Guide to Brew Fest 2012
As the color of the leaves start to match some of our favorite summer ales, it’s time to start prepping our taste-buds for the seasonal brews of winter. Helping us get a head-start on discovering what to stock in our fridge for the snowed-in months ahead is Saturday’s Great Lakes Bay Brew Fest, presented by the Eastman Party Store. Already know what you’ll be sipping? Frankenmuth’s Munich-style lager perhaps? Then come out to Dow Diamond and use your vouchers to load up on some Dunkel as we welcome in the fall with Michigan’s finest brewers.
The Mash Ingredients
So before we get too far ahead of ourselves, what is Brew Fest? Hosted within the warm and friendly confines of Dow Diamond’s heated concourse, the 3rd Annual Great Lakes Brew Fest will bring 47 different microbrews (that’s 6 more than 2011) to the Great Lakes Bay Region for sampling. Gates will open at 5:00 p.m with $10 tickets available before and upon entry. Each attendee will be given 5 beer vouchers with additional vouchers sold separately. Must be 21 to enter.
New to the Party
The Great Lakes Bay Brew Fest welcomes first-timers New Holland Brewing and MillKingIt Productions (MIP) to this year’s event. While they may be new to Brew Fest, they’re not new to brewing. The New Holland brewery, located in Holland, marks this year’s western-most brewery, which has had its stirring hand in beers and wines since 1997. MIP is a relatively new start-up (2010), but its creator’s roots trace back to the disbanded King Brewing Co. of Pontiac, which began in 1994. Come early and become the first to welcome these brewers to Brew Fest.
Friends of the Venue
As usual, we’ve got to give a shout-out to Tri-City Brewing Company, of Bay City, who makes the Loons Summer Ale available to you at every Loons home game. But this time, TCB will showcase some of their other great brews at the park: Hell’s Half Mile (6.0%), Charity Island IPA (5.5%), Fortunato (7.5%), Giant Slayer (8.5%), Oktoberfest (specialty) and the Firkin Barrel Aged Stout (unlisted). Be sure to check them out!
What’s In A Name?
Every beer has a story, or at least so we’re told. Some of these stories are more accessible than others and we think the Red Snapper Roasted Pale Ale’s story (5.2%) from Arbor Brewing is pretty good. Mainly because it’s named after a guy donning the nickname of a fish and plays ultimate Frisbee. According to their website, the Red Snapper recipe was conceived as a home brew recipe in a Ypsilanti kitchen long before it became commercially available after its debut at the 1992 Poultry Days Chicken Festival and Frisbee Tournament in Versailles Ohio. The beer was named after the brewer’s good friend and fellow ultimate Frisbee player Don “Red Snapper” Staub, who we’re hoping looked as cool as this guy.
Judging A Beer By Its Cover
While the drinking part of Brew Fest is the payoff, it is the logo that first introduces you to your brew. One label that caught our eyes was Arbor Brewing’s Brasserie Blonde (6%), which promises an equally gorgeous copper-orange ale from the tap with hints of citrus mixed within. Next up, All Day IPA (4.7%) from Founders is made for just that: enjoying a long day outside near the lazy currents of your favorite fishing hole. Finally, the bold green print on AXL Pale Ale (5.8%) from MillKingIt Productions is just busy enough to make you wonder what surprises may be packed inside.
Give Me the Strong Stuff
If you are a Brew Fest first-timer, then you may be wondering what these percentage signs next to the beer names are. These numbers indicate the Alcohol by Volume (ABV) contained within the beer. The higher the number, the more alcohol, and perhaps, the more bang for your buck.
The following are the five brews with the highest ABV featured at the 3rd Annual Great Lakes Bay Brew Fest.
- 8.5% – Giant Slayer from Tri-City Brewing Company
- 8.5% – Sapient Trip Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
- 8.5% – Final Absolution from Dragonmead Microbrewery
- 8.5% – The D.B. from Founders Brewing Company
- 8.2% – Train Wreck from Mt. Pleasant Brewing Company
Hell’s Half Mile, Charity Island IPA, Fortunato, Giant Slayer, Firkin Barrel Aged Stout, Oktoberfest from Tri-City Brewing Company; Cow Catcher Red, Train Wreck, Crazy Train IPA, Railyard Raspberry Wheat from Mt. Pleasant Brewing Company; Amber Ale, Two Hearted Ale, Porter, Best Brown Ale from Bell’s Brewery; Centennial IPA, Red’s Rye PA, D.B., All Day IPA, Breakfast Stout from Founders Brewing Company; Dirty Blonde, Vanilla Java Porter, Grand Circus IPA, Purple Gang Pilsner from Atwater Block Brewery; Sacred Cow IPA, Brasserie Blonde, Red Snapper from Arbor Brewing Company; Final Absolution, Under the Kilt Wee Heavy, Erik the Red, Crown Jewel from Dragonmead Microbrewery; Crooked Tree IPA, Sapient, Raspberry Ale, Black Bier Reserve from Dark Horse Brewing Company; Munich Dunkel, Pilsener, Hefeweizen Ale, Batch 69 IPA from Frankenmuth Brewery; Diabolical, Siren Amber, Majestic Wheat Ale, Vicious from North Peak Brewing Company; AXL, Brik Irish Red, SNO from Milking It Productions; Old Poet, Mad Hatter IPA, Full Circle, Sundog, Dragon’s Milk, Ichabod from New Holland Brewing Company. *beverages are subject to change, based on distributor availability
Getting Social @GLBBrewFest
If you’re reading this on your smart phone, then we’re betting you’re a step ahead of the rest and already have a Twitter account. That’s right, we want you to drink and tweet! While the pairing could prove dangerous, the user with the best tweet will win a sweet prize pack. Either send us a photo (that’s you Instagramers) of you and your friends enjoying a brew at the diamond, or let us know which sample is your favorite by using the hashtag #GLBbestbrew. The brew with the biggest following will be named the People’s Choice Brew.
Don’t know about you readers, but all of this writing is making us thirsty. It’s time to go kick around the kitchen at Dow Diamond to try and “survey” the stock. Everyone else will need to wait until Saturday. For tickets call 989-837-2255, visit the Dow Diamond box office, or click here to purchase online. Tickets will also be sold on the day of the event, beginning at 4:30 p.m. at Dow Diamond. We’ll see you when you get here!