2017 UP Fall Beer Festival

by | Sep 16, 2017 | Beer

The 9th Annual UP Fall Beer Festival in Marquette, Michigan on Sept 9, 2017, was a sweet taste of summer with a touch of plaid, hops headgear, and a dinosaur or two. I know, right? 

UP Fall Beer Festival

The Michigan Brewers Guild‘s UP Fall Beer Festival guide says it “Featured more than 90 breweries and damn near 600 different beers from some of the finest Michigan breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs.” If you are a Guild Enthusiast Member, you get a VIP early entry. This comes in handy for avoiding the long general admission line. 

Favorite Beer Festival

Every year I say, “Yep, it’s my favorite festival.” But when pressed to say why, I mumble something like, “It is in the UP. Or I love Marquette and Blackrocks and it is an excuse to visit. Maybe it’s the weather, it’s not too hot (as it can be at the Summer Beer Festival can be) or too cold (as it can be at the Winter Beer Festival can be). I don’t know, maybe it’s the beer.” 

Well, yeah it is probably the beer, but here are some possible reasons why it is my favorite festival: 

Beer King 

There is a King dressed in a gold spandex miniskirt. 

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-4


And a superhero with boxer shorts decorated with beer mugs and a Blackrocks emblem on his chest.   

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-311

Beer Bandit

I can’t explain why this is a reason. Just trust me on this one. 

Upper Hand Brewery 

The opportunity to sample Upper Hand‘s beer. It isn’t available below the Mackinac Bridge, only in the U.P. and Northern Wisconsin. That doesn’t really seem fair, but they didn’t ask me. 

The dudes pouring were super cute, so drink on. 

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-60


Watching a T-Rex play Cornhole is really quite funny. Maybe it’s the short arms. 

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-60

Pasty Beer

Yes, Cellarmen‘s brought Pasty Beer. It is a Troll’s offering to the U.P. It is hard to believe a beer made with rutabaga would be good, but it was pretty tasty.  

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-93

Stormy Kromer and Plaid Shirts

Don’t try this look at home, it might not end well. Victor gets a pass. 

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-2

51K IPA 

We love 51k IPA! If it is available in cans or on tap in the lower peninsula and we are frequent flyers. Drinking it in Marquette is like eating a birthday cake your mother made – decadent but somehow wholesome at the same time.

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-7

The Ore Dock 

The Ore Dock is an omniscient presence. It is there in the harbor. Watching. Guarding. Approving. Enjoy Michigan Beer! 

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-187


The best reason! Drinking beer with your friends. 

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-306


It’s true, there are great beards at all the festivals. Here are few that tickled my fancy at the UP Fall Beer Fest.    

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-40

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-48

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-120

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-123

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-157

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-178

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-84

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-109


And the T-Shirts always provide interesting entertainment at all the beer festivals. 

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-174

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-284

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-89

Hops Headgear

But at the UP Fall Beer Festival there is always a profusion of Hops Headgear. 

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-240

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-188

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-191

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-258

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-262

UP Fall Beer Fest 2017-267

UP Fall Beer Fest 2017-268

UP Fall Beer Fest 2017-51

UP Fall Beer Fest 2017-52

New Breweries 

Seeking out the new breweries after we’ve stopped by our favorites is part of the beer festival routine. We’d love to hear which breweries we missed!  

Speciation Artisan Ales 

Speciation Artisan Ales had the longest line. Their ales were on the wild side. You can find them in Comstock Park. Hopefully we will see them at the Detroit Beer Festival too. 

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-87

Four Leaf Brewing

I asked Jeff, “Did you like the beer you tasted from Four Leaf Brewing?” He looked at me confused. So I continued. “You gave them $10 for their fundraiser to help, I believe, with neutering cats.” The details are a bit fuzzy. We let the conversation trail off. 

But when I asked Chuck the same question, he said, without hesitation “Gordie’s Hop Bomb – Double IPA.” We just Googled them, hoping we could visit this afternoon, but they are in Clare, Michigan. Definitely on the list to visit the next time we head North. 

Loggers Brewing Company 

Loggers Brewing Company gets the award for the best peanut beer, “We Creamed Our Peanuts Oatmeal Creme Stout”. Definitely on the list the next time we are in Saginaw.


At Haymarket we sampled their Mathias Imperial Red. Chuck said, “Delicious.” We hope to purchase their beer from the local party store soon.  

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-118

Michigan Beer Fight Song

It is more a chant than a song and always fun. 

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-290


Taxi are a local band from Marquette who play often at Blackrocks Brewing. They played an intoxicating mix of music making great use of sax, violin, and guitar with a stellar rhythm section. They had the opening spot, so it took a few minutes for folks to gather about the stage to check them out. Their music was perfect for a sunny day of beers in the U.P.

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-134
UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-131
UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-136
UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-138
UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-143

Frank An Da Beanz

This band is a real gas baby! Yes, I went there. Frank An Da Beanz are U.P. regulars who like to go rogue and play lots of cool tunes outside the normal scheme of covers. They were in fine form for the beer fest this year. We surely missed them in last years mud fest.

UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-315
UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-326
UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-316
UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-318
UP Fall Beer Festival 2017-322

Da Beanz played plenty of fun and funky grooves which had lots of hips swinging. Hip swinging gets easy as you burn through your drink tokens. Thank you Taxi and Frank An Da Beanz for another great year of music at the U.P. Fall Beer Festival.

Photos and Future Adventures

We have several hundred pictures in our gallery. Drop by and explore. Give us a shout if you want to use one. Don’t forget, tickets for the Detroit Fall Beer Festival (Oct 27 & 28, 2017) are on sale now. We hope to see you there!

Thank You for Your Support

Patronage from people like you who enjoy our stories is what keeps Life in Michigan going strong. If you have the means, consider showing your support on our Patreon Page.

Share the News

If you enjoyed the fun from the U.P. Beer Fest coverage, then share it on your favorite social media venue or send it as a link to your friends and family. This is good for everyone!

Stay Connected

We’d really love it if you’d like our Facebook page.To get our posts delivered to your email box, subscribe to our newsletter. You can also find us on Instagram. Cheer!


  1. What was the attendance?

    • Hi Herb, I don’t have exact numbers, but it was nearly SOLD OUT. Only a few hundred tickets were left.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recommended Reading