Great food & craft brew at the Winter Microbrew Festival!

The annual Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival returns to Traverse City this weekend. The main event is Saturday, February 8th from with 30+ breweries packing over 150 craft brew flavors along with local food and a great music lineup. We’ve compiled a collection of the brews & bites that await you over the weekend and can’t wait to see all of you at one of TC’s signature events for food & drink. Tickets are limited and they’ve sold out the last few years, so if you’re planning on attending you’d probably better get your tickets today!

Friday Night Brewer’s Dinner

The weekend kicks off in style on Friday night (Feb 7) at the Brewer’s Dinner hosted in Governors Hall at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa from 7-10 PM. Your  ticket includes 11 small plates paired with 11 (4oz) beer samples and live music by PitchBlak Brass Band. Additional drink and dinner tickets will be available for purchase and the mouthwatering pairing menu is below.

Chef William Matthews is the Resort’s Director of Culinary and says, “We gathered all of the chefs from our restaurants together to taste multiple beers from each of the breweries and share ideas for pairings. The beers selected were chosen by consensus, and we were all impressed by the wide array of flavors and ingredients.” Chef Matthews explains that with each chef jockeying for the beer of their choosing, it’s a fun & friendly process. There are perks to being the top dog, however. “When I tasted the Night Tripper from New Holland I told everyone ‘I’m taking this one, no argument.'”

Beervangelist Fred Bueltmann

Beervangelist Fred Bueltmann

The dinner will be guided by Beervangelist Fred Bueltmann and will feature brewers & brewery ambassadors. Fred is  the co-owner of New Holland Brewery, a Certified Cicerone®, past president of the Michigan Brewers Guild and recipient of their prestigious “Tom Burns Award” recognizing the pioneering spirit of the Great Beer State. He recently published his book, Beervangelist’s Guide to the Galaxy:A Philosophy of Food & Drink.

If you’re wondering what the heck a Beervangelist is, Fred says, “Beervangelist is a self-proclaimed monicker I’ve carried for about a decade. To me, it’s a light hearted way to express my ongoing mission of bringing beer to the people. I’ve been in the beer industry for a long time, and my biggest thrill is inviting people in and helping people build deeper connections with what they drink & eat. Friday’s Brewer’s Dinner is an excellent opportunity for guests of any expertise level to explore flavor. It has all the sophistication of a beer dinner, but the ease of sampling you’d find at a beer festival. Talented chefs have created dishes around beers from eleven different breweries. Guests can feel how much a pairing can enhance an experience, while also trying new beer styles or foods in a relaxed, social atmosphere.”

About a year ago, New Holland launched “Stop & Taste” to get people to focus on enjoying their food & drink & lives. Last week they posted a video (below) that features some Traverse City culinary figures & scenes. It’s no surprise to Fred who explains, “I get excited by people and communities who champion connected eating and drinking. ‘Farm to table’ and ‘Buying local’ go beyond being buzzwords when they’re part of the fabric of a community. You can feel that in the Traverse City area. It is a community that embraces agriculture, cares about food and drink, and about continually bringing more choice, quality and integrity to the people. I’m thrilled we’re able to be a part of it, with our beers, spirits and dinners. We’re also proud to brew year round with Michigan hops from nearby Empire Hops Farm, which is a tasty signature in our beer, Paleooza. Traverse City is a wonderful place to Stop & Taste!”

This event is open to the public (must be 21) and tickets are $65 and available for purchase by calling 800-236-1577. The Resort is offering one and two night packages as well that include overnight accommodations, breakfast, Festival tickets and transportation to and from the Festival. Get all the details right here.

The Main Event

Dress warmly for the most fun!

Dress warmly for the most fun!

The 2014 Festival is the 5th annual and runs from 4-10 PM at the Farmers Market parking lot at the corner of Union Street & Grandview Parkway in downtown Traverse City. In addition to great beer from the breweries listed below, there are multiple stages packed with some great musicisans from near and far including Mustard Plug, Frontier Ruckus, Third Coast Kings and Don Julin & Billy Strings.

In 2014, the Festival will feature a Rare Beer Tour where they will tap a specialty rare beer along with a story from the brewery every 20 minutes! Beers include Petoskey Brewing’s Wookie Kisses, North Peak’s Cortez The Killer, Brewery Vivant’s Love Shadow and  Short’s Bourbon Carrot Cake (served to the Early Birds).

Once again Bad Teacher Brewing and the Festival will host the MBMF Homebrewer’s Challenge featuring nine brewers competing for the best stout.  The first & second place Judges Choice winners will brew their recipes at The Filling Station Microbrewery and Brewery Ferment respectively with the People’s Choice winner will be selected by festival goers. This is always a highlight of the festival so get there early to sample all the brews and cast your vote!

There will also be after parties at Inside Out Gallery ($5 cover, featuring the Third Coast Kings) and at The Workshop Brewing Co.

Sunday Brunch

On Sunday morning (Feb 9) there will be a Brewer’s Scratch Brunch Buffet from 10 AM – 1 PM at The Workshop Brewing Company. Chef Scott will help cure what “ales” you with “something with eggs, something with potatoes, something sweet, and something with bacon” … not necessarily in that order.

Breweries, Wineries & Cideries at the Festival

Acoustic Draft Mead, Arbor Brewing Co., Arcadia Ales, Beard’s Brewery, Beggar’s Brewery, Bell’s Brewery, Blue Point Brewing Co., Brewery Ferment, Brewery Vivant, Clown Shoes, Dark Horse Brewing Co., Epic Brewing Co., Filling Station Microbrewery, Forty-Five North Vineyard & Winery, Founders Brewing Co., Great Lakes Brewing Co., Greenbush Brewing Co., Green Flash Brewing Co., Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, Lagunitas Brewing Co., Left Foot Charley, Mount Pleasant Brewing Co., New Belgium Brewing Co., New Holland Brewing Co., North Peak Brewing Co., Odd Side Ales, Petoskey Brewing, Schmohz Brewery, Short’s Brewing Co., Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., St. Ambrose Cellars, Stormcloud Brewing Co., Vander Mill Ciders

Festival Food Vendors

Siren Hall, Roaming Harvest, Michigan Venison Company, House of Doggs, Pigs Eatin’ Ribs, Bay Town Kitchen

Music & Entertainment

Mustard Plug, Frontier Ruckus, Third Coast Kings, Don Julin & Billy Strings, Chardon Polka Band, PitchBlak Brass Band, Grand Traverse Pipes & Drums, DJ Dominate, Deep Blue Water Samba School, Brett Mitchell, Miriam Pico, Andrew Sturtz, Younce Guitar Duo, Silent Disco

Tickets & Details

General admission tickets are $40. Tickets include a custom 7oz. tasting glass, $10 worth of drink tokens, BATA shuttle service, music, and all other festival amenities. Additional drink tokens will be available for purchase on-site for $2 each. 100% of alcohol sales from the event will benefit Bay Area Recycling for Charities’ Xero Waste Events, a local non-profit organization providing comprehensive recycling services to the region and contributing an annual portion of its revenues to local charities and summer festivals. At the 2013 Summer Microbrew & Music Festival, $20,000 was raised for local non-profit CherryT Ball which directly supported local food banks and Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center.

Brewer’s Dinner Menu

North Peak’s Old Mission Brewery Community Series #1 “Aztec Stout”
Dry rubbed and slow smoked beef brisket with an Aztec chocolate and paprika glaze served on a slice of fresh jalapeno brioche – by Chef Larry Steffes

Beggar’s Brewery Community Series #2 “Private Eeyes Dunkelweiss”
Slider brats slowly simmered in Beggar’s Dunkelweizen and finished on the grill and
served with caramelized beer onions and fresh ground Dunkelweizen mustard – by Chef Larry Steffes

Green Flash Brewing “Le Freak”
Intermezzo – Frothy Le Freak and Lemon Sorbet – by Pastry Chef Stephanie Elwell

New Holland Brewing “Night Tripper”
Seared pork tenderloin with a cocoa and cayenne rub and Night Tripper infused pork stock reduction – by Chef Bill Matthews

Great Lakes Brewing “Dortmunder Gold” Lager
Dortmunder Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic Soup – by Chef Dennis Wagner

New Belgium Brewing “Lips of Faith Wild Dubbel”
Granola made with a reduction of Wild Dubbel, brown sugar and cinnamon, sautéed bananas, Wild Dubbel candied pistachios and coconut yogurt – by Chef Anie Driscoll

Founders Brewing “Dirty Bastard” Scotch Style Ale
Dirty Bastard Fire roasted chili – by Chef Dennis Wagner

Petoskey Brewing “Horny Monk” Belgian Dubbel
Fresh walleye and cipollini onion rings in Horny Monk tempura, served in a gaufrette potato basket with Horny Monk remoulade sauce – by Chef Mark Hamper

Dark Horse Brewing “Tres Blueberry” stout
Blueberry stout crumble cupcakes – Tres Blueberry cake filled with stout blueberry jam and topped with cream cheese mousse, sugary crumble and fresh blueberries – by Pastry Chef Stephanie Elwell

Odd Side Ales “Firefly”
BBQ shrimp skewer – Mango-habanero Firefly BBQ shrimp skewer with Firefly marinated pineapple and papaya, topped with toasted macadamia nuts – by Chef Anie Driscoll

Brash Brewing “Smoglifter”
Milk chocolate stout cheesecake with salted beer caramel sauce and chocolate dipped pretzels – by Pastry Chef Stephanie Elwell