Short's Ski BoothBrewers Guild Summer Beer Festival
Ypsilanti, MI Paul Stewart

Mother Nature was the first one there and the last one to leave. The Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival is a two-day celebration of beer and the love of beer. It was a beautiful weekend in the middle of July in which it rained really hard just before the gates opened on Friday the 22nd. Then cleared up and turned into a great weekend until about 2 minutes before the end on Saturday when the heavens opened again and baptized the event’s good times. And I for one thought it was amazing, every minute of it.
I hung out with the gang from Short’s on Friday and poured beer at one of their (boat) tables. This year the Guild let breweries fan out. The layout took over more of Frog Island Park and breweries were encouraged to bring their own set up or take over multiple tables. All to help festival-goers by alleviating long lines and make it easier to get to the beer(s) you want.

Short’s made two table out of a boat that was cut in half, a third that was made out of old water skis and a fourth hand made shack for merchandise. With signs that read “We Hate Lines”, Dark Horse made a lot of people happy by having 5 different tables in different tents throughout the grounds. One festival attendee showed off her love of craft beer with tattoos, she had many and 3 of them were Dark Horse labels and logo. Arcadia and The Livery claimed the gazebo next to the river, which became one of my go to spots. It seemed like every brewery in the state was there and of course their glorious beer. Looking at the line before the gates opened I wondered if there was enough beer…for both them and me, and every brewery had people filling a cup but the Dark Horse mantra rang true for the event as a whole. With waits shorter then ever, sometimes you’d still have a beer in your cup as you got to the table of the next brewery.

With over 10,000 people between the 2-day fest and a port-a-potty for everyone to take home (lots of water closets) the mood of the event was always positive. Live music from Michigan bands, food from Michigan restaurants and HOOOO chants with smiles from ear to ear the Summer Best Festival is always one of my favorites. Now by the time you’re reading this the UP Fall Beer Festival in Marquette has already happened, but the 3rd Annual Detroit Fall Beer Festival at the Eastern Market in Detroit is still ahead on October 22nd 1pm-6pm. Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the gate. You can get your ticket online at www.michiganbrewersguild.org. If you’ve missed the Guild Festivals before tell your boss you quit, your wife you want a divorce and sell the kids, ‘cause it’s worth every minute.

Kris and I got some great video of the event and the interviews of Tim Suprise of Arcadia and Kim Kowalski of Mountain Town Station are already up on the site.