It was a triumphant week for the Michigan craft scene in Charlevoix this weekend. Building on the success of Lake Charlevoix Brewing Company’s grand opening at the beginning of the week, the town hosted the second annual Charlevoix Craft Beer Festival on Saturday.
The venue was spectacular, located on a patch of green space right inside the Round Lake boat harbor. The day was helped along by blue skies and sunshine.
With over 15 breweries in attendance, including a few cider producers, it was a smaller Michigan festival than most, but there was still plenty to discover and enjoy.
“We were just passing through town on our weekend trip up north, saw the tent setup and made an impulse decision to stop in for a bit,” said a couple from downstate.
They were joined by lots of enthusiastic attendees from all over the state. Plenty were supportive locals from the up north region, but everyone driving through Charlevoix that day seemed to make it inside the tent for a few afternoon beers.
“It’s a beautiful day for beer. Why not change plans and slow down the day a little bit?” said a member of a wedding party (the wedding started at 4 p.m. — as far as I know, they made it on time).
Some highlight beers garnering many happy mentions were Gravel Bottom Brewery & Supply’s Bucketfoot Black IPA and Short’s Brewing Company’s Power of Love shandy. While the Bucketfoot was deliciously dark and bitter, the shandy was extremely pink, fruity and frothy. The startling differences between these two revealed the wide range of craft beer available as well as the creativity supported by the Michigan craft industry.
Framed by the Bridge Street Tap Room and Lake Charlevoix Brewing Company, the festival definitely showcased the growth of the Charlevoix craft scene. For its second year, the festival grew in every aspect — more brewery options, the addition of ciders, more food trucks and music hosted and sponsored by a local radio station.
“Much more commotion,” said Adam Engelmann, part-owner of both the taproom and brewery. “It’s been a crazy week. Busy! And actually, I have to get back to the kitchen and help out,” Engelmann said, running back to the taproom next door.
Along with his partners and Lake Charlevoix team, Engelmann had a pretty hectic week opening the brewery while celebrating the anniversary of both the Bridge Street Tap Room and second successful year hosting the craft beer festival. This didn’t stop Rich Bergmann, Charlevoix businessman and another part-owner of the taproom and brewery, from making sure everyone was having a great time.
“You having a good time? Yes? Good! Thank you so much for coming out and enjoying our great town,” Bergmann said.