SPRING LAKE TOWNSHIP — With an expanded brewery and winery lineup plus more food options, VanderFest returns to West Michigan this Saturday.
The third annual event combines the best of cider to go along with specially-brewed Michigan beers infused with Vander Mill’s sweet apple cider. Although the event comes during the busiest season for cider, for the same reason the timing couldn’t be better for the Lakeshore cider mill and winery.
“It’s our season,” said Paul Vander Heide, owner of Vander Mill. “If we’re going to showcase hard ciders and collaboration beers, there’s no better time than the fall.”
Represented during the festival, which runs 4-10 p.m. at Vander Mill, 14921 Cleveland St. in Spring Lake, are:
Wineries – Ciders
- Vander Mill
- Northville Winery
- Blackstar Farms
- Uncle John’s
- Northern Natural
- Virtue Ciders
- Sietsema Orchards
Breweries – Specialty Beers
- New Holland
- Old Boys
- Oddside Ales
- Brewery Vivant
- Jamesport Brewing Company
- Michigan Beer Cellar
“We’re excited about about our collaboration with new participants Founders, Arcadia and Greenbush this year,” Vander Heide said. “We have up-sized everything else — music, sound, stage.”
Founders added cider to its Pale Ale for the event, spicing it with all-spice berries fermented in two firkins. All beers use Vander Mill’s sweet cider uniquely crafted by each brewery. Vander Heide would only share the name of the Greenbush brew — VanderBush — perhaps a clue. Meanwhile, New Holland will feature two different Wit-style beers fermented in cider while Odd Side Ales takes a wheat approach.
VanderFest marks the debut of Vander Mill’s new food menu, under the direction of chef Stephanie Luke. The fall-friendly menu has four specialty macaroni and cheeses, pizza, salad and soups. All food sales are cash, including four additional vendors — Public Zeeland, Saburba, Standard Pizza Co. and What the Truck. Per tradition, free freshly baked donuts are likely to make their annual appearance.
“There might be a showing of donuts at some point in the evening,” Vander Heide said.
As for entertainment, Organisssimo and Social Bones headline the live music for the afternoon and evening. As is custom, VanderFest will also include a laser light show.
Tickets — selling online and on location at Vander Mill, Oddside Ales, Public Zeeland, Siciliano’s Market and The Winchester — are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Admission includes a printed 12-ounce festival glass with five cider/beer sample tokens with additional tokens $1 each. One token gives patrons a 6-ounce pour of beer or cider.
Proceeds from VanderFest benefit the Holland Chapter of Ambucs, an organization that creates mobility and independence for the disabled.
“This is not intended to be a money-maker for us,” Vander Heide said. “There is a local charity receiving the benefits of the money brought in.”