Monday, August 05, 2013

Recap of Inaugural Lansing Beer Festival

Written by  Ryan Ranspach
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Recap of Inaugural Lansing Beer Fest

The first annual Lansing Beer Festival rounding out Lansing Beer Week was a tremendous success, and we want to thank everyone who helped pull it off. From Roxanne and her staff at the REO Town Pub to Steve from Motor City Brew Tours, all the breweries in attendance, Fork in the Road and Sir Pizza, our volunteers and everyone who bought a ticket and came out, we roundly applaud you for your support and commitment to our project and the growing of these events in our city.
Though the weather on Friday night and early Saturday morning looked threatening, the skies cleared and we had a perfect day for the festival. All the breweries and food vendors were set up and ready to go when the gates opened at noon, and the crowd continued growing throughout the day with everyone really seeming to enjoy themselves. One of the great things about these kinds of events is having so many fans of craft all in the same place. It creates a perfect scenario to share ideas and to hear what people are interested in and excited about in the craft (specifically Michigan) beer market. We had a chance to visit with many long-time supporters of I'm a Beer Hound, and it's always a treat to hear what they're thinking about, what they're looking forward to, and of course, what they've been drinking lately!

The relaxed and no-frills nature of the food available was perfect for the event. Sir Pizza was selling theirs by the slice while Fork in the Road was slinging their "Ballin' Ass Tacos" as well as vegetarian tacos and a pork sandwich. Everyone that ate appeared pleased and these smaller, easy-to-eat dishes were just what was needed for an all day beer festival.

As far as the beer, almost all of the major craft breweries in the state were in attendance. All of them were offering their traditional standby beers with a few unique seasonal offerings including Short's newest IPA, "Beard of Zeus", Vivant's "Big Red Coq", and Arcadia's delightful summer beer, "Whitsun". Dark Horse even busted out some of their robust and boozy "Scotty Karate" Scotch Ale. We were also very proud to have on tap our own collaborative beer brewed with Bad Brewing Company in Mason. For this unique and single batch beer, we did a Strawberry Rhubarb Belgian Trippel. Though fruity on the nose, the high ABV and Belgian notes came through nicely to balance it and we were very happy with how it turned out. This was our second collaborative beer with a Lansing area brewery and we are excited to keep doing them.

All in all, the very first Lansing Beer Fest was awesome and again, we want to hank everyone who came out to support it. With your help, we can all work together to continue growing the beer culture in Lansing and bring more of these great events to our city. Keep howling, and we hope to see all soon at our next beer festival!