About me

Hi! Thanks for reading a little bit about me. I’m sincerely flattered! So, I love to write, and I love local food and craft beer. Fortunately for me, Michigan offers ample opportunities to indulge in fresh, delectable cuisine and world-class beer and wine. Protecting and preserving the environment is another lifelong passion of mine, and eating and drinking local offerings falls perfectly into line with this goal.

I was a Michigan transplant; I grew up a Jersey girl, a bridge-and-tunnel girl, and moved to Michigan for college in 1995. After graduation, I lived in Chicago, the Netherlands and New Jersey once again before finally moving back to Grand Rapids in 2001. I then lived in the woods south of Jackson with my husband, our sons and our two dogs. People may think that Michigan doesn’t have a lot going for it, and I’ll admit I once thought the same; and yes, it’s been rough for this state. But the Michigan craft beer culture is absolutely outstanding and the local food movement is growing all the time. I learned to embrace the charms of the Midwest and revel in exploring the tastes of the Great Lakes state. Career demands recently drew my little family just across the border to Toledo, Ohio, but I believe we’ll be back in the Mitten some day soon.

As a freelance writer, I contributed to the Michigan Beer Guide for more than five years; other steady gigs included architecture pieces for Grand Rapids Magazine and the Brew column for Revue magazine when I lived in GR. I write both as Brenda Woods and Brenda Cooke (my maiden name). To view a wide selection of my professional writing, please visit my career-oriented blog.

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Published on September 6, 2009 at 5:29 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Brava~
    What a great piece on “nectar of the gods”.More beer – of all calibers – will be consumed in San Francisco in the next 3 days – than B4.
    Good job!
    Page Larkin SF Examiner

  2. Just came across your site and am looking forward to seeing updates. I’m a lifelong Chicagoan transplanted to A2 a few years ago and can attest to the local beer scene being amazing. The food scene is getting there, although a little slower for than I would like… I humbly submit my blog – http://www.foodandwinehedonist.com – for your enjoyment. I don’t blog enough about beer (outside of summer Beer Fest), but that’s on my radar.

  3. I’m a retired Navy Chief and love the introduction of the microbrew culture. I’m currently residing in Madison Wi home to unlimited micro’s and great foods. We are currently in the process of moving back to Michigan, Chelsea area. My interests are exporing all areas of the microbrews culture without actually making it. Chelsea has a new micropub that opened 6 weeks I hope it survives….beers are not very good…hope they improve…Keep up the good work in enlightening people to help these establishments to exist….love people who enjoy this art form.


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