Tip one back at Weko Beach

Published 3:54 pm Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Weko Beach Brewer’s Festival is almost here.
On Saturday, Sept. 28 from 1 to 7 p.m. Bridgman-Lake Township Economic Growth Alliance invites everyone to a relaxing fall day on a pristine beach. There, you can enjoy award-winning Michigan craft beers that are as spectacular as its harvest sunsets.
The Weko Beach Brewer’s Festival is a showcase event to sample (tastes or full pour) over 30 wonderful locally produced craft beers from Southwest Michigan.
Wrap this into a day filled with sun and sand, tasty cuisine from local restaurants, live music, a dazzling sunset and you have one fantastic fall festival!
The high-energy atmosphere created by the all-day music at Brewer’s Fest is a crowd-pleaser like no other!  This year’s bands include: Mr. Blotto (5 p.m. ET), Alligator Blackbird (3 p.m.) and Top Secret Band (1 p.m.).
Admission to the festival is $20 in advance or $25 at the door and includes 10 tasting tickets and a souvenir beer mug.  Advance tickets are available at www.ticketweb.com. Ages 13-20 get in for $10 while kids ages 12 and under are free.  Tickets are also available (with no service fee) at: Hardings Friendly Market; Greenbush Brewing Company; Tapistry Brewing; and The Livery.
Parking and shuttle buses will be available at designated nearby lots in Bridgman.  No backpacks, outside coolers or dogs allowed.  Rain or shine event.
Weko Beach is located at Exit 16 off I-94, then north on Red Arrow Highway.  Look for parking signage along Red Arrow in Bridgman.  The event is only a short hour and 30-minute drive from Chicago or Grand Rapids, just an hour from South Bend or Kalamazoo and three hours from Detroit or Indianapolis.  Southwest Michigan is the perfect ‘day trip’ destination from many Midwest cities or extend your stay, make a family vacation out of it and check out at the many vacation rentals, hotels, inns and bed and breakfasts in the area.
For information on participating breweries, check the website wekobeachbrewersfest.com or call (269) 925-6301.

Local craft beer lineup:
Arbor, Bell’s, Dark Horse (Crooked Tree, Raspberry, Black and Scotty Karate), Greenbush (Memento Mori, Demeter, Unicorn Killer, Anger, Vanderbush, Brother, Benjamin), The Livery, Mount Pleasant (Train Wreck, Crazy Train, Railyard Raspberry, Sacred Gruit), New Holland (Ichabod, Four Witches, Rye Hatter, Michigan Hatter), Odd Side, Paw Paw, Round Barn, Saugatuck, Schmohz  (Oktoberfest, India Pale Ale, Bone Crusher, Treasure Chest) Short’s (Autumn Ale, Huma Lupa Licious, Soft Parade) and Tapistry, (Benjamin Bitter, Revolver, Drifter in the Dark), a highly anticipated new brewery.

• Greenbush VanderBush: collaboration between Greenbush and VanderMill, VanderBush is an American spin on the Belgian Tripel, tasting of apples, tannins, cinnamon, yeast, mild fruit and mild candied sugar.
• Short’s Huma Lupa Licious: an IPA-style beer with hoppy bitterness, flavor and aroma. With a very complex malt bill, flavors meld with the hops to balance this drinkable ale.
• Dark Horse Scotty Karate: strong dark scotch ale named for a local one-man band. With a big, full body, the ale is also smooth and balanced.
• New Holland Brewing Rye Hatter: a highly rated summer-only availability, in which the rye lends spiciness to the caramel-malt base while creating a creamy texture. Dry hopping offers a fresh citrus finish.
• Schmohz Oktoberfest: lightly hopped dark ale brewed for harvest festivals from dark wheat and Pilsner malts.