Beer competition benefits local center Cognition | Food

BEULAH — A little beer, a little magic and voila: Five Shores Brewing hosts “Brewmasters,” a charity event on June 29 to benefit Cognition Science & Discovery Center.

Local celebrities brewed special beers, which will be sampled at the event. A winner will be determined by the end of the night.

Throughout the tasting event, magician Ben Whiting plans to entertain while serving as emcee.

“We’ll definitely do a little magic and mind reading, and we’ll have some fun,” said the Traverse City-based Whiting. “The majority of what I did when I was a full-time entertainer is mind reading.”

He said mind reading requires “years of practice and self denial.”

“The important thing is to make sure people leave knowing how magical Cognition is,” Whiting said. “My job is less about entertaining and more about using entertainment to connect an audience with a message.”

Cognition opened as a nonprofit in late 2016 in Beulah. The museum-style center is full of interactive exhibits that offer science-based learning opportunities for children.

Cognition promotes exploration and inquiry, said Executive Director and Co-Founder Kimmee (Wenkel) Miller. The exhibits explore activities including coding, robotics, art, kinesthetic exploration and animal discovery, she added.

After moving into a new building in 2019 (which they received as a gift) and expanding hours post COVID, “things have been growing rapidly. We have been seeing record guest numbers and are wrapping up five great grant projects,” Miller said.

The idea for Cognition began in 2015 when Miller had a part-time job, four little ones at home and a hobby farm, “so I thought it was a bit out of reach,” she said. Her mom, Laura Stanwick, had just retired from a career as an occupational therapist but was her main motivator.

“My mom has been encouraging me and helping make this magic happen the whole time,” Miller said. “Most recently titled the assistant director and ‘head zookeeper,’ she is now hoping to officially retire again this summer, and I think we are in shape to let her do so, as long as she visits often.”

the beer

Along with the magic and mind reading, attendees can expect beer at the fundraiser.

Oliver Roberts, co-founder at Five Shores Brewery, is also a board member at Cognition. He organized six celebrity brewers “to design the best beer that represents them,” he said.

At the event, each guest will get a flight of all six brews. They also receive a QR code to cast their vote for their favorite flavor with their designated voting number.

“They will also have an opportunity to buy extra votes if they feel especially passionate — after all, it’s for charity,” Miller said.

The winner gets the Brewmaster title and a trophy, and their beer will be named and on tap at Five Shores.

Contestants and beers:

  • Contestant 1 — Matt Smith, golf professional at Crystal Downs Country Club.

Roberts said, “He is also an avid homebrewer, which makes this the perfect competition for him. Matt’s beer is focused on summer in northern Michigan to highlight the weather and one of the best things you can pick yourself when the time is right.”

Blueberry Double Cream Ale — A bit of a heavier version of the classic American style with a fruity twist.

  • Contestant 2 — Doug Rodriguez, president and owner of Honor & Onekama Building Supply.

Roberts said, “He is a BIG fan of Five Shores’ beer and helping out in the community whenever he can. From Benzie County, he wanted to brew a beer that really speaks to the spirit of the county.”

Smoked Maple Porter — “This dark beer is full of campfire-y and comforting breakfast vibes: not too sweet, a little smoky and very Doug,” Roberts said.

  • Contestant 3 — Ray Knox, general manager at Lucky Dog Bar & Grille in Beulah.

“He is a veteran beer procurement specialist having worked at several places creating incredible tap lists with some of the most unique and sought after beers around,” Roberts said.

Pineapple New England IPA — Lucky Dog is usually rich in IPAs on their tap list, Roberts said. “This ubiquitous and enduring style of beer has become a staple in the American craft beer landscape, and Ray wanted to brew what the masses want … with a little tropical flair.”

  • Contestant 4 — Jeff and Julie Bretzke, owners of Nugent Ace Hardware in Benzonia. Roberts said, “Jeff and Julie … love trivia night at Five Shores, as well as a cold glass of the Local Legend Lager.”

Margarita Lager — “This experimental beer was brewed to mix some of their favorite drinks. A clean lager beer aged on tequila-soaked oak chips with a blend of house-made margarita mix. This very summery beer is sure to make you say ‘Salud!’” Roberts said.

  • Contestant 5 — Rich Brauer, local filmmaker

Roberts said “Rich is the mastermind behind the best films EVER made: ‘Dogman,’ ‘Dogman 2: Wrath of the Litter’ and the recently announced third installment ‘Dogman 3: Fight to the Finish.’ Brauer is also on the board of directors at Cognition. Need we say more?”

Coffee and Chocolate Imperial Stout — “Big, bold and dangerous … this terrifyingly delicious stout is gonna make you wanna binge watch the first two films ASAP,” Roberts said.

  • Contestant 6 — Amy, Ed and Cole Schindler

Roberts said, “This trio is all about Benzie County: Ed is the managing partner at Baird and head of the Schindler Appleford Group as well as the Frankfort head football and women’s track coach. Amy serves on several area boards including POMH Foundation, the Garden Theater and Frankfort Board of Education. Their son Cole is a recent graduate of Albion College and is part of the Schindler Appleford Group.”

Cucumber Belgian Witbier — “With a respectful nod to our brewing friends at Stormcloud Brewing Company in Frankfort, this classic Belgian-style wheat beer was brewed with a refreshing touch of freshly juiced cucumbers. Clean and flavorful with the always smile-making flavor of cucumbers.”

Roberts added that Five Shores’ normal menu is available at the event.

“We are known food wise for our big Bavarian pretzel covered in Everything Bagel Seasoning and we recently added crunch wraps to our menu with either Cuban Pork, shredded chicken or Korean BBQ Jackfruit,” Roberts said.

Find Five Shores’ current beer and food menu at fiveshoresbrewing.com/menu. Tickets can be purchased online here.

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