Saturday, June 30, 2012

Michigan beer & wine Taste Garden party kicks-off 2012 Taste of Muskegon

Written by  Dan VanderKooi
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Michigan beer & wine Taste Garden party kicks-off 2012 Taste of Muskegon

This year’s Taste of Muskegon event began with kick-off party featuring local blues from Vincent Hayes and a wide variety of Michigan beers, wines and ciders. The event was held at the Taste Garden, a central gathering point for those looking to quench their thirst throughout the weekend celebration. The party began Friday evening with $2.00 full pours and served as a tasting booth during the Saturday and Sunday event.
Food samples cost anywhere between $1 to $5, with tickets also being used to purchase samples in the garden. Draft beers included Bell’s, Vivant, Greenbush and Founders with numerous wines and beers available in bottles divided into categories such as wheat/lager, or pale ales. Most notable was a selection of New Holland’s high gravity series accompanied by the recently released Farmhouse and Black Hatters.

Notable new restaurants featured this year included the Fatty Lumpkins sandwich shop, and the new downtown Curry Kitchen, both of which debuted with impressive showings. Attendees were given the chance to vote on their favorite booths for the coveted “People’s Choice” award which this year was awarded to Teddy Spaghetti’s; also the critic’s choice for best restaurant. Hennessy’s Irish Pub won best appetizer for their Drunken Irishmen sliders, and Curry Kitchen also placed well including best dish for the Chicken Curry.

I attended the kick-off party on Friday to take advantage of the full pours. I was impressed with the Uncle John’s Apple Cherry Hard Cider available on tap. I returned on Sunday and sampled the Chicken Masala with Rice from the Curry Kitchen, and the Chicken Skewers with Roasted Vegetables from Main street; the two dishes one after the other making a great lunch before I returned to the Taste Garden to sample some of the New Holland beers. Sunday also featured a downtown car show to help ease off some of the buzz from the Hot Rod Power Tour visit earlier in the month. Yes, another weekend of cars, Michigan beer, and great food in downtown Muskegon and who can complain about that?

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.