Monday, August 27, 2012

Fourth Annual Summer Microbrew and Music Festival

Last winter, the Michigan Beer Blog had the opportunity to cover the third annual Traverse City Microbrew and Music Festival.  This celebration, held on one of the few bitterly cold days of last winter's overall mildness, combined coats and hats with beer, food, music, and more for a delightful February event.  Last weekend, August 24th and 25th, Porterhouse Productions put on a similar event, and swapped out the frozen toes and falling snow for dazzling sunshine and sweaty tank tops for the Fourth Annual Summer Microbrew and Music Festival.

Admittedly, I have heard some rumors that Michiganders are beginning to feel the onset of festival fatigue.  I realize that every passing year, another festival pops up requesting our time and attention and while having too many craft beer oriented festivals in Michigan is a great problem to have, I strongly suggest not cutting the Traverse City Microbrew and Music festival out of your rotation, regardless of how far you need to drive.

While the Michigan Beer Blog only attended Saturday (missing the musical skills of Dierks Bentley and Rachel Holder), we were able to hear some excellent groups on Saturday; The Dirty Guv’nahs, The Holmes Brothers, The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, The Duhks, The Ragbirds, Delilah DeWylde and the Lost Boys, Grand Traverse Pipes & Drums, and Deep Blue Water Samba were all performing. I was blown away by the stylings of the Holmes Brothers.  If live music isn't your bag, the silent disco made another appearance.  I admit confusion as to the appeal of the event, but it retains its popularity, so I'm clearly in the minority when it comes to judging silent discos.
Reverend Peyton

Wendell Holmes

The beer flowed fast and cool to combat the summer heat.  Odd Side Ales had the Mayan Mocha Stout available.  I've spoken before how much I love this beer, the spicy/chocolate/coffee smoothness that's perfect to drink regardless of how hot or cool it is outside. Ever a fan of specialty Belgian style ales, I was able to track down a very rare beer from Jolly Pumpkin; they had available something called De Viento, a dark, sour saison brewed with a secret, spicy coffee blend from their friends at Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company.  This beer, created to raise money for those affected by the tornado that tore through Dexter, Michigan in March of 2012, was a spectacular find.  A new name to these festivals – and to Michigan breweries in general – was The Filling Station, located close by in Traverse City, which, among other offerings, presented a high alcohol (9.5%) farmhouse ale that was complex and delicious.

Delilah DeWylde enjoying a Delilah DeWylde Berry Wheat.  Apparently pictures like this happen often.
This festival does one more unique event that I always enjoy; they have a (hot, cramped) cabin called the Hop 'n Brew Shack where they will have brewers educate festival goers on the beer they brought to the festival.  We were able to attend Chas Thompson's class on Hopknocker, the double IPA available from Schmohz' Brewing.

With plenty of food available to soak up the beer – and plenty of non Michigan beer available as well – the Traverse City Summer Microbrew and Music festival is a celebration that should never be cut in the name of festival fatigue.  With music and sunshine and the Lake Michigan breeze complementing beer and cider and wine, how can one possibly go wrong?

More photographs are available at our Facebook Page!

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