Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Recap of 2011 UPtoberfest in Escanaba

Written by  Josh Marenger
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It’s been a few weeks since the 6th Annual UPtoberfest beer and wine festival in downtown Escanaba, and I can finally take enough of a breath to write a wrap-up article about it. Running even a smaller festival like this takes much more work than you might think! All of that work paid off on October 8th though, since this was by far the most successful UPtoberfest yet.
2011 broke records for both attendance as well as money raised for The United Way of Delta County. With over 400 attendees this year, UPtoberfest was able to raise a little over $3,000 for the charity. This was in part due to the gorgeous weather in downtown Escanaba, a balmy 71 degrees and sun shining.

There were also several new brewers in attendance, including Soo Brewing Company, New Holland Brewing Company, and Brewery Vivant. Returning breweries included Hereford&Hops, Keweenaw Brewing Company, Short’s, and Bell’s. Local wines were available from Threefold Vine Winery and Leigh’s Garden Winery.

Another big attraction was the food. Bobaloon’s, a local deli, was in attendance. They definitely stepped up their game this year, roasting a pig and a goat over an open fire. Beer-themed desserts were provided by the Sav-Mor deli.

The date for UPtoberfest 2012 has already been set for October 13th, although many of the details are still up in the air. Many great contacts were made in 2011 and that will facilitate even more breweries next year. We’ve even gotten a verbal ‘yes’ from two U.P./Northern MI breweries that will be opening soon, so of course that is quite exciting for everyone involved.

This was the 3rd year that my homebrew club, Bay de Noc Brewers, organized this festival and it has grown slowly every year. That’s just how we like it. Come see us in 2012!