If we want to get scientific about summer, we can talk about the tilting of our planet’s axis and other cosmic-speak buzzwords, like orbit and hemisphere, OR we can talk about summer in terms of warm weather, good company, and beer. Yes, beer.
If there’s one way to spend the longest day of the year, it’s in Detroit at the Sumer Beer Fest. Sweet libations! Did the beer pour on June 21 in the heart of downtown Detroit. It was an offering to honor the summer solstice – here is my liver, give me the sun (and I think we got Mother Nature a little too drunk on craft beer, because the weather’s been rainy ever since)!
Testing local brews is a unique tool to learn more about a place – whether in your neighborhood or across the pond. Let’s say you meandered into Detroit Beer Co., ordered up a Red Dwarf (after all, the name captured your intrigue), became chummy with the bartender and conversed about the tale behind the label. You’d learn about some Detroit folklore that you may never have discovered otherwise.
Here’s why I loved welcoming my summer at Detroit Summer Beer Fest (DSBF):
Love the beer handles.
The Beer. Over 200 beers – local, craft, seasonal, amazing. My favorite of the evening? Zombie Killer from B. Nektar Meadery. I even used two tickets for this brew. I’m a slight beer pansy, preferring fruity to IPA and smooth to bitter bite. And a beer pansy like me was neither dissatisfied nor thirsty throughout the event. I even tried ginger beer for the first time… that was my surprise taste of the night. My guest prefers the dark, bold, “manly” flavors and he was equally as happy. What I’m trying to say is that there was something for everyone. In fact, there was too much for everyone.
Yes, I know, you want this BBQ burger topped with coleslaw from Rub BBQ Pub.
The Food. It’s a sin to go to any summer celebration amid alcohol without getting a fill of the food vendors. The typical carnival trucks parked at the perimeter (elephant ears, pretzels, etc.), but there was a fair share of local food establishments. We were instantly attracted to the smoky sent of barbeque wafting from Rub BBQ Pub’s outdoor grill. Rib tips from a local Detroit restaurant will trump a carnival hot day any day.
The Fun. Hammerschlagen. No, I did not type that word after 3 hard ciders from Motor City Brewing Works. I was introduced to this game at DSBF. Each participant has a nail. The first person to successfully hammer this nail into the tree stump wins. Men can use one hand, women, two. You only take one swing at a time per turn. Sounds stupidly simple, but it’s a bit more challenging at a Beer Fest. Hammers, nails, and beers… absolutely the safest and smartest drinking game ever. Oh the irony of getting hammered.
A manageable, friendly crowd at a Beer Fest.
The Crowds. A huge round of applause to the event planners for strategically placing the beer vendors throughout Campus Martius Park. This avoided congestion of the guests and minimized wait times at the tents. No attendees were overly rowdy or out of control, making this event mature and enjoyable.
The start of the evening. The end looked rather comparable with the amount of orange left over.
The Tickets. Okay. What were they thinking? 25 tickets worth approx. 5 ounces of craft beer? Each?! It’s a steal of a deal for a $45 entry fee, but had I honored each orange slip, I’d have been dragged to Detroit Receiving from serious liver damage. Kudos to the troopers who utilized each ticket. Every 30 minutes I’d stare in awe at how much orange remained in my purse, so taunting, so abundant.
When the first day of summer approaches next year, you can expect to find me at this festival again. There are a TON more brews I plan to try that I didn’t get around to in 2013. There’ll be more beer fests on my radar to carry me through the rest of the summer… any suggestions?
Although I won these tickets from Detroit Metromix, I was not asked to write a post about my experience. Nor did the influence of alcohol encourage me to write a positive review. All thoughts are truly my own. Cheers!