The living and the dead shared beers during the second annual Beer City Festivals – Zombie Beer Fest in downtown Grand Rapids last Saturday (17-Oct-2015).
Zombie Beer Fest
We had no fear of the walking dead as we headed over to Calder Plaza for the Zombie Beer Fest. This is the second running of the festival and the first time in downtown Grand Rapids. The location was great as it is easy to find and in the heart of many great restaurants and pubs for post festival refueling.
Beer, Cider, Wine, Spirits, and MORE
With beer, wine, cider, mead, and spirits, the Zombie Beer Fest had something for everyone. The festival had a great selection of western Michigan breweries and wineries.
The great thing about beer festivals beyond the delicious beer, is finding new breweries. At the Zombie Beer Fest we found Newaygo Brewing from the little town of Newaygo. They came dressed to kill and served up a great rye IPA called Rooftop Knights Rye, which reminded me a bit of Red’s Rye from Founders.
We also discovered Railtown Brewing from Dutton, Michigan. While I had no idea where Dutton was located, their 80 schillings scotch ale was super tasty.
It was good to see the fine folks from Peoples Cider. They always have outstanding cider and the barrel aged Scrumpy was outstanding.
A new tidbit of information gained at the festival was that Cellar Brewing also distills spirits. They had the Spunkin Punkin pumpkin whiskey and I went with a straight shot neat. You could just get a hint of the pumpkin with this smooth shooter. This fine spirit was served by an undead pirate for added zombie ambience.
There were many more great beers, including Gravel Bottom’s Skulduggery IPA, Final Gravity’s The Rock IPA with Mosaic hops, and Fetch’s Swagger double IPA. Fetch also had eyeballs on a stick for your post beer enjoyment.
Oh, and before I forget, the most unique beer at the festival was Pike 51’s Fall Tea Pants cream ale. This beer and some interesting spicing that might have been nutmeg and finished dry. It was sort of like a chai tea, but no where near as over the top with spices. Subtle, smooth, and dry.
For the designated drivers, the Zombie Beer Fest had Deadworld Zombie sodas. We heard they were delicious and you can’t beat the artwork on the labels.
To feed the living and the dead, Low and Slow BBQ was on hand.
They’re coming for you Barbara!
The undead met us at the gate and just kept on coming throughout the evening. There were some great costumes with people showing off some real makeup skills.
There were a few of us living who seemed to get along just fine with the zombies.
The Zombie Beer Fest included a zombie costume contest with prizes for the top three. The ladies from Fermenta were on hand to judge the contest and they had their hands full.
The Founders cyclist with a severe case of road rash ended up the winner.
Stop by the gallery for more pictures.
Rocking The Dead
A festival would not be complete without music. The Spring BeerCity festivals have had great music and the Zombie Beer Fest was no exception. The Odds Elite kicked things off with some great covers of classic rock and blues. This band was tight and played some deep classic cuts from the Who, The James Gang, and they broke out some originals.
I have to admit, by the time 892 took the stage, things were getting hazy for me. The great beer on a cold night was going straight to my head. That said, 892 jammed! They played covers from the 80’s, 90’s, and 2000’s. Get it it… 892! The music was rock to hard rock (and I’m sure they could dish out some metal on request). They kicked things off with Van Halen’s Eruption and didn’t let up.
All this music led to some zombie dancing.
Evidently a mosh pit ensued and myself and one of the guys from Gravel Bottom were head banging and rocking out by the stage. The zombies were no match for this display of head-banging excellence.
Stay in Touch
The Zombie Beer Fest was a lot of fun with great beverages, food, music, and people. We took a ton of pictures. Check out the gallery for more pictures from the festival. If you were at the festival, we would love to hear from you. Share your story with us by leaving a comment or send us a message.