Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Raise a Mug of Michigan Beer to Fathers Everywhere

This year, toast your father (or grandfather, brother, uncle or son – maybe, even yourself) with a hand-crafted Michigan beer. With more than 70 craft breweries in the state – and hundreds of brews – there’s definitely something to please every beer drinkers taste.

A four- or six-pack of craft beer makes the ideal gift for dad, as does a trip to a local brewpub for lunch, dinner or a Brewhouse tour. For a totally unique experience, check out Saugatuck Brewing in Saugatuck and Kuhnhenn Brewing in Warren, which both offer opportunities for the general public to come in and make their own on-premise brews.

Looking for the perfect gift for inside that Father’s Day Card? Consider a $25 Enthusiast membership with the Michigan Brewers Guild. Available online at, this membership also includes VIP “early admission” status at the Guild’s various festivals, discounts at participating membership brewpubs, special VIP brewery tours, and a free Michigan beer t-shirt.

Another gift idea is tickets to the Michigan Summer Beer Festival, July 23-24, at Riverside Park in downtown Ypsilanti’s Depot Town. Advanced tickets are $30 for Friday and $35 for Saturday. This event sells out each year, and often tickets are not available at the gate – so it’s advisable to purchase them in advance. Tickets are available online at or at participating retail outlets and breweries (list posted on

Michigan beer events taking place Father’s Day weekend include:

• Enthusiast Tour at Arcadia Ales, Battle Creek (
A guided tour on Saturday, June 19 (1-2pm) by Brewmaster Josh Davies through Arcadia’s production facility exclusively for Enthusiast members of the Michigan Brewers Guild ($25 annual membership, see below). The tour also includes $1 off first pint. RSVP to Josh Davies:

• Bell’s Beer Tasting at Chamberlin’s Old Forest Inn, Curtis ( Celebrate with Larry Bell of Bell's Beer, who will be on hand featuring: Lager of the Lakes, Oberon, Porter, Kalamazoo Stout, Two-Hearted Ale, Third Coast Old Ale, Wedding Ale, Le Pianste (one of Bell's French Jazz Series), Oracle and Oarsman. Tickets are $25 each (must be 21). Reservations required by calling 906-586-6000

• Founders Fest at Founders Brewing, Grand Rapids ( An estimated 4000 fans of award-winning craft brewer, Founders Brewing Company will gather on Saturday, June 19 for the 3rd annual Founders Fest – an outdoor beer and music festival in downtown Grand Rapids. From 3-11pm, the street (Grandville Avenue between Cherry and Bartlett) will be blocked and the grounds of the brewery secured for the festivities – including a variety of local, regional and national entertainment, local food vendors, an expanded “Local Artists Row” and fellow craft beer lovers.

• Michigan Brewing Company Father’s Day Run, Webberville ( Now in its fourth year, this 5k Beer Run at 6pm on Saturday, June 19 benefits men’s prostate health programs through Sparrow Hospital.

• Summer Solstice with Kuhnhenn Brewing Company, Warren ( Celebrate Father’s Day and the official arrival of summer with 12 unique and distinctive wheat beers on tap – including limited bottle releases of Barley Wine, Solar Eclipse, Imperial Crème-Brulee Java Stout, Mayhem, Winter Wonder Lager and Extraneous Ale. . Dan the Smokin’ Man will be serving delectable meaty treats from 1-6pm (while food lasts). Live music on Saturday night (9pm-Midnlight) featuring The Return of Nick & Reggie!

• Big Daddy of Michigan Beers at HopCat, Grand Rapids ( Imagine how proud your dad will be if you took him out for this beer dinner to celebrate Father’s Day! Four courses - $35 per person. The menu includes a sausage/cheese plate (paired with The Livery’s Carvana cask conditioned ale); pistachio encrusted whitefish (paired with Short’s Pistachio Cream Ale); spiced lamb shanks & cous cous (paired with Dark Horse’s Double Crooked Tree); and double cream stout ice cream and coconut (paired with Bell’s Double cream Stout). Reservations are required. Sunday, June 20 (6pm)

• Beers From Around the World with Arbor Brewing, Ann Arbor ( Take a three-hour whirlwind tour from 2-5pm on Sunday, June 20, to discover the histories and types of beers brewed in Mexico, Germany, Ireland, Belgium, Russia, Poland and the United States with Rene Greff. Offered through Washtenaw Community College’s Lifelong Learning program. $49 per person includes lunch and 10 beer samples. Registration required.

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

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