Celebrate craft beer at Lake Michigan College's Mendel Center in St. Joseph, MI on Saturday, March 22 from 5 - 9 PM. They will be hosting beer tasting from local and regional craft breweries, food from local restaurants, and live music during the fourth annual Art of Beer Festival. Around 100 different brews are lined up for the festival and confirmed breweries at this point include Perrin Brewing, Comstock Park, MI; Round Barn Brewery, Baroda, MI; Saugatuck Brewing Company, Saugatuck, MI; Tapestry Brewing, Bridgeman, MI; Lehman's Orchard, Niles, MI; and Virtue Cider, Fennville, MI. There are still many unconfirmed breweries and I will post a list as soon as I get that information.
I was able to attend the very first festival as both a beer blogger and potter. In my booth I had hand made pottery beer mugs for sale, and I even hosted two free drawings for the Bell's mugs that I make for the brewery (see photos above). Again this year, our friends from Michiana Extract & Grain Association (MEGA - South Bend home brew organization) will be on hand to answer questions and hopefully do some sampling and possibly some demonstrating.
But the biggest news is this - Alaskan Brewing Company (brewers of award winning Alaskan Smoked Porter -6.4% ABV, Alaskan Amber -altbier, 5.3% ABV, Alaskan Barleywine -from their pilot series, 10.7% ABV, and their new Hopothermia -double IPA, 8.5% ABV, is coming to Michigan. And they hope to be making their debut at this festival. I will let you know more about this as soon as I hear further details.
I lived in Juneau, AK, many years back when Alaskan Brewing Company was just in the process of changing their name from Chinook Brewing to their current name. And at that point, they were not brewing as many of their big beers like the barleywine and smoked porter, but I sure enjoyed many wonderful ambers and pale ales while enjoying the long days. For those of us on the Indiana side of the border, Michigan is just a short distance away. And it will be a very worthwhile drive to get Alaskan Beer.
Tickets for the Art of Beer are now on sale for $35, and they will be available at the door for $40. Price includes 15 beer tasting tokens, $10 in food tickets, and a limited edition Festival pint glass. Designated driver tickets are $15. This is a 21 and over event.
Advance tickets can be purchased at www.artofbeerfest.com and through the Mendel Center box office at (269) 927-1221, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.