Sample the Suds of Our State at 2017 Wisconsin Beer Lovers Festival
The Wisconsin Brewers Guild and Draft magazine will again team up for the 2017 Wisconsin Beer Lovers Festival on Saturday, June 17, from 1-5 p.m. at Bayshore Town Center. Attendees can enjoy pairings of beer and food from more than 40 Wisconsin craft brewers and approximately 30 restaurants. Vendors will also be on hand selling beer-themed swag, art, snacks and more.
Draft magazine President Trevor Cravens said there would be lots of new brewers at this year’s event, including some that have opened in Milwaukee recently, like Good City Brewing and City Lights Brewing Co. There will also be many returning favorites. “There are a lot of new breweries, and I think that’s representative of the beer scene in Milwaukee; it really has picked up, even within the last year. We’re certainly glad to see their participation.”
Cravens said most of today’s growth in the craft beer industry is coming from brew pubs. “They’re making their own beer and serving it within their own four walls within their own city, which ties in with local communities,” he said, harkening back to the days of Milwaukee’s corner taps, but with a new twist; brewers are making their beer, versus serving commercially produced product. “There are close to 5,000 breweries in the country right now, which is actually more than we had during Prohibition.”
The Wisconsin Beer Lovers Festival is a rare opportunity for Milwaukeeans to sample beers they normally wouldn’t get to try unless they travel throughout Wisconsin. Cravens said brewers such as South Shore Brewery, located nearly eight hours away in Ashland, are making the trip to be part of the fun and camaraderie among brewers.
Because the festival is a partnership with the Wisconsin Brewers Guild, the brew master or someone from the brewery will actually be present to pour the beer, so attendees can speak with a person who’s very knowledgeable.
New restaurants this year include Green Bay-based Stuff Your Face Hole gourmet snacks and Chicago-based Maple Leaf Farms offering duck meat. SURG Restaurant Group will have a presence, and, as of late May, Cravens said they were still adding breweries and restaurants.
The Wisconsin Brewers Guild’s mission is to build upon Wisconsin’s brewing heritage through production, marketing and sales of quality craft beers. The group lobbies and promotes on behalf of small and independent brewers. They started the Beer Lovers Festival eight years ago, and for the last seven years, Draft has assisted in helping to promote and grow the event. Cravens credited the city of Glendale—the host city since the festival’s beginnings—as a wonderful and supportive partner.
An assortment of ticket packages starting at $25 includes the food lover’s ticket, which is ideal for designated drivers, allowing them to sample food but not including beer. Advanced general admission is $45 and includes all the food and beer samples plus a souvenir glass. The VIP ticket runs $75 and offers additional benefits of early entry: a private seating area at Hōm Wood Fired Grill and a souvenir bag. Hotel packages are available for out-of-town guests.
New this year is a partnership with Camp Bar to offer shuttle service to and from the event. For $10 (not including admission to the event), customers will receive a round-trip ride from Camp Bar locations in the Third Ward or Shorewood with an early check-in, plus a pint of Lakefront beer and a slice of pizza from Camp Bar and all the popcorn you can eat.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit wisconsinbeerloversfest.com.