Inaugural Lansing Microbrew & Music Festival Coming Up April 18-19

microbrewandmusic

Lansing, MI – Craft brew, music and culinary lovers will gather at Adado

Riverfront Park in downtown Lansing for the inaugural Lansing Microbrew & Music Festival scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 18 and 19.

The festival will feature 50+ carefully selected Michigan, national and international craft breweries, 250+ craft beers, ciders, meads and wines as well as more than 100 musicians, marching bands, Homebrewer’s Challenge, food and brew pairings, rare and sour beer tours, and local food vendors.

Rockville, Maryland, band O.A.R. and reggae and hip hop musicians Dirty Heads will headline the Lansing Microbrew & Music Festival, festival producers announced today. Dirty Heads will play on Friday, April 18, and O.A.R. will perform on Saturday, April 19.

To celebrate the eleventh Microbrew and Music Festival, the popular regional event will tour to Lansing to host the event on the banks of the scenic Grand River. VIP and GA tickets include five 8oz. pours and custom tasting glass and feature 50+ carefully selected Michigan, national, and international craft breweries, rare beers including a unique festival edition, representatives and brewers from each brewery, 250+ flavors of beers, wines, ciders and meads, live musical acts, including headliners O.A.R. and Dirty Heads, marching bands, a silent disco DJ dance tent, and local food vendors. Festivities are scheduled to take place from 5-11 p.m. daily. In addition, VIP ticket buyers will gain early admittance and have access to entertaining lawn games, a heated VIP area, private restrooms, a dining area, hydration station, and custom food and beer pairings.

Microbrew & Music Festival will be working in conjunction with the Greater Lansing Food Bank and Xero Waste Events to bring you a wonderful event. 100% of proceeds from alcohol sales will benefit both of these non-profits. GLFB provides emergency food to individuals and families in need in Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Shiawassee, Clare, Isabella and Gratiot counties. Food is distributed through an extensive network of food pantries and community kitchens located throughout the region. The Food Bank annually serves tens of thousands of people, many of them seniors and children. Our recipients also include the “working poor,” those individuals who are employed but don’t earn enough to meet housing, health, transportation and food needs. Xero Waste Events, is a Michigan non-profit organization providing comprehensive recycling services and educating communities on sustainable event practices. With the help of XWE, the 2013 Traverse City Summer Microbrew & Music Festival helped raise over $20,000 for Traverse City non-profit CherryT Ball which directly supports local food banks and Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center. We are proud to partner with Xero Waste, as they also contribute an annual portion of its revenues to local charities.

Sam Porter, founder of the Microbrew & Music Festival, anticipates the festival will provide a burst of energy to the central Michigan region. “We’re excited to launch our eleventh festival as the first annual Lansing Microbrew and Music Festival. We have welcomed over 50,000 ticket buyers to ten [Traverse City] Microbrew and Music festivals over the past five years to experience the craft brew culture and great music of Michigan. Our goal is to have another sold-out festival and help drive thousands of residents and visitors into area businesses, bars and restaurants during an otherwise slower week in April,” he says. Porter adds that after-parties at downtown establishments will further connect festival attendees with the retailers.

The Microbrew & Music Festival at Adado Riverfront Park will take place under a 4,000 capacity mobile tent – the first of its kind in the US. It will house the main stage and provide cover and protection from the elements, if needed. Previous patrons have compared this spectacular structure’s appearance to the Sydney Opera House. Visit Tent Venue’s Facebook page for more information.

The Microbrew & Music Festival educates, celebrates, and inspires community collaboration through the joy of craft brew and great music while raising funds for non-profits.

Tickets and festival details are available at www.microbrewandmusic.com/lansing-tickets. Festival announcements, giveaways, and other information can be found at www.facebook.com/microbrewandmusic. Attendees are strongly encouraged to purchase tickets in advance, as the festival has sold out in past years.

Ticket buyers must be 21 years old.
More Information: http://microbrewandmusic.com/
Contact: Sam Porter, CEO: (231) 499-4968 / sam@microbrewandmusic.com
Katrina Jenkins, Brew Director: (904) 537-0336 / katrina@microbrewandmusic.com

 

World Beer Festival – Raleigh 2013

This won’t be an organized collection of thoughts.

I went to the World Beer Festival put on by All About Beer magazine in Raleigh, NC a couple of weeks ago.  It took a lot to get me to go – it was a very expensive trip, and the drive (one-way) was twice as long as the festival itself.

I’ll say it was an experience. It wasn’t awesome, but it wasn’t terrible either.  Overall, however, I was disappointed that I didn’t get to carry out my mission at a festival of craft beer: talking to brewers and brewery representatives.  I spoke to just a few.  The big guys weren’t really there – New Belgium was so damn busy they were just slinging beer and moving the line.  Same for Mother Earth Brewing, Oskar Blues, and Sierra Nevada.  When I finally discovered that Dogfish Head was there (booth 42), the fest was nearly over and they were out of beer.  One person was at the table packing it up and didn’t seem like a conversationalist.

Pabst Blue Ribbon had a huge booth to sling PBR and sell anything from hats to PBR pajamas.  No kidding.2013-04-13 12.56.14

Most of the booths were staffed with volunteers.  While I don’t mind volunteers (it’s time-consuming and thankless work), it would have been nice to have knowledgeable folks at each booth (preferably from the brewery) to talk to about their beer.

I will say that Sierra Nevada was an exception – they had someone (a fantastic-looking woman) out front to plug their new North Carolina location and how they’re doing it all green and sustainable and tending to the needs of outdoorsy people.  Apparently you’ll be able to visit the new location via kayak.

I got to taste a lot of local-ish beers since they had a North Carolina brewer’s tent.  I knew I’d find a lot there I hadn’t had before since most of them don’t distribute in Georgia.  One memorable brewery was Raleigh Brewing, a downtown production brewery that has an on-site homebrew store.  Their head brewer, John Federal, gave a talk about starting a brewery:2013-04-13 15.19.51_halfsize

I approached him after the talk and told him I loved his House of Clay Rye IPA (one of his own creations).  We spoke briefly about starting a brewpub – something my drinking club is mulling over – and he wished me the best of luck.  It was by far the best interaction with a brewery that I had at the entire festival.  I went back to Raleigh Brewing’s booth and bought that same red shirt you see Mr. Federal wearing above.

I remember it being crowded:

2013-04-13 12.48.25

 

That part I didn’t enjoy.  It was so loud and full of people seemingly on a mission to drink as much beer as they can, even if it was two ounces at a time.  I found very few people interested in the breweries, quality, ingredients, or the brewers themselves.  In short, it was more of a drunk-fest than a quality beer event.

In retrospect, I can’t say I blame anyone for my displeasure except myself. These festivals serve only a couple of intentional purposes, and neither of them have anything to do with Ben on Beer getting one-on-one with breweries:

  1. Breweries want to get out to the market and get their beer in as many hands as they can.
  2. All About Beer magazine wants to generate more interest in craft beer and gain an increase in readership.

This is capitalism, and I am not against it.  I think it would be wonderful for a brewery to come away from the festival with 300 more customers who know the beer is good, and will remember that when they see it in the store.

The challenge is getting that crowd to remember anything after the event.

I guess a decent thing to do would be to list my thoughts here so maybe someone reading will have some direct language to consider:

It was a drunk-fest.  I said it before, and there’s really nothing I can do about it.

The talks were awesome, but if I wanted to attend all of them there would be no time before or after to visit the booths.  I guess I wanted more time, or maybe a separate day for beer nerd talk.

The restroom situation couldn’t have been handled any better.  Hats off to that one.

I can’t carry everything.  No backpacks allowed, but where do I put all my stuff when I have to pee?  I went alone this year.  I collected as many artifacts from the brewers as I could, and ended up loading myself down almost to the point that I couldn’t move about.

Well, that’s it for now.  Maybe if things come back to me I’ll update this post.  I most likely won’t go again unless I move much closer to the Raleigh/Durham area.