2nd ANNUAL MONROE COUNTY BREWFEST, HOT DAY, COLD CRAFT BREWS

The 2nd Annual Monroe County Brewfest, a combined effort of the Monroe News and Flat Rock Speedway, sweltered through unseasonably hot weather for a September 23rd Saturday night, drawing a crowd of over 300.

A broad selection of 100 different craft beers were available for sampling and, for the 2nd consecutive year, attendees gave the event high praise.

Monroe News advertising manager Jeanine Bragg said the event was popular with local crowds. About 60 volunteers helped out on the day of the event and over 150 pre-sale tickets were sold, with another 150-plus walk-up ticket sales on the day of the event. She said organizers knew from last year’s inaugural event a beer festival would be popular with the public. The event was patterned after other Michigan craft beer festivals, with adjustments for lessons learned at the 2016 Monroe County Brewfest. She said attendance was likely affected by the uncommonly hot September weather but that those in attendance were very pleased with the event.

Live music was provided by Monroe County based bands Jack and the Bear from 5-7pm and the Hunter Brucks Band, from 8-10pm. A big change, which was very popular with the crowd, was the addition in 2017 of two Monroe County-based food trucks, representing local restaurants Nick N Nino’s and Vince’s Drive In. The event, conducted on the grass infield of Flat Rock Speedway, also featured several large tents under which the craft beer samples were available and those in attendance could escape the heat of the late day sun and temperatures of 90 degrees.

Sponsors of the event include Monroe Dodge Superstore, LaRoy Door, Parran’s Greenhouse, Toledo Tent, La-Z-Boy, DTE Energy, Northside Bar & Grill, Nick N Nino’s, Vince’s Drive In, St. Pierre Ace Hardware, Jake’s Liquor, Hi-Lite Fresh Market and Larson’s Bar & Grill.

Draft breweries in Michigan increased from 105 in 2011 to 205 in 2015. Michigan produces the 10th-most craft beer of any state. In addition, Michigan is the 4th-largest producer of hops in the United States.

Officials indicated plans are in the works for a 3rd annual event next fall.

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