Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Recap of 2015 Winter Beer Festival

Written by  Dan VanderKooi
Rate this item
(1 Vote)

dan winter beer fest recap 2015

This year’s Winter Beer Fest featured the debut of an expanded two day festival. Whereas previous festivals have sold-out quickly, the additional day guaranteed everyone wanting to go was able to get in this year. I took a bus from Muskegon with a group of friends for the well attended (but not sold out) first day of the festivities. This year’s event included 1000+ beers from over 100 breweries as Michigan’s craft beer scene continues to grow at almost seemingly exponential proportions. New breweries I visited this year included (but were certainly not limited to) new local favorites such as Pigeon Hill and Fetch Brewing Company of Muskegon and Railtown Brewing Company of Dutton.
While last year, I purposefully sought out beers from Fermenta, the Women’s Craft Collective, this year their beers were everywhere with 19 different collaborative brews including Black RyeVtron Black Rye PA from Unruly Brewing, Pale Ale with Beets from Harmony Brewing Company, and Honey IPA Super Bon Bon from Hudsonville’s Pike 51. Rockford Brewing was also one of my favorites stops for this year with the AHA collaboration Heavy Medal Belgian Golden with cider and honey, the Mittenbrew collaboration Grandma’s Cookies Oatmeal Raisin Amber, and their new Shanty Warmer Russian Imperial Stout. Other favorites for me included B.O.B.’s Brewery Maple-aged Peanut Butter Brittle Porter and Dunk the Monk Bourbon-Age Quad from Sparta’s Cellar Brewing.

The Whitecaps Concessions team provided food for this year’s event ranging from vegan pasties to burgers, dogs, and turkey legs. Entertainment for Friday was provided by local instrumentalists The Concussions. Saturday marked the second day of the event and similar to past year’s that day did sell out fast and concluded the 10th year of the ever-expanding Winter Beer Fest with continued success.

Make sure to save the dates on your calendar for upcoming Brewer’s Guild events. The Summer Festival at the Riverside Park in Depot Town, Ypsilanti has been scheduled for Friday July 24th and Saturday July 25th of 2015. Also forthcoming is the annual U.P. Fall Festival at Mattson Lower Harbor Park in Marquette on Saturday September 12th and the Detroit Fall Festival at the Eastern Market on Friday October 23rd and Saturday October 24th. Don’t forget that Enthusiast Members are eligible for pre-sale tickets two days in advance of public sales and VIP status including one hour early entry at each of the festivals.

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.