Traverse City Beer Week Returns with a Larger Slate of Activities

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The Second Traverse City Beer Week, scheduled for Nov. 7-14, will feature more than 30 events designed to showcase Michigan’s vibrant craft beer movement, particularly the 15 microbreweries, brewpubs and taprooms in the Traverse City Area.

An evening session at Traverse City's Right Brain Brewery

An evening session at Traverse City's Right Brain Brewery

Our craft beer is natural, it's imaginative and it's surprising -- just like Traverse City itself!

The 2013 debut of Traverse City Beer Week was such a success that promoters in this Lake Michigan resort town are back again with an even larger schedule of tastings, dinners, games and other craft beer events, says Traverse City Tourism.

The Second Traverse City Beer Week, scheduled for Nov. 7-14, will feature more than 30 events designed to showcase Michigan’s vibrant craft brewing movement, particularly the 15 microbreweries, brewpubs and taprooms in the Traverse City Area.

The week-long celebration, organized by Traverse City Tourism and Imperial Beverage, takes place in restaurants, bars, microbreweries and retail locations throughout Traverse City. Its object, said Imperial spokeswoman Anne Drummond, is “to connect craft breweries (and in many cases, brewers themselves) with Traverse City's independently owned restaurants and retailers, to create a unique craft beer experience for our consumers”.

A small Lake Michigan resort community with slightly more than 15,000 residents, Traverse City is best known as a four-season outdoor adventure destination with a lively culinary and wine scene, but more recently it has suddenly emerged as a major center of craft brewing. (Draft magazine named it one of Americas’ three “emerging beer towns” along with St. Louis and Oklahoma City, The Travel Channel listed it among the Top Seven Beer Destinations in North America, and Craftbeer.com calls it one of America’s Five Beeriest Beach Towns.)

Each TC Beer Week event is developed jointly between brewers, restaurants and retailers, said Drummond, and is intended to educate or offer insight into some aspect of the craft beer movement -- a special product or style of beer, a food-beer pairing experience or some other topic of interest.

But that “educational” component shouldn’t obscure the fact that this is intended to be a fun experience. For example, the opening festivities will feature two late afternoon “pre-parties” at downtown restaurants, a beer-tasting/miniature-golf tournament at Right Brain Brewery, and a “pub crawl” of six downtown pubs sponsored by Short’s Brewing. Participants carry beer passports that have to be stamped at each stop and can be traded in when completed for an official Beer Week t-shirt.

The same is true of the final TCBW event: a 5K “Great Beerd Run” at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa, complete with on-course beer tastings from three northern Michigan craft brewers and a post-race Best Beard Contest. Sandwiched in between are a multitude of beer dinners, first-time keg tappings, retail tastings, trivia contests, food pairings, panel discussions, tailgate parties, and even an after-dark scavenger-style “keg hunt.”

Every event in Traverse City Beer Week must feature truly craft beer and include a presentation by the host brewery or brewery representative. That’s one reason why Traverse City Tourism, the area’s destination marketing organization, is acting as a promotional partner, said TCT president Brad Van Dommelen.

“This is a good opportunity for Traverse City to promote its growing craft beer culture, which is really at the heart of this event,” said Van Dommelen. “Our craft beer is natural, it's imaginative and it's surprising -- just like Traverse City itself!”

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Mike Norton
Traverse City Tourism
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