Michigan breweries reign supreme at Eastern Market

For the sixth year running, Eastern Market hosted the Detroit Fall Beer Festival this past weekend in Detroit.

In what has seemingly become tradition, Michigan craft beer enthusiasts donned Halloween costumes in spirit of the upcoming holiday. They waited patiently in line to sample rarities and regulars from the state’s finest breweries.

Over 75 breweries participated in this year’s festival. Patrons had the options to choose from nearly 700 beers on tap.

Aaron Rzeznik, Brewer at Witch’s Hat Brewing Company, said most people were seeking out the rare beers that aren’t on tap at the pub.

“We appreciate that the Michigan craft beer drinkers are thirsty for some good beer,” he said. “We want to serve them good beer that’s unique and quality. And hopefully we do that. That’s our goal.”

Witch’s Hat’s first Brewer’s Guild festival was back in 2012, therefore making the brewery veterans compared to many of the newer breweries.

River’s Edge Brewing, located in Milford, is merely four months old and found themselves participating in their first Michigan Brewers Guild festival.

“The weather’s amazing and it’s great to be downtown,” said Owner and General Manager Ryan Wiltse.

Temperatures found themselves in the 60s on Friday and pushing 70 on Saturday for the sold out crowd, providing the perfect backdrop for the fest and those in the sheds off of Russell St. in Detroit.

Wiltse said the reception at the festival and their taproom has been “phenomenal.”

“We’ve made about 30 batches of beer so far and only about six or seven have been repeat brews,” he said. “So far we’ve brewed about 210 barrels in the last four months. Quite a bit more than we anticipated.”

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For many festival-goers, this wasn’t their first stint at Eastern Market.

Jason and Kristy Smith, second timers at the Eastern Market festival, enjoyed making the festival an over-night event by staying downtown.

“I used to just come down to Detroit for sporting events,” Jason said. “This is the only time I’ve come down here for something else and it’s a good time.”

Some of the couple’s favorite brews included the caramel flavored Karm-Ale and the Pecan Turtle Triffel, both from 51 North out of Lake Orion.

“I love the fact that it’s all Michigan breweries,” Jason said. “It’s all Michigan stuff. It’s all local.”


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