RAPIDS, Mich. ó Long underwear. Check. Insulated gloves.
Check. Snowboots. Check.
Mountain climbing? Nope.
festival. Outdoors. In February.
beer and winter at the same time is the theory behind
Michiganís annual Winter Beer Festival, held in a minor
league baseball stadium parking lot outside Grand Rapids.
Michigan has become a craft-brewing powerhouse, and this
festival is where many of its most lauded brewers pour
their most ambitious beers.
suds festival requires layer upon layer, thick necklaces
of homemade snacks (from pretzels to string cheese) and,
perhaps most important, a positive disposition. No one in
his right mind would stand outside for six hours drinking
beer in a snowstorm. Which, of course, makes doing so even
brewers both large (Bellís, Founderís) and small
(lager-only-Wolverine State Brewery) take part.
completely absurd," said Scott Sullivan, owner of
Greenbush Brewing in Sawyer, Mich. "The last two
years thereís been a snowstorm, and everyone is out in
the cold drinking beer, and no one cares that itís cold
brought a dozen barrel-aged beers in 2013 and plans to
bring even more in 2014.
a good opportunity to experiment and try beer that people
never see on shelves," Sullivan said.
for Winter Beer Festival (1-6 p.m. Feb. 22, Fifth Third
Ballpark, 4500 W. River Drive NE, Plainfield Township,
Mich.) go on sale at 10 a.m. Dec. 1. The event sold out in
less than a day last year. Tickets cost $45 plus fees and
are available at mibeer.com.