Craft bears

Ore Dock hosts annual festival to welcome start of spring

Dylan Trost is pictured with the Ore Dock's new Breakwater seltzer. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)

MARQUETTE — “It was a long winter,” said Andrea Pernsteiner, co-founder of the Ore Dock Brewing Co. in Marquette.

Bears everywhere were turning over in their dens from all the noise and merriment made Saturday during the annual Festival of the Angry Bear at the Ore Dock on Spring Street in downtown Marquette. If they weren’t awake before, they are now.

“We just want to be able to celebrate with everybody and really provide that environment where everyone is feeling comfortable, happy and just enjoying Marquette and Marquette neighbors,” Pernsteiner said about the festival.

To encourage a family-friendly environment, all ages were welcomed from 3 to 7 p.m.

“Our two mantras, craft beer and community, and we’ve always wanted this to be an environment where anyone can come and enjoy it,” she said. However, due to growing attendance and capacity limitations, only those 21 and older were allowed to stay after 7 p.m.

The festival highlighted barrel-aged beers; showcased community partnerships with a Science On Tap presentation, a Fresh Coast Film Festival preview and an informational booth from a new organization called Barley’s Angels; and provided a venue for music from local and regional musicians.

“I do think it’s a great reflection of what we do here in the community space on a regular basis, but it brings them here all under one roof,” Pernsteiner said.

The Angry Bear Parade took place in the afternoon and was led by the music group WhoDatBrass and Wolf’s Head Theater Co. A Woodland Creature Costume Contest was held, where participants had the chance to win more than $100 in local prizes. A feast could be found nearby with food vendors such as Dia de Los Tacos, Smelted Wood Fired Pizzas, the Burger Bus and Digs Gastropub set up at the event.

Festival-goer Jared Myers has been coming to the Angry Bear since he moved to the Upper Peninsula from the Flint area about seven years ago.

“Angry Bear kind of represents why I choose to live here,” Myers said. “There’s always something going on. I enjoy coming out and being a part of the community.”

To cut down on waste, festival-goers had the option to purchase Angry Bear cups or bring one from a previous year. Two stages situated under a large tent is where music was to continue until midnight and the local funk fusion band LUMI planned to close out the evening in the community space upstairs.

“This is the time we look forward to as a team of the Ore Dock family every year,” Pernsteiner said. “This is our opportunity to bring the community together and interact with them as much as we can.”

Corey Kelly can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243. Her email address is