Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Recap of Saturday at the 17th Annual Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival

Written by  Dan VanderKooi
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 mgb summer recap 2014
The 17th Annual Michigan’s Brewer’s Guild Summer Beer Festival at Riverside Park in Depot Town, Ypsilanti this year featured over 800 Michigan craft beer selections.
Greenbush brewery set the record for this year’s festival offering approximately 50 different beers including an impressive variety of barrel aged brews. My wife & I attended the Saturday event, the second of two sold-out days at the park and found plenty of variety from breweries both new and old to sample for the festival.

Some of the highlights of Saturday’s releases and special tappings included the always classic Peanut Butter Porter from B.O.B.’s brewery, backstage favorite Mango Magnifico from Founders, and the Rye Baby Imperial from the Mitten Brewing Co. Other personal favorites for me included the Hoppy Braggot from B. Nektar Meadery, Big in Japan Session IPA from Cranker’s, and Hopped for Your Pleasure dry-hopped ale from Our Brewing. Vander Mill Cider included their own beer on tap as well as a “Cider March” rotating through 10 different ciders during the festival’s 2 days while the Perrin beer bus was on hand with the Cooper’s series of wood-aged beers.

Also new this year was a series of beers from a variety of breweries produced in conjunction with Fermenta: Michigan Women’s Craft Collective. Highlights included a Belgian Vanilla Bean Stout from Hudsonville’s Pike 51, It’s About Thyme IPA from Short’s Brewing, and a smoked peach Kombucha beer from Unity Vibration. Breweries not only provided beverage for the event, but also the sustenance. Popular food vendors included B.O.B.’s brewery with smoked brisket tacos and chicken sausage pitas as well as vegetarian options and Khunhenn’s Dan “the Smokin’ Man” with turkey legs and smoked chicken and beef. MillKing It Produtions offered up pulled pork sandwiches while Palate, a beer bar and restaurant featuring 32 craft drafts was on hand with ribs and handcut fries. Also not to be missed, Sherwood Brewing Company made the beer fest rounds with their Ice Cream and Beer Gelato Cart.

Saturday’s stage included performances from the Reefermen and DJ Danny Boy while the highlight for me was Detroit’s own 90’s rockers Sponge which featured frontman Vinnie Dombroski along with a newer version of the band. If you missed out on the weekend’s festivities, or else couldn’t get enough, make sure to check out the U.P. Fall Beer Festival on Saturday, September 6 at Mattson Lower Harbor Park in Marquette or else the Detroit Fall Festival on Friday and Saturday, October 24th and 25th at the Eastern Market in Detroit.

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.