The 24th annual Michigan Summer Beer Festival returns to Ypsilanti July 21-22. Hosted by the Michigan Brewers Guild, the event takes place at Riverside Park in the city’s Depot Town.
On July 21, the festival runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $50 in advance and $60 if purchased at the gate. July 22, the festival’s second day, will run from 1 to 6 p.m. On this day, tickets are $55 if bought beforehand and $65 if purchased at the gate.
The festival will feature beer from several of Michigan finest breweries for sampling. Food and water will also be provided for guests, and live music to enjoy from a variety of Michigan bands. The event is open to those 21 years of age and older. Government identification such as a driver's license is required for entry.
Michigan’s Summer Beer festival is run by many volunteers. Scott Graham, volunteer and executive director of the Michigan Brewers Guild, appreciates the support the festival receives.
“We actually have a traveling staff of volunteers, many of whom are based in the Ypsilanti area, and they go to all the festivals with us and really dedicate a lot of their personal time and energy to supporting what we do. And then we have the local volunteers at the festival as well.”
The Michigan Brewers Guild was formed in July of 1997 to unify a community of brewers. The first Michigan Summer Beer festival came shortly after in July of 1998. It was a one-day affair that took place in Livonia, Michigan.
“When the Guild organized more than 25 years ago, there were fewer members,” Graham said. “But many people wanted to promote the sale of their own beer. What better way to do that than have a beer tasting festival where people could get familiar with it?”
Lewis Colon is another primary volunteer. Colon has been volunteering for Michigan Brewers Guild events since 2001. He hopes all guests make the most of their visit and be safe.
“Make a rough plan for the festival and stay super hydrated.”
The Michigan Brewers Guild hosts five annual events with the Michigan Summer Beer festival being the oldest among them.
“They [the event’s attendees] are there to explore the myriad of craft brews that exist in this state, and that's really where the focus should be and what the joy typically is,” Colon said.
The Michigan Brewers Guild is a non-profit trade association. According to Graham, their mission is to promote and protect the beer industry.
Learn more about Michigan’s Summer Beer Festival at the Michigan Brewers Guild website.