The beginning of summer beer festival season was supposed to happen the weekend of July 24 and 25 with the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival. As we all know, COVID-19 is causing cancellations of beer festivals across the state and country. Other beer festivals I was looking forward to attending was Great Taste of the Midwest in Madison, WI, and Burning Foot in Muskegon, MI.

In order to maintain the spirit of the summer beer festival season, I decided to have my own beer festival at the end of July. The Summer Clean 15 Festival of Beers was a similar concept to my Spring Clean 15 Festival of Beers – go through my stash of beers, locate 15 new-to-me Michigan beers, and sample them over the course of three days.

Below is a ranking of each day’s beer selections along with my initials thoughts regarding each beer based on a taster size of each. It should be mentioned that these beers range in age from a week to two years.

Day 1

Copperstar GalacticaBeards Brewery* – Petoskey

Balanced between fruity and hoppy notes

Snakes and ShamrocksWolverine State Brewing Co – Ann Arbor

Solid red lager, light malty taste

Catalina Mexican LagerPigeon Hill Brewing Company – Muskegon

Light and refreshing Mexican lager

Rain in BloodDark Horse Brewing Company – Marshall

Delicious pale ale with oranges

Cruiser – Detroit Garage Project (Mad Farmer) – Detroit

Unique hops and taste

Day 2

Borealis BrooKeweenaw Brewing Company – Houghton

Malt bomb with coffee

Mandarina Lager – American Harvest Brewpub @ Schoolcraft College Brewery – Livonia

Light lager with tons of citrus

InifiniBee Honey Blonde AleBrewery Terra Firma – Traverse City

Crisp and bright, light on the honey

Training Sessiontripelroot – Zeeland

Hoppy and clean session IPA

Electro BrutBrew Detroit – Detroit

Very hoppy with a sharp, dry finish

Day 3

Bourbon Barrel-Aged Wee HeavyDimes Brewhouse – Dimondale

Delicious Wee Heavy with tons of bourbon notes

KölschRiver’s Edge Brewing Company – Milford

Exactly what the can says “crisp, clean, refreshing”

Orange JuliusUnruly Brewing Co – Muskegon

Grew on me after a few sips. Soft mouthfeel thanks to the vanilla beans and lactose

Crop DusterGrand Armory Brewing – Grand Haven

Very good American IPA

Cosmic Charlie’s Pale AleLatitude 42 Brewing Company – Portage

More malty than hoppy


As of the writing of this post, the Michigan Brewers Guild UP Fall Beer Fest in Marquette has been canceled. Will the Detroit Fall Beer Fest go on as planned with COVID-19?

Whatever the outcome, I will keep having my own beer fests until everything gets worked out for the better. Stay tuned for a Fall Beer Fest announcement.


*Disclaimer: Ed purchased all of the beers except for Mandarina Lager and Copperstar Galactica. Thanks to Matt Bush for passing along the beer from Schoolcraft and to Beards Brewery for providing Ed with the fresh beer.


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By Ed Norton

Edwin "Ed" Norton was first introduced to craft beer when his designated fraternity Big Brother Vince asked him if he knew anything about the topic. Ed admitted his ignorance and the rest is history as Ed and Vince would split six-packs of craft beers each week during Ed's probationary status. Ed is now a craft beer enthusiast who is always on the lookout for a beer he has not tried when bottle shopping or drinking at breweries and bars. In addition to drinking beer, this livelong Michigan resident enjoys a bunch of hobbies that he doubts you really care about, other than drinking beer and sounding off about it.

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