Saturdays are for the brews


Jessica Parsons

Clouds made way for a gleaming sun over blue skies, and a nice breeze formed. These
elements complimented the sun on the skin, or booze in the belly. But what made Saturday’s event a full-fledged festival were the people.

Welcoming all taste buds and cultures, the U.P. Fall Beer Festival celebrated its 10th
annual at Mattson Lower
Harbor Park. Attendees dressed up with unique
apparel and walked around with
homemade pretzel necklaces. Halos of hopps circled their heads as they jumped from tent to tent in search of the perfect beer.

Breweries handed out their flavors with joy. There were stinging IPA’s, creamy
morning brews and crafty wheat ales. Cellarmen’s “Pasty Beer” rimmed their cups with spicy ketchup. Brewery Terra Firma topped their “Sun Cup Lemon Wheat” with a sprinkle of
pepper. Peanut butter met jalapeño in Grand River’s “P.B. Popper.”

Sheila Williams, a former NMU student and ASNMU member, said her favorite beer so far was from Kuhnhenn Brewing Co, called “Cherry Rhubarb Lime Aid.”

“That beer was so good. I want to get another one of those,” Williams said. “It was really fruity and light.”

Each attendee would receive one reusable cup and a bag of 15 tokens at the gates. One token was redeemable for a 3-ounce sample of any beer offered in the park. Additional tokens were sold inside the festival for 50 cents.

There were recycling and trash stations throughout the park, which encouraged a clean environment. Workers made sure all attendees finished their portion and disposed the cup upon exit.

It was also encouraged that attendees had a prearranged designated driver.

Lines formed for more flavor at food trucks which served barbecue, whitefish and tacos. Some breweries sold out completely near the end, and others filled cups completely in hopes of getting rid of a certain flavor.

There were complimentary stickers and coasters at some breweries, which eventually sold out, or had workers run to grab more. Their tents and signs were displayed professionally and creatively. There were unique taps on coolers, interesting names of beer and friendly servers.

According to Scott Graham, the executive director of the Michigan Brewers Guild, beautiful weather complimented the nice celebration with no major problems.

“Things went great,” Graham said. “Hard to imagine better weather to drink beer or to spend time with friends at the Mattson Lower Harbor Park.”