changing up what’s available.

Check out more of Monk’s beer selection here.

Monk Beer Abbey, Belgian Style Beer

While you’re enjoying a glass of Belgian style, Monk’s unique décor doesn’t disappoint.

Enjoy responsibly, and happy New Beer’s Eve from Franco and our beer and restaurant clients!

Sarah Kornacki is an assistant account executive and Marie Stawasz is a senior account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. Connect with Franco PR on Facebook and Twitter @FrancoPRGroup


Building Relationships through Community Involvement: Tips from Franco CEO Dan Ponder

Celebrating 30 years with Franco Public Relations Group, our CEO Dan Ponder has cemented himself as a business leader in Detroit. But Franco is far from his only commitment in the region. Ponder is also an active member of the community, serving in leadership positions for organizations throughout the state, including the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, St. John Providence Health System, The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division, Crime Stoppers of Michigan and the United States Army.

As public relations professionals, our careers are based on building strong relationships, whether they are with the media, clients and their audiences or the community as a whole. I sat down with Dan to gain a better understanding of how his leadership positions have shaped his career.

Ponder has selected the organizations that he serves in the community based on topics that he is passionate about: promotion of business in the community, creating a connected regional community for businesses of all sizes and giving a voice to those in need.

With Crime Stoppers and The Salvation Army, Ponder works with other board members to improve services for those in need in Detroit and the surrounding communities. These organizations improve our region by addressing key concerns of crime, safety and poverty in Metro Detroit by providing a support system to those who need it – an objective that Ponder is passionate about addressing.

2012: Franco CEO, Dan Ponder named to the Metropolitan Detroit Advisory Board of The Salvation Army.

2012: Franco CEO, Dan Ponder named to the Metropolitan Detroit Advisory Board of The Salvation Army.

With organizations like the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Ponder works to build relationships between Michigan businesses of all sizes.

“Michigan’s businesses depend on one another to share their skill sets and work toward shared missions,” said Ponder. “It is important that businesses of all sizes get involved in the community to work together and ensure our collective voice is heard by policy-makers and community leaders.”

This regional view of the business community has changed the way that Ponder views the community. The business and community decisions made in Detroit have an important impact throughout the state and region, and through his community involvement, Ponder has applied this knowledge to all aspects of his work, whether that means daily operations at Franco, or his work to build a healthy community in our region.

Dan Ponder’s involvement includes a wide range of organizations working to improve the regional community and business climate.

Dan Ponder’s involvement includes a wide range of organizations working to improve the regional community and business climate.

Ponder also shared his advice for those interested in becoming more involved in their community through leadership roles:

“Make sure the organization is something you’re passionate about that can also tie to your own career and organizational goals. I believe actively participating in all of the organizations I work with, and it helps to engage when the organization is working toward similar goals to your own.”

Ultimately, community involvement is a win-win-win for public relations professionals. Engaging with other leaders in the region leads to an improved community, stronger relationships and increased cooperation between businesses for a strong regional business climate.

Dan Horn is a senior account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach him at (313) 567-5008 or horn@franco.com.

Re: View Detroit – Corktown

Not only is Corktown Detroit’s oldest neighborhood, its tenants are known for putting Detroit on the national food and entertainment map. Here’s a photo* tour of the most acclaimed spots in this quaint and quirky district:

*Disclaimer: due to Michigan springtime, these photos are a bit drab…but trust me, the neighborhood is anything but.








The soup and sandwiches at Mudgie’s Deli are the bomb. Don’t believe me? Just ask…anyone. The menu is packed full of local products, organic ingredients and combinations to satisfy any diet restriction. Personal fave: Sho’Nuff. Description: house roasted turkey breast, Neuske’s nitrate free cherrywood smoked bacon, house-made strawberry cream cheese, baby spinach and Slow Jams strawberry preserves on multi-grain bread.

Train Station






Unfortunately, photos of Michigan Central Station have defined Detroit in many national publications. Symbolizing demise, ruin and neglectful management, this building has been vacant since the late-1980s but has seen some updates as of late: the installation of three windows! No one has been able to pinpoint what these “renovations” mean. Hopefully owner and transportation emperor Matty Moroun will dish soon.

Slows BBQ








Oh Slows Bar BQ, you have captured the tastebuds of foodies from numerous national media outlets including the Travel Channel’s Adam Richman, The New York Times and National Geographic Traveler. I’m only somewhat ashamed to say that I’ve only ever ordered the Yardbird. It is the BEST sandwich I have ever had; chicken, cheese, mushrooms and magic on Texas toast. If you haven’t been to Slows yet, go.








For me, Nemo’s is nostalgia. They make a mean (and cheap) beef patty that is the perfect complement to a pre-game brew. Bonus: shuttle service. Nestled just a few blocks from the empty lot that once was Tiger Stadium, this place used to be the go-to spot before Detroit Tiger’s games and for many still is. In my family, we stop at Nemo’s before we go to any sporting event in Detroit.

Green Dot Stables







Green Dot Stables, or GDS as we’ve nicknamed it, is a favorite after-work joint. They have amazing and weird sliders. For around $10, you can mix and match a few burgers and enjoy a local craft beer all in under 30 minutes. Must try: the Korean, PB and J and whatever the “Mystery Meat” of the day is.
So, what I’m trying to say is I really like the food Corktown has to offer. See also: Sugar House, Astro Coffee and Mercury Burger Bar.

Here’s what some notable out-of-towners have to say about Corktown:
• bon appétit: Eat, stay, drink, fuel, snack, repeat.
• Wall Street Journal: “Young entrepreneurs have homed in on Corktown’s main drag, which is now dotted with small businesses: a nationally acclaimed barbecue joint, a burger bar, a craft-cocktail nightspot and a hip coffee shop.”
• Martha Stewart online: “Today, the entire block is bustling with new businesses. Charming side streets lined with candy-colored Victorians and a vibrant food scene.”

Genna Young is an account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at (313) 567-5014 or young@franco.com. Follow her on Twitter at @GennaYoung.

Re: View Detroit – Franco tours downtown one bite at a time

Motown, Hockeytown, the D, Motor City – we all know I’m talking about Detroit and I don’t know about you, but I’m awfully tired of our city being the poster-child for post-industrial demise. Instead, (as usual) I choose the “glass half-full” outlook; I look at this city through rose-colored glasses, seeing every misfortune as an opportunity for change, because after all, change is growth and growth is success.


So, every few weeks I’m going to break down the most popular neighborhoods in Detroit in an effort to highlight the hot spots and expose some hidden gems. I’m kicking off the series with the neighborhood Franco calls home: downtown.

Franco’s office has been located in the GM Renaissance Center since it was built in 1977 (and we’ve been downtown since we were founded in 1964!). Michigan’s tallest building, the RenCen is filled with places to eat, shop and stay and is located along the Detroit RiverWalk, an awesome place to grab lunch or take a stroll. The riverfront also plays host to numerous events when the Michigan weather decides to play nice.

One of my other favorite outdoor spots downtown is Campus Martius Park, the place I consider the heart of downtown. It’s located along Woodward Ave. and is a beautiful place to go in both the winter and summer months. The Campus Martius district alone is comprised of 20,000 office employees (and growing thanks to Dan Gilbert and the whole Detroit Venture Partners team), 750 residents, 50 retail shops and more than 35 places to get your eat on.

Speaking of food, here’s our Franco-complied list of must-taste foods in the downtown district:

  • Shawarma from Bucharest Grill – this is my personal favorite. Immediately after finishing one of these bad boys I want to rewind life so I can re-enjoy it. Most of my coworkers would agree.
  • Saganaki from Pegasus Taverna – who doesn’t love a little flaming cheese? This is my family’s go-to restaurant in Greektown.
  • Lafayette Coney Island – Sara Bloomberg says, “a coney, no onions and well done chili fries. A Bloomberg tradition on a hot, late summer night. We’d pack in the car and head downtown for a coney dog.” It’s always been Lafayette for me. What about you – American or Lafayette?
  • Paella at Vincente’s Cuban Cuisine – both Tina Kozak and Stephanie Casola noted this as one of their favorite dishes in Detroit. Tina says, “Paella at Vincente’s is the closest you can get to Spain. I’m a paella snob. I know this for certain.”
  • Burger at Honest John’s –We suggest the regular fixins (i.e. cheese, lettuce tomato). They don’t do fancy, but it’s one of the best burgers around.
  • I’ve also heard the newly revamped and reopened London Chop House is excellent – I’ve yet to dig deep into my pocketbook for that meal, though.
  • Sushi overlooking the Detroit River right here at Joe Muer Seafood in the RenCen. The view from both inside and on the patio is pretty amazing.
  • Finally, helloooo goat cheese mac during happy hour at Roast. And that Roast Burger with the Quail Egg. Don’t get me started.

We could go on, but let’s not. My mouth is watering.

If you’re looking to make your way around downtown, you should give the Detroit People Mover a whirl. It’s just 75 cents a ride and drops you just steps away from almost all of the downtown hot spots like Comerica Park, Ford Field, Detroit Opera House, Joe Louis Arena, Fox Theater, The Fillmore Detroit, Greektown (not just the casino), the GM RenCen and more. Or take a hike! Around the city that is. Unlike many other big cities, most of Detroit’s downtown attractions are within walking distance of each other.

Can’t get enough Detroit? If you hurry, you can snag the August City Guide issue of HOUR Magazine. It’s all about Detroit. In addition, here are some of my favorite sites to follow: Dig Downtown, Curbed Detroit, Positive Detroit and HuffPost Detroit.

Genna Young is an assistant account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at (313) 567-5014 or young@franco.com. Follow her on Twitter at @GennaYoung.