Fall celebrations are abundant in Michigan this time of year. On Saturday, Cadillac celebrated in its own way, with Cadillac’s Craft Beer Festival.
Now in its fourth year, Cadillac’s Craft Beer Festival has been built up by the local community and featured a classic car show, crafts, local musicians and beer and cider from 10 breweries throughout the state.
Michelle McCoy and a handful of other Cadillac community members have taken on the responsibility of planning this community event. “It started in a little tent on Harris Street with men pouring beer out of bottles and no brewers,” explained McCoy.
This year was the first year they had sponsorship from companies like BitSocial Media, Bad Teacher Home Brewing Supply and Platinum Noir Salon (owned by McCoy).
With the help of sponsors, the festival was expanded. In previous years, the festival had been held in a single tent. This year, multiple tents were used and the festival spread out into the park along Lake Cadillac. Festival goers could stroll down the street and enjoy classic cars and then could go into the park to find locally made crafts and Michigan beer and cider.
With the leaves falling and Autumn approaching, I was excited to try the many pumpkin ales available. Griffin Claw Brewing Company, New Holland Brewing and Arcadia Ales all had pumpkin ales on tap. I started with Griffin Claw’s Screamin’ Pumpkin Ale. This amber ale is brewed with roasted pumpkin in the mash. It was a smooth ale with a great pumpkin flavor and finished with hints of nutmeg and ginger. I sought out Arcadia Ale’s Jaw Jacker Pumpkin Spice next, but just a couple hours into the festival, Arcadia had already sold out.
I made a stop at one of my favorite breweries, Right Brain Brewery, next and sampled the Flying Squirrel. With a deep, rich color this brown ale was smooth and had a light roasted nutty taste.
The last beer I sampled came from Schmohz Brewery. I tend not to drink hoppy IPAs, but the Hopknocker Imperial IPA was highly recommended. Hopknocker boasts a 10% ABV and 136 IBU. The variety of hops are present in the beer, but are not overwhelming. With a malty finish balancing the flavor, this IPA was not nearly as bitter as I expected.
Along with great craft brews, Cadillac’s Craft Beer Festival also featured a homebrew competition. Nearly 30 submissions were made for the privately judged contest, with winners being announced in four different categories.
This festival seemed more casual and comfortable than other craft beer festivals. It truly was a community event, meant to boost its unity and revive its energy. Next year, look for further improvements, a bigger homebrew competition with prizes from the newly open Clam Lake Brewing and a larger selection of breweries as this group of community members strives to make Cadillac a more vibrant community.