Written by Connor Klopcic, Assistant Brewer
This past weekend July 22nd, and 23rd, the 19th annual Summer Beer Festival went down in Ypsilanti, and Perrin was there. There were more than 100 different Michigan breweries sampling over 1,000 diverse beers. Alright, so that covers the main stuff, now let me actually tell you about the festival.
First and foremost, it was hot as hell. It was in the mid 90’s both Friday and Saturday with very high humidity. I was still amazed at the sheer number of people that came out to the festival. I thought with it being so hot that many would trade in their ticket for some air conditioning and T.V., that wasn’t the case and I couldn’t have been happier. The mass of people standing outside the gates, hours before the event started got all of the breweries amped up. An hour before the advertised starting time, beer enthusiasts (Brewer’s Guild members) were allowed access to the festival and beers all around. This time period is treated as a little warm up for each brewery to make sure the equipment is set-up and working properly. The beer enthusiasts take this hour long grace period to try all the beers they think will run out, or once the general admission opens, there will be a long line for.
Then the horde of thirsty Michigan beer lovers erupted through the gates and into the tents, where it quickly turned into pure chaos. Lines and lines of people wanting to try everything from a gold medaling session beer to a never before heard of double imperial Belgian stout. It is truly exhilarating. Thousands of people are rushing towards you, eager to try something you made with your own hands. The best part of it all, people will tell you exactly what they think of the beer. There is no hesitation when they tell you their thoughts. Luckily for Perrin, the overwhelming conclusion of Michiganders is, Perrin makes really good, clean and solid beer. There are always the outliers in festivals of people who will not like a beer because of the style and flavor, but people at the Perrin booth quickly found another beer for them to enjoy.
Trying all the different beers at Summer Beer Fest is a ton of fun, however the people from the breweries that work the event tend to have a little more fun once the festival is over. Once the festival is over and time to pack up, many brewers head directly to the hospitality area for a much need pint. There are a lot of jokes being tossed around and telling stories of some of the encounters we had with passionate fans and many intoxicated fans as well. It is a nice time to wrap up the festival and have a nice talk with other Michigan brewers. It is also the time to plan the rest of the night’s activities and shenanigans. For the Perrin crew, it was to go check out a couple breweries and cool bars in Ann Arbor that we were told are places for a good time and a good pint. We started off our Ann Arbor visit at Jolly Pumpkin in Ann Arbor. We all really enjoyed our time at Jolly Pumpkin, eating and drinking many sours along the way, their staff was very nice and answered all of our annoying questions. The pizza was great too. We bounced around a couple of different bars, a new favorite for us was The Garage Bar, a nice outdoor, open to the elements kind of place with a nice draft list and easy to communicate tables. Overall, our experience in Summer Beer Festival was very positive. We had a great time and great beer. We are all excited about going again next year.