Monday, February 27, 2012

Recap of 2012 Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival

Written by  Barb Starr
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2012 Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival

On Saturday we attended the magnum opus of winter beer festivals which is the Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival. We took the Motor City Tours Company bus to the festival and I must say it's the way to go so you don't have to worry about driving after the festival.
Inside The  Tent at 2012 Winter Beer FestivalThe cold didn't stop 6000 plus craft beer enthusiasts from attending the 7th Annual Winter Beer Fest at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock (which is just north of Grand Rapids). Plus, I'm sure the array of high gravity beers helped soften the cold at least a little bit. It's truly amazing to see that many people enjoying Michigan beer and that this event has been sold out for a few months. There where so many special beer releases that it made my head spin. With 61 breweries showcasing over 450 beers there's a lot to choose from and really something for everyone. The theme of the day is predominately high gravity beers but there were still session beers available if you're not a fan of big beers.

The beers I had that stood out to me where the HopCat's Oil Rigger Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout, Mt. Pleasant's Coffee Stout, Greenbush's Rage Imperial Black IPA, Copper Canyon's Figgy Pud’n Baltic Porter & Bad Bear's MPA Brown IPA. I always go into the day with the list of beers that I want to try but unfortunately there are always beers that I'm unable to try. The beers that where on my list that I wasn't able to try where Founders CBS, Darkhorse Bourbon Barrel 666 & Darkhorse Bourbon Barrel Plead the 5th and if you where able to try those you are the lucky ones. For the most part I choose not to wait in lines because there's always breweries that don't have long line and still have great beer.

Just a few of the many characters at 2012 Winter Beer FestivalAs usual this was a fantastically run event and the Michigan Brewers Guild did a great job. The lines for most of the breweries where short for the most part unless it was a special beer release. As cold as it was outside there where still plenty of places to go to warm up. When we started to get a little chilled we checked out the food concessions and like last year they had turkey legs, pasties & burgers. I look forward to getting the beef pasty every year at The Winter Beer Fest. On the cold winter day the pasty just hits the spot.

One of the great things about the festival was getting to see a lot of people that I have met along the Beer Hound journey from brewers to fellow beer bloggers to followers of the site. I couldn't think of a better way to spend a February day than being outside with good conversation, great beer and electric atmosphere. I always look forward to this event every year and I would suggest buying your tickets early if you want to attend The Winter Beer Fest next year.


To See More Photos From 2012 Winter Beer Fest CLICK HERE