Currents events, gatherings, tastings, all around good times.

Drink craft beer, wine, and cider at the Cheers to Michigan Brew Fest and help raise money for a good cause. Financial advisors Waddell & Reed are sponsoring this beer festival at The Deltaplex on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to benefit Friends & Families of Cystic Fibrosis (FFCF).

The event will include over 20 craft breweries, wineries, and cider mills. Bands Fast Hand Blues Band, Forrester, Jesse Cline & Michael Carnavo, Fled Five, and Pop Cult will provide musical entertainment, along with DJ Jason Veeder.

The goal is to raise awareness and funds for those afflicted with the life-threatening genetic disorder. FFCF is a local nonprofit organization that keeps the funds it raises in the West Michigan region. Those involved in the organization make care packages for children and young adults who are hospitalized with the disease, assist families with medical supplies and equipment that may not be covered by insurance, and help families contending with the disorder with a variety of other costs.

Advance admission is going for $35 and includes entry, 15 tasting tickets, and an FFCF collectible beer mug. Admission at the door will be $45. Tickets are available online. Visit the FFCF website to learn more about the event.

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KALAMAZOO – Think your homebrew is a winner? Enter it in the annual Bell’s Homebrew Competition on Sept. 19 at the Kick-Off and Expo event at Bell’s Eccentric Café, and you could find yourself in Denver for the 2016 Great American Beer Festival (GABF).

The first place winner gets to brew his or her recipe at Bell’s original brewery and have it served on tap at the Eccentric Café. The first place winner will also win a free trip to the 2016 GABF in Denver as a guest of Bell’s Brewery with exclusive access to some of the festival’s events.

Bell’s will cover the airfare cost of a round trip to Denver—so long as the winner is within the continental U.S.—as well as lodging for two nights. While the winner is in Denver, he or she will team up with Bell’s for the 2016 Pro-Am Competition, which pairs homebrewers with commercial brewers to compete for top honors. The winner will also attend the awards ceremony and members-only session.

The only requirement of entering the competition is that participants use Bell’s wort in their brew, which they can obtain at Bell’s Homebrew Competition Kick-Off and Expo event on Sept. 19.

The Kick-Off and Expo event will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and sign-up for wort pick-up will start immediately at 11 a.m. and distribution of the wort will start at 1 p.m. Only a limited amount of wort is available, so it will be distributed in a first-come-first-served fashion. In the past years, over 200 individuals have been able to receive wort.

Learn more about the event here and start planning your perfect recipe. Entries are due by Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.

HARBOR SPRINGS – You know what would make a romantic fall resort stay even more romantic? A beer festival. That’s exactly what Boyne Highland Resort plans to host. The second annual Hops ‘n Highlands Microbrew Festival will take place Sept. 26 from 1-6 p.m, and festival-goers can enjoy chairlift-views of the changing colors and surrounding lakes, zip-line rides above the festival grounds, and discounted spa services.

Admission is free for attendees aged 21 and older, and four-ounce pours of over 150 beers from more than 40 Michigan breweries will go for $2. Those who want to take advantage of even more resort services can reserve a special Hops ‘n Highlands event package, which includes hotel lodging right at the resort, an hors d’oeuvres reception with Michigan beers on tap, a breakfast buffet, a commemorative t-shirt and pint glass, and 5 drink tickets, starting at $105 per person.

The event will feature classic festival eats, including grilled brats and a variety of selections from local food trucks. Entertainment during the festival will be provided by Huckleberry Groove, and even more is scheduled to follow after the festival ends at 6 p.m.

Learn more about the event on the Boyne Highlands website.

HARBOR SPRINGS – You know what would make a romantic fall resort stay even more romantic? A beer festival. That’s exactly what Boyne Highland Resort plans to host. The second annual Hops ‘n Highlands Microbrew Festival will take place Sept. 26 from 1-6 p.m, and festival-goers can enjoy chairlift-views of the changing colors and surrounding lakes, zip-line rides above the festival grounds, and discounted spa services.
Admission is free for attendees aged 21 and older, and four-ounce pours of over 150 beers from more than 40 Michigan breweries will go for $2. Those who want to take advantage of even more resort services can reserve a special Hops ‘n Highlands event package, which includes hotel lodging right at the resort, an hors d’oeuvres reception with Michigan beers on tap, a breakfast buffet, a commemorative t-shirt and pint glass, and 5 drink tickets, starting at $105 per person.
The event will feature classic festival eats, including grilled brats and a variety of selections from local food trucks. Entertainment during the festival will be provided by Huckleberry Groove, and even more is scheduled to follow after the festival ends at 6 p.m.
Learn more about the event on the Boyne Highlands website.

ANN ARBOR – Since the 1300s, the Union of Belgian Brewers has existed as guild for Belgian breweries. It still exists today as one of the oldest professional associations, and nearly all Belgian breweries belong to it. On Sept. 4, the Union will ennoble founders and co-owners Roy More and Jeff More of Ashley’s Restaurants as honorary Knights of the Union of Belgian Brewers at its annual ceremony in Brussels, Belgium.

Those who are dubbed into the Knighthood of the Brewer’s Mash Staff (“Ridderschap van de Roerstok der Browers”) are recognized as having made significant contributions to the promotion and development of Belgian Brewing. Roy and Jeff More will be the first in Michigan to receive the honor.

In addition to being widely acknowledged as a premier beer bar, Ashley’s has participated diversely in promoting Belgian beer for decades. Every February, Ashley’s Westland location hosts the largest exclusively Belgian-made beer festival in the U.S. Both Ashley’s locations offer a full range of Belgian-made beers as part of their craft beer portfolio.

“Ashley’s first started serving Belgian beers in 1985, and we held our first Belgian beer sampling event in 1988,” said Jeff More.

“Ashley’s has always been about helping people have a great time,” said Roy More. “One of the ways is through great beers, and the Belgian brewers are recognized as being among the best in the world.”

The knighting ceremony will be held in the Brussels Town Hall on the Grote Markt (“Grand Place”) next to the Union building, which has been occupied by the Union since the 17th century.

Photo: Erik Smith

Photo: Erik Smith

ANN ARBOR – Since the 1300s, the Union of Belgian Brewers has existed as guild for Belgian breweries. It still exists today as one of the oldest professional associations, and nearly all Belgian breweries belong to it. On Sept. 4, the Union will ennoble founders and co-owners Roy More and Jeff More of Ashley’s Restaurants as honorary Knights of the Union of Belgian Brewers at its annual ceremony in Brussels, Belgium.
Those who are dubbed into the Knighthood of the Brewer’s Mash Staff (“Ridderschap van de Roerstok der Browers”) are recognized as having made significant contributions to the promotion and development of Belgian Brewing. Roy and Jeff More will be the first in Michigan to receive the honor.
In addition to being widely acknowledged as a premier beer bar, Ashley’s has participated diversely in promoting Belgian beer for decades. Every February, Ashley’s Westland location hosts the largest exclusively Belgian-made beer festival in the U.S. Both Ashley’s locations offer a full range of Belgian-made beers as part of their craft beer portfolio.
“Ashley’s first started serving Belgian beers in 1985, and we held our first Belgian beer sampling event in 1988,” said Jeff More.
“Ashley’s has always been about helping people have a great time,” said Roy More. “One of the ways is through great beers, and the Belgian brewers are recognized as being among the best in the world.”
The knighting ceremony will be held in the Brussels Town Hall on the Grote Markt (“Grand Place”) next to the Union building, which has been occupied by the Union since the 17th century.

Photo: Erik Smith

Photo: Erik Smith

GRAND RAPIDS — Collaborating for the third year in a row, Grand Rapids area breweries and Friends of Grand Rapids Parks are teaming up once again to raise money for The Brewers Grove Fund. A project created to maximize the tree canopy within the city. Translation: More trees to enjoy savoring our craft beer under! This beer is amazing.

Starting Monday, Aug. 31, stop into any of the participating Grand Rapids area breweries* to order a tree-inspired craft beer, like a Bourbon Barrel Oak Aged Tree Bucket Belgian-Inspired Double IPA from Brewery Vivant, and a portion of the sales will support plantings and expand The Brewers Grove concept started at Riverside Park in 2013, where brewers planted 30 trees with the money raised, and another impressive 75 trees in 2014.

Because of the success of the last two years, the Grand Rapids area brewers have found that Riverside Park’s tree canopy is nearly full, therefore, The Brewers Grove will be expanding to other city parks and public green spaces. This year, local brewers will assist in finishing up plantings in Riverside Park and expand into Covell Dog Park in October.

“Trees are crucial to our community, and advocating and supporting our urban forest is a footprint we leave for future generations to come,” said Margaret Studer, Urban Forest Project Coordinator. “I can’t think of a better way to advocate for forestry than with a mug of tree beer! I think it is safe to say that local beer lovers will enjoy the tastes and complexities of tree beer all the more knowing that is going to a good cause.”

The tree beers will be tapped city-wide Monday, Aug 31. A Kick-Off Tree Beer Tap Takeover event will be held at Harmony Brewing Co. on Monday, with a toast at 5:00 p.m. Several tree beers will be featured on tap. In addition to Harmony’s Jubilation Cherry Saison IPA, Jaden James Silver Maple Lager, with notes of maple from freshly tapped maple trees, Pike 51 will offer a 100% Michigan Hopped Saison aged in Red Wine Barrels. Schmohz tap will pour a Barrel-Aged Scotch Ale Wee Heavy, White Flame will put a twist on a Black-IPA Cider hybrid, and The Peoples Cider Co. will be offering a Cherry-infused Cider.

“We want to be a benefit to the community that is incredibly supportive of us and our industry,” said Jackson VanDyke, co-owner of Harmony Brewing. “This is a great way for the breweries to collaborate and do something positive for our city.”

Another tree beer tap-takeover will take place on Friday, Sept. 4 at 57 Brew Pub & Bistro in Greenville featuring their Cherry Houdini, a Cherry Vanilla Porter, along with a Cedar-Aged Pale Ale from Gravel Bottom, Pike 51’s Bon Belle Saison and Rockford Brewing’s Peach Pit Peach Brown, brewed with local peaches and nectarines grown and harvested at Homrich’s Under the Pines family farm. Head Brewer Tom Payne will be donating a flat rate based on sales, plus rounding up to an even amount.

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks will also host a Brewers Grove Planting and Party on Saturday, Oct. 3 at Riverside Park. Beer lovers are invited to the park to get their hands dirty, plant a tree, and chat with the brewers while enjoying live music from two local bands. Enthusiasts are encouraged to stop by a Grand Rapids area brewery to fill a growler with their favorite tree beer or cider to enjoy at the event, as an open-container permit will be in place at the park. More details will come in mid-September.

Find the latest information as well as a Tree Beer Map at BrewersGrove.com

*Participating Breweries and Corresponding Tree Themed Beer:

57 Brew Pub
Cherry Houdini, ABV 5.5%
Cherry Vanilla Porter

B.O.B.’s Brewery
Tangerine Trees, ABV 6.0%
Belgian Wit with citrus fruits and candy.

Brewery Vivant
Devastation, ABV 9.3%
Bourbon Barrel Oak Aged Tree Bucket Belgian Inspired Double IPA.

The Cellar
Apple of your Rye, ABV 4.5%
Fruited Rye Beer.

Crankers
Cheery O’Dark Cherry Wheat Ale, ABV 5.5%
A light clean crisp wheat ale with an organic cherry finish.

EB Coffee & Pub
Fuzzy Nuts, ABV 6.8%
Coconut Porter

ELK
Willow ESB, ABV 6.4%
Extra Special / Strong Bitter

Grand Rapids Brewing Company
Coconut Kaiser Chocolate Macaroon, ABV 5.8%
Dunkelweiss with Roasted Coconut and Chocolate.

Gravel Bottom
Cederino, ABV 7.1%
Cedar aged Pale Ale

Harmony Brewing Company
Jubilation Cherry Saison IPA, ABV 7.1%
Brewed with Summit and Hull Melon hops with sour cherries added during fermentation.

HopCat
Naughty Nicodemus, ABV 4.7%
Gruit beer with lime, juniper berry and cucumber.

Jaden James
Silver Maple Lager, ABV 5.5%
Notes of maple from freshly tapped maple trees.

The Mitten Brewing Company
Olut Kaupunki Saht (Beer City Sahti), ABV 6.1%
Finnish Sahti made with juniper berries

Peoples Cider
Cherry Adams Tart, ABV 7.4%
Cherry-infused Cider

Pike 51
Bon Belle Saison, ABV 5.8%
100% Michigan Hopped Saison aged in Red Wine Barrels

Railtown Brewing
Dutch Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter, ABV 8%
Imperial Porter with a full, creamy body.

Rockford Brewing Company
Peach Pit Peach Brown, ABV 4.8%
Brewed with local peaches and nectarines grown and harvested at Homrich’s Under the Pines family farm.

Schmohz
Barrel Aged Kiss My Scottish Arse ABV 9.3%
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

White Flame
Bad Apple, ABV 7%
Black IPA Cider hybrid with a rich roasted black pour and a crisp apple finish.

Colorado fans and midwest transplants, rejoice! Bell’s beer will venture west to Colorado during the weeks surrounding the Great American Beer Festival.

Starting Sept. 21, Crooked Stave Artisans will temporarily distribute Bell’s beer across its entire distribution footprint including the cities of Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Colorado Springs.

“This was a unique opportunity for us to finally be able to bring our beer to Colorado, even though it’s just for a short time,” said Laura Bell, Vice President of Bell’s Brewery, Inc.

Bell’s fans have taken to the brewery’s Facebook page to express their excitement for the brand’s limited-time distribution in Colorado. For many it is a chance to stock up on staple brews like Two Hearted—and to try harder-to-find classics like Amber Ale and Expedition Stout.

“Every time I head back to Michigan I stock up,” said one Facebook commenter in response to Bell’s announcement.

“Thank you for letting me do so without the 24-hour drive.”

Bottles of Amber Ale, Best Brown Ale, Expedition Stout, Kalamazoo Stout, Midwestern Pale Ale, Oarsman Ale, and Two Hearted Ale will be available to purchase.

Best Brown and Two Hearted Ale cans will also be available.

Draught options will include Amber, Oarsman, Two Hearted, Black Note, Bourbon Barrel Aged Expedition Stout, Coffee Mustache, Double Two Hearted Ale, Lavender Saison, Mars DIPA, Raspberry Wild One, and The Wild One.

For more information visit bellsbeer.com.