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:
There is a King dressed in a gold spandex miniskirt.
And a superhero with boxer shorts decorated with beer mugs and a Blackrocks emblem on his chest.
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.
Watching a T-Rex play Cornhole is really quite funny. Maybe it’s the short arms.
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.
Stormy Kromer and Plaid Shirts
Don’t try this look at home, it might not end well. Victor gets a pass.
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.
The Ore Dock
The Ore Dock is an omniscient presence. It is there in the harbor. Watching. Guarding. Approving. Enjoy Michigan Beer!
The best reason! Drinking beer with your friends.
It’s true, there are great beards at all the festivals. Here are few that tickled my fancy at the UP Fall Beer Fest.
And the T-Shirts always provide interesting entertainment at all the beer festivals.
But at the UP Fall Beer Festival there is always a profusion of Hops Headgear.
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.
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.
Michigan Beer Fight Song
It is more a chant than a song and always fun.
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.
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.
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!
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