Toughen up, beer lovers, it's going to be long spring, summer and fall with celebrations of all things brew-wise in Northwest Indiana and Southwest Michigan on the calendar. So get your beer mug cleaned and polished and check out what craft beer happenings are coming up. All offer designated driver tickets as well.
Friday, May 1 - Valpo Beer Rally
Fairgrounds Park - Butterfield Pavilion
Address: 1207 Fairland Dr., Valparaiso
Designed to showcase Valparaiso’s “hops heroes,” enjoy samples from favorite brews from Figure Eight Brewing, Four Fathers Brewing and Ironwood Brewery. The event also includes a home brewing demonstration by Brewhouse Supplies, food and live music.
Saturday, May 16 - 1st Annual Home Brew Competition
Sunset Hill Farm County Park, 775 Meridian Rd., Valparaiso
Porter County Parks & Recreation is hosting the First Home Brew competition as during their Spring Out to Sunset Festival. Bring your brewskis to be sampled and also receive feedback from region brewing experts. Whoever’s beer is deemed best wins the championship.
Saturday, May 16 - Crown Beer Fest
Lake County Fair Grounds, Crown Point
Enjoy tasting suds from more than 40 local craft brewers including The Devil's Trumpet Brewing Company, Merrillville, New Oberpfalz Brewing, Griffith, St. John Malt Brothers, St. John, Greenbush Brewing Company. Sawyer, Mich., and Quaff On of Bloomington, Ind. To get in shape for all these brews, consider signing up for the Beer Fest Ride which starts at the Crown Brewing at 211 S East St. in Crown Point and ends at the fairgrounds.
Saturday, July 18 - SummerFest Music & Microbrews (MMB)
Shadowland Pavilion, Silver Beach County Park, St. Joseph, Mich.
Quaffs and foods from the area’s artisan breweries and local restaurants on beautiful Silver Beach, named one of the top ten beaches several years, on Lake Michigan by the historic lighthouses. The music line is Blue Shoes at 4:00 p.m., Libido Funk Circus at 5:30 p.m. and at 8:00 p.m. Mega 80's will be performing.
Saturday, August 8 - Pints in the Park
4:00 to 8:00 pm (Early admission for VIPs)
Historic Wicker Park in Highland
Unlimited sampling of over 100 craft quaffs from, to name a few, Evil Czech Brewery, Goose Island, Merchant du Vin, New Belgium, Oskar Blues and Pabst Brewing. Music by Dick Diamond and the Dusters.
Saturday, August 15 - Brew Athlon
7:30 a.m. (for the bike ride)
Sunset Hill Farm Park, Valparaiso
Start with the 5K run/walk on the course at Sunset Hill Farm Park followed by a day enjoying the unlimited tastings from more than 40 breweries from Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois and around the country as well as live music and food. Be sure to be there for the special pours: Founder’s Dissenter-Hopped Up Lager at 10:30 a.m.; New Holland’s Ichabod at 11:30 a.m.; noon is the time to try Stone Brewing’s Vertical Epic. 1:00 p.m. Four Fathers Brewery will be pouring theirs Cask Conditioned at noon and at 1:30 p.m. try Dogfish Head’s Namaste.
Saturday, September 19 - Hobart's Brews & Blues Fest
VIP: 2 p.m.; General Admission – 3-6 p.m.
Music by Duke Tumatoe & The Power Trio Open Concert (21 & Over Only) from 6-9 p.m.
Festival Park on Lake George
The festival features unlimited samples for both VIP and General Admission tickets (though VIPers get a commemorative glass and more beer options) from a broad spectrum of breweries. Designated drivers pay $10 entrance fee and have unlimited access to sodas and water. All proceeds benefit The City of Hobart Special Events and the Hobart Parks Department.
Saturday, September 26 - Valpo BrewFest
1 p.m.-5 p.m. (VIPs Noon)
Central Park Plaza at the corner of Indiana Avenue and Lafayette Street, Downtown Valparaiso
With over 200 craft brews to taste, great food and live music from Firkin Cellar, the Valpo Brewfest often sells out early as it’s limited to 3000 attendees. Tickets go on sale May 4 at noon.
Saturday, September 27 - Weko Beach Brewers Fest/Toast the Coast
1-7 p.m. EST
Weko Beach, Bridgeman, Mich.
Enjoy the views of Lake Michigan, entertainment, locally sourced edibles and the best beers in Southwest Michigan under a big top tent at Weko Beach, a bucolic spot just off Red Arrow Highway in Bridgeman. Live music and local edibles.
October 17 - Munster Ale Fest
900 N Centennial Drive, Munster
The fall Ale Fest features more than 100 local and nationwide craft brews as well food truck cuisine and live entertainment from Harmonica Neil as well as beer games. VIP Admission includes unlimited samples, 1-hour early entry, commemorative pint glass and special tastings from Three Floyds Brewing Company. Participating general admission breweries include Chapman's Brewing Company, Brownsburg, Ind., Brickstone Brewery, Bourbonnais, Ill., Summit Brewing Company, St. Paul, Minn., Church Street Brewing Company, Itasca, Ill. and Drewrys Brewing Company, South Bend, Ind.