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Wednesday, June 4,2014

Festivals for the rest of us

Get in the spirit with festivals dedicated to Michigan wine and craft beer

by Michael Brenton
Summer is nigh, and that means celebrations of fermented juice will soon be in full swing across all regions of Michigan. In fact, some have already started. The Michigan Beer & Brat Festival over Memorial Day weekend showcased the growing vitality of the Great Lake State’s beverage producers. New Michigan wineries, cideries, meaderies and breweries continue to sprout up, boasting some awesome and creative beverages at the festivals.

The 2014 Beer & Brat event added eight breweries and two additional hard cider producers to last year’s lineup. A bevy of custom bratwurst creators, perfect weather, fabulous music and a 20 percent increase in attendance made for a lively segue into summer. This could be a harbinger of great things to come for both producers and festivalgoers this summer and fall.

Tastes from the Beer & Brat fest suggest that visitors to the Sleeping Bear Dunes region will want to stop at the new Stormcloud Brewery in downtown Frankfort.

So what’s on tap for the summer? By regions, below is a sampling of some of the bigger events. The next several months will be overloaded with great festival opportunities.

MID-MICHIGAN
June 7 – Jackson
Art, Beer and Wine Festival
experiencejackson.com/calendar/event/7374
June 20-28 – Lansing
Lansing Beer Week Fun, educational and charitable events all week. lansingbeerweek.com
June 21 and 22 – Pioneer Wine Trail
Summer Solstice Wine Release Party Perhaps not as well known or established as some other Michigan wine trails, the Pioneer Wine Trail is the closest to mid-Michigan. This event provides a great introduction to regional mid-Michigan wines.
July 19 – Battle Creek
Corks for Conservation Binder Park Zoo
binderparkzooonline.org/programs/ corks_tix.php
August 9-10 – Pioneer Wine Trail
The Wine Days of Summer
Tour of Southern and mid-Michigan wineries. pioneerwinetrail.com

NORTHWEST MICHIGAN
June 14 – Leland
Leland Wine & Food Festival Attend this event and you’ll understand why it has been attracting thousands for 29 years. Live music by Soul Patch and an idyllic harbor side setting. lelandmi.com/events/ wine-food-festival
June 21 – Traverse City
Traverse City Wine and Art Festival This four-in-one festival is not to be missed. Featuring seven musical acts (including Lansing’s own Phil Denny) on two stages, 30 Grand Traverse region wineries, a cidery, more than 40 artists in a juried art show and an array of local gourmet cuisine. Tickets sell out, so advance purchase is recommended. traversecitywinefestival.com
June 21 – Glen Arbor
BBQ & Brew Festival visitglenarbor.com/event/bbq-brew-fest
June 28 – Harbor Springs
Waterfront Wine Festival harborspringschamber.com/waterfront-winefestival-267/
July 5-12 – Traverse City
National Cherry Festival
cherryfestival.org
July 19 – Suttons Bay
Wine on the Water Festival
traversecity.com/events/33/427/
Aug. 16 – Ludington
Suds on the Shore sudsontheshore.com
Aug. 22-23 – Traverse City
Traverse City Summer Microbrew & Music Festival
The older sibling to the local version, which debuted in downtown Lansing in April. microbrewandmusic. com/traverse-city-summer

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN
June 21 – Bridgeman
Lake Michigan Shore Wine Festival lakemichiganshorewinetrail.com/events
June 21 – St. Joseph
Summer Solstice Music and Microbrews smso.org/Music_Microbrews/ MMB_14.html
Aug. 8-9 – New Buffalo
New Buffalo Ship & Shore Festival newbuffalo.org/event
Sept. 12-14 – Grand Haven
Grand Haven Salmon Festival
Don’t be misled by the name. This event includes local cuisine, wine, beer, ciders and an art fair. ghsalmonfest.com

SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN July 25 – Detroit
Wild Beasts, Wild Wine at the Detroit Zoo
detroitzoo.org/events/wildbeasts-wild-wine
July 25-26 – Ypsilanti
2014 Summer Beer Festival mibeer.com/summer-festival
Aug. 29-September 1 – Royal Oak
Arts, Beats & Eats
artsbeatseats.com

NORTHEAST MICHIGAN
July 19 – Harrisville
Sunrise Side Wine and Food Festival michigan.org/events/sunrise-side-wineand-food-festival.

In Vino Veritas, (Michael Brenton is president of the Greater Lansing Vintner’s Club. His column appears monthly. You can email him at brenton@lansingcitypulse.com.)

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