Home Brew Fest 2016

Saturday, May 14, was our annual Home Brew Fest and the weather did not cooperate. With below freezing wind chills and a little snow in the air for mid-May, what are you going to do, whine about it? Nah, relax, have a home brew.

The Fest has grown over the past few years from just me, and three beers, to six brewers and 11 beers this year.

We had two Marvel Mobile Beer Dispensers (keg coolers) to keep the pale and Amber beers flowing, along with a jockey box (no ice needed) and a converted refrigerator for the dark beers to dispense with nitro, and two beers in bottles. The Marvel keg coolers worked very well, even in the chilly air.  As many refrigeration engineers will tell you, many refrigerators start to have issues below 55°F.  But the five beers we had in the coolers all came out at 42°F. This is a very good temperature for pale and amber ales.

Marvel Mobile Beer Dispensers at Home Brew Fest

As for the competition, Tommy walked away with $119 in votes for his Chocolate Mike Porter. In second place was Aaron at $59 votes with his Tantrum Tamer IPA. Overall we collected $465 for Relay for Life Cancer Research. The Chocolate Milk Porter was a great addition to this year’s lineup, as the guests agreed, chocolatey and creamy. And my personal favorite, the Tantrum Tamer Pale Ale was just a wonderful beer. I think if it would have been a little warmer, a summer beer could have taken the top spot. It looks like I am going to have to step up my game if I am going to be a contender next year.

Thanks to all those who came out and braved the cold, rainy, snowy, windy weather that we call West Michigan. People as far away as Grand Rapids, Holt, Grand Haven, and even Northern Indiana. All true craft beer lovers. We hope to see you next year.

Drink wisely and take care,


I would like to thank all the people involved that helped me make this happen.

To the brewers, Tom, Brian, Scott, Jeff and Aaron, thank you very much for creating such a variety ranging from Belgium Wit to dark porters.

To the grill master, Jim, who brought ribs, chicken and pork butt. Wonderful!

To the set up crew, Nikki, Katie, Jeff and especially my wife who put up with me for the past three months to help put the final details together. I never thought I would need a “she shed” for a beer fest. It was a big hit.

To the Wheatland Gang that allow us the use of the tent and tables.

To the weather, because of the cold we did not need to use any of the 100 pounds of ice I had gathered to keep kegs and food cold. Anyone need some ice?

To Jim for helping us get the name plates needed for our trophies.

To Judy and Jeff for their enthusiasm, pretzel necklaces, and logo cups.

And Mike for being our parking guru. You did a heck of a job. I told you, you wouldn’t need chaps.

home brew fest