Morning Buzz: 5 things to know for September 26

1. We're still in the early stages of fall, but the state of Michigan is ready for Christmas!

In fact, officials already have a tree! It's a 62-food spruce, and a couple from Alpena in the northern part of our lower peninsula donated it.

The tree will be cut down on October 25, and will be on display outside the capitol building in Lansing. There's a tree lighting ceremony set for November 16, as part of the annual Silver Bells in the city celebration.

 

2. This weekend, get free ice cream from a popular local company while checking out ArtPrize. Hudsonville Ice Cream is offering free tastings of the third flavor in their artisan collection: Ferris Coffee Caramel Cold Brew.

The giveaway is in celebration of National Coffee Day, which falls on Saturday.

The company will hand out free scoops at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids, from 12 to 3 p.m.

 

3. The Mitten Brewing Company from Grand Rapids took the Gold Medal from the 32nd annual Great American Beer Festival for its "West Coast Swing Amber."

The brew was up against more than 80 beers in the American-style amber/red ale category. More than 250 breweries took part in the festival in Denver last weekend, with more than 300 medals up for grabs.

Founder's Brewing took home two medals, and Bell's Eccentric Cafe and Thornapple Brewing took home one medal each.

 

4. Sick and tired of the beer industry's lack of pancake-infused beer offerings? Not to worry, because IHOP has you covered!

The chain, famous for its breakfast menu, has partnered with New York Brewery Keegan Ales to debut IHOP's Pumpkin Pancake stout. The stout is inspired by the pumpkin spice pancakes currently offered in restaurants.

The chain's stout is said to blend "IHOP's signature Buttermilk pancake batter mix with ingredients from its fall menu to obtain its unique flavor."

Unfortunately, those wishing to taste "IHOP" can't simply walk into their local restaurant to give it a try. The beer will only be available at certain distributors and festivals in the New York area.

 

5. Chocolate lovers will have even more options to choose from to satisfy that sweet tooth.

Mars announced Tuesday the launching of a new M&M flavor and candy bars. The new flavor is Hazelnut, but the bad news is that people have to wait until next April to try them.

Mars is also adding a new candy bar; it's a milk chocolate bar filled with five different flavors of mini M&M's. People can choose from peanut, milk chocolate, crispy, almond and crispy mint.

The new candy bars will come out this December.

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