It's not called the Microbrew & Music Festival for nothing, and this year's line-up may be the most diverse yet. Quirkiest among the dozen or so bands and DJs from northern Michigan to south of the Michigan border: The Lowdown Brass Band from Chicago (original second-line street beat, funk, hip-hop, reggae and pop), the Chardon Polka Band from Cleveland (polka and waltz), The Ragbirds from Ann Arbor (world blend of pop, Gypsy, Afro-Cuban, Celtic, Middle Eastern, African and Cajun) and The Crane Wives (indie-folk) and Delilah DeWylde And The Lost Boys (rockabilly) from Grand Rapids. And, yes, the silent disco tent will be back.
Beer goes better with brats. From 16 varieties of hot dogs and Polish sausage from the House of Doggs to whitetail venison brats from the Michigan Venison Co. (think free-range field-harvested whitetail deer taken from large commercial hunting properties around the state), there's a pairing for every brew.
And if that isn't enough, there's also pulled pork taco and root vegetable chili meals from Roaming Harvest; baked potatoes, vegetarian chili and coconut spicy stew over organic brown rice from Om Café; gyros and baklava from U&I Lounge; and chicken tostadas, pulled pork sandwiches and barbecue ribs with all the trimmings — barbecue baked beans, potato salad and blue cheese jalapeno slaw — from Pig Eatin' Ribs.
General admission tickets are $30, plus fees, in advance or $35 at the gate, if available. They're good for admission — from 4-10 p.m. — music, a compostable cup and five drink tokens (some flavors may require more than one token). Additional tokens are $2 each at the event. All proceeds from alcohol sales go to nonprofits.
For tickets or more information, visit tcbeerfest.com. Tickets also are available at Oryana, Brew, High Five Threads and Left Foot Charley in Traverse City.