With over 100 craft and imported beers, the 2017 Polar Beer Club event at the Royal Oak Farmers Market was probably one of the best beer festivals that I have been to. Walking into the farmers market you were greeted with 15 drink tickets as well as a commemorative pint glass for the event. The band played hits from motown to modern day, and while it was pretty loud for the few breweries near the stage, definitely a fun added bonus.
We began to walk around during the hour long VIP session which we say is well worth the extra $20. Not only do you get more drink tickets, but early access to some of the beers that were limited at the event is a plus. Dark Horse probably had the biggest of the ‘rare’ beers with their Double Crooked Tree. Some brewers brought kegs, others bottles/cans. The amount of beers and selections can rival a major beer festival, but don’t expect to get the rarest of rare beers here.
One thing I noticed at this festival in comparison to major ones is that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of pressure. By this I mean the atmosphere was relaxed, people didn’t come in with a mission to try specific beers, and everyone was having fun. The feeling in the air was just a bunch of people there to have fun, drink beer, and socialize, which I think a lot of people who enjoy the industry seem to forget sometimes. Beer is fun, and we were able to meet so many new people at this event!
From local breweries like ROAK, big Michigan breweries like Shorts and Founders, big national breweries like Sam Adams, and even a few foreign beers like Chimay was there. A collection of beers and styles that rivals any major festival where you can try nearly anything there.
We did notice a few long lines for some breweries, and it would appear it would be due to volunteers pouring, and not necessarily bartenders, beer reps, etc. This did cause a slow down at a few places, but nothing too crazy but a blip on the radar. With games like the nail/hammer, a photo booth, and great food, this is one beer festival that has another fan! We will be talking about it during episode #68 of the Better on Draft Podcast, so feel free to hear more about the event there!
Remember, no matter what you think of your beer, we think, it’s Better on Draft!