With the sudden shift in temperature lately, a lot of people across campus are feeling down. Going from 80s temperatures and beach weather to dreary clouds and drizzling rain isn’t exactly the most uplifting change. But those twenty one and over have something to look forward to at the end of this week: the second annual U.P. Fall Beer Festival, put on by the Michigan Brewers Guild.
The event will be in the scenic Mattson Lower Harbor Park, right along the shores of Lake Superior. Almost 30 craft breweries from across the state will be coming to Marquette, offering nearly 200 beers to sample.
“It’s about being in a really nice setting and having lots of Michigan beers available all at once,” said Scott Graham, executive director of the Michigan Brewers Guild. “It’s an opportunity for us to promote the breweries in the state.”
Graham said that people coming out to the U.P. Beer Festival can expect lots of variety in the beers at the event.
“It’s great because you have all those breweries there,” he said. “They bring some special things there that aren’t even always available at their place. They know that it’s a beer-savvy crowd and they prepare beers.”
This is the second U.P. Beer Festival in Marquette put on by the Michigan Brewers Guild. Last year, the event was called the U.P. Oktoberfest.
The name was changed because the theme wasn’t German and the Michigan Brewers Guild felt calling it the U.P. Beer Festival more closely matched their other events.
“It just wasn’t the most appropriate name. It started as a working name and it wound up being the name,” Graham said. “This name is more consistent with what we do. It’s not really an Oktoberfest-themed event.”
He said this year they’re expecting between 1200-1500 people to attend. Last year, over 1000 people came.
“The weather was outstanding (last year). We had a good turnout of breweries,” he said. “It’s a beautiful setting out there at Mattson Lower Harbor Park.”
He said the event will go on no matter what the weather may be like this Saturday. At the summer festival in Ypsilanti, Michigan this past summer, terrible weather didn’t stop the event from going on.
“It rained nearly three inches,” Graham said, “and nobody left. Literally the city of Ypsilanti had their warning siren going off and people were walking up buying tickets.”
Derrick Anderson, head brewer at the Vierling Restaurant, said that though the weather might not be the most ideal, it should be a good time.
“It might get rained out this year. I hope not. We’re hoping for a better turnout this year,” he said. “Drink beer and have some fun.”
Paul Boissevain, owner of Keweenaw Brewing Company, said that if it does storm Saturday, he doesn’t expect it to be much of a problem.
“We were in Traverse City last year. And 3,000 people were just standing there in the rain,” he said. “Microbeer drinkers don’t get intimidated by the weather very easily.”
Boissevain also said he thought it was great that the Michigan Brewer’s Guild were coming to the U.P. again.
“I’m glad that the Brewer’s Guild is doing this event,” he said. “It’s good to have both the beers of the U.P. and the people of the U.P. recognized by the guild.”
Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Designated drivers can purchase tickets for $5 and are encouraged to attend.
Fifteen tokens come with admission and additional tokens can be purchased inside for 50 cents. Each token is redeemable for a 3- ounce sample of beer.
Tickets are sold at a multitude of locations across the U.P. and the state.
They can be purchased at the Vierling Restaurant, Marquette Harbor Brewery, Marquette Food Co-op, Huron Earth Deli, Rochester Mills Beer Co. in Rochester, Jasper Ridge Brewery in Ishpeming and New Holland Brewing Co. in Holland.
For more information on the event, please see the Michigan Brewer Guild’s blog, the Mash, at mbgmash.org.
Upper Peninsula Breweries
The Vierling Restaurant & Marquette Harbor Brewery
In downtown Marquette, this historic brewery has been of interest to tourists and citizens for over 100 years.
The Library Restaurant and Brew Pub
Although this Houghton location is more of a restaurant than a bar, the selection of freshly brewed beer on tap is extensive.
Keweenaw Brewing Company
Located in the middle of downtown Houghton, this microbrewery’s beers change with the season.
Jasper Ridge Brewery
This Ishpeming brewery focuses on creating beer made from all natural ingredients for a fresh, rich flavor. In addition to serving it in a glass, they use their beer as batter and even in soup.
Hereford & Hops Steakhouse and Brewpub
In Escanaba with the microbrewery on the premises, Hereford & Hops produces 800 barrels of award-winning handcrafted beer per year. Visitors can even watch the brewmasters in action.
Red Jacket Brewing Company
This Calumet brewery is Michigan’s newest. Striving to produce a hearty and authentic flavor, the brewery uses ingredients available a century ago in an attempt to recreate brew from 1905.