Good time for a cold one

January 5, 2009
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The first anniversary celebration this Saturday at downtown’s newest beer bar, HopCat, isn’t the only beer-lovers event brewing around here this winter.

Next weekend, Jan. 15 and 16, 27 breweries will be at the DeltaPlex Conference Center in Walker for the first “Fox Brew Ha Ha,” a beer festival sponsored and organized by FM radio station WBFX 101.3, also known as The Fox.

“We knew that Michigan has an incredible reputation for its breweries and microbrew pubs, and we are honored that three companies honored by BeerAdvocate Magazine will be represented at the Fox Brew Ha Ha,” said Rich Berry, general sales manager for The Fox, in a statement.

BeerAdvocate Magazine rated two brews each from Founders Brewing Co. of Grand Rapids and Bell’s Brewery of Kalamazoo as among the planet’s best. The publication also listed HopCat as one of the world’s top beer bars.

“But all of the breweries that will be at the Brew Ha Ha are excellent. We are excited that the general public will get the opportunity to try a number of outstanding beers in one indoor setting,” said Berry.

Beer lovers will get a similar opportunity in late February, but this time it will be outdoors, when the Michigan Brewers Guild sets up shop at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park. At least 25 breweries from around the state are expected to take part in the guild’s event on Feb. 28. It’s the second straight year the West Michigan Whitecaps have hosted the brewers on its home field.

“That is a fun event. We had a great time with it last year and we learned a lot of things, as well,” said Lew Chamberlin, Whitecaps CEO and managing partner. “The response to it was overwhelming. To see all these enthusiastic, and that’s putting it mildly, beer tasters out here kind of overwhelmed us. We’re going to have more room, be more organized and it’s going to be a lot of fun.” BJ

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