Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Das boot! Das boot! Das boot!

Time to get sloppy!

This weekend is the 13th Annual Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti's Depot Town. So if you're on your way out to the Ann Arbor Art Fair, make a pit stop here first (trust me, the beer will make the A2F2 crowds much more tolerable. And attractive!); see why Michigan has more than earned the name "The Great Beer State" (we're considered one of the top craft brew states in the country in both production quantity and quality, did you know that? Now you do.) I'll be there with bells on...and hopefully reflectors and a GPS tracker just in case I get lost and it gets dark.

A joint resolution by the Michigan House and Senate officially designates July as Michigan Craft Beer Month. Senate Resolution 0164 introduced by Senator Mike Nofs (R – Battle Creek / 19th District) and House Resolution 0301 introduced by Representative Rebekah Warren (D – Ann Arbor / 53rd District) each support the state’s growing craft brewing industry.

“The craft beer industry is one of the bright spots in our economy,” said Nofs. “It has seen double-digit growth over the past two years, despite the overall economic downturn. Our brewers employ thousands of residents, and support the state's agriculture, restaurant and tourism industries. It has also taken the lead in promoting the safe, responsible use of its products.”

The Michigan Brewers Guild encourages residents and visitors to the Great Beer State to celebrate Michigan Craft Beer Month by visiting area brewpubs and microbreweries, purchasing Michigan craft beer at retail outlets and restaurants and attending regional celebrations like the 13th Annual Michigan Summer Beer Festival (July 23-24) at Riverside Park in Ypsilanti’s historic Depot Town.

More than 50 Michigan craft breweries will showcase 300-plus craft beers at the Summer Beer Festival, which runs from 5-9pm on Friday, July 23 and 1-6pm on Saturday, July 24. Admission tickets for the 2010 Summer Beer Festival, (including 15 drink tokens) are:

Friday (7/23) - $30 in advance ($35 at the gate if available)
Saturday (7/24) - $35 in advance ($40 at the gate if available)

This year’s entertainment includes Trouser (alternative rock) followed by Harper (world beat/blues/funk) on Friday and Dead String Brothers (blend of Americana and Motown), followed by Witchdoctors (swampy blues) on Saturday.

The Guild will continue efforts to keep this highly popular festival – which expects to draw more than 9000 individuals over the course of two days – into an event with a lower environmental footprint. Local organizations, such as Recycle Ann Arbor and Green On-Site, will once again assist in a series of initiatives to help keep the post-festival waste a minimum. Such efforts include:

* Placing recycling bins throughout the festival grounds, allowing for the separation of food products from recyclable products.
* Using plates, bowls, cups, hand-towels and eating utensils made from biodegradable products, which will be disposed of at a local composting station instead of a landfill.
* Setting up bulk water stations, instead of plastic bottles of water.
* Utilizing volunteers to assist at recycling stations, making sure all the recyclables are properly sorted from the food items.

Advanced tickets for the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival may be purchased online at www.michiganbrewersguild.org, at participating member breweries and select retail locations around the state or by calling 877-772-5425. Attendees must be 21 or older to attend. Designated driver tickets are available online and at the gate for $5 each. Additional drink tokens are available for 50 cents each.

Michigan’s thriving brewing industry contributes over $24 million in wages with a total economic contribution of more than $133 million. In terms of overall number breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs, Michigan ranks #6 in the nation – thus supporting its claim as “The Great Beer State.”

The Michigan Brewers Guild exists to unify the Michigan brewing community; to increase sales of Michigan-brewed beer through promotions, marketing, public awareness and consumer education; and to monitor and assure a healthy beer industry within the state. For more information, including a list of Michigan microbreweries, log on to www.michiganbrewersguild.org.

Think globally. Drink locally. Join me in my self-righteousness beer snobbery. Next time someone offers you a Miller, wave your hand with a look of disgust and sneer "What is this swill you insult me with? Be gone with you!" Seriously, try it; it's fun.