Lansing, Mich. — The 6th Annual Lansing Beer Fest is coming back to REO Town, Lansing on Saturday, June 16th on Washington Ave. between South St. and Elm St. from 4-9pm, with special VIP entry starting at 3pm.

This year’s festival features live music, just like years past. Headlining this year is Heart of Jordan , a local Lansing Hard Rock/Alt-Metal band, with supporting acts by the Jonestown Crows and Handsome Pete.

In addition to great music, this year’s festival is hosting 25 different breweries, cideries, and distilleries with 80 different selections to choose from. There will be several beer specific vendors.

Like last year, there will be a Giant Chess and Checkers set for more entertainment, and a Giant Connect Four has been added for extra fun.

The food choices are to be just as excellent with options from Shove It Pizza Truck, featuring the hottest pizza options, Ms. K’s Kitchen, with gluten-free options, and From Scratch Food Truck, serving fresh Mediterranean options. There’s sure to be a delicious option for everyone.

General Admission tickets (4pm entry) can be purchased in advance for $32 and $37 at the door, and includes a Logo Sampling Glass as well as 10 Sampling Tickets. VIP tickets (3pm entry) can be purchased in advance for $42 and includes a Logo Sampling Glass plus 15 Sampling Tickets.

Must be 21 to attend. Designated Driver tickets can be purchased for $10.

The festival proceeds benefit the REO Town Commercial Association.

Lansing, Mich — Beerfest at the Ballpark will return to Cooley Law School Stadium this April for its fifth year celebrating Michigan beer, cider, mead and spirits.

Attendees will have plenty of space to taste Michigan craft beverages inside the stadium and on Michigan Ave. outside the stadium, which will be blocked off for the festival.

beerfest ballpark

“Beerfest at the Ballpark is a unique festival, because being at a small minor league baseball stadium is a really cool atmosphere,” said Paul Starr, the festival’s organizer.

The festival will take place on April 28 from 3 to 8 p.m. VIP ticket holders can enter at 2 p.m. The event will happen rain or shine, and there will be plenty of covered space to retreat to if it rains.

Over 300 beers from 50 Michigan breweries will be represented at the festival, as well as the products of 15 cideries, meaderies and distilleries from around the state. Every festival ticket includes entry to the festival, a sturdy logo tasting glass and 10 or 15 tasting tickets, which are redeemable for one three-ounce pour of beer.

“The main festival will have a really good beer selection,” Starr said. “Founders Brewing Company is bringing CBS and Bell’s Brewery is bringing Black Note, and there will be many more favorites and new brews to try.”

For the first time in the festival’s history, VIP ticket holders can take part in a rare beer tasting. For $25 on top of VIP ticket cost, taste two-ounce pours of 10 rare Michigan sours and barrel aged beers, including Arbor Brewing Company’s 2017 Velvet Hammer, a sour brown, and Saugatuck Brewing Company’s Rum Barrel-Aged Imperial Beam Me Up Stouty.

“I’m most excited about the rare beer tasting we’re offering this year,” Starr said. “It’s exciting to give people a chance to taste these great beers they might not encounter otherwise.”

The festival will also feature a selection of live music performed on two different stages. Attendees can look forward to performances by Hoist: A Tribute to Phish, Delilah DeWylde, Mark Warner, Shelby and Jake and The Swift Brothers.

Beerfest at the Ballpark tickets are available for purchase online and at the Cooley Law School Stadium box office, which is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on non-game days and 10 a.m. to 7th inning on game days.

speciation

Williamston, MI The non-profit craft beverage trade group, Fermenta will celebrate its third anniversary on Saturday, September 23 at the Old Nation Brewing Company from 12-4 p.m.

This year’s keynote speaker is Lucy Saunders, beer and food blogger and author of The Best of American Beer and Food cookbook. She will have several Wisconsin cheeses to pair with Old Nation beer and will discuss beer and food pairings as well as how to build a better beer garden and how to design outdoor hospitality for Great Lakes water quality. In addition, Fermenta will host their annual silent auction with lots from Founders, Short’s Brewing Co, The Cicerone Certification Program, Adventures in Home Brewing, The Country Malt Group, and Motor City Malting, among others. All proceeds go to their scholarship fund which allows members to attend workshops, classes, and seminars to further their knowledge in the craft beverage industry.

Live music is a new addition to this year’s anniversary party and will be provided by Jimmy Likes Pie, a Lansing-based band that will play an eclectic mix of covers and original music.

The new board will also be elected, existing members can renew membership and all people interested in becoming more involved in the craft beer, wine, or spirits industries are welcome to join the celebration.

To purchase tickets to celebrate the women of the Michigan craft beverage industry and attend the Anniversary event, please visit here.

Fermenta is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit trade group initiated by Michigan women, committed to diversity, camaraderie, networking, and education within the craft beverage industry. The organization hosts events with an educational focus and networking opportunities and provides a network that encourages conversation about the importance of diversifying the craft alcohol industry, ways to foster progress, and provide opportunities for a variety of voices and visions.

 

fermenta

 

CANd Aid

FLINT– The need for safe clean drinking water in the city remains high and so does the dedication of Oskar Blues Brewing’s CAN’d Aid Foundation.

They were one of the first organizations to publicly act when the scope of the disaster became clear, and their commitment hasn’t stopped since their initial shipment. More canned water has been delivered to the troubled city. Additionally, benefits have been planned by the organization to raise cash for the Flint’s Got Grit community fund. The fund was created to help residents obtain health exams and follow-up care related to the lead contamination crisis.

The first event will take place on Thursday, January 28 from noon to 6 p.m. at Torch Bar and Grill in Flint. Oskar Blues representatives will be there grilling beer can chicken and serving root beer at no cost, although a cash donation will be accepted from those who wish to give back.

Taps will be flowing with many rare Oskar Blues beers brought in specially for the benefit. Cases of canned water will be given to residents on site.

Several bars and restaurants in surrounding cities from Lake Orion to Bay City have joined in to donate one dollar per pint of Oskar Blues Brewery beer sold during the event hours. A full list can be found here.

On Friday, February 5 the Tasty Weasel taprooms of Oskar Blues locations in Colorado and North Carolina will hold simultaneous throw-downs featuring live music and specialty brews. Ten percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Flint’s Got Grit fund.

James Crank of Cranker’s Brewery sits down with Pat Evans to discuss beer, brewing and hockey. To learn more about Cranker’s Brewery, please visit our profile on the brewery, “Cranker’s thrives under the perfect ‘closer.'”

James Crank of Cranker’s Brewery sits down with Pat Evans to discuss beer, brewing and hockey. To learn more about Cranker’s Brewery, please visit our profile on the brewery, “Cranker’s thrives under the perfect ‘closer.'”

BIG RAPIDS — Jim Crank took a risk when he hired his brewer for Cranker’s Brewery.

When he began looking into expanding his Coney Island operation into the brewing world, he was interviewing professional brewers from some of the largest breweries across the country, including Sierra Nevada, Gordon Biersch and Rogue Ales.

These brewers came in, wearing work shirts with patches acting as points of pride from their work in the industry.

One brewer stood out, but it took some time to find him.

Upon Adam Mills’ arrival, Crank walked into the room and couldn’t find him. Mills was in a suit, a far cry from the other’s choice in clothing.

Mills was the last interview for the head brewer position and didn’t even sniff the 10 years of professional brewing experience Crank was seeking. He was a homebrewer.

“He comes in and has a suit and tie on, it’s, ‘Hi Mr. Crank, this that and the other,’” Crank said. “He didn’t fit the bill.”

Crank said he’s not sure how it came up, but he found out Mills is Italian and their views on food and beer being crucial to each other matched up well.

One of the requirements of the interviews was for the brewers to bring their six best beers and Crank said Mills’ were the best across the board.

Then, Mills invited Crank and his wife to his house for dinner to show him more beers.

At Mills’ house, Crank’s mind was made up as soon as they reached the dinner table and the three hyper kids running and jumping around the guests became angels.

“This guy knows what he’s doing,” Crank said. “It’s been a great relationship and he’s family. He’s like a son.”

The risk paid off and the close relationship hasn’t caused any detriment to the product, which has found its way on to the market gradually since production began in 2012.

 

[tw-parallax image=”https://mittenbrew.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Crankers-14.jpg” target=”self” lightbox=”no” ][/tw-parallax]

The beer is beginning to show up on more shelves in West Michigan, but the Big Rapids-based brewery has also had great success in the Detroit market, according to Crank, as the strong reputation of longtime West Michigan IPAs such as Founders Brewing Co. Centennial IPA and Bell’s Brewery Two Hearted is more easily overcome on the East side.

Several beers can be found packaged throughout the state, including Dark Cherry Wheat, Bulldog Red, Coconut Porter and Professor IPA. A canned version of the Professor might be in the works soon as well.

Professor is one of Cranker’s points of pride. And the IPA with massive West Coast influence from Crank’s travels in the 1990s isn’t a slouch.

Crank said he’s blind tasted the Professor against several nationally recognized IPAs on three occasions with 12 drinkers. The closest session was 9-3, with Cranker’s winning out.

The test might be a bit biased, but the beer is crisp and clean, an attribute Crank gives to Mills strongest quality.

“He is the closer,” Crank said. “This dude knows how to finish a beer as well as anyone I’ve ever seen. There are brewmasters that are better, but a lot of it is how he finishes the beer. That’s his specialty.”

Crank pushes his production team to brew as much as possible, but he said he wouldn’t ever ask Mills to cut corners, not that Mills would do it.

“If I told him to, he would let me know that he doesn’t agree with that,” Crank said.

Last year, Cranker’s brewed approximately 4,000 barrels and it hopes to hit 6,000 barrels by the end of 2015. Distribution is expanding rapidly, going from 24 Meijer stores to more than 90 and 50 Kroger stores.

Some additional capacity can come from an expanded facility in Big Rapids, but Crank said the brewery is looking for space to get a 40-barrel brew system with 120-barrel fermenters.

Aside from the 15-barrel brew system in Big Rapids with 30 and 60 barrel fermenters, there’s also a 2-barrel system at their Grand Rapids restaurant, which recently made the switch from Coney Island to authentic Mexican and barbeque. A Cranker’s restaurant also can be found in Mount Pleasant.

Crank has come a long way since he and his wife were first looking at breweries such as Big Buck Brewery in the 1990s. Then, he saw the market wasn’t ready for him to start a brewery, so he waited. He waited nearly 20 years before it was time, and then decided to grab the market.

With that in mind, Crank and his team look to continue making beer they like and believe consumers will latch on to.

“I’m in it for the love of the beer, the love of the culture,” he said.

BIG RAPIDS — Jim Crank took a risk when he hired his brewer for Cranker’s Brewery.
When he began looking into expanding his Coney Island operation into the brewing world, he was interviewing professional brewers from some of the largest breweries across the country, including Sierra Nevada, Gordon Biersch and Rogue Ales.
These brewers came in, wearing work shirts with patches acting as points of pride from their work in the industry.
One brewer stood out, but it took some time to find him.
Upon Adam Mills’ arrival, Crank walked into the room and couldn’t find him. Mills was in a suit, a far cry from the other’s choice in clothing.
Mills was the last interview for the head brewer position and didn’t even sniff the 10 years of professional brewing experience Crank was seeking. He was a homebrewer.
“He comes in and has a suit and tie on, it’s, ‘Hi Mr. Crank, this that and the other,’” Crank said. “He didn’t fit the bill.”
Crank said he’s not sure how it came up, but he found out Mills is Italian and their views on food and beer being crucial to each other matched up well.
One of the requirements of the interviews was for the brewers to bring their six best beers and Crank said Mills’ were the best across the board.
Then, Mills invited Crank and his wife to his house for dinner to show him more beers.
At Mills’ house, Crank’s mind was made up as soon as they reached the dinner table and the three hyper kids running and jumping around the guests became angels.
“This guy knows what he’s doing,” Crank said. “It’s been a great relationship and he’s family. He’s like a son.”
The risk paid off and the close relationship hasn’t caused any detriment to the product, which has found its way on to the market gradually since production began in 2012.
 
[tw-parallax image=”https://mittenbrew.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Crankers-14.jpg” target=”self” lightbox=”no” ][/tw-parallax]
The beer is beginning to show up on more shelves in West Michigan, but the Big Rapids-based brewery has also had great success in the Detroit market, according to Crank, as the strong reputation of longtime West Michigan IPAs such as Founders Brewing Co. Centennial IPA and Bell’s Brewery Two Hearted is more easily overcome on the East side.
Several beers can be found packaged throughout the state, including Dark Cherry Wheat, Bulldog Red, Coconut Porter and Professor IPA. A canned version of the Professor might be in the works soon as well.
Professor is one of Cranker’s points of pride. And the IPA with massive West Coast influence from Crank’s travels in the 1990s isn’t a slouch.
Crank said he’s blind tasted the Professor against several nationally recognized IPAs on three occasions with 12 drinkers. The closest session was 9-3, with Cranker’s winning out.
The test might be a bit biased, but the beer is crisp and clean, an attribute Crank gives to Mills strongest quality.
“He is the closer,” Crank said. “This dude knows how to finish a beer as well as anyone I’ve ever seen. There are brewmasters that are better, but a lot of it is how he finishes the beer. That’s his specialty.”
Crank pushes his production team to brew as much as possible, but he said he wouldn’t ever ask Mills to cut corners, not that Mills would do it.
“If I told him to, he would let me know that he doesn’t agree with that,” Crank said.
Last year, Cranker’s brewed approximately 4,000 barrels and it hopes to hit 6,000 barrels by the end of 2015. Distribution is expanding rapidly, going from 24 Meijer stores to more than 90 and 50 Kroger stores.
Some additional capacity can come from an expanded facility in Big Rapids, but Crank said the brewery is looking for space to get a 40-barrel brew system with 120-barrel fermenters.
Aside from the 15-barrel brew system in Big Rapids with 30 and 60 barrel fermenters, there’s also a 2-barrel system at their Grand Rapids restaurant, which recently made the switch from Coney Island to authentic Mexican and barbeque. A Cranker’s restaurant also can be found in Mount Pleasant.
Crank has come a long way since he and his wife were first looking at breweries such as Big Buck Brewery in the 1990s. Then, he saw the market wasn’t ready for him to start a brewery, so he waited. He waited nearly 20 years before it was time, and then decided to grab the market.
With that in mind, Crank and his team look to continue making beer they like and believe consumers will latch on to.
“I’m in it for the love of the beer, the love of the culture,” he said.


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