Sunday, February 28, 2016

Eleventh Annual Winter Beer Festival in Comstock Park features warmer temperatures and over 1000 beers

Written by  Dan VanderKooi
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The 11th annual Winter Beer Festival was held Friday and Saturday, February 26th and 27th at Comstock Park’s Fifth Third Ball Park, just north of Grand Rapids. This year marked the second year of an expanded two day festival with the addition of a Friday afternoon session as the popular Saturday session continues to sell out very quickly each year. While last year’s event proved brutally cold with single digit temperatures and issues with freezing beer lines, this year’s festival featured much milder weather with temperatures reaching the mid 40’s.
This year’s festival featured over 1000 beers from more than 120 breweries. Live music for the event included The Concussions and Slim Gypsy Baggage and this year’s food was provided by the Whitecaps Concessions team. New Holland Brewing Co. offered up an impressive 17 different versions of their popular Dragon’s Milk Bourbon Barrel Age Stout for this year’s event. New breweries also impressed with some solid offerings. Examples include Trail Point Brewing Company with many barrel aged selections including the Drunken Hank BA Old Ale and Naughty Nana Rum Barrel Aged No-Bake Cookie Porter as well as Grand Amory Brewing with their Dewey Hill on Fire Serrano Ghost Pepper Amber Ale.

The Winter Beer Festival in Grand Rapids is the first of four official Michigan Brewer’s Guild events held throughout the year.The next scheduled event for 2016 is the Summer Beer Festival held in Ypsilanti’s Riverside Park on Friday and Saturday, July 22nd and 23rd. The Brewer’s Guild also holds two Fall Festivals; The U.P. Fall Beer Festival in Marquette on Saturday, September 10th and the Detroit Fall Beer Festival in October. Brewer’s Guild enthusiast members are entitled to pre-sale tickets and early VIP entry to Brewer’s Guild events. More information can be found via the following link:

Dan VanderKooi

Dan VanderKooi

Dan VK has been following the Michigan Craft Beer scene since before Oberon has been available in 6-packs. Besides making the rounds at all the local craft breweries and beer bars, Dan also supports the local music scene, reads crime fiction, and enjoys playing volleyball with his wife and friends.