Hail the ale!

Saturday’s weather forecast during the Great Lakes Wine and Beer Fest presented by the Jackson County CVB calls for sunny skies and frosty mugs.

With six wine pairing seminars having already hit capacity, fest organizers and two Michigan breweries have bellied up to the bar with two pairings designed just for the beer drinkers, or those who want to become beer drinkers.

“Beer has come a long way from being just something to chug at a party, to a beverage strategically brewed for a variety of tastes, colors and styles,” Kevin Kelly, director of business development for MIS, said. “Like fine wines, local brews have flavor, smell and texture –  characteristics that are distinguishable and unique. These two pairings will show that.”

Milking It Productions and Jerry’s Pub have teamed up for the first of the two beer seminars at 2 p.m. Saturday with a Brik Irish-s
tyle Red ale paired with favorite appetizers. South Shore crab cakes with a tangy remoulade sauce and a sampling of spread appetizers with pita chips, including smoked whitefish dip, hummus, feisty tomato feta and crab-stuffed mushrooms are sure to complement the red ale.

Later, Sleeping Bear’s Bad Bear Brewery will feature a Classic American Wheat IPA beer with a spicy gazpacho soup at 6 p.m.

Sixty Michigan wineries, breweries, food vendors and merchants make up this year’s third annual wine and beer fest, which brings together the best this state has to offer.

Organizers and participants say the event not only showcases Michigan products, but also educates the guests who attend. And interest in beer has grown.

Beer pairings are $10 each. Pairings feature a pour of beer, along with a sample of food that complements the beer.

Each pairing is limited to 50 guests. Guests may choose to attend one or both. Each pairing is sold separately.

The festival is from noon to 9 p.m. at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich.  Advance tickets are $25. Walk-up tickets are $35. Each ticket includes $10 worth of tasting tokens per day.

Milking It Productions
TIME: 2 p.m.
PLACE: Suite 230
BEER: Brik Irish-style Red Ale
FOOD: Jerry’s Pub favorite appetizers

Sleeping Bear

TIME: 6 p.m.
PLACE: Suite 230
BEER: Bad Bear Brewery, classic American wheat
FOOD: Spicy gazpacho

The Great Lakes Wine and Beer Fest presented by the Jackson County CVB is for guests 21 and older.

Stay on site! Weekend camping is also available for $35 and $50 in the track’s MISCamping.com Graves Farm Campground. Need an RV? A hassle-free camping option is available for the wine and brew fest at www.MIScamping.com.

Or stay nearby! Contact the Jackson County Convention and Visitors Bureau at www.VisitJacksonMI.com for a listing of convenient hotels, all with free shuttle service to and from the wine fest courtesy of Jackson Public Schools.

Tickets and details are available at www.GreatLakesWineFest.com or by calling 800-354-1010. Also, please visit our Twitter feed @GLWineFest for information about the wine festival.

© 2014 Michigan International Speedway

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