U.P. Beer Festival 2013

by | Sep 12, 2013 | Beer, Michigan

Way More Than Another Beer Fest!

We recently made a pilgrimage to Michigan’s fantastic Upper Peninsula. Our pilgrimage was in search of great Michigan beer. We found it at the Michigan Brewer’s Guild 5th Annual U.P. Beer Festival in Marquette, Michigan.  Our pilgrimage first took us out to the Keweenaw peninsula to visit Houghton, Hancock, Calumet, Eagle River (and the fantastic Eagle River Inn!!), and Copper Harbor.  More stories on our side trip soon to follow 🙂

Drinking with Good Friends

Blackrocks Brewing

Andy (Blackrocks) with Angie and Brenda

While every guild festival has its own special charm, the beauty of the U.P. Beer Festival is that it feels like a family reunion (but without the stress or the family!). It is an opportunity to check-in with old friends and make new ones. There is the added bonus that some of our friends make the delicious beers. Like the crazy Andy Reeves from Blackrocks, who likes to eat muskrat heads. (He demonstrated this for us during the 4-Elf Party at Dark Horse in 2012.) He always provides a proper U.P. greeting when you see him!  Ohwere  you wondering about the beers from Blackrocks?  The Lazer Wolf Doom Hammer Spruce Tip Imperial IPA (wowthat’s a name!) was great!  We all especially liked the Big DIPA Imperial IPA joint brew with The Vierling.

Dark Horse Brewing Co.

Wiggs - your number 1!

Kristy from Dark Horse

Then there are our brothers and sisters from Dark Horse Brewing — Wiggs, Kristy, and Joanna. They greet you with a smile and are happy to have a beer with you and shoot the breeze  — another reason why we love Dark Horse so much. We are proud members of the Nation! We got a special bonus treat this year — we got to chat up Aaron’s dad, Wacky.  Super cool guy!  Did you want to hear about their beers too? Well, it was all gold Jerry! The Flat Sammich Malt Liquor was creamy, a bit sweet, and delightful.  This year’s Oktoberfest is fantastic.  Top Fuel bourbon barrel barley wine is, well, Top Fuel!  BAM!

Shorts Brewing Co.

Shorts Brewing folks

More great artwork at Shorts

We don’t actually know the folks at Shorts, but we feel like they are our buds! We‘ve always have a good time when we visit them in Bellaire, and we really dig their creativity. Great beers with great names and fun artwork.  Check out Lil Wheezy for example, a great hoppy brown ale and just look at the art work!  Hopstache is a great IPA with a wonderful grapefruit kick.

Have a Firkin Beer with new friends…

Nice shirt from the Mitten Bar

Greenbush Brewing Company

Jill from Greenbush with Brenda and her new tattoo

Jill is pointing out a new Greenbush Tattoo on Brenda‘s arm. Tattoos are not mandatory but you may want to get one.

Fun folks from Greenbush

Greenbush’s PHD Malt Liquor and the Cask Demeter were  damn good. The Starchicken Shotgun IPA was pretty good too. Chuck broke out into a rendition of Afternoon Delight after hearing the word “Starchicken”. Not sure what that means but at least he has moved on from Joe Cocker’s “Space Captain”. Oo0h Ahh. We had to listen to that firken song 40 times between Ann Arbor and Marquette (note from Chuck – “Joe Cocker Rocks!!” 🙂

All smiles from the Greenbush table

Kuhnhenn Brewing Co

We’d love to be better friends with the crew at Khunhen Brewing. They probably want to avoid us after the “Afternoon Delight “reference. That is fine as long as they keep serving their DRIPA (Double Rice IPA). It  is so good.  The Imperial Creme Brule Java Stout was a fabulous liquid dessert!  Wow.  The Kuhnhenn crew were the good people with the shirt cannon. (In case you were wondering…)

Shirt Cannon!!

White Flame Brewing Co.

Fresh beer at White Flame

Chuck likes White Flame Brewing Company’s Kentucky Kiss – A barrel aged Scotch Ale.  He said, “It is excellent!”  We discovered their great beers at last year’s U.P. beer festival and have made it a habit to check in with them at each fest.  They also make a damn fine double IPA with their Big Willy!

 Brickside Brewery

Brickside happy to share their beer

During our trip up to Copper Harbor the day before the U.P. Beer festival, we tried to stop in for a visit to Brickside Brewery.  The bummer was that they were closed due to a compressor issue.  The good news for us was that they were still able to share some of their fine beers at the fest.  Chainbreaker double IPA is a solid IPA.  Chuck thought it had a great hop nose.  He’s a hophead, wonder if that comes from being a metalhead too??

Fun Times with Fun Folks!

More fun friends from the fest

You may think beer makes everyone friendly at a beer fest, but we think friendly people just happen to enjoy a good beer. We met these Beer campers having a great time.  They also were enjoying their lunchable ham roll-ups. Not really our choice of treat, but you gotta love the imaginative choice for festival snacks.

Some kinda ham rollups!

These friends graduated from NMU and were meeting up back in Michigan for a reunion just in time for the fest.  Brenda thought they were adorable.

Cute couple at the fest

And then there is this happy guy :)

Keanu ReevesI meanSpiderman made it to the U.P. Beer festival too!!  We thought web spinning would be pretty handy for keeping track of your beer cup!

Spiderman makes an appearance!


The misty rain didn’t stop the music either.

Rain won't keep folks down

Chasin Steel bluegrass

Chasin‘ Steel –  warmed up the crowd  for Blackrocks Electric Band.

Blackrocks Electric Band!

Dancing to the Blackrocks band!

Pabst Blue Ribbon? Looking forward to next year’s U.P. Beer Festival. There are many more pictures in the gallery.

The guy who drove in the Pabst truck


  1. The “lunchable ham roll-ups” were actually ham and onion wraps. But you are close enough 🙂

    • Thought those may be onions in there 🙂 Great idea for fest snacks!


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