Monday, July 27, 2015

Recap Of Summer Beer Fest In Ypsilanti's Riverside Park

Written by  Dan VanderKooi
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summer beerfest ypsi 2015

This year marked the 18th year of the annual Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Fest and featured over 100 Michigan breweries with 1,000+ beers. The event was held in Ypsilanti’s Depot Town Riverside Park and sold out for both the Friday and Saturday of the 2-day festival. Breweries were spread out among 4 different beer tents, with additional locations along the river and also located in the “Back 40’. An entertainment stage included a full lineup of live music and food vendors (including several breweries) were on hand to provide well-needed nourishment of the non-liquid variety.
Sawyer’s Greenbush Brewing’s beer lineup has made an impression at past year’s festivals and this year their lineup was no exception offering up over 30 different ice-cream flavor themed beers ranging from Superman, to Rocky Road, Vanilla Bean, and even Peanut Butter Banana. Another brewery, Eternity of Howell, offered a deep fried Twinkie Ale among other interesting options. Saugatuck Brewing offered a rotating lineup of cask-conditioned ales among their selections including a Peanut Butter & Jelly Stout. Vander Mill brought both beer and cider but sold out of their cider before the fest was over. Short’s also debuted one of their new Starcut line of ciders for the festival.

Fermenta, the Michigan Women’s Craft Collective, was also back to put their stamp on this year’s fest with another series of collaboration beers with over 25 different breweries. These included a Dunkelweiss with Tapistry, a double IPA with Pike 51, and an ESB with Ore Dock. This year’s food vendors included jambalaya and tamales from Royal Oak Brewery, poutine & truffle fries and ancho smoked wings from Palate, and an ice cream cart from Sherwood Brewing. Friday’s music lineup included Stone Clover, DJ Lewis Colon, and Light Out for the Territory with Saturday featuring Duane Harlick Band, DJ Danny Boy, and Chef Chris and the Nairobi Trio.

Summer Beer Fest is the 2nd of 4 annual beer festivals held by the Michigan Brewers Guild which was preceded earlier this year by the Winter Beer Fest held at Fifth Third Ball Park in Comstock Park, Grand Rapids. The U.P. Fall Beer Festival will be held at Mattson Lower Harbor Park in Marquette on September 12, with the Detroit Fall Festival to be held at the Eastern Market on Friday October 23rd and Saturday October 24th. The festivals are a great way to support local Michigan beers and provide opportunities to try many great, unique,and speciality beers from breweries both new and old from all over the state.

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.