20 Best Michigan Beer Festivals
If you’re a Michigan beer drinker, you’re in luck: there are Michigan beer festivals all year long.
With nearly 400 craft breweries in Michigan, you can easily say Michiganders like their beer, and especially craft beer and cider.
In fact, craft beer festivals are a large part of the summer (and year-round) culture in the mitten state.
A quick search turns up over 50 beer festivals in Michigan during the 2023 calendar year: that’s over one a week, for those who are counting.
So put on your pretzel necklace and let’s start exploring. If you don’t know what a pretzel necklace is, you will by the end of the article.
Michigan Brewers Guild Craft Beer Festivals
The Michigan Brewers Guild is the state’s non-profit that includes many, if not most, of the breweries in the state. The MBG hosts four of the largest Michigan craft beer festivals in the state each year, one for each season.
With the Michigan Brewers Guild festivals being spread around the state, it’s an easy showcase for breweries who want to travel and those that like to keep their business close to home. Each festival will host live music, food trucks, and of course special creations unique to each season of the year by the participating breweries.
Be aware: these are ticketed events and often sell out, especially the event in the summer that spans two days.
MGB Summer Beer Festival
Riverside Park, Ypsilanti, MI
The MGB’s largest summer festival is held in Riverside Park in Ypsilanti’s Depot Town on July 22 and 23rd. The summer event hosts over 100 breweries from across the state and some out-of-state breweries. You’ll find a tent with food and live entertainment, and the setting in the unique Depot Town adds to the fun.
MGB Winter Beer Festival
MGB 17th Annual Winter Beer Fest
LCMU Park, Comstock Park, MI
Yes, there is an outdoor winter festival for the true Michiganders who love snow, cold, and beer. It’s held each year at Lake Michigan Credit Union Park in Comstock Park, MI, just north of Grand Rapids. This year’s edition of the Winter Beer Fest is held on February 25 from 1-6 pm. The 17th annual winter beer festival is one of the top winter events in west Michigan. In addition to Michigan beer, you’ll find food, live entertainment, ice sculptures, ice carving demonstrations, and more.
MGB Spring Beer Festival
Traverse City, MI
The Spring beer fest takes place in Traverse City on May 13th and will bring out the beer drinkers that have been holed up all winter and are ready to break out the shorts and sandals and start drinking beer outside again. This fun outdoor fest offers craft beer, ciders, and food, as well as entertainment in one of Michigan’s top travel destinations.
Autumn Beer Festival
Eastern Market, Detroit
First weekend in October
The autumn beer festival is held in Detroit at Eastern Market on the first weekend in October. One of the largest open-air farmers markets in the country, Eastern Market in downtown Detroit comes alive during this fun festival. In addition to sipping craft beer from Michigan breweries, you’ll also have the opportunity to sample fare from local restaurants.
Winter Michigan Craft Beer Festivals
Speaking of winter, most Michigan craft brew aficionados do not hesitate to move their drinking preferences to the outdoors. No less than three outdoor beer festivals highlight the winter event calendar.
Pure Ludington Brrrewfest
Pure Ludington Brrrewfest, held in Legacy Plaza on January 28, features over 20 breweries from the west side of Michigan. The outdoor festival highlights downtown Ludington, Ludington State Park, and the huge craft brew culture on the Lake Michigan side of the state.
IF YOU GO: You’ll want to spend some time exploring Ludington, home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Michigan- even in the winter. Head out to Ludington State Park, known for its picturesque Big Sable Point lighthouse, excellent ADA-accessible pathways, and more. Be sure to check out the historic Cartier Mansion in downtown Ludington, an elegant Bed and Breakfast that dates to 1905.
St. Joe Winter Beer Fest
Downtown St. Joseph, MI
St. Joe Winter Beer Fest, January 28, highlights downtown St. Joseph, MI. The outdoor event features over 20 breweries from the southwest corner of the state. Bundle up and get your tickets for beer tasting and live music highlighting the four-hour event that guarantees to warm up your winter weekend.
IF YOU GO: St. Joe and southwest Michigan’s Harbor Country is one of Michigan’s best-kept secrets among Michigan residents. A popular summer playground for Chicagoans and those in-the-know, the area offers plenty to do in the winter. You’ll find endless hiking trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing and downtown St. Joseph is home to fun boutiques, restaurants, and winery tasting rooms, too.
Riverfront Saginaw Winter Beer Fest
203 S Washington Ave, Saginaw, MI 48607
Riverfront Saginaw Winter Beer Fest on February 11, features over 40 breweries set up at SVRC Marketplace in Saginaw. For the beer lover who doesn’t love the cold outdoor weather Michigan gives us, this is an indoor festival with food, music, and access to retail shops in the Marketplace. This festival attracts breweries from Mid-Michigan as well as the Flint and Tri-cities area.
Southern Michigan Winter Beer Festival
American 1 Credit Union Event Center, 128 W Ganson St, Jackson, MI 49201
The Southern Michigan Winter Beer Festival is held in Jackson on March 11 and will feature over 35 breweries, fire pits, outdoor games, and food trucks. This will be the last festival of the winter months and the last chance to put on boots and coats and experience the chill in the air and some unique brews from south central Michigan breweries.
Spring Beer Festivals in Michigan
Beerfest at the Ballpark
505 E Michigan Ave, Lansing, MI 48912
Spring rolls around with Beerfest at the Ballpark in Lansing. This is the first big festival of the spring and will feature over 50 breweries and 300+ beers. Held on April 22nd at Jackson Field in Lansing, home of the Lansing Lugnuts baseball team (one of the top Michigan minor league teams), this is an event not to be missed. Ballpark food and more will be a side feature and the festival benefits Friends of the River.
IF YOU GO: Whether you’re a fan of Sparty or not, you’re going to want to plan some extra time to explore the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing, home to some unique spots including the W.J. Beal Botanical Gardens.
Growlers Stadium 251 Mills St, Kalamazoo, MI 49048
Once May rolls around, the festivals kick into high gear with one nearly every weekend throughout the state. May 6th in Kalamazoo starts the party with Kalamazoo Beerfest. Held at the aptly named Growlers Stadium in downtown Kalamazoo. Featuring over 30 breweries, food trucks, live music, and more. Put on your spring finest and get to Kalamazoo to kick off the festival season.
World of Expo in Frankenmuth
The World Expo of Beer in Frankenmuth is a two-day event that yearly features over 70 breweries from around the state, country, and even an international possibility.
Expecting over 350 beers from around the world on May 19-20 at Heritage Park in Frankenmuth, this is an event not to miss. The event is tented and, in a pavilion, so regardless of the weather, the beer will flow and there will be non-stop fun.
IF YOU GO: As Michigan’s “Little Bavaria,” Frankenmuth attracts visitors from all over the state and country eager to explore the charming downtown area and try a “world-famous” chicken dinner at Zehnder’s or the Bavarian Inn. Plan to spend some time wandering the fun shops and cafes along the main street.
Michigan Beer and Brat Festival
Crystal Mountain, Thompsonville
You can enjoy live entertainment while sampling an enormous selection of Michigan’s finest microbrews, meads, hard ciders, wine, liquor, and gourmet brats from northwest Michigan markets.
Summer Beer Festivals
Once June rolls around, there are small and large festivals throughout the State of Michigan.
Check local events calendars and the MI BeerTrail website for listings, including Ann Arbor, Allegan, Bay City, Shelby Twp., Midland, Munising, St. Ignace, Portland, Iron Mountain, Manistee, Wyandotte, and Port Huron just to name a few.
At the current time, many of these festivals did not have solid dates to include in our list. The following summer options are some of the larger events across the state. I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorites to add to your Michigan summer travel bucket list.
Larkin Parking Garage
Tapped, downtown Midland’s craft beer festival will be held on June 18th in the Larkin Parking Garage in downtown Midland. This will allow the festivities to be enjoyed rain or shine, no matter what the temperature is. The festival features over 100 tap selections and live music all day. It’s a great way to enjoy a vibrant downtown and a few beers to sample along the way.
Great Lakes Beer Festival
The Great Lakes Beer Festival is another big event in Midland on August 19 at the Dow Diamond. This festival features over 50 craft breweries and the official Michigan Cornhole Tournament, along with featured ballpark food and live music. Seems like Midland is the place to be in mid-Michigan for craft beer this summer.
IF YOU GO: The Tridge, Michigan’s only three-legged bridge, is located not far from Dow Diamond. Walk the architectural marvel that spans two rivers (the Tittabawassee and the Chippewa), and explore Chippewasee Park.
Burning Foot Beer Festival
Pere Marquette Beach
Back over to the west side of the state, one of the larger summer (end of summer) festivals is the Burning Foot Beer Festival at Pere Marquette Beach in Muskegon, taking place August 26. This festival features over 90 breweries, at least 8 local restaurants providing food, live music from some of west Michigan’s best bands and camping is available on the beach. It promises a weekend of fun and sun to round out the summer.
More Michigan Beer Festivals in Summer
St. Clair Waterfront Beer, Wine, Cocktail & Seltzer Festival 2023
Where: Algonac Waterfront Park 1130 Saint Clair River Drive Algonac, MI 48001
Packards and Pints
Where: Packard Proving Grounds Historic Site, 49965 Van Dyke Ave, Shelby Twp, MI 48317
Jackson Annual Art, Beer and Wine Festival
Where: Ella Sharp Museum, 3225 4th Street, Jackson, Michigan 49203
Michigan Fall Beer Festivals
As the summer winds down, leaves begin to turn colors and we throw an extra sweatshirt on, the beer festivals don’t come to an end. Check the festival calendars for the fall to feature events in Wyandotte, Bloomfield Hills, Manistee, Brighton, Utica, New Boston, Lansing, and Gaylord.
Port Huron Beer Festival
Downtown Port Huron
The Port Huron Beer Festival will take place in downtown Port Huron on September 23. Downtown Port Huron is full of great shopping and restaurants and will bring in over 40 breweries from the thumb area and southeast Michigan. Enjoy a fall day by the St. Clair River while enjoying the fall beer scene at the festival.
IF YOU GO: Historic Port Huron, on Michigan’s Blue Thumb Coast, is one of Michigan’s best-kept secrets. Home to the oldest lighthouse in Michigan (the Fort Gratiot Light), you’ll also find a vibrant downtown area and beautiful Lake Huron beaches.
Cadillac Craft Beer Festival
190 W Cass St, Cadillac, MI 49601
If you enjoy spending September in northern lower Michigan, you may want to head over to Cadillac Craft Beer Festival on September 23. With over 20 breweries and a park overlooking Lake Cadillac, food trucks, and live music, what more could you ask for? The festival is in its 12th year and continues to attract larger crowds each year.
Belle Isle Boathouse
Belle Isle MI
On October 1, help support a great cause and enjoy beer, cider, seltzer, and local distilleries at the Belle Isle Boathouse Beer Fest on Detroit’s own Belle Isle. Proceeds from the beer festival help to restore the 120-year-old Boathouse. Enjoy your craft beverage while listening to music along the Detroit River. Over 150 taps will be featured along with local food trucks.
With all the sampling of craft beer, one may need to cleanse one’s palate or get some quick sustenance.Thus, the invention of the pretzel necklace, which provides both, in a quick and easy method. Small or large pretzels are up to the creator and sharing is always encouraged.
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About the Author-
Mike Sackett is a Detroit area creative who enjoys domestic and international travel, photography, food, antiques and craft beer. Summer is spent on Michigan lakes and winter thoughts go where to travel next. Enjoying sharing my life through photos and writing.