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February hasn’t started yet, but I’m officially excited for the shortest month of the year. Why? Beer.
Followers of Michigan Expats won’t be surprised that we’re a big beer fans. We also love Michigan. Fortunately, those two loves go hand-in-hand (or mitten-in-mitten, if you will). Michigan is home to some of the best and most innovative breweries in the nation which have made the Michigan craft brewing industry on the fastest growing in the state producing some of Michigan’s best exports.
I know many Michigan Expats will cite the cold winter toward helping making the move elsewhere (e.g. Mr. Sig), but Michiganders have found a great new way to help brave lake effect snow: outdoor winter beer festivals.
Ever since Santa brought me a ticket for Christmas, I have been looking forward to February 25 for the (SOLD OUT) 7th Annual Winter Beer Festival. My anticipation has only grown after discovering the announcement that the festival at Fifth Third Ball Park (Home of the White Caps) will be the culmination of the Inaugural Grand Rapids Beer Week with exciting beer events at various breweries, bars, and restaurants across Grand Rapids.
”This is an outdoor festival taking place under heated tents in the middle of a northern Michigan winter – PLEASE DRESS WARMLY! ”
Not only that, but it also looks like I will be attending the 3rd Annual Traverse City Winter Microbrew & Music Festival on February 11. Unlike the Winter Beer Fest, tickets are still available and the Grand Traverse Resort is offering a special package featuring a room, ticket, and shuttle to-and-from for $97/person (they also offer area beer and wine tour packages). If you go, download the Traverse Travlr app for your smartphone.
With the pair of festivals, GR Beer Week, and the news below have drastically raised our IBU + ABV excitement levels to such levels that I am going to declare February Michigan Craft Beer Month on MichiganExpats.com. I hope that many of you will join me, if not at the mentioned festivals or events, then by picking up your favorite Michigan beers and enjoying them this February whether you’re watching the Super Bowl, the Spartans or Wolverines in basketball (rematch February 5), or just relaxing after a long day at work.
- HopCat in Grand Rapids – third best beer bar in the world – just celebrated their Fourth Anniversary complete with a Crack Fry eating competition.
- White Flame Brewing Co. has official opened their doors in Hudsonville, MI.
- Harmony Brewing Company will also soon be opening, making it the newest addition to the great Grand Rapids beer scene.
- Bell’s Brewing Co. has a host of beer events scheduled across the country. Michigan Expats, find the closest to you and try to make it.
- We’ve recently mentioned how Grand Rapids and Traverse City are great Michigan beer cities, but don’t forget about Kalamazoo which recently made this list of Top Ten beer cities in the country.
- The Lansing Lugnuts are adding a “Craft Beer Garden” in right field this season at Cooley Law School Stadium.
What is your favorite Michigan brew and/or brewery?