Michigan Food Finds

Beer and Salsa

Essence on Main in historic downtown Clarkston has a beer tasting the third Thursday of every month. I usually have grand plans to attend and life jumps in the way with kid’s events, work travel or our adult league sports (yes, my husband and I still get out there and play). But, last night we escaped for an hour from the mayhem of our family’s schedule to sample a local beer and snack.

A great proponent of local foods, Essence on Main is my go to place to pick up local honey, beer or a sweet treat and has been in the community for almost a decade. They also have a full take out menu headed by Chef Joan Donnay with house made salads, soups, sandwiches and Crust baked goods.


The local beer being poured for the tasting was from Boatyard Brewing Company out of Kalamazoo. We tasted four beers: Kalamazoo Cream Ale, Frosted Harbor Raspberry Wheat, Midnight Star Black Cream Ale and Haze Sunset New England IPA. Boatyard is a true craft brewery that uses traditional ingredients in innovative ways. Ingredients like Waimea hops, caramel and black malt produces tastes and aromas that are specific to the brewmasters creativity. While all were very drinkable, we agreed upon a four pack of cream ale to take home.


My Salsa was our snack for the evening. Launched in 2016, My Salsa is a garden vegetable, no added sugar salsa offered in a variety of heats. We sampled all five flavors ranging from mild to x-hot. I braved all the heats with the promise that the x-hot—made with Carolina Reaper and Scorpion peppers—wouldn’t “melt off my face.” I did survive the x-hot with my face intact though took home the mild spicy for my family to enjoy

At the end of the event, I found my husband over by the wall of wines. He wasn’t aware of the great selection of wines at Essence on Main. I’m thinking that our next night out should be for Essence’s monthly wine tasting.

—Pam Aughe, R.D.

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