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burning foot

Muskegon, Mich -– Muskegon’s Pere Marquette Beach will ignite on August 25, 2018, for the 4th Annual Burning Foot Beer Festival. Serving as Michigan’s only barefoot beer festival on the beach, festival goers can enjoy some of the finest craft beer found in the Great Lakes region, revel in local art and food, groove to local and national music acts, and take in the beautiful shoreline of Lake Michigan. Burning Foot will feature 70 breweries this year from Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin.

A stellar lineup of music acts will be gracing the main stage with this year’s headliner to be Eve 6. The last two years, Burning Foot has featured the Sublime tribute band Badfish on the main stage. This year the festival will feature two of Sublime’s contributing members Michael “Miguel” Happoldt and Marshall Goodman “Ras MG” performing with the The Long Beach Dub Allstars. Local bands Mustard Plug and Flexadecibel will be returning to the festival this year, having both previously shared the Burning Foot stage in 2016. A new waterfront stage will be featured at the festival this year, with acoustic performances by Brett Dame and Brother James.

Another new aspect to the festival for 2018 is the approach to its food. In years past, they’ve curated some delicious custom menus, but now they’ll be getting 4 local restaurants involved to take the reigns. The official food vendors will be Hamburger Mikey, Rad Dads’ Taco & Tequila Bar, Bone Ends, and Fatty Lumpkins Sandwich Shack.

Burning Foot Beer Festival loves the community it’s located in, and in addition to working with local restaurants will also be involved with some wonderful non-profit organizations. Coming back again is Habitat for Humanity, who runs our Bike Valet, as well as Noah’s Project who operates the Shoe Check-In. (No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem!) The latest addition, Kid’s Food Basket, will be taking care of the new Pretzel Necklace area of the festival.

Brewery List:
Michigan:
Arbor Brewing Company
Arcadia Brewing Company Kalamazoo
Arclight Brewing Company
Atwater Brewery
Beards Brewery
Bell’s Brewery
Big Hart Brewing Co.
Big Lake Brewing
Brewery 4 Two 4
Brewery Vivant
Cedar Springs Brewing Company
Cellar Brewing Company
City Built Brewing Company
Craft House
Cranker’s Brewery
Dark Horse Brewing Co.
Distant Whistle
Draft Horse
Drafting Table Brewing Company
Elk Brewing: Grand Rapids
Fermenta
Fetch Brewing Company
Final Gravity Brewing Company
5 Lakes Brewing Company
Founders Brewing Co.
Grand Armory Brewing
Gravel Bottom
Greenbush Brewing Co.
Greyline Brewing Co.
Griffinclaw
Lansing Brewing Company
Latitude 42 Brewing Company
The Livery
Mountain Town Brewing Company
New Holland Brewing Co.
Newaygo Brewing Company
North Channel Brewing
North Pier Brewing Company
Odd Side Ales
Old Nation Brewing Co.
One Well Brewing
Open Road Brewing
Our Brewing Company
Paw Paw Brewing Company
Perrin Brewing Company
Pigeon Hill Brewing Company
Hudsonville Pike 51 Brewing Co.
Railtown Brewing Company
Right Brain Brewery
River’s Edge Brewing Co.
Rochester Mills Beer Co.
Rockford Brewing Company
Saint Ambrose
Saugatuck Brewing Company
Schmohz Brewing Co.
Short’s Brewing Company
Silver Harbor Brewing Company
Starving Artist Brewing Co
Stormcloud Brewing Company
Thornapple Brewing Company
Trail Point Brewing Company
Tri City Brewing Company
Triple Root
Unruly Brewing
Vander Mill
White Flame Brewing Co.

Wisconsin:
Sprecher Brewery
Milwaukee Brewing Company

Illinois:
Lagunitas Brewing Company Chicago
Revolution Brewing

 

ABOUT LAKESHORE BREWERS GUILD

The 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 is focused on counties that touch Lake Michigan. States included are Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and 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. Through these collaborative efforts, the Lakeshore Brewers Guild is becoming a driving force in supporting both its members and local economies.

 

black friday

Pigeon Hill Brewing Company released three specialty canned beers to an enthusiastic group of early rising holiday  shoppers in Muskegon, Michigan on Black Friday. Grapefruit Renny, a double IPA (DIPA) featuring, as the name suggests, grapefruit juiciness. Also released was the rare Your Mom on French Toast, now officially dubbed “YMOFT,” an imperial stout featuring maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon. The final new canned beer of the day was Your Grandma on French Toast, now called “YGOFT,” which was the star of the show. A bourbon barrel aged variation of YMOFT which is highly sought after and produced one of the longest lines at the Winter Beer Festival this past February in anticipation of its pouring.

The can release was to begin at 10:00 a.m., and despite arriving an hour early a line had already formed some 50 people deep. Foregoing the madness of holiday shopping, a great crowd of warmly clad craft beer lovers stood in line on a relatively mild late November morning. Jamie, Stubby, and Cody were the first three gentlemen in line, but Cody actually arrived first. “I came right from Cap and Cork after their midnight release so I was here about 1:40 a.m.” says Cody with a hearty laugh. Deciding he didn’t want to be first in line, Cody chose to nap in his car despite a couple of interruptions from a random “passer by” who was looking for cigarettes, beer, the time, and to sleep in his car. Cody laughed it all off citing just how stoked he was to be getting one of his favorites—YGOFT.

black friday

A sunny autumn morning was made more pleasant by the brewery with a complimentary breakfast that was served to all patrons. Breakfast samples were brought out to those of us standing in line. Upon entering the taproom from the breezy Western Avenue, the smell of bacon, sausage, pancakes, and syrup grabbed you by the senses and just hugged you all over. The breakfast scent combined with the true brewery aroma created a sweet aromatic melody that made the beer and the food even more rich and satisfying.

“The name Pigeon Hill was a nod to the community. Pigeon Hill was a large sand dune that was mined out for cast iron castings” says Michael Brower, who is a co-owner of the brewery. “When you walk in the taproom it’s basically a living museum. Everything from the wallpaper which features Muskegon street scenes to the lights which are from local factories that have closed. Our tables are made from old virgin white pine that was cut here in Muskegon and sank during the 1880’s.” Michael’s dedication to family, community, and craft were clearly on display as his parents were cooking breakfast, his grandmother (pictured on the YGOFT label) and his wife were all working to serve the thirsty and excited crowd.

Asking Michael about the origins of YMOFT he replied, “‘Your mom on toast’ was actually one of my catchphrases. In fact, I have emails going back to 2008 in which I sign off with that phrase. It means nothing but I loved it and it fit in with my sense of humor. We talked about it from day one, ‘What beer will Your Mom on Toast be?’ We didn’t know if it would be something bready or not but when we tried a french toast beer and decided to make our own it clicked, ‘Your Mom on French Toast.’ I’m not even sure if it was me who came up with the name!”

When asked about the process of making YMOFT, Michael replied “We start with our imperial stout Majestic Beast as the base beer then add maple, vanilla, and cinnamon and really that is the recipe.” I then asked when the idea for grandma came up he laughed, “I think the day we brewed it. We were like, ‘I wonder what this would be like in a barrel?’ When we started we were working out of the tap room and only had 940 square feet so we didn’t have room for barrels. Once we opened our production facility it became a reality. We got our hands on a couple of Buffalo Trace Rye barrels and said ‘let’s see what happens!” Indeed!

black friday

Joel Kamp, Chad Doane, Michael Brower

We were given a small tour of the original taproom and brewhouse as well as the newer production facility located nearby led by Michael and Chad Doane, head brewer. Upon arriving at the doors, we were greeted by an unknown drummer who played very well. Joel Kamp, co-owner of Pigeon Hill Brewing, came out from behind his kit and greeted us warmly as he wiped the sweat from his brow. “I really had a nice groove going there” he said with a smile on his face. A wonderful German lager was poured and the three gentlemen showed us around the facility. There was a very tangible sense of excitement as they talked openly and freely about the obstacles they’d overcome, the work that led to the success of the day at hand, as well as the future for their company.

Cheerz!

 

Photography: Steph Harding

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


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