Co-reviewed by Seraphine & Skyler

As we don’t get to all that many beer festivals, both of us (Seraphine and Skyler) had very much been looking forward to Beerfest at the Ballpark in downtown Lansing, MI. Even though the weather was looking a little iffy that day, we lined up outside Cooley Law School Stadium ready to enjoy a beer-filled day at the ballpark!

Right off the bat (zing!), there were a number of things that we both really enjoyed about this event. First, since this festival takes place inside the ballpark, attendees have access to real bathrooms! With real toilets! And running water! Oh my gosh! Porta Potties are normally a begrudgingly accepted fact of beer fests, so having actual flushing toilets is a miracle of science! Second, since the event takes place both inside the ballpark and on the outdoor grounds, the layout is very user friendly. The area is very large and spread out, so there’s a lot of space to move around, providing a nice amount of breathing room and far less crowding than we’ve seen at other fests. Third, there are bbq pulled pork parfaits. Enough said.

While the customary pretzel necklace is always welcome at an event like this, if you’ve forgotten yours at home, don’t fret. Inside the ballpark, we found no lack of options for soaking up all that delicious beer in your guts. Many of the ballpark concessions were open, offering a wide selection of hot dogs, brats, burgers, pizza, snacks, and did we mention BBQ PULLED PORK PARFAITS?!

Amid the brewery tents set up inside the ballpark was a small stage, featuring musicians crooning the inebriated crowd with their acoustic tunes. In the beer village set up outside the park, there was a full-size stage hosting a number of bands jamming out an upbeat, energetic drinking soundtrack throughout the day. Not far from this stage, in the center of all the beer tents, stood a sight we were very pleased to behold… a giant inflatable tavern! How could you not be pleased with a giant inflatable tavern? It even included a tiny fireplace to enjoy your beer by! It wasn’t throwing off a whole lot of heat, but it sure looks cozy, doesn’t it?

While all of these sights and sounds were great fun, a beerfest wouldn’t be much of a beerfest without the beer. We can happily say that the beer list for this festival is off the chain! With nearly 80 breweries, cideries, meaderies, & wineries serving over 300 tasty, boozy beverages, there really is something for everyone here. We weren’t able to get remotely close to trying everything but we made sure to use all of our tickets to sample a wide variety of beers, meads, ciders, and even a cocktail or two. In no particular order, some standouts include:

Highlander Scottish AleAlma Brewing Co. (Alma, MI)
The best way I can describe this is…. Meaty? There’s almost a slight metallic taste. Strangely, neither of these are a bad thing. – Seraphine

Mango Habanero OberonBells Brewery (Kalamazoo, MI)
Take a so-so Oberon and add mango and heat and now you’re talking! I want more of this in me now. – Skyler

PB & J’ale’yElk Brewing Co (Grand Rapids, MI)
There’s a definite honey-roasted nut flavor. It’s almost smoky and kind of sweet. Good stuff! – Seraphine

Captain Beer’s RadlerEternity Brewing (Howell, MI)
Only those who like lemon apply. No. (Note that Skyler liked this one a lot because he’s crazy and likes lemony things) – Seraphine

Michigan MuleAmerican Fifth Spirits (Lansing, MI)
I can’t NOT have some hard stuff at an event like this. Craft vodka, Vernors and cranberry make this one hell of a good cocktail. And boy, is it strong. – Skyler

Wheezin’ The Juice Juicy IPAGrand Armory Brewing Co. (Grand Haven, MI)
As the name suggests, it’s nice and juicy. Definitely an IPA though, with a pleasant bitterness. – Seraphine

Cherry BzZzAcoustic Draft Mead (Traverse City, MI)
Very light, and easy drinking mead with a sweet cherry kick. – Skyler

Citra Warrior Imperial IPA w/ honeyRailtown Brewing Co. (Dutton, MI)
You can absolutely taste the honey and there’s a great hop flavor. Thumbs up! – Seraphine

SugarmanGravel Bottom (Ada, MI)
A tasty brown brewed with maple syrup… or was it maple sap? Well, there’s definitely maple something and it’s sweet and great. – Skyler

Train Hopper IPAWitch’s Hat Brewing Co. (South Lyon, MI)
A solid hop bite and a nice clean finish. A classic and well done IPA, an excellent choice for an IPA fan. – Seraphine

Sunshine DIPASanctuary Spirits (Grand Ledge, MI)
Tastes like sunshine! Super light for a double and very enjoyable. – Seraphine

Magnum Mead AleBlack Dragon Meadery (New Buffalo, MI)
A lightly carbonated and hopped mead that tastes much like a honey blonde. – Skyler

2015 Mrs. Sally Brown BBA ScrumpyThe People’s Cider Co. (Grand Rapids, MI)
This tastes like watery Jim Beam with apple juice added. This is way way better than it sounds. – Seraphine

Xalapa Jalapeno PaleOne Well Brewing (Kalamazoo, MI)
Like jalapenos but don’t want the heat? This is a pale ale for you! – Skyler

Küsterer Original WeissbierCedar Springs Brewing Co. (Cedar Springs, MI)
This is an excellent Belgian with a very well rounded flavor. Added to my list as an absolutely must visit brewery. The Dopplebock was excellent too. – Seraphine

After we’d made several loops around the park and the rain started to fall, we bid the fest farewell and headed to Taco 911, because, come on, it’s called Taco 911. We’d sampled ton of great beers, met a bunch of fun beer enthusiasts and brewers, and miraculously only heard a couple people drop their rad sample glasses on the concrete.

We would strongly recommend this event to newcomers to the beer fest scene and seasoned veterans alike… with a wide variety of breweries, pleasant facilities, easy parking and access, and an awesome beer, cider, mead and wine selection, this is a hell of a way to spend a Spring afternoon.

We’ll see you there next year!

Categories: Event Reviews


A craft beer fan since 19, used to look for your non-regular beers on frequent trips to downtown Windsor with friends, at 21 Ken basically took over an entire refrigerator with monthly visits to Merchants. With 5 years of podcasting prior, Ken decided to create the brand and show Better on Draft in the spring of 2015, and began creating his dream of a beer-centric website that wasn't too full of itself. He now runs the board and does a lot of the back office stuff while the show goes on, keeping everyone in line, and the beer flowing!

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