HARBOR SPRINGS — Beer or ski enthusiasts, or beer and snowboard enthusiasts could head out to Boyne Highlands Resort today, Saturday, March 9, for the fourth annual Brew-Ski Festival, a slopeside craft beer event featuring the works of 220 microbreweries from across the country.
The outdoor event runs from noon-5 p.m. at the base of Boyne Highlands runs, just outside the main lodge. The festival includes free admission to anyone 21 years or older and sampling tickets cost $1.50 each. Tickets can be used for 4-ounce micro-brew samples or grilled Tannery Creek Meat Market brats, the resort's chili or soft pretzels. Highlands' staff will be crafting a particularly unique bar set up for the event, a fully encompassing snow bar on which the beers will be served.
"Brew-Ski Festival combines to offer the best in skiing with the best in craft beers. But you don't have to be a skier or snowboarder to attend Brew-Ski Festival," she said.
Attendees can expect a massive variety of samples at the event, she said.
Major players in the brewing world will be on hand such as Shorts, Bell's and New Holland, as well as some up and coming microbrews from throughout the United States. Approximately half of those presenting are from Michigan, though.
A pioneer in the microbrew arena, New Holland's founder Brett VanderKamp said there is much importance to microbrew festivals such as Brew-Ski.
"It's energizing the unprecedented growth that Michigan craft beer is experiencing. It's vitally important that we (the producers) connect with the beer enthusiasts and making that connection among the beauty of Northern Michigan is ideal," he said.
Along with a dizzying array of craft brews, good eats and some of the best skiing and boarding in the Midwest, the event also will feature live music. Northern Michigan's The Remedy will play outdoors during the festival. Afterwards, the party continues into the evening with The Aaron Vaughn Band from 4:30-8 p.m. at the Zoo Bar and The Remedy again will play inside at Boyne's Slopeside Lounge from 9 p.m.-midnight.
Brew-Ski Festival hosted more than 1,500 attendees last year and Boyne is expecting more than 2,000 today. Boyne Highlands's lifts will operate 9 a.m.-9 p.m. and a lift pass is not required for entrance to the festival.
More information is available at 1-800-GO-BOYNE, or online at www.boyne.com.