The 2019 Burning Foot Beer Festival took place this past weekend on the shores of Lake Michigan at Pere Marquette Beach in Muskegon, MI. The fifth annual beer festival was put on by the Lakeshore Brewers Guild and happened on Saturday, August 24 from 3:00 pm into the night. One could not have asked for better weather as the sun was shining and the temperature was in the mid seventies, which was much cooler than the temperatures we’ve experienced this summer.
Thousands of people packed the beach to enjoy beer from 80 breweries in Michigan and a few surrounding states; music from various bands, such as Sponge and Everclear; and soak in the last few moments of summer. There was an art exhibit tent that featured local artists, a giant eternal beer flame that periodically shot fire into the air, and six local food vendors, including the popular Muskegon favorite, Rad Dads, serving up delicious food.
If one wished, they could burn their feet on the sand as they navigated through the crowds and tents in search of their next favorite brew. Each attendee was provided with a handy passport complete with 15 beer tickets and information about Burning Foot’s sponsors, food menus, and band line ups. I spoke with people who grew up in the Muskegon area and never left, those from all over the state, and several people from other states that were “looking for a fun time on a beach, drinking beer.” Attendees had the option of camping directly on the beach in a designated area next to the festival.
Here are the top five beers that stopped me in my tracks at my first ever Burning Foot Beer Festival. They are in order from lightest to darkest or so.
Blood Orange Blonde Ale – Haymarket Pub & Brewing (Chicago, IL & Bridgman, MI)
The Blood Orange Blonde Ale was a unique combination between the strong taste of blood orange and the light, lingering taste of a blonde ale. Having both tastes working together made this beer extremely refreshing and crushable. It was touted as one of Haymarket Pub & Brewing‘s most popular beers from the summer and I can see why!
GW’s Little White Lie – MiddleCoast Brewing Co. (Traverse City)
Horton Hops a Wolf – Eastern Market Brewing Co (Detroit)
Horton Hops a what?! Horton Hops a Wolf is the third installment of the Horton single hop IPA series from Eastern Market Brewing Co and it did not disappoint. This NEIPA was extremely complex and included tastes of mint, strawberries, and a NEIPA’s signature juicy citrus. Make sure you’re wearing your big boy pants for this one!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout – Draught Horse (New Hudson)
Golden Ticket Chocolate Stout – Silver Harbor Brewing Company (St. Joseph)
Another chocolate-related stout?! Yes! Another one! Silver Harbor Brewing Company‘s chocolate stout offering was a double mash oatmeal stout with tons of chocolate flavor. I felt like I was eating a chocolate bar after winning the Golden Ticket. The Golden Ticket Chocolate Stout was potent and spot on.
Burning Foot Beer Festival was the most scenic beer festival I’ve ever attended and it had such unique additions with it’s punny name, local artwork, and live music that it is one you need to attend and check out for yourself. See you at the next beer festival!