Bottoms up for Blue Chip Brewfest

Published 8:18 am Friday, March 30, 2012

From left: Matt Dravet, craft beer specialist, Jeff Leetz, owner North Coast Distributing, and Ben Amster, Blue Chip Brewfest organizer, helped make last year’s first Blue Chip Brewfest a success. Submitted photo

Beer lovers rejoice.

Blue Chip Brewfest organizer Ben Amster is saying that this year’s brewfest will be bigger, badder and better than ever before.

“For anybody that went last year it is going to not even look like the same event,” said Amster, craft beer specialist for Indiana Beer Inc.

More than 150 beers from over 50 different breweries will be on tap for the second annual event, which is scheduled for 1-5 p.m. April 14 at the Stardust Event Center at Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City, Ind.

Tickets are available for purchase at and at the casino’s Blue Chip Gift Box.

For $35, brew lovers get to taste as many beers as can be consumed in the four-hour time window. The cost includes a special pint glass featuring the Brewfest logo on one side and the logo of a brewery on the other.

“The glass has a four ounce pour line and you get as many four ounce pours as you want,” Amster said.

The event is already sold out of its 220 $55 VIP passes. Amster said if you want one for next year’s event to purchase tickets early. A $15 designated driver tickets is available too.

Amster said the Blue Chip Brewfest would feature breweries large and small. The list of heavy hitters includes, but is not limited to: Sam Adams, New Belgium, Blue Moon and Bells.

Small breweries on hand include Bare Hands, of Granger, Ind.; Four Horsemen, of South Bend, Ind.; Greenbush, of Sawyer; Bulldog, of Whiting, Ind.; and Evil Genius, of South Bend; to name a few.

“I am really more than anything excited that all the local breweries are there,” Amster said. “Every one of these breweries is doing amazing stuff and putting their area on the map. So not only do we have a festival to showcase that, but once you get into that festival all of these beers really deliver.”

Last year’s event had between 700 and 750 attendees. Amster said they are expecting 1,200 to 1,500 this time around.

“Tickets are going fast,” he said. “We’ve already sold about 850 with a couple weeks to go.”

Food and merchandise will be available for purchase. There will also be a charity auction for what Amster described as a “heavily sought after 25th anniversary New Belgium beach cruiser bike.” All proceeds will go to benefit the LaPorte County United Way.