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Archived Story

Enjoy the solstice with brews, tunes

Published 10:53am Thursday, June 12, 2014

ST. JOSEPH—This year, with the help of the Liquor Locker’s Charlie Stempion, the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra is putting a new twist on an old favorite.

From 4 to 10 p.m. on June 21, their summer fundraising concert will include 16 microbreweries serving up 64 different beers at the Shadowland Pavilion at Silver Beach.

“We’ve done concerts on this date for a couple of years, but this is the first year we’ve made it into a microbrew event,” said Sue Kellogg, executive director of the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra. “Charlie Stempion, owner of the Liquor Locker approached us, wanting to do a microbrew event, and since he knew the beer end of it and we knew the music end of it, it was a perfect match.”

Participating breweries include:

• Arcadia Brewing Co.

• Bell’s Brewery

• Founders Brewing Co.

• Goose Island Beer Co.

• Greenbush Brewing Co.

• Lagunitas Brewing Co.

• The Livery

• Mountain Town Brewing Company

• New Holland Brewing

• Perrin Brewing Co.

• Right Brain Brewery

• Round Barn Brewery

• Saugatuck Brewing Co.

• Tapistry Brewing Co.

“All of the local favorites will be there, as well as a few great breweries from Illinois,” Kellogg said.

Tickets for the fundraiser in support of the symphony are $10 in advance and $15 on the day of the event. Tastings will be taking place from 5 to 9 p.m., and the cost for drink tickets, available at the event, will be $1 each. Each tasting will cost 2 to 3 tickets, while a mug will cost between 4 and 5 tickets each.

“We’re also going to have Tabor Hill Wines, and Bud Distributing has also graciously donated some non-alcoholic drinks, so we’ll have everyone covered. Two ciders will also be there—Vander Mill Ciders and Virtue Cider,” Kellogg said.

It is an all-ages event, and concert-goers are encouraged to bring their own blankets and lawn chairs.

Food vendors, including Players, Roosters, Coach’s, Cravings Lake House and the Hot Dog Man, will also be on the premises, serving up crowd-pleasing favorites.

Entertainment for the afternoon and evening will begin at 4:30 p.m. when Nashville recording artist Justine Blazer opens the show. She will be playing her own special blend of modern-day country and rock and roll with a little bit of soul added into the mix.

Known for playing 1990s hip hop blended with guitars and club beats, The Hot Sauce Committee will follow Blazer at 6:15 p.m. Finally, well-known local favorites, Libido Funk Circus will take the stage at 8 p.m.

“It’s gone off well in the past when we only featured one band, and we’re hoping to grow it with the additional bands and the microbrews,” Kellogg said.

Kellogg is looking forward to the event, which will be the first one to take place in the newly-renovated Shadowland Pavilion.

“We hope this will be the first of many such events,” Kellogg said. “We’d like to make this an annual kick-off to summer.”

Tickets and more information about the Summer Solstice Music and Microbrews event can be obtained on the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra’s webpage at or by calling (269) 982-4030.

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