Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Recap of 2nd Annual Beer City Springfest

Written by  Dan VanderKooi
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recap beercity springfest 2015

This year’s Beer City Springfest at the Hudsonville Fairgrounds was another success with amazing spring weather complementing a stellar lineup featuring food trucks, live music, and some of the best craft beer, cider, mead and spirits the area has to offer. This year my wife & I got to add a little “behind the scenes” to the experience as we were invited and took the opportunity to participate as volunteers. Being able to enjoy the festival both as an attendee as well as volunteer beer pourers for The Mitten Brewing Co. of Grand Rapids gave a unique perspective on this year’s great event.
The Mitten Brewing Co. featured 4 taps at this year fest, including 2 taps brewed on their brand new 20 barrel system being their popular Triple Crown Brown ale and Country Strong IPA. Both beers made the transition to big batch quite gracefully and are sure to keep Mitten Brewing fans happy. Two pub brews which included a cream ale and an over 10% ABV Wee Heavy both proved popular as well. Other downtown Grand Rapids breweries featured at this year’s fest included Brewery Vivant, Founders, and the debut of Elk Brewing.

Many other new breweries made their debut this year as well. These included Dutton’s Railtown Brewing Company, Whitehall’s Fetch Brewing Company, and EB Coffee & Pub of Caledonia. Also new this year to me was Arclight Brewing Company of Watervliet. Kalamazoo was well represented with Bell’s, Boatyard Brewing Company, Tibbs, Rupert’s, and Gonzo’s Biggdogg Brewing all present and accounted for. Pike 51 and White Flame Brewing Co. were on hand to represent Hudsonville and White Flame’s Black Flame Imperial Stout was one of the early favorites to run out first. New Holland Brewing featured the newly formulated Mad Hatter 2.0 on tap. Standouts beers from Muskegon included “Your Mom on French Toast” from Pigeon HIll Brewing Co. and Unruly Brewing’s BA Fat Guy Little Kilt Scotch Ale.

Cideries at this year fest included Sietsema Orchards, People’s Cider Co., and the debut of Hudsonville’s own Farmhaus. Distilleries on hand included Journeyman’s and Coppercraft was offering their new “Copper Tulip” - this year’s official drink of Tulip Time featuring grains milled on Holland’s own wind mill. On display from Psycho Brew was Dutch Girl Brewing’s new equipment which was enroute to it’s new home in Spring Lake. Live music this year included Stone Thrown and The Boss Mustangs and food truck options include BBQ and pizza from Standard Pizza Co. All in all, another great year is now in the books for Hudsonville’s Beer City Springfest.

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.