Traverse City Summer Microbrew & Music Festival

Traverse City Summer Microbrew & Music Festival
TC Beer Fest
Courtesy of TC Beer Fest.

Two days of delicious and innovative Michigan craft beer, delicious local food, bands jamming out to the soul of the summer, and the Village at Grand Traverse Commons as the backdrop – sounds like year number five should be a good one. The Fifth Annual Traverse City Summer Microbrew & Music Festival is sure to please guests with over 300 craft brews to try while being serenaded by the likes of Michael Franti & Spearhead, as well as The Wailers on August 23 and 24, 2013. Sam Porter of Porterhouse Productions and the event’s organizer explains, “It is obvious how happy the event makes Northern Michigan people and those that travel to the festival. It has become a ‘toast to summer’ event where we all celebrate new and old friendships – it is a really cool event.”

Every year, the festival has aimed to bring more awareness to the burgeoning craft beer scene, while providing an event that also celebrates good music and local flavor. The proceeds from alcohol sales will benefit CherryT Ball Drop, a local non-profit organization that raises money and collects non-perishable food items for area pantries. Not only is this an opportunity to indulge in some of our state’s finest offerings, but it is also benefiting a good cause all the while. Porter explains, “I dream to have a brewery someday but for now I enjoy building the culture and supporting brewers, artists, local food, and nonprofits. To date we have raised over $40,000 for local nonprofits and 50,000 pounds of food.”

Not only do the festivities celebrate those breweries that are already established, but the event is careful to include the very important and growing numbers of homebrewers. “Last year we were the first Michigan Liquor Control Commission-allowed homebrewers public tasting contest at a ticketed event. This year, the MLCC is letting us double this VERY popular component to 18 homebrewers that are all talented and creative – the line was an hour to taste last year, but free and fun!” explains Porter. A true representation of the beer community in Michigan, breweries of all sizes are committed to the event, even those that don’t have four walls yet.

TC Beer Fest Poster
Courtesy of TC Beer Fest.

Not totally convinced? Michael Franti and the Spearheads will kick off the festival on Friday night with an accompanying “Pint Night” event featuring craft beers. Franti is a huge supporter of several peace, environmental, and social justice issues. He and the Spearheads have worked with artists like The Fugees, Cypress Hill, A Tribe Called Quest, and Busta Rhymes. He will bring a particular soulful character to the beginning of the event with a mix of hip-hop, reggae, rock, and pop.

Famous for their work with Bob Marley, Saturday’s headlining act, The Wailers, will be joined by several other renowned acts for a day full of dynamic national and local musical artists. The Wailers have also performed with such famous acts as Sting, the Fugees, Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana and Alpha Blondy, as well as reggae stars including Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, and Burning Spear. There’s not much missing from a day full of fun music, good beer, scrumptious food, and good people.

Tickets to the 2013 Traverse City Summer Microbrew & Music Festival are on sale now at www.tcbeerfest.com. General admission tickets for Friday are $35 in advance or $40 at the door and include access to all festival entertainment and events. Friday “Pint Night” drink tokens – good for craft brew pints – will be available for purchase at the event for $20 for 4 tokens.

General admission tickets for Saturday are $40 in advance or $45 at the door and include 5 drink tokens and access to all festival entertainment and events. Additional tokens will be available for purchase at the event for $2 each. In addition, a general admission weekend pass good for both Friday and Saturday evenings is available for $70, while a VIP weekend pass – which includes early admission on Saturday, access to VIP restrooms, 10 Saturday tasting tokens and a custom pint glass – is available for $100. The festival is open to attendees ages 21 and up, no exceptions.

Need more? Visit the Traverse City Summer Microbrew & Music Festival website and Facebook. Be sure to tag #tcmmf!

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I was raised in vacation-land, Traverse City, where I was one of the lucky ones to enjoy the beach in the summer and snowboard through the winters. Then, I went to college and lived in East Lansing and Lansing, where I learned about sports and getting things done. Now I'm quite honestly falling head over heels for Detroit. I solemnly believe that life is too short for bad coffee, yucky wine, and poorly crafted beer. This means that Michigan is the perfect place for me! My spare time is spent reading or exploring the outdoors. E-mail me: joanna@awesomemitten.com.