MARQUETTE - Hundreds of varieties of beers and thousands of attendees made for a successful fourth annual U.P. Beer Fest, Saturday at the Mattson Lower Harbor Park.
One of four festivals organized by the Michigan Brewers Guild, the festival featured 210 different beers brewed by 38 Michigan brewing companies, including several Upper Peninsula-based brewing companies. Around 2,400 people were expected to attend the festival, which ran from 1-6 p.m. Saturday.
"The craft beer industry has been growing and growing," said Eric Briggeman, president of the brewers guild. "The appeal is you can try all these different beers in one location."
Mike Heinowski, warehouse manager for the New Holland Brewing Co., serves up a sample of beer. (Journal photo by Johanna Boyle)
Wearing pretzel necklaces and costumes — on a dare — friends, from left, Steve and Betsy Schnell, Brian and Carol Burke and Angela and Brett Bowers, finishing off a bike trip, get ready to enter the U.P. Beer Fest. (Journal photo by Johanna Boyle)
Tickets to the beer fest included a 3-ounce sample glass and 15 tokens, each of which purchases a sample of beer, allowing attendees to sample whatever type of beer they wished.
Breweries represented smaller new establishments, such as the Oredock Brewery in Marquette to larger brewers such as New Holland.
"We try to support any local community we're in," Briggeman said.
While some visitors this year were at the festival for the first time, others have attended every year.
"It's betting bigger every year," said Mike Gwinn of Marquette, who said he has attended every year of the festival and hoped to sample "just a little bit of everything."
Local restaurants were also at the festival selling a range of foods to visitors, some dressed in costume.
Johanna Boyle can be reached at 906-486-4401. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.