Thursday, May 15, 2014

Successful Beer Week Model Expands Coverage To Ypsilanti And Ann Arbor

Written by  Paul Starr
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Craft Beer is everywhere, it seems, and the cities of Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor will soon be host to Michigan’s next Beer Week. Slated for August 1-9, 2014, Ypsi-Arbor Beer Week will feature craft beer events in area restaurants, bars, and retail establishments.
Fashioned after the model initiated by Kalamazoo-based beer and wine distributor Imperial Beverage in Kalamazoo and Traverse City, each event will feature craft beer, and will have some programmed element with craft beers presented by brewers or brewery representatives. Of this model, Imperial Beverage’s Regional Sales Manager Peter Meloche says, “Having the person that made the beer, or a representative of the brewery itself, adds to the authenticity of the events, and makes them more desirable for attendees. They’ll be able to interact with staff of breweries from Michigan (and as far away as California or New York); people that they wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to meet.”

It’s not just the people in attendance that will make events exciting. Ypsi-Arbor Beer Week will feature hard-to-find beers, tap take-overs, brewer presentations, beer dinners, and more. “There is no limit to how fun—and sometimes quirky—these events will be. We encourage host locations to plan events that are centered around craft beer and fun. We invite speakers to present that will appeal to those that might identify as “beer geeks.” In some cases, we’ve had movie, bowling, or bingo nights with our brewers. Very little is considered off the table when planning beer week events,” says Anne Drummond, Imperial Beverage Marketing and PR Director.

But equally important to what beer lovers will find at Ypsi-Arbor Beer Week is also what they won’t find. “YABW is not a gathering of 4,000 of your closest friends under a tent to taste beers in a third party location. Those events are great, but that’s not what this is,” says Drummond. “Ypsi-Arbor Beer Week will drive consumers to places where craft beer is shared, sold, consumed and loved already—area bars, restaurants, and retailers.”

Ypsi-Arbor Beer Week was created by (initiators) Imperial Beverage, in partnership with Ypsilanti Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Ypsilanti), Ann Arbor Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Rave Associates. Together, the cooperative will recruit area restaurants and retailers to plan events, connect them with brewers and breweries, and promote the list of events, which will be posted at (the now under development website) www.visitypsinow.com/yabw. The events will also be promoted through facebook and twitter, and will use hashtag #yabw2014. The craft breweries or cider houses of Short’s, Epic Brewing, Vander Mill, Atwater, Lagunitas, Southern Tier, Liberty Street, Left Hand Brewing Company, and Anderson Valley Brewing Company have already signed on to participate, and more are being added every day.
Paul Starr

Paul Starr

Paul Starr is the creator of the I'm a Beer Hound and one of the organizer and the driving force behind Art & Craft Beerfest, Lansing Beer Fest, Beerfest at the Ballpark Spring & Fall. When he's not working on Beer Hound he's probably watching the Lions, Tigers or Red Wings. Being a recent new Dad of twins, he doesn't have much extra time these days for mischief.