Charlevoix’s 2nd annual Beer Fest’

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Beth Gohs

Staff Writer

If hops make you happy and barley is your bliss, then bring a sawbuck down to the Second Annual Charlevoix Craft Beer Festival starting at 8 p.m. on Friday, and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday on June 5 and 6.

Restaurants will serve special brews as a preview Friday night, and Saturday will kick off the official festival with a beer tent in Bridge Park featuring live music, food and 80 different brews to taste for just $10.

“The craft beer industry is alive and well in Michigan. It’s done very well, and there are some great brewers but there are some great smaller companies up in Northern Michigan,” said Rich Bergmann, Managing Partner of Bridge Street Tap Room, which founded the event. “From Traverse City north along the west coast of Michigan, they’re not all in Detroit, they are not all in Grand Rapids, and this festival gives a good cross-section of Northern Michigan exposure to these great new brewers.”
According to Bergmann, there was a great turnout last year, and they expect 1,500 people to enjoy the taste test and camaraderie alike at this year’s event.

“It’s a great fundraiser because we help pay for events in East Park—music concerts—it’s a good civic activity,” he said. “It’s not a money maker. The brewers aren’t trying to make money. They are bringing their beers in here to show the crowd.”
Bergmann added, “But, the entry fees all go to other events that the city is going to sponsor in both East Park and Bridge Park.”

Tickets are $10 for a cup to taste test up to 80 different brews made from a variety of Michigan brewing companies.

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Brewers Include:

• Short’s Brewing Company – Bellaire

• Greenbush Brewing Company – Sawyer

• Petoskey Brewing – Petoskey

• New Holland Brewing – Holland

• Beards Brewery – Petoskey

• Our Brewing Company – Holland

• Saugatuck Brewing Co. – Saugatuck

• Vander Mill Ciders – Spring Lake

• Arbor Brewing Company – Ann Arbor

• Griffin Claw Brewing Co. – Birmingham

• Starcut Ciders – Bellaire

• Gravel Bottom Brewery – Ada

• Right Brain Brewery – Traverse City

• Beggars Brewery – Traverse City

• Brewery Terra Firma – Traverse City

• Uncle John’s Hard Cider – St. Johns

• Odd Side Ales – Grand Haven

• Stormcloud Brewing – Frankfort

• Perrin Brewing Co. – Comstock Park

• Blakes Hard Cider – Armada

Bergmann said many of Charlevoix’s restaurants will be featuring select beers from some of the participating brewers on Friday, the night before the actual festival.

“I think that’s another interesting thing,” he said… “It’s a good effort to get other participants involved, and bringing a thousand more people into downtown Charlevoix helps everybody.”
Bergmann added, “People don’t just come to the beer festival, they walk down the street, they go to a restaurant, they shop at one of the local stores. So it’s a good catalyst to bring other economic benefit to the cross-section of other merchants.”