Beer lovers rejoice! The Warren Big Brew Festival has returned with the chance to sample locally-made beers. The event, which will take place April 27 at Hemlich Park, features just about everything you’d expect from a beer fest: craft beers, homebrewers, food vendors and of course, beer sampling. But what makes the Warren Big Brew Festival unique is its Same Difference competition – a contest that asks participating brewers to use the same malt and the same hops to create different beers. The beers are then judged by the attendees and a prize – a giant wrestling belt trophy – is awarded to the winner.
All of that certainly sounds like a blast. But there’s another element about Same Difference that you should consider. The beers in the competition are made of products and materials entirely sourced in Michigan. And according to festival organizers, there aren’t really many other places where you can sample a beer like that. For instance, we’ll see beers made with Michigan hops, Michigan water and Michigan malt. In the world of beer, that’s pretty unusual, as most malt is produced by large industrial factories out west. However, here in Macomb County, we’ve got our own producer – Motorcity Malt House. Starting in 2014, the company began taking grain grown up north and creating small batch craft malt out of a facility in Shelby Township. Results have been positive, with product picked up by several local brewery clients and home brew stores. And as mentioned, the malt is also used in the Same Difference competition at the Warren Big Brew Festival.
So – are you interested in sampling a completely made-in-Michigan beer? If you answered yes, here are some details to help you in advance of the event:
- The event is presented by the Warren Kiwanis and will feature Warren’s own Kuhnhenn Brewery and Dragonmead, as well as other breweries from throughout Macomb County, including Blake’s, Baffin, Brooks, Sherwood and Miller’s Big Red.
- Admission to the Big Brew Festival is only $5, which includes a glass that you can use to sample brews while you’re at the event.
- While you sip on beers, there will be live entertainment on stage, including sets by The Swift Brothers at noon and Merge at 3 p.m.
- The Go Cheez and Mean Weanie food trucks will be on site too, serving up delicious eats.
- You can even try your luck in a Cornhole Tournament and possibly walk away with a cash prize.
Make note – the Big Brew Festival will kick off at noon and run until 7 p.m. For more information on this fun event, click here.
Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.