Frankenmuth Festival-World Expo of Beer
from brewer, Connor Klopcic
In this brewer's blog, I will be telling you about my trip to the World Expo of Beer in Frankenmuth, Michigan.
As our head brewer began asking for volunteers to go work a beer festival in Frankenmuth I thought it would be a cool, fun, and new experience, since I am new to Perrin and have yet to go to any festivals. I really wanted to go and see what they were all about, from a brewer’s perspective (I have been to festivals before but only as a general admission participant).
It started with me and Eamon (another Perrin production team member) packing up a couple of our four pour jockey boxes, a banner and a couple of other things we thought we would need, and began our journey to Michigan's "Little Bavaria" Frankenmuth.
We arrived in Frankenmuth with enough time to eat lunch at Frankenmuth Brewery, and try every beer they had on tap. We were not disappointed. Their beer was solid and so was their food, a must if you are in the area. After lunch we went on to set up for the actual event. We set up our jockey boxes; hooked up the kegs and made sure our booth represented Perrin well. From there we had a brewers meeting that went over rules and where we were presented with our medals. Perrin had four beers that medaled.
Roeselare won Gold in the sour category
Call the Banners won Gold in the Scottish category
Sweet Potato Porter won Silver in the Porter category
Poop Your Pants Chocolate Bock won Bronze in the Bock category
We had all medaled beers with the exception of Poop Your Pants at the event.
Once the festival had officially started and people began to pour in, the fun really began to start. Our booth was bombarded with people wondering what beer we brought and they had many questions about both the beer and the brewery. Talking with passionate Michigan beer people was a wonderful experience. I love beer and do not get the chance to talk about it enough, which was probably my favorite thing about the festival. That and the amazing assortment of beers offered. There were about 70 different breweries attending the event and over 250 different beers.
Periodically throughout the night, Eamon and I would go around and sample a number of different beers from many smaller breweries that we have not been given the chance to taste before. The most surprising were the breweries from Ontario, Canada. They were not surprising because they had outlandish styles or anything but they had solid styles that just tasted really good. My personal favorite Canadian beer had to be Nickel Brook Brewing Company's Bolshevik Bastard, a Russian Imperial Stout.
The fact of the matter is that there were just so many different beers that ranged from Smirnoff's new Grapefruit to Goose Island's many variations of Bourbon County. I will say that there were a surprising amount of different variations of Grapefruit in beer. Hmm… I wonder where everyone got that idea from…
The festival was two days, and one of the top Michigan beer culture events. It was estimated that there were over 10,000 people over the two day event. There were people in traditional German clothing, their favorite brewery shirt, and people wearing gigantic pretzel, beef, and cheese necklaces. Even people tempting me, walking around with big soft pretzels on a stick.
If there is one thing I will be taking away from my first Perrin Brewing beer festival, it would be that I love the atmosphere and will definitely be attending more in the future. I hope to see everyone there!