Kalamazoo Beerfest

Beerfests, they’re all the rage. Seems they are popping up everywhere. Thing is, that’s a good thing. We are in the middle of a beer renaissance and as crazy as this might sound to those inside the “bubble” not everyone actually knows anything about it all.IMG_2304

I know that last sentence sounded a bit off but let me explain. Michigan is a huge beer state. Heck, Beer City USA is in Grand Rapids and the city that came in second for the votes is Kalamazoo. Go figure that the city’s of Michigan that made it into the votes ended up within the top five placements. Craft beer is big in Michigan. But if you were to ask most people they would still not know exactly what you are talking about when it comes to craft beer. IMG_2312

This is why fests are so important. For many people it is their first exposure to the world of craft beers and what they have to offer. I was pretty psyched when I heard that the Kalamazoo Vine Neighborhood Association would be throwing the first Kalamazoo Beerfest.

They lined up sixteen Michigan breweries in the Arcadia Creek festival site. The plan was to run the fest during the day and then open the festival to Oktoberfest for the evening. The day of the fest was fantastic. It was bright, sunny, warm, not at all what you could expect from October in Michigan. IMG_2315

My trip through the different breweries centered on what it is I normally go for in the fall. Most of the breweries Represented had a version of an Oktoberfest or a pumkin beer available for samples. Add in to that Vandermill and Virtue cider were also there.

A couple of the standouts of the day for me came from Virtue. I had not sampled them until now. Their Cidre is everything I love about cider, crisp and dry, with strong apple notes. Another new brewery for me, Tapestry offered a decent number of their beers. Enigma, their double IPA, was a good beer to break up the number of Oktoberfests I drank that day. IMG_2311

As a first year fest, it wasn’t as crowded as it will be in the coming years. The breweries made a good showing. I think the tap/serving trucks were a great idea for keeping beer cold and controlled. It was a pretty good fest and will continue growing.

Time for a pint…



6 thoughts on “Kalamazoo Beerfest

    • You would be surprised. Many people are just now discovering craft beer. This is true even in places where it is pretty common. When you look at the sales of beer across the board, the big breweries still control much of the beer world. To the die hards in that court craft beer is still a novelty, if they have even heard of it at all.

    • For some people their first exposure comes at an event like this. Which is why this one being new and small is a great thing. The biggest events in Michigan, Summer Beerfest and Winter Beerfest have been selling out in online sales in minutes. New events like this tend to have a smaller crowd. This gives newbies a chance to talk to the brewers and such.

  1. Exposure is key. I’m one of those people who never saw the appeal of wine, but then that movie Sideways got me to see the artistry behind it. Well that, and the stress from teaching ๐Ÿ˜‰ Now your posts make me want to become at least semi-proficient in beer knowledge. Hmmmm, here’s my request on a post or two that will better prepare me for Munich next year.

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