Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Recap of 5th Annual Microbrew and Music Festival

Written by  Kristie Ryder
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 Recap of 5th Annual Traverse City Microbrew and Music Festival

August in Northern Michigan signals the coveted arrival of the annual summer Microbrew & Music Festival.  Held each year on the grounds of the old Traverse City State Hospital, the festival has experienced continued growth, year after year adding more breweries as well as musical acts from across the country and Michigan.  From its beginning in 2009, the festival has expanded to a two day event which can accommodate entrance to over 5,000 attendees.  Single day tickets are available as general admission or VIP, as is a weekend pass for those wanting the full two day experience.
No less than 50 beverage booths lined the festival grounds this year with the opportunity to sample hundreds of different flavors of craft brews, meads, ciders and a few local wines.  Breweries representing both Upper and Lower Michigan, Chicago, Colorado, New York and California were in attendance, with an impressive showing of local Traverse City microbreweries. Five drink tokens were included with the general admission entrance and available for additional purchase at $2.00 a piece for a 7 ounce pour. New this year, and replacing the usual “food booths”, was a section of local food trucks lined along the West side of the festival grounds with menu items including everything from hot dogs and nachos, to organic pizza and wraps, to Mexican and Japanese cuisine.  Reasonably priced, but not available for purchase using your drink tickets.

Festival attendees on Saturday were treated to the opportunity to sample and cast votes during the Homebrew competition. Participating homebrewers were offering up free samples of their brew in hopes of going home with the Judges and/or Peoples choice award. The line was long and the days chatter recapped experiences with some pretty memorable homebrews. As in years past, Saturdays musical line up included the sounds of the Grand Traverse Pipes & Drums to kick off the days events as well as provide music during intermission as other acts prepared for their performances. Grand Rapids very own Delilah DeWylde & the Lost Boys took the stage, followed by the steel guitar of Junior Brown, and wrapping up with the reggae sound of The Wailers.

All in all it was another great year at the Microbrew & Music festival. The sun was shining the beer was flowing and the constant sound of music filled the background.  My recommendation for 2014? Keep an eye on www.tcbeerfest.com. When the 2014 dates are posted, put in your request for vacation time and plan on attending. You won’t regret it.


Kristie Ryder

Kristie Ryder

Most people just call me Ryder.  I used to be the girl who drank cheap beer.  You know, whatever you could get a 24 pack of for under $12.  All that changed while bartending my way through my second Bachelors degree.  Now my boyfriend calls me "beer snob" because I only drink the good stuff (and PBR, I still love PBR!!) I picked up the hobby of homebrewing in early 2012 and have made it to the "experimenting" stage.  Not bad, not bad at all....although there was that one batch...oh never mind!  I just love beer!