Northern Michigan, you are unstoppable. In perhaps the worst weather I’ve ever seen on an August day in Northern Michigan, thousands of you came to the Microbrew and Music Fest. And why not? It was a great event in a great place! If you missed it? You missed out!
Check out our MyNorth Community Photos to see if your friends were there and what their favorite brew was. And check out more here in my album.
The Microbrew and Music Fest opened at 3:00 with a Brewer’s Happy Hour. About 200 attendees paid $50 ($60 at the door) to spend 2 special hours with brewers. This exclusive group also got free food and other merchandise benefits. It was nice to be able to stroll through the brewer’s village of tents and talk with them about their beers without the pressure of throngs waiting for a pour.
And throngs there were. At 5:00 the gates opened to the $25 ticket holders ($30 at the door) massed at the front. And the line to get in was steady until 7:00 or so. Frankly there were folks still coming at 8:00 after dinner at Stellas. We spoke with folks who came from Onaway and Grand Rapids just for the Festival . We spoke with one woman who was on a beer tour of the Midwest and made a special point to include this Festival on her trip. (She was also lamenting that she had packed poorly, claiming, “And I never wear flip flops–what was I thinking!” I tried to sell her a MyNorth sweatshirt but she wanted one with beer on it.) I have no estimation of the final count, but I suspect there were several thousand there all told.
The music alone was worth the price of admission. One only had to be there to hear it. The sound system was so good one could enjoy a brew and brat, or gyro or pizza or whatever in the main tent most of the afternoon and enjoy the main-stage music. Later there were two acts going on one in the primary tent and one on the main stage.
And for you wine lovers … Blackstar Farms was pouring wine. And there was mead and cider to try too. This wine lover has learned that Michigan brewers have much to offer in subtle taste treats and alluring flavors. My special fave is Shorts, with Right Brain a close second. I also tried Keweena w and I was intrigued by Arcadia and Wolverine. And I didn’t get round to all that I wanted to, so gracious readers, please help our audience out by adding comments on your favorites.
The Microbrew and Music Festival was laid out through the trees of the Village Commons so that you felt like you were in a village. When the Scottish bag pipes paraded through the area, folks lined up behind them to parade along, winding through the tents and displays.
The music was great! Because I was stationed in the MyNorth booth at the front of the event, I didn’t really have a good sense of which acts were which, but it was all good. And I’m going to have to start paying attention to where these guys are playing next.
More About Northern Michigan Beers
* Take Your Own Northern Michigan Microbrew Tour
* Long Days for Joe Short, Brewmaster
* Video: Traverse City Brewers Show You How It’s Done
* Locally Grown Hops from Old Mission Flavor New Ale