Indiana Michigan Craft Beer Mayfest coming to Toscana Park in Granger

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By: Eric Strader
EricStrader69@gmail.com

In the early 1990s Jim Herter got the craft beer bug. Since there were limited craft beer options at the time, he turned to homebrewing as many of us did.

Mishawaka Brewing Company was the lone northwest Indiana brewery in those days, and it has since since closed. (Three Floyds didn’t open until 1996). When I first moved to this area, I got to know Tom Schmidt at Mishawaka Brewing Company and got most of my home brew supplies there.

Jim convinced Tom to cover Indiana for Great Lakes Brewing News, but soon after, Jim took over and has been writing about Hoosier beer since 1996. When Glenn Padmos of Tony Saccos wanted to match a craft beer list with his food, it was no coincidence that he met up with Jim Herter.

Indiana Michigan Craft Beer Mayfest
2 to 7 p.m. May 9
Toscana Park, 201 Florence Ave., Granger

Tickets: General Admission $45 (3 to 7 p.m.)
Early Bird $55 (2 to 7 p.m.)
Designated Driver $10 (includes free soft drinks and water)

Now Jim Herter, along with Mattson’s Custom Catering and Tony Sacco’s Coal Oven Pizza, is co-hosting the inaugural Indiana Michigan Craft Beer May Fest.

The event, Saturday May 9, will feature more than 30 of the area’s finest craft breweries at Toscana Park in Granger. All of the net profits will support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Hospice At Home.  

Early bird admission will begin at 2 p.m. and general admission ticket holders can enter the festival grounds at 3 p.m. Note: these times are an hour later than originally scheduled.

Unlike some beer events, Mayfest is not about consuming as much beer as possible. Instead, Jim Herter said, it’s about the community.

This is how community is created in the beer world.

As I’ve shared numerous times, craft brewers do not consider themselves competition with each other, instead they are a community — supporting, educating and growing together.

Case in point: Earlier today I was checking in with Jesse Sensenig at Goshen Brewing Company. Shortly after I left, Chip and Summer Lewis arrived with several of their employees from Iechyd Da Brewing Company to learn about Jesse’s soon-to-open brewery.  

Both breweries will be pouring their beer at Mayfest.  In fact, every beer at this festival will be poured directly by the brewer or an employee of the brewery. This means that as a craft beer enthusiast and festival attendee, you can talk to the brewer and ask questions about their beer.

Brewers are very passionate about their craft and are very happy to share stories about their beer. This is how community is created in the beer world.

Here is the current brewery list and a few breweries that have let me know some of the brews they will be pouring. More breweries will be added and the list is subject to change at any time. Check back often to the Craft Beer Mayfest website for an updated list.

  • Bare Hands Brewing Co. Some of the standouts from this great local brewery will be Peanut Butter Chocolate Imperial Stout (10.5 percent ABV), Mole’ Bride (Russian Imperial Stout, 10.2 percent ABV), Thai.p.a. (IPA, 7.1 percent ABV) and Bee Hop Double IPA (9.6 percent ABV)
  • Burn ’Em Brewing Co. will be pouring Brindle Brown (brown ale, 6.2 percent ABV), Red Zeppelin (red ale, 6.2 percent ABV), Duke Silver (robust porter, 7.4 percent ABV) and MCA (IPA, 6.8 percent ABV).
  • South Bend Brew Werks will be bringing its SB150 Cream Ale, the official South Bend 150 beer for May, and a hoppy wheat ale called Dr Tiny’s Love Potion.
  • Arcadia Brewing Co., Battle Creek, Mich.
  • Back Road Brewery, LaPorte, Ind.
  • Black Swan Brewing Co., Plainfield, Ind.
  • Brugge Brasserie, Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Chapman’s Brewing Co., Angola, Ind.
  • Dark Horse Brewing Co., Marshall, Mich.
  • Evil Czech Brewery, Mishawaka, Ind.
  • Figure 8 Brewing Co., Valparaiso, Ind.
  • Flat 12 Bierwerks, Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Founder’s Brewing Co., Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • Goshen Brewing Co., Goshen, Ind.
  • Greenbush Brewing Co., Sawyer, Mich.
  • Half Moon Brewing Co., Kokomo, Ind.
  • Iechyd Da Brewing Co., Elkhart, Ind.
  • Ironwood Brewing Co., Valparaiso, Ind.
  • Jolly Pumpkin, Dexter, Mich.
  • Lafayette Brewing Co., Valparaiso, Ind.
  • Mad Anthony Brewing Co., Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • Man Cave Brewing Co., Syracuse, Ind.
  • New Holland Brewing Co., Holland, Mich.
  • North Peak, Traverse City, Mich.
  • Outliers Brewing Co., Indianapolis, Ind.
  • People’s Brewing Co., Lafayette, Ind.
  • Powerhouse Brewing, Columbus, Ind.
  • Round Barn Brewery and Public House, Baroda, Mich.
  • Saugatuck Brewing Co., Douglas, Mich.
  • Shoreline Brewery & Restaurant, Michigan City, Ind.
  • Three Floyds Brewing Co., Munster, Ind.
  • Triton Brewing Co., Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Vander Mill Cider, Spring Lake, Mich.

Food pairings will be provided by co-hosts Mattson’s Custom Catering and Tony Sacco’s Coal Oven Pizza, and music will be provided by local acoustic quartet Alligator Blackbird.

Click here to order tickets.

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