Day 266: Michigan Winter Beer Festival

Michigan Winter Beer Festival  - The Awesome Mitten
Michigan Winter Beer Festival

The 2012 Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival was a whirlwind of amazing beer, pretzel necklaces, and some of the best people-watching one could ever experience. With more than 50 Michigan craft breweries and over 450 different beers to sample, the 6,000 participants left more than satisfied.

The 7th Annual Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival sold out in record time this year, and attire reached a high level of outrageousness. Men and women wore hats made of large animal carcasses and hops; also, beer costumes and kilts were worn in abundance.

Brisk winds and low temperatures could not keep the thousands of beer enthusiasts away from Comstock Park. Heat lamps and mini bonfires were spread throughout Fifth Third Ballpark to keep everyone warm during the event. If all else failed, pasties were available for purchase, providing a makeshift hand warmer and much needed fuel to power through the five delightful hours of beer tasting.  Most of these passionate beer tasters came prepared with snacks of their own. It was rare to see an individual without a necklace adorned with pretzels, string cheese, and mini bagels. One gentleman even sported pork chops and bacon around his neck!

This remarkable festival provided a fantastic way for beer lovers to support Michigan’s local businesses and sample hundreds of craft beers from around the state. The cheerful attitudes, comical attire, and jolly atmosphere were exactly what Michiganders needed to shake off those end-of-winter doldrums. “Mock winter. Celebrate beer”: Check.

Be sure to check out the Michigan Brewers Guild’s Facebook and Twitter pages for upcoming events!
Jennifer Hamilton, Feature Writer

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The Awesome Mitten was born when I moved back to Michigan from Nashville, TN in September 2010. Almost immediately, I became frustrated. I couldn’t figure out why there weren’t more Michigan residents singing our states praises! I was so irritated, I wrote a Letter to the Editor. Three weeks later, I had started a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and a landing page for the website, determined to do something to make Michigan residents aware of all the cool things going on in their own state. Email me: