The 2019 Michigan Winter Beer Festival token controversy washed away in a flood of beer on Saturday, February 23 when Michigan Beer Enthusiasts gathered in Grand Rapids to celebrate with their beer families.
2019 Michigan Winter Beer Festival
I was blissfully unaware of the token controversy until the car ride to the 2019 Michigan Winter Beer Festival. “What?” I said, “3 or 4 tokens per pour.” I listened to my fiends calculate how many tokens they’d need. Jeff finally decided he would need at least 40. Did anyone bring spare tokens? There were a few sad faces. The conversation quickly moved to more important things like the new breweries.
In the far corner of the festival, we found Kitzingen Brewery. They had Bouncing Betty, an Imperial IPA. This was one of my favorite beers and it was just a single token! Boom. Kitzengen opened in 2015 and the name is inspired by Kitzingen, Germany where the owner Rommie Bailey was stationed while serving in the Army.
Albion Malleable Brewing
Nearly in the middle of the festival, we found Albion Malleable Brewing. This one was on our list coming into the 2019 Michigan Winter Beer Festival as we’d heard good things from our friends at the coming soon Ogma Brewing and from our buddy Brett at Grand River Brewing. They did not disappoint with Uncle Cousin IPA and the wicked Say Uncle imperial IPA. We are looking forward to stopping into the brewery since it is not too far from home. In case you are curious, the name is a homage to the Albion Malleable Iron Company which had been a key ingredient to the livelihood of Albion. Perhaps, Albion Malleable Brewing is a sign of good things to come to the city.
Barrel + Beam
I splurged 3 tokens for Barrel + Beam’s Queen City Brut. It was worth the 3 tokens I am happy to report. I am usually not a fan of sours so I was a bit concerned about handing over 3 tokens. They did not disappoint. I may have try another sour in the near future. Looking forward to visiting them in Marquette when head north for the U.P. Beer Festival in September.
Perrin Brewing Co.
While Perrin Brewing is not a new brewery to us, they definitely shook up our senses with their Clear Coast hard seltzer. Our buddy Jay Green said they had been serving it Friday night from the water fountain they had rigged up. At one point it had been shooting over into the neighbors at Sisters Lake. Eventually, it blew through the CO2, so no water fountain for us on Saturday. Nonetheless, it is a tremendously refreshing beverage which should be a smash in the summertime. Another dandy beer was the Dry Dragon Brut IPA. The Perrin crew teamed up with the Kuhnhenn team to make this bad ass IPA.
Snacklaces Gone Wild
A staple of just about any beer festival is the snack necklace or snacklace. Back in the day, we tied a few little pretzels on a string and called it good. Nowadays, the snacklaces have taken on a life of their own. This is especially true in the colder months, and this year’s 2019 Michigan Winter Beer Festival was no exception. There were folks with a whole smoker full of meat around their necks! Good grief, I think one gentleman had a whole roast for his afternoon snack.
Pizza anyone? This cute couple even had pizza shaped satchels for their tasty treats.
This lovely gal had the beer festival four food groups: jerky, cheese, gold fish, and pretzels.
Here we see this fine gentleman going for the sweet (red licorice) and savory (beef sticks).
Just look at these two with their chicken beer holders and a sausage backup.
The good thing this year is that the 2019 Michigan Winter Beer Festival was not rescheduled due to flooding. Evidently, the day to come was Friday night as it was sunny and gorgeous for February in Michigan. As we waited in line earlier in the day on Saturday, the sun tried to peak out and it seemed like we would be spared. Of course, as soon as you think that, it will rain. Sure enough, the rain softly pattered about the festival. However, hearty beer enthusiasts put on their rain ponchos and made the best of it.
Music and Beer
As the main crowds were streaming into the 2019 Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival, the stage was heating up with the surf rock goodness of The Concussions. The band has been a hallmark in Michigan for years, yet this was our first time seeing them. The whole band wear skeleton masks as they rock out some Link Ray and Ventures influenced original music. The cold light rain may have put a damper on dancing, but I saw plenty of people bobbing their heads and smiling with music. Their twangy tremolo tunes taste delicious when you pair them with the lip smacking Barbados Slim sour from One Well Brewing.
Just as all the fantastic beers at the festival were soaking into our souls, the Overdrive Orchestra cranked it up with thundering rock. The energy of this band could have powered every tent at the beer fest. They charged into their set with gusto featuring a dynamic rhythm section which laid the perfect foundation for ripping guitars and funky keyboards. The rain was humming harder at this point which kept folks back at the tents, yet the band played as if thousands were jamming with them up front. No two ways about it, these guys rock and I’d check them out again. Their searing soulful jams went down smooth with a Bouncing Betty imperial IPA from Kitzingen Brewery.
We’ve got a bunch more pictures from the 2019 Michigan Winter Beer Festival in our gallery. Take a peek, find your pic and leave us a comment while you are at it.
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