burning foot

Organizers of the Lakeshore Brewers Guild know how to throw an epic end of summer bash. They hosted 65 breweries from all around the shores of Lake Michigan, brought in several legendary bands to play live music, set up a couple community bonfires, offered overnight camping on the shore of Lake Michigan, and mixed it all together at Muskegon’s Pere Marquette Beach.

The park’s vast stretch of white sand and fresh water was the ideal location for the appreciative crowd of attendees to savor gathering with friends at this year’s 3rd annual event. Cool breezes off the lake kept everyone smiling on a day of perfect summer sunshine.

A friendly reminder printed on the event program says “Be sure to enjoy yourself while you’re here, which shouldn’t be too hard since you’re on one of the most beautiful beaches on Lake Michigan, taking in the sights, and sounds, and friends all around you, cheers!”

Beer enthusiasts had a fair share of options from local and regional breweries. Participating guild members are mainly located in counties that border Lake Michigan, with a few inclusions from further inland.

burning foot fest

burning foot fest

burning foot fest

Music filled the air throughout the event, including Melophobix, Southpaw, and Tropidelic‘s synergistic sounds. Festival favorites Badfish returned this year to please the crowd with retro Sublime hits. Headliners Less Than Jake ended the evening with a raucous pit of revelers in front of the stage doing their thing. Guests left the festival grounds with grins on their faces.

“Where else can you go and enjoy beer from over 60 breweries on arguably the most beautiful beach in Michigan? Burning Foot has become one of our most anticipated days of the year—we liken it to Christmas for the beer-lover. It’s worth every penny that we spend to enter. We already have it on the calendar for next summer!” said Amy Silvis, who has attended all 3 years along with her husband Josh.

Next year’s festival is slated for Saturday, August 25th. Tickets will go on sale in June.



Photography: Steph Harding

burning foot

Imagine you and your friends on a sandy beach along Lake Michigan, encircled by the area’s best breweries, jamming out to some awesome live music; could there be a better way to end summer?

Well, on August 26, the Burning Foot Beer Festival will once again take over the Pere Marquette Beach in Muskegon, MI. Burning Foot is set directly on the sandy shores of Lake Michigan, where you can roam barefoot throughout the circle of breweries, enjoying the best the area has to offer.

The Burning Foot Beer Festival was started just three years ago by the Lakeshore Brewers Guild with 36 breweries and 4 live bands. The first year was fairly low-key, but as the Guild has grown, so has the festival.

burning foot


The Lakeshore Brewers Guild is a regional guild that encompasses breweries that surround the Lake Michigan shoreline. This includes breweries in Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin.

“We’re really paying attention to our area, and taking the base that was Burning Foot and expanding,” said Allen Serio, a board member of the guild.

Burning Foot brings the mission of the Lakeshore Brewers Guild to life and exemplifies the “lakeshore lifestyle.” If you’ve spent any time along Lake Michigan or in the shoreline’s vibrant communities, you’ll understand why this festival incorporates more than just beer. There’s a certain “energy” to a lakeshore lifestyle—it’s uplifting, creative, and free-spirited.

“We are a part of this circle, this family for just a brief period of time, and we really want to create a great experience,” said Serio.

This year’s event will boast 65 breweries and 5 live bands, including two national acts. The festival has evolved in many ways over a short period of time, as the guild continues to expand its representation of all that is great about communities along Lake Michigan.

“Every year you should see an increase in music and quality. The atmosphere is really a focus for us; the sound, lighting, and colors all are all part of the experience. The energy level is something you don’t get in many places,” said Serio.

In the center of last year’s festival was a stunning hop tower art installation. Expect to see more brewery art this year, as well as the return of a shoe check-in, beach camping, a bike valet, unique “cross-lake” brewery collaborations, and a VIP lounge area.

The shoe check-in and bike valet services are not only nice festival add-ons, but also serve as ways to give back to the community. Donations from the shoe check-in will again go to Noah Project, a no-kill animal shelter in the area. The bike valet will be set-up and run by Habitat for Humanity, with donations from that service returning to the organization.

The newly added VIP area will be an exclusive space in a prime location close the stage. It will include a covered tent area, a tiki bar, fire pits, lounge area, and access to food and beverages.

And, as part of the experience, there is also the unique option to camp along the lakeshore. Tents can be set up along the sandy beach and campers are placed in the parking lot (sites do need to be reserved in advance). Muskegon’s trolley service is also available to make sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience.

Tickets for this year’s festival can now be purchased online.


burning foot

The Saturday morning of August 27 looked dicey. There was lightning cracking and rain coming down sideways. Perhaps this was the curse of Burning Foot? After all, the festival’s inauguration last year was marked by the same dismal weather.

But perhaps not a curse—a tradition instead. Last year’s festivities were still enjoyed by many, and hey, we Michiganders never let weather get in the way of good, fun craft beverage consumption.

And maybe it was because of this optimism that the weather did a complete turnaround. Festival-goers were met with the perfect beach day by the time festival gates opened—the sun was shining high and the lake was sparkling.

And oh yes, the beer was pouring.

The festival was a crazy fun beach party—beach blankets all over, rockin’ live music, 54 craft beer tents, local BBQ food fare, and cozy bonfires. People were running around in bathing suits, building sand castles, and ultimately living the beach dream. There was even some extreme skydivers who landed next to the festival grounds! Everyone was having a blast.

Organized by the Lakeshore Brewers Guild, Burning Foot embraced Michigan breweries as well as breweries from our neighboring Lake Michigan states—Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Everyone had a chance to expand their craft beer knowledge with these new offerings, not to mention they also got to make new friends.

Une Annee from Chicago, IL brought their own unique tap list. Known for brewing recipes in the Belgian and French styles, they recently began a sour program, adding the infamous brettanomyces to their Saisons. The huge flavor profiles and extreme tartness was enjoyed by many who kept going back for more—well worth the involuntary puckered face after the first sip.

Mob Craft, a brewery and taproom out of Milwaukee, WI, had some pretty neat offerings, one being their Helles Ginger Bock, a traditional Bock made untraditionally with ginger—spicy and malty and delicious!

Lisa, a representative of Mob Craft and festival attendee for the second year, says the festival has built on itself.

“The weather has topped last year’s. It’s fun regardless, but it’s amazing on the beach in this atmosphere.”

Asked why this festival is so potentially important for breweries, she said, “We love Michigan. It’s fabulous to be over here. It’s all about collaborating—we’re next-door neighbors!”

BurningFoot (33)

The spirit of camaraderie and collaboration could be seen everywhere on the festival grounds. It was in the setup—festival-goers were surrounded by an inclusive circle of breweries that opened right into Lake Michigan. At the center was a spectacular hop art installation that saluted the burning man, a symbol that inspired the festival origins.

The true community feel of a beer festival is one of its most defining characteristics, and Muskegon made everyone feel most welcome. So although the rain may come again next summer to Pere Marquette Beach, it will be met with happy grins and great beer.


Photography: Steph Harding

lakeshore brewers guild

Here in Michigan, we have lakes. Lots of lakes. In fact, we are referred to as the “Great Lakes State.” We have other great stuff, too, but it’s pretty amazing to be known for lakes.

This is all common knowledge. People from all over the world come to this state just to see our lakes. They are called wonders of the world, are compared to oceans—a whole barrage of titles and phrases that try to describe just how majestic Michigan is.

Michigan also happens to be great at beer.

lakeshore brewers guildWith this winning combination of beer and lakes came the creation of the Lakeshore Brewers Guild in 2015. As with all great ideas in the craft industry, this one started over a pint of beer and a conversation between friends. They simply wanted to align the collaborative spirit of Michigan craft with the Lake Michigan communities in order to watch them grow and support each other.

Allen Serio, board member of the guild and casually referred to as the “Director of Chaos,” states that, “the idea for the guild came organically” on the foundations of collaboration and community.

“We are uniquely more collaborative than competitive in Michigan. The heart of the brewing industry is each of them loving their communities,” said Serio.

To step back and look around at Michigan breweries, it can definitely be noted that each one reflects their surrounding community and lifestyle, paying tribute to the people and purpose of the area. And vice versa, each city, town, and location proudly gives that support and love back into the brewery.

Great at lakes: check. Great at beer: check. Michigan is also great at sharing.

In this instance, the purpose of the guild is simple and the reach is wide. The first ever multi-state guild, the reach includes all of our neighbors along the Lake Michigan lakeshore. And by bringing lakeshore breweries together, it unites many different identities under common goals and motivations.

lakeshore brewers guild

Allen Serio

“We want to foster the collaborative nature of the craft industry,” said Serio. “The lakeshore and the lifestyle that surrounds us is the core of the guild and has fostered a lot of ideas.”

The purity and simplicity of the lakeshore mission has opened up opportunities for Michigan to join with other lake states, which has created an amazing dynamic of further collaboration and support. Not to mention, it offers different perspectives and practices based on other communities, which promotes even more inspiration.

“The lifestyle is different across the lake. They come to Michigan—to the small beach towns to relax. And on the other hand, we in Michigan love the big cities.”

The exchange of interests and cultures is always win-win in this scenario, especially as more and more breweries pop up every year looking to make it amongst craft enthusiasts. Michigan is known for its craft breweries and diehard fans, but as the number of breweries grows, sustainability comes into question. With the membership of the guild connecting craft communities together, it plants the seeds for future relationships, especially in regards to distribution and brand growth across the lake in all directions.

“The love and relationships should be good for everyone. We can create something together.”

One of Michigan’s lakeshore neighbors and members of the guild is
3 Sheeps Brewing Co. located out of Sheboygan, WI. They have been very excited to join up and share experiences. Grant Pauly, founder and brewmaster, recognizes the mission of the guild, and is eager for the brewery to actively share, support, and promote it.

lakeshore brewers guild“It has been very nice to connect with those breweries in Michigan,” says Pauly. “Most guilds are divided by state, so having a guild that we can connect with that crosses that state line is fun.”

Like many of the breweries and members involved in the guild, Pauly grew up along the lakeshore and has a big love for the lake that has joined so many people together.

“I am extremely impressed by the guild. They are so well organized, and their focus just seems to be spot on. Their focus on promoting craft beer has been great, but I really love how they are also championing the lakeshore.”

This belief is shared by many others, such as Milwaukee Brewing Company (MKE). Their Director of Sales, Mike Christensen, represents a craft community that loves the lakeshore as much as Michigan does.

“A great source of water is always an integral part of brewing quality beer and we have that great privilege of sharing in one of our region’s greatest natural resources–Lake Michigan,” says Christensen.

Huge on sustainability, innovation, and sourcing lakeshore brewers guildtheir ingredients locally, this Wisconsin brewery has a plethora of information to offer.

Christensen notes, “Helping to promote and drive attention to all of the craft breweries in the Lake Michigan region through a common guild will, in turn, help bring all of our breweries more attention nationally; and this will help steward an effort to preserve this great natural resource.”

Officially operating for only a year so far, the passion behind this organization has caught hold enormously fast, and Serio is continually impressed and humbled by the interest.

“We feel that we haven’t done the guild justice yet because there is so much more we want to do. That passion and that drive to get to the next level—breweries see that and buy into the same goals,” said Serio.

burning footLast summer the guild hosted their first major event called The Burning Foot Beer Festival. Held on the hot sands of Lake Michigan in Muskegon, the festival boasted a coming together of beer, music, and the lakeshore lifestyle.

And the worst thing that could happen at a beach party happened: it rained.

But it turns out, that didn’t matter one bit.

Serio said, thinking back, “I remember sitting in my car and it was just pouring rain, and I thought that everything we worked so hard for was going to fail. But people didn’t care. They saw the vision we wanted for the event and had a great, fun, unique time. And that was a major affirmation for us.”

It proves that as the craft industry grows, so does people’s love and dedication to it. Craft supporters come for the quality beer and to honor the quality of the community and people behind it. And on a larger scale, Michigan as a whole craft community is embracing other craft communities.

“What we’re seeing right now is amazing. The stories and relationships are amazing to watch grow. You should hear the conversation the Milwaukee brewers have with the Michigan brewers,” said Serio.

This year the guild will host Burning Foot for the second time. 50 breweries from Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin will share the lakeshore space, offering a myriad of beer styles and experiences. With the goal of improving on last year’s event, the theme has taken on more supporting elements—all of it locally inspired.

“We want to create an atmosphere that incorporates art and music and structure,” said Serio. “Something that really reflects both the industrial feel of the town of Muskegon as well as the relaxed, summer setting on the beach.”

Local art will be displayed, a lineup of local music will lead the beat throughout the duration of the fest, and local food will be provided, feeding the beach-beer theme.

Also fitting the theme is the option to beach camp this year, with both rustic and RV sites available for those who want to extend their Burning Foot experience

Fest-goers will also have the opportunity to donate funds to Noah’s Project, a kill-free adoption center for dogs. “We like craft beer and puppies…and really, who doesn’t?”

In general, the whole purpose for the guild and its activities is to make their communities better by working together. The beer may be the vehicle, but Lake Michigan is the driving force behind this united front.

“Whether it’s monetary value or volunteer hours, we want to contribute our time and efforts to keeping the communities and the lakes clean and beautiful,” said Serio.

Sharing beer, community experiences, and Lake Michigan seem to reflect the next collaborative evolution of the craft industry.


burning foot

Muskegon, Mich – After last year’s sold out festival on August 27th 2016, the warm summer sand of Muskegon’s Pere Marquette Beach will play host to the 2nd annual Burning Foot Beer Festival. From 3pm to 9pm, festival goers can enjoy some of the finest craft beer found in the Great Lakes region, with the beautiful shoreline of Lake Michigan serving as a backdrop. With 50 craft breweries from Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin gathering on the sand for the event, Burning Foot is poised to turn Muskegon’s beach into the perfect summer playground for craft beer lovers.

burning footAlthough Burning Foot is first and foremost a celebration of local craft beer, the festival also highlights the lakeshore’s stunning natural beauty (and hot summer sand)! Bordered by sand dunes to the east and Lake Michigan to the west, Pere Marquette Park provides world-class natural surroundings from every vantage point. In addition to the views and brews, Burning Foot showcases local and national music acts, a food menu that is beer and beach themed and local custom art, ensuring that festival goers experience the full flavor of life along the lakeshore.

The Lakeshore Brewers Guild will be hosting a Pre-release ticket party June 25th, 2016 at the Downtown Muskegon Beach Volleyball courts on the corner of 2nd & Western From 12:00 to 5PM. This free event will have tickets available before the online sale starts and will have food, music and craft beer onsite, partons will be able to kick back enjoy some tunes have a craft beer and sink their feet in the sand downtown. Tickets have been increased to 4000 (over 2500 last year) for $35 per and will be available for purchase online beginning on Saturday, June 25th at 5:01pm.

lakeshore brewers guildThe Lakeshore Brewers Guild promotes the local craft beer industry and the lakeshore’s natural beauty. As a supplement to the Michigan Brewers Guild, the Lakeshore Brewers Guild will focus on counties that touch Lake Michigan. States included are Michigan, Indiana, Illinois & Wisconsin. Throughout these counties, the Guild is working with its members to build the “Lakeshore Ale Trail,” a region rich in craft breweries, natural beauty, and the economic benefits that flow from successful locally-owned and oriented businesses. Joint advertising and cooperative support allows Guild members to grow while also establishing the region as a “beer tourism” hotspot. Through these collaborative efforts, the Lakeshore Brewers Guild is becoming a driving force in supporting both its members and local economies.

Breweries Attending Burning Foot 2016:

Arcadia Ales
Beards Brewing
Big Lake Brewing Company
Big Hart Brewing
Boatyard Brewing
Brewery Vivant
Cedar Springs Brewing
Constantine Brewery
Crankers Brewing
Draught Horse Brewing
Dutch Girl Brewery
Elk Brewing
Fetch Brewing Company
Final Gravity Brewing
Founders Brewing
Grand Armory Brewing
Gravel Bottom Brewing
Greenbush Brewing
Jolly Pumpkin
Kuhnnenn Brewing
Liberty Street Brewing
New Holland Brewing Company
North Peak Brewing Company
Newaygo Brewing Company
Odd Side Ales
Old Nation Brewing
Our Brewing Company
Pigeon Hill Brewing
Rail Town Brewing
Right Brain Brewery
Rockford Brewing Company
Saugatuck Brewing
Schmohz Brewing
Shorts Brewing
Stormcloud Brewing
Tapistry Brewing
Trail Point Brewing
Tri Cities
Unruly Brewing
Vander Mill Cider
White Flame Brewing

Lagunitas Brewing
Une Annee Brewery

3 Sheeps Brewing
Milwaukee Brewing Company
Mob Craft Brewing