Monday, February 18, 2013

Recap of the 4th Annual Winter Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival

Written by  Dan VanderKooi
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Recap of the 4th Annual Winter Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival

February 2013 brought the 4th Annual Winter Microbrew & Music Festival to Traverse City, MI with plenty of food, music, and brews. Over 50 breweries from around the world featured over 200 different beers, ciders, and meads spread out among the festival’s several tents. Not just a beer festival, the focus also included dozens of bands including one tent featuring exclusively polka for the entire duration and also a multitude of food vendors offering everything from venison specialities to hot dogs, veggie chili, gyros, ribs and more.
Breweries from all around were featured including Great Lakes Brewing Co, Sierra Nevada, New Belgium, and Good Island which included their Bourbon County Stout with this year’s offerings. Michigan favorites included Bell’s, Founders, and Short’s and from the surrounding Traverse City area included North Peak, Right Brain and some newer breweries such as Brewery Ferment and The Filling Station. A true standout for me was the oak-aged Farmhand dubbed Helen from Brewery Vivant of Grand Rapids. Petoskey Brewing was on hand along with Beards Brewery also from the area. Ciders and Meads were also well represented including Acoustic Draft Mead, Vander Mill and Saint Ambrose. Vander Mill included their own “Founders Keepers,” a Michigan Cyser aged in Founders Backwoods Bastard Barrels for 8 months. One tent featured a homebrew competition as well.

So many great bands proved difficult catch them all. Grand Traverse Pipes and Drums solved this problem by “touring” from tent to tent with performances scheduled throughout the event. We spent most of our time in first of the Music Stage tents catching sets by Delilah DeWylde & the Lost Boys and Funktion, while missing out on other excellent acts such as the Crane Wives in the second Music Stage tent. All in all a great time was had all around! The next series of events, The 5th Annual Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival, has been scheduled for August 23rd and 24th, 2013.

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.