The latest edition to Detroit City Distillery’s roster is Homegrown Rye.

Made using organic rye from a farm in Eaton County, the whiskey can be found at the distillery’s handsome Eastern Market tasting room, or in liquor stores across the state.

At the tasting room, bartenders serve the newly crafted spirit straight up for $8, or in a cocktail with fall flavors. Check out the Saturnine, made with Homegrown Rye, apple shrub, lapsang souchong (black tea), lemon and sarsaparilla.

The Back to Back drink has the rye mixed with roasted sweet potato, all spice and bitters. For something more fruity, try the Long Arm of the Law, made with fig preserves, cinnamon and lemon.

The Homegrown Rye, which is aged in freshly charred white American oak barrels is a good sipping whiskey, and has notes of caramel and spice. American rye whiskey should be made with at least 51 percent rye to get the title, as opposed to bourbon, which should be at least 51 percent corn. Rye tastes dryer and less sweet than bourbon.

The Detroit City Distillery, at 2462 Riopelle, also makes bourbon and vodka with Michigan-grown corn, plus gin and small batch gin.

Wine and dine at Vertical Detroit

Wine store, bar and restaurant Vertical Detroit opened last week in the Ashley building at 1538 Centre in Detroit.

Located around the corner from the Detroit Opera House, Vertical boasts more than 400 wines. Shop during the day starting at noon Mondays-Saturdays, or come in for dinner at 4 p.m. daily. The food menus are largely seasonal small plates, charcuterie and cheese boards, appetizers and desserts from Executive Chef Alex Knezevic.

Vertical Detroit will have 10 sommeliers on staff to help guests choose the perfect vino to drink with dinner or take home. The upscale spot will also have a monthly wine club. For $29.99 monthly, members will receive two unique wines per month.

Happy hour will be held 4-6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, starting Nov. 2, with $5 glasses of select wine and $1 off specialty cocktails.

Vertical Detroit — which has a modern and lush interior with a marble bar, exposed brick touches and heavy varnished wood tables — is owned by Jim Lutfy and his daughter, Remy Lutfy.


The Berkley Front has appeared to have closed. A decline in inventory had been hinting that the end was near, and at least one event scheduled for the live room upstairs was moved to another venue. Neither the owner or manager of the longtime neighborhood hangout could be reached for comment.

Congratulations to chef Eric Voigt of Big Rock Chophouse. He was named 2015 Pastry Chef of the year by the American Culinary Federation’s Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association. Admire his handy work (and his big trophy) at the restaurant, 245 S. Eton in Birmingham.

Tasting event Whiskey Business returns to the Royal Oak Farmers Market on Nov. 7. Besides brands from around the world, including single malt Scotch, bourbon and Irish whiskey, the party also has live music, cigars, food trucks and beer. Tickets for the event, which was sold out last year, can be purchased at or at ML Spirits at 33644 Woodward in Birmingham. Tickets are $50 for general session and includes 10 tastings; $70 for VIP which gets you in an hour early and 15 tastings; or $15 for the designated driver ticket.

Food & beverage events

Black Wine Dinner at Vinotecca: This blind tasting features eight wines served in blacked-out Reidel glasses, paired with small plates. 7-9:30 p.m. Thurs. $49, plus tax and tip. 417 S. Main, Royal Oak. (248) 544-6256.

Paranormal Dinner at the Whitney: A four-course dinner, tour of the mansion, carriage house and basement, plus a performance of “The Haunting of Broadway.” 6:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat. $100 plus tax and tip. 4421 Woodward, Detroit. (313) 832-5700.

Motor City Brew Tours Brewery Bus Tour in Detroit: Tickets include transportation to Jolly Pumpkin, Brew Detroit and Batch Brewing, plus a tour of each stop, a light lunch and beer samples. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 7. $55. Pick-up location is at 514 S. Lafayette, Royal Oak. or (248) 850-2563.

Metro Detroit 10 Alarm Chili Challenge at Casey’s Pub: A benefit for Detroit Firemen’s Benevolent Fund and Detroit Police Benefit and Protective Association, this second annual event is hosted by journalist Charlie LeDuff, American Coney Island owner Grace Keros and Dino’s owner Dean Bach. The public can sample the chili and vote on their favorite. Noon-6 p.m. Nov. 7. $10 donation. 1830 Michigan, Detroit. (313) 963-2440.

Wild Game Dinner at Mabel Gray: Chef James Rigato teams up with the Root’s chef Nick Rodgers for a five course meal featuring bison, rabbit, quail, venison and more. 7 p.m. Nov. 8. $100, includes wine pairings but tax and tip extra. 23825 John R, Hazel Park. (248) 398-4300.

Made in Michigan Craft Beer and Wine Festival at Diesel Concert Lounge: Locally-made beverages, plus bands and 50/50 raffle. 7 p.m. Nov. 20. $30 in advance, $35 at the door. 33151 23 Mile, Chesterfield Township. (586) 725-2228.

FestivALE at One-Eyed Betty’s: Christmas beer, comfort food and Americana music. Noon-midnight Nov. 21. $30 in advance. 175 W. Troy, Ferndale. (248) 808-6633.

Melody Baetens

Read or Share this story: