The Michigan Brewers Guild 16th Annual Summer Beer Festival

Riverside Park – Depot Town, Ypsilanti – July 26-27, 2013

It’s time once again for the Summer Beer Festival! At the time of writing, the official beer list has yet to be published, but it’s safe to say that more than 65 Michigan craft breweries will be participating with more than 600 different beers available to sample.


Here are a few tips to make your festival experience more enjoyable:

  1. Hopefully, you have already purchased your tickets. Saturday is SOLD OUT, but tickets are still available for Friday. You can get them online on The Michigan Brewers Guild Website.
  2. Designate a driver or take a cab. Your safety and the safety of others is paramount to everyone having a good time – it’s no fun if jail, injury, or death are involved. Designated-driver tickets are available for $5. Designated drivers are not permitted to drink and must be 21 or older to enter the festival.
  3. Review the beer list and select your “must-haves.” Seek out the breweries and special offerings you most want to try. Many of the more popular breweries like Bell’s, Dark Horse, and Short’s will have longer lines and designated times for the rare samples.
  4. Dress for the weather. Check the forecast and be prepared. Yes, July in Michigan is generally sweltering, but knowing if you will need a raincoat/poncho or possibly a sweater will keep you comfortable no matter what Mother Nature throws your way.
  5. You needn’t go for all high gravity beers. You may miss out on a solid session brew that would be perfect for when fishing or after cutting the lawn. Just because the alcohol content may be below 7.2% doesn’t mean it isn’t delicious.
  6. Drink plenty of water; it’s not just for rinsing your cup out. It’s free, refreshing, and may be the smartest thing you do all day. It may also help knock the burn out of your esophagus after you try three different chili beers.
  7. Eat some food. There will be restaurants serving delicious, locally made food. It’s good for you and good for the economy. You can also make your own pretzel necklaces, if you’re feeling crafty.
  8. Be polite. Everyone is there to try new and exciting beverages AND have a good time. Waiting for entry and waiting for a sample is to be expected. Ask questions at the serving stations, but don’t expect to have a 20-minute conversation with the brewers or volunteers. If you see people in line behind you, be respectful of their time, as you would expect them to be of yours.
  9. Spread the word about the breweries and beer that you liked. Everyone loves to hear glowing reviews of their work, brewers included. The more people that know about and drink Michigan beer can lead to more Michigan beer for everyone!

Let’s raise a toast to another successful year of Michigan beer! Have a great time at the Summer Beer Festival!

Upcoming Michigan Brewers Guild Festivals

U.P. Fall Beer Festival
Saturday, September 7th at The Mattson Lower Harbor Park, Marquette.
Tickets on sale now! Purchase them here.

Detroit Fall Beer Festival
Friday & Saturday, October 25th & 26th at Eastern Market, Detroit
Tickets on sale August 1, 2013

Winter Beer Festival
Saturday, February 22, 2014 at Fifth Third Ballpark, Comstock Park
Tickets on sale December 1, 2013

For more information, including how to purchase tickets, please visit The Michigan Brewers Guild website.

‘Tis The Seasonal

Summer is in full swing; here are just a few of this season’s offerings.

Atwater Brewery
Summer Time Ale
ABV: 5.0%
A truly unique representation of the American Wheat style, Atwater’s Summer Time Ale is a study in refreshing crispness. Vienna malt brings a distinct snap to the finish with dark wheat flavors lightly present. The hot wort is briefly exposed to ground lemon peel and grains of paradise, which provide a tidy lemon, citrus finish.

Bell’s Brewery, Inc.
ABV: 5.80%
Bell’s Oberon is a wheat ale fermented with Bell’s signature house ale yeast, mixing a spicy hop character with mildly fruity aromas. The addition of wheat malt lends a smooth mouth feel, making it a classic summer beer.

Brewery Vivant
ABV: 9.3%
This is an unconventional beer.  Belgian candy sugar, classic Belgian yeast, and a boat load of hops, plus some dry hopping on top of that.  A unique take on a Double IPA that will make it stand out in a crowd. This is the first time this beer has been released.

Detroit Brewing Co.
Detroit Radler
ABV: 4%
Radler beer is the German version of the English Shandy style, which is a blend of light ale and lemonade. In order to honor our brewing roots, they followed the German method of mixing natural Lemon & Lime flavors into a blend of Bohemian pilsener and specially crafted Bavarian lager.

Founders Brewing Co.
All Day IPA
ABV: 4.7%
An all-day IPA naturally brewed with a complex array of malts, grains and hops. Balanced for optimal aromatics and a clean finish.

Short’s Brewing Company
Nicie Spicie
ABV: 5.2%
A Northern Michigan spiced wheat ale made with a 50/50 blend of malted barley and malted white wheat. Packed with fresh citrus zest, then spiced with coriander and a three-peppercorn blend.

Gerald Blakeslee is a huge supporter of the Michigan craft beer movement and is also a fan of making sure that safety is a top priority — designate a sober driver or call a cab.