Monday, May 04, 2015

Recap of 2nd Annual Beerfest at the Ballpark at Lansing’s Cooley Law School Stadium

Written by  Dan VanderKooi
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A beautiful Spring day awaited those attending this year’s 2nd Annual Beerfest at the Ballpark at Lansing’s Cooley Law School Stadium. VIP entry began at 2 PM with general admission at 3 PM which included a commemorative glass along with tasting tickets for 50 different breweries and cideries setup both inside and outside the park and over 200 beers, ciders, and spirits to choose from. Live music was also featured outside the park with many food options to be found inside.
Many standout beers were among the choice selections for this year’s Beerfest. Among the first beers to go was the Blushing Monk Raspberry Belgian Ale from Founders, whereas other speciality releases such as Bell’s Boiling Pot Ale was a timed release available for later during the fest. Rockford Brewing featured the I’m a Beer Hound collaboration The Maestro (named after Paul Starr’s dog) which is an easy-drinking Brown Ale with black walnuts and Madagascar vanilla beans. The Maestro was also offered in cask with the addition of Tahitian and Indian vanilla beans.

The Beer Grotto in Lansing hosted an I’m a Beer Hound meetup and Rockford Brewing tap takeover earlier in the week featuring the debut of the Maestro. The Beer Grotto also debuted their own collaboration IPA with Short’s Brewing Company for the Beerfest event which include a contest to come up with a name for the beer. Other standout beers and breweries for this year’s Beerfest included (but certainly were not limited to) the Bon Papa Farmhouse IPA from Brewery Vivant and Sparta’s Cellar Brewing brought the biggest variety of taps.

Many cideries were also featured for this year’s event including Meckley’s Cidery and Farmhaus Cider Co. I was very impressed with the Halbitter Semi-sweet cider from Farmhaus. The food for the event was provided by the Lansing Lugnuts’ own vendors which included quality burgers from Burgertopia and gourmet pizza from Pies. The live music for this year’s event had a decidedly country slant and featured sets from Brian Lorente and the Usual Suspects, Bittercreek, and Joe Wright.

In addition to the many breweries and cideries at this year’s beerfest, vendors included Beer City Glass, Buffalo Wild Wings, Tin Can Bar, and Beer City Spring Fest among many others. Lansing based charity Old Newsboys receives a portion of the proceeds from Beerfest at the Ballpark to help provide shoes and boots for deserving children. I’m a Beer Hound will also be partnering with Quarterline Media for this year’s first ever Beerfest on the Bridge to be held in downtown Portland on the site of the historical Veteran’s Memorial Bridge. The event will be held on Saturday, August 1st and will feature craft beer & cider as well as live music and local food.

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.