Thousands to toast the coast at Weko Beach Brewers Fest

Published 8:28 am Thursday, September 17, 2015

(Submitted photo)

(Submitted photo)

BRIDGMAN, Mich. — One of the most scenic venues in southwest Michigan for enjoying the region’s award-winning craft brews is the 6th Annual Weko Beach Beer Festival, Sept. 26, 1-6 p.m., in Bridgman. The family friendly event that features Michigan craft brews, live music and local food will be held rain-or-shine beneath the “Big Top Tent” just yards from Lake Michigan.

Event organizer Calli Berg, executive director, Greater Bridgman Area Chamber and Growth Alliance, said 20 breweries are already on tap to showcase their IPAs, ales, lagers, stouts, porters, meads and hard ciders. They include Arcadia Ales, Arclight Brewing Company, Bell’s Brewery, Black Dragon Meadery, Brewery Terra Firma, Crane Brewing, Cultivate Brewing Company, Dark Horse, Greenbush Brewing Company, The Livery, Mountain Town Station Brewing, New Holland Brewing, Paw Paw Brewing Company, Perrin Brewing Company, Rochester Mills, Round Barn Brewery, Saugatuck Brewing Company, Schmohz Brewery, Short’s Brewing Company and Tapistry Brewing Company. Throughout the event, Michiana Extract and Grain Association (MEGA) also will do demonstrations and offer advice on home brewing.

Food vendors include Classic Catering, renowned for its brick-oven pizzas, beer cheese soup with pretzel breadsticks, Italian beef and more, and Bridgman Premier Meat Market, serving its beer brats, smoked sausage and smoked chicken. Snacks or meals can be purchased with cash only.

Ticket holders also will hear two well-known regional bands perform on the outdoor main stage:

• 1:30-3:45 p.m. — Top Secret: performing “get up and dance” music from the 1960s to now

• 4:15-5:30 p.m. ­— Whistle Pigs: an energetic bluegrass, old-timey tunes band that leaves audiences laughing

Berg said children are welcome, but no coolers, outside food and beverages or animals are allowed.

Advance tickets are on sale now until noon Sept. 25 for $20 online at or at Harding’s Market, 3651 Shawnee, Bridgman and the following breweries: Arclight Brewing Company, Cultivate Brewing Company, Greenbush Brewing Company, The Livery and Tapistry Brewing Company. At-the-gate tickets are $25. The ticket fee includes admission, five tasting tickets plus a souvenir mug. Tickets for designated drivers and ages 13-20 years are $10 and may be purchased at the gate.

Berg said parking is available offsite with free shuttles from lots along Red Arrow Highway at Eagle Technologies, Sunset Tool, AEP and Arkos. No parking will be available at Weko Beach.

“This is a community event and we rely on volunteers to welcome visitors from several states,” said Berg. “Anyone 21 years and older interested in helping us work a shift from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. or 3:30 to 6 p.m., please contact us at” In appreciation, volunteers will receive free admission and a souvenir mug.

Sponsors for this year’s festival include Republic Services, Siemans in Bridgman, Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council, Wightman & Associates, Rock 107 WIRX and 97.5 Y Country.

Weko Beach Brewers Festival is an annual craft brewery showcase event presented the fourth Saturday in September by the Greater Bridgman Area Chamber and Growth Alliance. For up-to-date information about the festival and volunteer opportunities call (269) 925.6301 or visit, or follow on Twitter.