Brewers Tell All: What To Expect at Michigan’s Largest International Beer Sampling Event

Cheers! Guest blogger Kirsetin Morello gives us all the details for what you should be expecting from the World Expo of Beer this year. 

Michigan’s largest international beer sampling event, the World Expo of Beer (WEB), is just weeks away from returning to Frankenmuth (Friday & Saturday, May 15-16), and, lucky for you, we’ve got the inside scoop from a few of the festival’s local brewmasters on what to expect.  So, grab your fellow brew lovers and get ready to Go Great Lakes Bay, where you’ll be able experience great craft beers from around the world: nearly 300 different beers from more than 60 breweries, including local brewers Frankenmuth Brewery, Tri-City Brewing Co., and Midland Brewing Co.

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“There are a lot of people, there are a lot of craft beer enthusiasts, and there’s a lot of energy at WEB,” says Paul Popa, Head Brewer and part owner of Tri-City Brewing, based in Bay City, MI. One of the benefits of attending WEB, he says, is that you can sample so many different beers and find out what you like before buying it at a store. “It’s like a big party where people get to try a lot of different beers from a lot of different breweries,” he explains.

Tri-City Brewing typically brings 6 – 8 different beers to the festival. “We usually do a special release that we may or may not have in the taproom at the time,” says Popa. You can look forward to sampling something special from Tri-City Brewing at WEB again this year. It’s in the works, but Popa says they won’t make a final decision about what to bring until closer to the date of the festival.

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Photo Courtesy of Midland Brewing Co.

Midland Brewing Company will also bring some special beers to WEB. “We have a cream ale that we just recent put out that we’ll have there,” says Sam Oswald, Director of Brewing Operations at Midland Brewing Company, “and we’ll probably have a Blackberry Hefeweizen and maybe a Munich Dunkel. We’ll bring fresh beers that people haven’t had yet or haven’t had in a long time.”

One of the big advantages for brewers who attend WEB is the opportunity to showcase their beers and brand to such a large audience. For Oswald, getting to meet the public is a highlight of the event. “We like to educate people on what craft beer is and what it can be,” he says. Oswald explains that the eastern side of Michigan doesn’t have as many breweries as the west side, so it’s important to talk to people about their craft. “With an event this large in our backyard, we like to take the opportunity to talk to people about craft beer and why it’s good for Michigan,” he says. Oswald believes that Michigan is turning out craft beer that can stand up against some of the bigger national players. His take: “Support Michigan. Drink Michigan beer.”

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Photo Courtesy of Midland Brewing Co.

Another benefit for the brewers is the chance to network with other brewers at WEB. “Being able to bounce ideas off fellow brewers is really nice,” says Oswald. “We’re all friendly, we talk about recipes, share ideas, talk about mistakes we’ve made with certain recipes, and help each other out. We’re very collaborative.”

In addition to sampling the wares, you can learn more about craft beer by attending one of two special WEB events. On Friday night, you can enjoy a Fine Food and Craft Brew Pairing, hosted by the Bavarian Inn Lodge. Experts will lead you through the multi—course meal and explain how and why they chose each pairing.

If you like to mix your beer with other ingredients—including liquor—the Saturday night Beer Cocktails and Mixology event is for you! Learn the fundamentals of creating your own beer–based cocktails at this unique event. And while you’re busy creating your signature beer-based cocktail, you won’t go hungry—a delicious selection of appetizers will accompany the cocktail instruction.

Space is limited and early registration is strongly recommended. You can sign up to attend either special event and buy weekend ticket packages here.

If you’re a newbie to the WEB, tap the knowledge of the brewers, owners, and volunteers at the booths. “Our owner is at our booth every year, training volunteers and talking to the public about beer,” says Oswald. If you’re used to drinking macro beers, he suggests asking a lot of questions, including which beer is at the lighter end of the scale. If you like chocolate, try a stout. “Stout can be a light, sweet beer, and just have a dark color,” explains Oswald. “Don’t be scared, be adventurous! You might find a couple you don’t like and you might find a couple you really enjoy.”

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Photo Courtesy of Midland Brewing Co.

Still thirsty for more?  Check out last year’s post on the World Expo of Beer to learn the story behind how this international beer event was started on a cocktail napkin!

Location: 
Frankenmuth Heritage Park – 601 Weiss Street, Frankenmuth, MI 48734 (just 500 feet from the Bavarian Inn Lodge)

Dates & Times:
 Friday, Friday May 15th from 5-10PM and Saturday May 16th from 3-10PM

Admission: 
$10 admission (includes a free collector beer sampling mug; beer sampling tickets sold separately). Proceeds will be donated to charitable causes; 21+ only.

For admission packages, including beer sampling tickets and World Expo of Beer Fast Passes, click here.

 

Guest Blogger - Kirsetin MorelloKirsetin Morello is an author, freelance writer, and mother of 3 boys from Grand Rapids, MI whose family loves to travel and explore new places. In addition to writing about travel, she writes about parenting, business, and specializes in writing profiles of interesting people. Among other publications, you can find her work in Parents, West Michigan Woman, and Teach and Travel, as well as lots of places online, but you’ll most likely find her playing basketball, hiking in a park, or cheering her kids on at their sporting events.

 

 

Pure Michigan May 2015 Events Roundup

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As they say ‘April showers bring May flowers’ and the wet weather means the tulips and daffodils are coming! While you’re probably up to your neck in spring cleaning projects and to-do lists, take some time to enjoy the beauty of Pure Michigan all around you and maybe go for an outing, too.

Below is a roundup of some of the many events going on around the state in May. Please visit michigan.org for a complete listing of Michigan events.

May 1 – 9

Laup Fiesta
May 1 – 2
Fiesta features the low-rider car show, Latino entertainment, a carnival, various exhibitors, and everyone’s favorite: lots of food! Fiesta begins on Friday night with an outdoor concert and food booths lined up and down the Eighth Street Market Place. The festivities continue on Saturday. The afternoon brings a variety of musical acts, including mariachis, cultural dances, and more. Exhibitors provide a variety of information about their products and services throughout the day in the Civic Center. In the parking lot, you can find cars, trucks, low-riders, and custom bikes, along with a variety of related exhibits and entertainment.8722672937_e1b4010c8c_o

Tulip Festival 2015
May 2 – 9
Celebrate over 80 years of culture, heritage and beauty. The Tulip Time Festival is a celebration of Dutch heritage and culture, a multi-generational event that has a little bit of something for everyone including; three amazing parades, multiple Dutch dance performances, concerts, theatre, Dutch attractions, Dutch food, children’s events, trolley tours and so much more!

Fashion & Tea
May 9
Beginning promptly at 2 p.m. with a tour of the Streets of Old Grand Rapids, visitors will take a step back into time. Following the tour, visitors will experience up-close the authentic fashion starting from the Civil War Era to the early 20th Century. Coming from the education collection, each visitor will have the opportunity to inspect the workmanship of the seamstress who made them. Tea and sweets will be served as they enjoy this visual feast.

Michigan Wine and Beer Fest
May 9
The event will feature the tastes and toasts of Michigan wineries, breweries and eateries in a unique setting – a NASCAR racetrack. Guests may sample wines, beer, and food from Michigan vendors and buy favorite wines by the bottle or case. Live entertainment throughout the weekend will also be featured. This event is for guests 21 years and older.

Touch-A-Truck
May 9
Kids of all ages will have an opportunity to see and touch a large variety of unique vehicles and learn from those that build, protect and serve our community. Admission: $10 per family or adults $4, children $2. Hours: Siren Free Zone 10am-12pm, General admission 12pm-2pm.

 

May 10 – 16

Family Fishing Fair
May 16
Bring the entire family to Ramona Park to celebrate the onset of summer on this exciting day at the shoreline! Families of all ages and abilities can experience the joys and benefits associated with fishing, boating, and aquatic conservation. Enjoy engaging activities and instruction from local fishing guides and professional organizations who will share their expertise to help your family start a lifetime of fishing memories. Fishing equipment will be on hand for those hoping to reel in their first (or next) catch of the day! This is a free event.

BBQ, Blues & Bluegrass: A Taste of Michigan
May 16
From noon – 8 p.m., enjoy live music, local BBQ, craft beer and regional wines at Whirlpool Centennial Park (on Broad St), just below the bluff in St. Joseph. Your 2015 band lineup includes The Hillbenders, Coco Montoya, Slim Gypsy Baggage, The Infamous Stringdusters, and Buddy Guy. Event is rain or shine, so plan to hang out for the day no matter what the weather. Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome. No furry friends please.

East Lansing Art Festival
May 16 – 17
Fine artists from Michigan and beyond will line downtown East Lansing’s streets to exhibit and sell original works of fine art and fine crafts. Free live music, children’s hands-on arts activities and special events to celebrate the 52nd East Lansing Art Festival.

kitesGreat Lakes Kite Festival
May 16 – 17
This is the Midwest’s largest kite festival featuring giant kites, expert fliers, seminars, kite ballets and much more. A giant kids tent and test fields where you can learn to fly free. This festival is free to attend, though there is a charge to park inside the State Park. An $11 Recreation Passport is required for entering State Parks, Recreation Areas, State Forest Campgrounds, Non-motorized Trail Head parking and Boat Launches.

National Morel Mushroom Festival 2015
May 14 – 17
Always held the weekend after Mother’s Day, the festival features a competitive hunt, guided hunt, live music, a beer tent, a gourmet Taste of Morels, carnival rides, and much more, including the Wine and Dine gourmet dinner and wine tasting.

 May 17 – 23

Petoskey Stone Festival
May 23
The Petoskey Stone Festival celebrates one of Michigan’s finest natural resources – the unique Petoskey Stone, Michigan’s official state stone. The festival starts off at 9:30 a.m. with the Commissioner’s Stone Skipping. Enjoy music, games and great food.

Northport Cars in the Park
May 23
Take a scenic drive along M-22 north to Northport for the 18th annual Cars in the Park and find out why it is the longest running auto show in Leelanau County. The popular event attracts an eclectic mix of cars to the picturesque Haserot Park where the unique setting provides the perfect backdrop for the summer season’s first car show. Free admission lets spectators enjoy all kinds of cars–pre-war and modern, stock and modified, foreign and domestic–cars for all tastes!

BalloonsBalloons Over Bavarian Inn
May 22 – 25
Free family event! Enjoy viewing morning and afternoon flights over downtown Frankenmuth. An awesome “Balloon Glow” event is featured each evening at River Place Shops field! Visit with professional pilots and their crews. Over 30 USA pilots compete each year.

Alma Highland Festival & Games
May 23 – 24
Thousands of people from the US and Canada gather together in Alma, Scotland USA to enjoy a weekend of Scottish Heritage. US Pipe Band Competition, Highland Dance, athletics, Road Run, Clans, arts and crafts, and Scottish vendors and food. Live Entertainment. Event held on the campus of Alma College.

Lady’s Slipper Festival
May 23 – 25
Lady’s Slippers will be in full bloom. Enjoy food, fun, crafts, music and activities for all ages. Artists will be selling their work along the trail. Gift shop will be open in the Nature Center Building.

May 24 – 31

Legends of the Saginaw
boatMay 25
Learn the fascinating history of the Saginaw River as the Appledore sails from Downtown Bay City to the Saginaw Bay. Once out on the open water, help the crew set the sails or relax and enjoy the view. A light lunch of a sub sandwich, chips, cookie and soda/water is served onboard. The ride will be narrated by local historians.

Niles Family Carnival and Bluegrass Festival
May 28 – 31
Come join us for the Niles Family Carnival and Bluegrass Festival on the St. Joseph River in downtown Niles, Michigan. Enjoy the Carnival, Bluegrass and Americana musicians (national touring acts), quality arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, community tent, bingo and more.

Islandfest
May 29 – 31
Islandfest is a time to celebrate the beginning of summer and enjoy some small town fun. The week-end long event features arts & crafts, a fine arts show, children’s activities, a midway, live music, parade, car show, fireworks, historical tours, aircraft displays and rides, a variety of foods and beverages for all ages and so much more. Islandfest is a free, fun, family-oriented event where all are welcome. Come join the fun!

Be a Tourist in Your Own Town
May 30
Explore a world of possibilities in Greater Lansing from 10am5pm. Purchase a $1 passport for free admission to over 60 attractions. Enjoy interactive activities and giveaways for the kids! CATA Be a Tourist bus routes provide transportation to most attractions for just 50. Collect ten stamps in the passport to win great prizes!

Harbor Springs Cycling Classic
May 30
Enjoy a leisurely bike ride along some of the most scenic roads of northern Michigan, on your choice of a 20-, 45-, or 60-mile route. Each route includes scenic M-119, locally known as Lake Shore Drive, better known as the “Tunnel of Trees. After your ride, join us for an awesome lunch in the courtyard, it’s all included! Ride only: Adults $30, children 6-12 $20, age 5 and under free. Fee includes route map, great refreshment stops, sag wagon service, and lunch.

Which events do you plan to attend this May? 

Pure Michigan March 2015 Events Roundup

In just a few weeks, the month of March will bring a change in season, some signs of springs and plenty of fun events to go along them. From LaughFest in Grand Rapids to St. Patrick’s Day festivities around the state, there are so many ways to get out and enjoy March in Pure Michigan!

Below is a roundup of some of the many events happening in March. Please visit michigan.org for a complete listing of Michigan events.

March 1 – 8

Back to the 80’s
March 1 – 8, Alpena
From the era that brought the world The Rubik’s Cube, Max Headroom and The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comes the “totally awesome” musical Back to the 80′s. In the style of movies such as Back to the Future, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Karate Kid, Back to the 80′s is a nostalgic romp through the greatest hits of the decade. Visit the website link for show dates/times.

Retro Weekend Ski Event
March 6 – 8, Harbor Springs
Pull out your vintage gear for a celebration of an era gone by. Come celebrate Retro Weekend at Boyne Highlands Resort with a weekend full of events celebrating decades of winter fun! Saturday night features a Retro Party in the legendary Zoo Bar with the most awesome collection of 80s songs you can dream of!

Photo courtesy of LaughFest

Photo courtesy of LaughFest

Melting Mann Dirt Road Bike Challenge
March 8, Marcellus
The Melting Mann is a flat tire bike race through Cass and St. Joseph Counties in Michigan. You may choose from either a 14 mile or a 28 mile route, both routes are single loops and will have you riding over 90 percent of unpaved roads. Visit the Melting Mann website to keep informed on the event.

LaughFest
March 5 – 15, Grand Rapids
The nation’s first ever community wide festival of laughter has quickly earned a reputation for being one of the nation’s most enjoyable event for both participants and artists. This major 10-day Midwest festival is based in Grand Rapids and includes events throughout West Michigan. LaughFest 2015 will feature Jim Breuer, Kathleen Madigan, Sinbad, Justin Willman, Michael Kosta and many more. There are free and ticketed shows. For a list of talent and participating venues in Grand Rapids and West Michigan, visit the website link.

March 9 – 15

Kid’s Festival Weekend
March 13 – 15, Boyne Mountain
Kids’ Festival Weekend is when kids rule the mountain! Event highlights include a Village Party with a cookout; face painting, lively entertainment; inflatable obstacle course, bounce house and Euro Bungee Ride; family après ski and dance party; on-hill kids’ race events.  Plus, bonfire and s ’mores, horse-drawn wagon rides, story time, appearances by Fritz, the resort mascot, family movies, arts and crafts, and more. Join us at Boyne Mountain for a weekend full of fun!

Thumbs up Detroit Exhibition
March 13 – 14, Detroit
This is a time to showcase all that is available in Detroit, from the arts and food, to business and people. Helping Detroit rebuild and show what is possible in this great city. Mingle, check out exhibits, sample food and have a great time. This is a ticketed event.

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Photo courtesy of Michigan Historical Museum

Michigan Historical Museum Fruit Festival
March 14, Lansing
Children can participate in hands-on activities, including crafts that relate to our exhibits. Learn about the new farm tools that led to booming fruit production in Michigan after the Civil War. Also, you’ll discover the variety of produce from Michigan’s “fruit belt” and investigate planting and canning. This program is included with museum admission. Be sure to tour our special exhibit, Conceived in Liberty, which examines Michigan’s role in the second half of the Civil War and the postwar period.

Return to Clare Steam Train Excursion
March 14, Clare
Pere Marquette 1225 “Return to Clare” excursion is a one day excursion. The train will depart Owosso, Mich., at 9 a.m. and arrive at Clare, Mich., at 11:30 a.m. We will have a three hour layover in Clare so passengers can partake of the Irish Festival which will coincide with our excursion. The train then departs Clare at 2:30 p.m. running back to Owosso to finish up around 6 p.m. Please note that these times are subject to change. We will have at least one photo run-by so be sure to bring your camera. Visit their website for ticket prices.

March 16 – 22

Lansing Home & Garden Show
March 19 – 22, Lansing
The biggest Home & Garden Show in Mid-Michigan fills the MSU Pavilion on the campus of Michigan State University. Stunning gardens, extensive landscaping projects and a Standard Flower Show surround exhibits featuring new construction, remodeling, kitchens and baths, retail garden centers, pools and spas, and home services. Free seminars will be hosted on the Garden Stage, Home Stage, and Cooking Stage. Admission: $9 adults, $4 children 6 – 14, and under 5 are free.

Midwest Regional Alternative Dance Festival
March 19 – 22, Kalamazoo
The Midwest Regional Alternative Dance (RAD) Festival will take place at the Wellspring Theater in the Epic Center in Kalamazoo, Mich. RAD Fest will present five different live performances featuring 39 contemporary choreographers and over 250 dance artists from all over the Midwest and will also offer a film in the Atrium series featuring 10 different dances for the camera artists. For more information or a full schedule, please visit the website link.

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Photo courtesy of Boyne Highlands

Krazy Daze
March 20 – 21, Boyne Highlands
Celebrate spring with our something-for-everyone weekend of no-holds-barred festivities – Krazy Daze! Join us for live music, lighthearted activities and upbeat events tailored to every member of the family. Whether you’re a face-painted kid taking a pass at the Silly Slalom, or a kid at heart warming up for the Ski over the Pond competition at a tailgate party you’ll find enough fun and laughter to keep you smiling all weekend long. Ski & Stay lodging packages are also available. For complete event details, visit the website link or call (800) 462-6963.

Carnival Weekend
March 20 – 22, Boyne Mountain
For the Boyne Mountain faithful, Carnival Weekend is nothing short of a major holiday. Schedules are rearranged, elaborate plans formed, and the stops are all pulled out to avoid missing a moment of the fun. The weekend gets started with the Carnival Kick-off Party from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. in the Snowflake Lounge Friday night (free entry for those ages 21+). On Saturday, the infamous On-Hill Party takes place, along with the King and Queen of the Mountain Adult Costume Contest, and a Village Party in the afternoon. Saturday night features music to dance the night away. Sunday’s main event is the Slush Cup on Lower McLouth where you can skim or be soaked.

Maple Syrup Festival
March 21, Lansing
Celebrate nature’s own “Liquid Gold” at Fenner Nature Center’s Maple Syrup Festival! Participate in demonstrations in our Sugar Bush, try your hand at tapping a tree and treat your taste buds to savory treats like maple crème and maple cotton candy!

March 23 – 31

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Photo courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor Film Festival
March 24 – 29, Ann Arbor
Internationally recognized as a premiere forum for independent filmmakers and artists, each year’s festival engages audiences with remarkable cinematic experiences. The six-day festival presents 40 programs with more than 180 films from over 20 countries of all lengths and genres, including experimental, animation, documentary, fiction, and performance-based works.

Family & Friends Race
March 28, Boyne Highlands
The Friends and Family Race was a new event last season and turned out to be a huge success so we’re bringing it back again. There are divisions for “Friends” and “Family” with teams comprised of up to four ski racers. This race is open to ski racers of all ages so get your team together and enjoy a fun day of racing at Boyne Highlands. There is a team entry fee.

Tahquamenon Falls State Park Maple Sugaring Day
March 28, Tahquamenon Falls
Discover how to turn sap from Mother Nature into sweet golden syrup for your pancakes during our annual maple sugaring event. The entire process will be on display, including traditional methods, hands-on activities and taste testing! Free guided tours begin at 12:00, 1:00 and 2:00 p.m. Tours start at the Upper Falls Fact Shack. Maple syrup experts will be on hand to answer questions and provide advice about at-home maple sugaring. Pancakes will be available for participants to taste a variety of homemade syrups from the region. Nature’s Kennel will offer $25 dog sled rides during the event (weather dependent).

All Things Detroit
March 29, Detroit
All Things Detroit is returning to the Eastern Market Sunday March 29, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Shed three. Come out and enjoy an afternoon of browsing the best local products Detroit has to offer, all under one roof! Come check out Detroit apparel, handmade jewelry, artisan food products, custom artwork and more. Explore 60+ local vendors; purchase Detroit/Michigan made products, convenient, FREE parking, free door prizes to the first 300 guests and more.

What’s on your calendar for March in Pure Michigan?