An urban winter wonderland will greet craft brew, music and culinary lovers at the fourth annual Traverse City Winter Microbrew & Music Festival the evening of Saturday, Feb. 9.
The popular regional festival will be held from 4-10 pm on the north bank of the scenic Boardman River between Cass and Union, in the heart of downtown Traverse City. It will feature multiple heated tents featuring over 50 craft breweries from around the state and more than 200 flavors of brews, wines, ciders and meads.
The Microbrew Festival is the culmination of a new “Craft Brew Week” created to celebrate Traverse City’s craft beer culture. During the week-long celebration, special food and beer pairing events, meet-and-greets with brewers, educational events and other special activities will take place throughout the city at various restaurants and venues.
Already well-known as a food and wine destination, this northern Michigan lakeshore resort community is also making fans in the burgeoning microbrew community; last year the Travel Channel ranked it among the top seven beer destinations in North America, and Draft magazine named it one of Americas’ three newest “emerging beer towns,” along with St. Louis and Oklahoma City. Five years ago, it held its first Summer Microbrew & Music Festival – and followed up the next year with a winter version.
The festival will highlight live musical acts on multiple stages — including the Lowdown Brass Band, Funktion, The Crane Wives, Billy Strings, Laith Al-Saadi, DJ DomiNate (and his renowned laser light show), the Grand Traverse Pipes & Drums and local fire dancers – as well as polka tents, snow forts, winter decorations, local food vendors, and a “silent disco” where dancers are issued wireless headphones through which music is broadcast via an FM transmitter and nobody else has to listen.
Free shuttle service will be available to and from the nearby Old Town parking deck and participating hotel partners, and 100% of alcohol sales from the event will be donated to Bay Area Recycling for Charities, a local non-profit recycling service.
Festival promoter Sam Porter, who started the first Winter Microbrew & Music Festival four years ago, said the new “Craft Brew Week” and a series of after-parties at select downtown venues (Union Street Station, ECCO and Brew) on Feb. 8-9 should help festival attendees connect with the town’s existing microbrew scene.
“Our goal is to have another sold-out festival and help drive thousands of residents and visitors to downtown retailers, bars and restaurants during an otherwise slow week in February,” he said.
For information about other winter events in Traverse City, and for assistance with lodging and dining options, contact the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau.