If I was forced to choose a favorite event in the city of Grand Rapids, I would instantly name the Summer Craft Beer Festival. Local radio giants 97.9 WGRD, 98.7 WFGR, Channel 95.7, 100.5 The River, 1410 AM The Touch are all excited to bring back the fourth annual festival this Saturday. If you’re free July 19th, block out your afternoon from 2 to 7 p.m. and prepare to have a blast! Just like the previous three years, John Ball Park will be hosting all the excitement; I’m hoping that it continues to last as other beer lovers come to enjoy it as much as I do.
Starting four years ago, the Summer Craft Beer Fest began when craft beverage enthusiasm was just beginning to ramp up. While this event isn’t Michigan beer exclusively, it boasts an excellent selection of local brewers’ talents and enthusiasts will also get to sample from Colorado, Vermont, California, Minnesota, Montana, Alaska, and more. Expect to see beer, ciders, and even mead this year! The local line-up includes Boatyard Brewing and Bell’s Brewery of Kalamazoo, Blackrocks Brewery of Marquette, Darkhorse of Marshall, Crankers of Big and Grand Rapids, Osgood of Grandville, and a dozen more. Plans include live music, food tents, games (BAGS!) and a good cause that a portion of ticket sales will be benefiting. The West Grand Neighborhood Organization is the nonprofit partner for the event this year and this organization provides support and programs for local businesses, residents in need and the elderly year-round in the West Leonard and Stockbridge areas. Even if you don’t like beer, you could come down, see the new tigers exhibit at John Ball Zoo, hear some live music, and support a good cause. Musicians gracing the stage for this event include Tyler Howe, The Campanellis, and The Upstage Crew.
Buy tickets online for this event – you can decide if you’re a VIP or a regular Joe. VIP tickets are $45 in advance or $55 at the gate and includes twenty drink tickets, $5 towards food vendors, a souvenir sample glass and entry to the VIP rare beers tent. Basic entry is $30 in advance ($35 the day of) and includes fifteen drink tickets and a souvenir sample glass. So if you like beer and love summer, or vice versa, hope to see you there!
What other beer events are you checking out this summer?