The 2019 UP Fall Beer Festival featured hundreds of Michigan’s finest beers, excellent music, crowd surfing, a blue sky, plus a pretzel king and his court. When you put all those things together you get one hell of a party! It was one of the best Beer Festivals the Michigan Brewers Guild has put on!
UP Fall Beer Festival
Blackrocks was one of the first tents we visited when we landed at the festival. Andy Reeves was busy being Andy. After hugs for everyone, he thanked us for our coverage of the festival. He said something like, “Love LifeInMichian’s coverage of the festival. Through your pictures, you can vicariously experience the festival! ” His buddy laughed and said, “Who are you kidding you use their pictures to piece together what happened during the festival.”
No worries, Andy; I too rely on Chuck’s pictures to bring the festival into focus.
Most beer enthusiasts have a strategy for putting the pieces together after a beer festival. Some of us collect memorabilia (i.e. stickers, coasters). Others take pictures, a few actually write notes on the festival program, and some use the beer festival app too.
I wonder if his robe is wash and wear?
Happy Beer Enthusiasts
Cognition Brewing Co
Cognition Brewing Co. out of Ishpeming (love saying that name!) brought a couple of unique beers I feel the overwhelming need to mention. The first one is Black Mass which is a Robust Porter made with locally foraged Chaga mushrooms and spruce tips. The other was Ryhma a Finnish Sahti which they collaborated with Drifa Brewing and Upper Peninsula Brewing to brew. Both were tasty. Chuck thought they were like drinking the essence of the Upper Peninsula.
We discovered the Randall machine on Friday before the festival when we stopped at Cognition Brewing Co. They had it at the festival infusing Gnome Wrecker with locally wild-growing plants berries they’d picked during their Foraging Follies event.
Superior Coast Brewery
Another beer I’ve got to mention is the Basil Copperpot’s Fugly IPA from Superior Coast Brewery. I had to dig to find their website, but it was worth the effort. It is the brewery in Karl’s Cuisine. You may be asking, what is Karl’s Cuisine? I’ve got an answer. “They serve up mostly fresh, state and local food made from scratch, paired with a glass of wine or beer made in house, and enjoyed while watching a 1,000 foot-long freighter floating by – that’s Karl’s Cuisine, Winery and Brewery!
Dark Horse Brewery
Thanks, Dark Horse for letting us store our gear in your trailer and providing a venue for beer enthusiasts to tap into their creative juices. Oh, and loved their Mexican Hot Chocolate Plead the 5th Imperial Stout. It was worth the 2 tokens and waiting in the long line.
Superior Pipes & Drums
The call of the pipes and drums is sure to stir your blood. The Upper Peninsula’s first and foremost Superior Pipes & Drums quickly had all of our attention as they paraded through the festival grounds. The pipes and drums with their lead highland dancer acted like a beacon. It was as if they signaled that we were all one clan in fellowship of Michigan beer. You may think you need to enjoy a scotch ale with this music, but I found that a Tomahawk American IPA from Townies was just the ticket.
The Organgrinders Blues Band
With the sun shining high amongst billowy clouds and mighty Michigan beers flowing, it was time to cast away our blues with the Organgrinders. If the sun had been hotter, we would have all felt like we were outside a juke joint in Mississippi. The drum and bass stomped as harp and guitar bobbed and weaved. I couldn’t help but raise my glass to the sky and thank the lord I was here and now. The Organgrinders blues went down smooth with a Jamex Brewing Co. Hello Darkness Czech dark lager.
Frank An Da Beanz
If you have been to the U.P. Fall Beer fest in the past, you may have caught the sensational Frank An Da Beanz. These guys cover the gambit of sounds from funk and soul to rock and roll. As in years past, they had a big crowd of happy people up close to the stage. It was a sea of smiles as people danced under a brilliant U.P. sky. Their covers included a stellar rendition of “Moonage Daydream” by David Bowie. I was blown away when I heard the grooving bass of “If You Want Me To Stay” by Sly and the Family Stone. My Chuck Taylors turned into boogie shoes as I reveled in the music with a tasty Black Sails IPA from Les Cheneaux Distillers (yep, distillers who brew!)
This year I was acutely aware of the absence of many of our beer friends and family, mainly Cowboy Doug. Many of you knew him as Hopman.
Doug lost his battle to cancer this past summer. Whenever there is a passing of dear friend you can’t help looking back. LifeInMIchigan has covered the UP Fall Beer Festival since 2012! (Please don’t judge! As they say, we’ve come a long way baby.)
Here are highlights from previous festivals:
The first year DarkHorse brought Art to the Festival.
T Rex was invited.
It rained. And then rained some more. People made the best of it and even created a slip and slide in the mud.
We meet Brett Pickett. At the time he was working at Dark Horse but has since joined the team at Grand River Brewery.
2014 was the year Hopman, LifeInMichigan (Jeff Deeds and Chuck), and Darkhorse (Chris Lasher and Jim Striblen) took over Kuhnhenn’s taps.
The year we met Andy Reeves from Blackrocks but thought his name was Noah. In fact, we called him Noah for almost a year.
Not going to lie, our coverage was really lame, but we did discover Whiteflame which was a life changer!
Visit our photo gallery where we have over 300 pictures.
Enjoy the images. Contact us regarding any use.
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