Beer lovers flock to Grand Rapids for the return of the Michigan Winter Beer Festival

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GRAND RAPIDS, MI– The sun shone as beer lovers from across Michigan and beyond gathered at LMCU Ballpark for the 16th annual Michigan Winter Beer Festival.

Around 6,000 festival-goers basked in the winter sunshine as the festival returned after it was canceled in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Over 700 unique beers and nearly 100 different styles from Michigan breweries were available for tasting throughout the day. People wore their best winter clothes and quirky costumes while drinking their drinks. Many food necklaces displayed for snacking throughout the day.

A variety of food from the West Michigan Whitecaps concessions team was also available for purchase. Fire pits and heat lamps were set up around the pitch for those who were cold.

The crowd was entertained with live music from EPCYA and Slumlord Radio. Halfway through the event, festival-goers had the opportunity to join in the singing of the Michigan Great Beer State Fight Song and raise a welcome toast. As the song ended, people gathered around the firkin keg, a small, specialized keg that is mined every year. This year’s firkin keg was Vivant Brewery’s Terpene Station, a simcoe mosaic IPA with terpenes.

Established in 1997, the Michigan Brewers Guild represents nearly 300 member breweries. The guild’s mission is to promote and protect Michigan’s beer industry with an overarching goal of helping locally brewed beer reach 20% of all beer sales in the state by 2025.

Michigan’s brewing industry generates more than 21,000 full-time jobs and $872 million in labor income, with a total economic impact of more than $2.5 billion, according to a news release.

In terms of the total number of breweries, microbreweries, and breweries, Michigan ranks 6th in the nation, making it one of the best beer states in the United States.

Here are some of our favorite images from the festival. Click here to see the 54 photos.

Thornapple Brewing Company Chief Brewer Keith Faught is reflected in ski goggles during the 16th Annual Michigan Winter Beer Festival at LMCU Ballpark in Comstock Park, Michigan on Saturday, February 26, 2022. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)Joel Bissell | MLive.com

Michigan Winter Beer Festival 2022

The 16th annual Michigan Winter Beer Festival at LMCU Ballpark in Comstock Park, Michigan on Saturday, February 26, 2022. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)Joel Bissell | MLive.com

Michigan Winter Beer Festival 2022

People gather to get a sample of the firkin keg during the 16th annual Michigan Winter Beer Festival at LMCU Ballpark in Comstock Park, Michigan on Saturday, February 26, 2022. This year the firkin keg was Terpene Station, a simcoe ipa mosaic with terpenes from the Living Brewery. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)Joel Bissell | MLive.com

Michigan Winter Beer Festival 2022

Grand Armory Brewing Company booth during the 16th Annual Michigan Winter Beer Festival at LMCU Ballpark in Comstock Park, Michigan on Saturday, February 26, 2022. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)Joel Bissell | MLive.com

Michigan Winter Beer Festival 2022

Lansing’s Gabe Morman gives Rockford’s Gabe Westveld a bite of his turkey leg during the 16th Annual Michigan Winter Beer Festival at LMCU Ballpark in Comstock Park, Michigan on Saturday, February 26, 2022. (Joel Bissell | MLive .com)Joel Bissell | MLive.com

Michigan Winter Beer Festival 2022

People gather around a fire pit during the 16th annual Michigan Winter Beer Festival at LMCU Ballpark in Comstock Park, Michigan on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)Joel Bissell | MLive.com

Michigan Winter Beer Festival 2022

People chat with representatives of Four Leaf Brewing during the 16th annual Michigan Winter Beer Festival at LMCU Ballpark in Comstock Park, Michigan on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)Joel Bissell | MLive.com

Michigan Winter Beer Festival 2022

A beer hat covered in brewery pins during the 16th annual Michigan Winter Beer Festival at LMCU Ballpark in Comstock Park, Michigan on Saturday, February 26, 2022. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)Joel Bissell | MLive.com

Michigan Winter Beer Festival 2022

Two people show off their loaded food necklaces during the 16th Annual Michigan Winter Beer Festival at LMCU Ballpark in Comstock Park, Michigan on Saturday, February 26, 2022. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)Joel Bissell | MLive.com

Michigan Winter Beer Festival 2022

EPCYA performs during the 16th Annual Michigan Winter Beer Festival at LMCU Ballpark in Comstock Park, Michigan on Saturday, February 26, 2022. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)Joel Bissell | MLive.com

Michigan Winter Beer Festival 2022

A beer mug made of ice during the 16th Annual Michigan Winter Beer Festival at LMCU Ballpark in Comstock Park, Michigan on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)Joel Bissell | MLive.com

Michigan Winter Beer Festival 2022

Lexi Block tosses a bag of cornhole as she takes on Brian Hoekstra of Rockford Brewing Company during the 16th Annual Michigan Winter Beer Festival at LMCU Ballpark in Comstock Park, Michigan on Saturday, February 26, 2022. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)Joel Bissell | MLive.com

Michigan Winter Beer Festival 2022

Pitchers of beer at the Thornapple Brewing Company during the 16th Annual Michigan Winter Beer Festival at LMCU Ballpark in Comstock Park, Michigan on Saturday, February 26, 2022. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)Joel Bissell | MLive.com

Michigan Winter Beer Festival 2022

Phil Roberts of Rockford poses for a portrait during the 16th Annual Michigan Winter Beer Festival at LMCU Ballpark in Comstock Park, Michigan on Saturday, February 26, 2022. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)Joel Bissell | MLive.com

Michigan Winter Beer Festival 2022

The 16th annual Michigan Winter Beer Festival at LMCU Ballpark in Comstock Park, Michigan on Saturday, February 26, 2022. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)Joel Bissell | MLive.com

Michigan Winter Beer Festival 2022

Michigan State Representative Pauline Wendzel speaks during the 16th Annual Michigan Winter Beer Festival at LMCU Ballpark in Comstock Park, Michigan on Saturday, February 26, 2022. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com )Joel Bissell | MLive.com

Michigan Winter Beer Festival 2022

People line up for beer from Short’s Brewing Company during the 16th annual Michigan Winter Beer Festival at LMCU Ballpark in Comstock Park, Michigan on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)Joel Bissell | MLive.com

Michigan Winter Beer Festival 2022

Beer is poured from a tap at the Stiggs Brewery during the 16th Annual Michigan Winter Beer Festival at LMCU Ballpark in Comstock Park, Michigan on Saturday, February 26, 2022. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)Joel Bissell | MLive.com

Michigan Winter Beer Festival 2022

Third Nature Brewing Company kegs await transfer during the 16th Annual Michigan Winter Beer Festival at LMCU Ballpark in Comstock Park, Michigan on Saturday, February 26, 2022. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)Joel Bissell | MLive.com

Click here to view all images or purchase prints from Michigan’s 16th Annual Winter Beer Festival

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