A long overdue festival for Odd Side Ales finally popped its cherry on Saturday. OSA has been exploring the idea of a festival for quite a while now. They always liked the idea of having an outdoor anniversary festival, but since their anniversary falls on St. Patrick’s Day, the weather never seemed like something they would have on their side.
“So why not do it in the summer time, on the water, at a time when nothing else historically is going on downtown, while benefiting the city. We want to celebrate our success and thank our customers by throwing them a gigantic party,” said Reid Warber, OSA Tap Room Manager.
It took a bit of convincing when it came to pitching the festival to the City of Grand Haven. Warber had to firmly express that this isn’t just an ordinary beer tent—it isn’t Anheuser Busch with tall boys. OSA wanted to showcase local beer and local food. After three city council meetings, a few additional meetings with the city, a long check list and a lot of beer, they finally got the city’s blessing.
“I love watching Odd Side get better and better every year. I am excited for their first festival,” stated Brent Newville, OSA mug club member.
OSA Funk Fest was a day spent showcasing funky music—Chris Wiser-The human jukebox, Plain Jane Glory, Starmen, and Mainstays—their beer, local food and a silent disco. Silent Disco? Yeah, I had no idea either. A 60’ x 40’ tent lined one corner of the festival, where you could only hear the DJs via headsets. Throughout the later part of the day SoundIsRed, DJ JSUPP, Clark After Dark played separate sets, then at the very end, they all played together. You could tune the headset into three different stations to pick who you wanted. From an outside perspective you could not hear any music, but could see a lot of people dancing their butts off. Someone who loves people watching, which I admit is me, could try and figure out which people were listening to the same stations by their dance moves.
The beer list had summer in mind with different variations of IPAs: The Implication Triple IPA, Mango IPA, Blood Orange IPA, Pineapple IPA, El Dankerino Double IPA; Sours: Touch of Red, Sour Grapes, Funk Soul Brother; and even some heavy hitters like Hazel’s Nuts – Barrel Aged Imperial Stout with hazelnuts, The Nihilist – Barrel Aged Double IPA, and Mayan Mocha Stout – coffee stout with cinnamon, nutmeg and habanero, to name a few. Hipster Brunch Stout – Barrel Aged Stout with coffee, maple syrup and bacon had a special unannounced tapping at around 6pm.
“This is one funky fest,” stated Joe Wallace, OSA mug club member.
Saturday was the day to just get Funky—plain and simple. Festival goers were also seen playing corn hole, conquering giant jenga, hanging with friends, meeting new friends, and checking out the Better Drinking Culture booth. Better Drinking Culture is a grassroots movement with efforts to shift our culture’s relationship with alcohol to a healthier and more positive direction. If you scored a 100% on their quiz you received a free t-shirt.
“This festival has good vibes and a friendly crowd,” stated Shane Timmins, local resident.
The festival itself was ran by volunteers with a love for OSA.
“They are my favorite brewery. We first poured for them awhile back at the Microbrew and Music Festival in Traverse City and now follow them wherever we go,” stated Amanda and Heather Reno, Funk Fest volunteers/ ‘groupies’.
Some people who joined in on the fun were people just walking by, curious as to what was going on.
“This is just the beginning to what I have up my sleeve for the future,” stated Reid Warber, OSA Tap Room Manager.
Photography: Steven Michael Holmes