UP Beer Fest Supplied over 400 Different Beers

Ray Bressette

Students, locals and tourists gathered to Marquette’s Mattson Lower Harbor Park to celebrate the sixth annual U.P. Fall Beer Festival on the afternoon of Saturday, Sept. 6.

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Senior psychology major Troy Morris balances his beer with a few pretzels.

The festival was a sold-out event, meeting Lower Harbor’s 4,500 person capacity. The event ran from 1-6 p.m. Saturday.
Senior psychology major Troy Morris said the beer fest provided a friendly atmosphere.

“There’s such a large variety of beers and people,” Morris said. “It really gives you an opportunity to map out what your own pallet is. Everyone you meet has their own list of beer recommendations, so everyone’s making new friends down here.”

The festival featured 61 breweries from across Michigan, and supplied over 400 different crafted beers.

Senior pre-physician’s assistant major Sierra Olsen said events such as Beer Fest make Marquette a fun college town.

“It’s pretty awesome to live in a place like Marquette,” Olsen said. “There’s so many opportunities here to go out and have a good time with friends. It’s cool to have so many local breweries available, along with cool events such as this to go to every year.”

Four of the breweries present at the festival were from Marquette County, including Blackrocks, Ore Dock, The Vierling and Chocolay River Brewery.Colbrew_11

Jake Shea, an assistant brewer at the Ore Dock and NMU alumni said he believes college students in the community are becoming more familiar with craft beers.

“It’s pretty awesome with a college crowd, as they’re just getting into the craft beer scene at that age,” Shea said. “It’s getting so popular, from having all these craft breweries across Marquette and more opening up, the trend is going toward this type of beer.”

Local restaurants such as Stucko’s Mobile Grill and The Rubaiyat Falafel also set up shop at the festival to provide food to accompany beer drinkers throughout the afternoon.

NMU English professor Josh MacIvor-Andersen said the beer fest is an event he attends yearly.

“For three years in a row now, I’ve made sure I could come down here to do homework and class-prep in the shade while drinking beer,” MacIvor-Andersen said. “It’s a good time sipping on some beers on such a beautiful, perfect day, in a great location right next to the harbor.”

Musical entertainment was provided throughout the five hour event by bands such as “State 51,” “Frank and Da Beans” and “Green Gene the singing farmer”.

Jeremiah Armstrong, 25 from Ferndale, MI, plays bags this past weekend.
Jeremiah Armstrong, 25 from Ferndale, MI, plays bags this past weekend.

The festival launched a “zero waste” plan this year to help reduce landfill waste as close to zero as possible, by setting up compost, recycling and landfill disposal stations around the harbor throughout the afternoon. The efforts were partnered with The Sweaty Mouse Green Team, the Marquette Food Co-op along with the Marquette County Solid Waste Authority.

MacIvor-Anderson said Marquette is a great community for recognizing local businesses at the annual Beer Fest.

“It reflects the general demographic of this town that we’re able to support a handful of micro, nano breweries,” MacIvor-Andersen said. “It’s a town of 20,000 people with 10,000 college students who come and go, and the fact that we’re able to support these local businesses is reflective of the culture here. Marquette is a really, really cool place to have something like this.”