Thousands of people gathered along the sandy shores of Lake Michigan for the fourth annual Burning Foot Beer Festival at Pere Marquette Beach in Muskegon this past Saturday, raising their glasses to the massive gathering that has become known throughout the region as a day (and night) of music, food, supporting local nonprofits, and, of course beer. Lots and lots of beer.
Originally launched by the Lakeshore Brewers Guild, which was formed by Muskegon’s Unruly Brewing Company and Pigeon Hill Brewing Company, the festival this year featured about 70 breweries from Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin. [You can see the full list of breweries at the festival here.] Each $50 ticket bought you what seemed like a nearly endless pour of a massive variety of brews, from sours aged in tequila barrels to coffee cream stouts and experimental golden ales–and a whole lot more.
The crowd–a group of people from all walks of life (the folks we spoke with included retired electricians, musicians just out of college, and teachers getting ready to head back to the classroom)–spent much of their day dancing to the festival’s musical acts. This year, Eve 6, a rock band originally hailing from southern California, headlined the event. Michael Happoldt and Marshall Goodman, both members of the ska punk band Sublime, also from California, performed with the Long Beach Dub Allstars, with local favorites the Mustard Plug and Flexadecibel taking to the main stage as well. For the first time, the festival featured an acoustic waterfront stage, where Brett Dame and Brotha James entertained dancing fans.
Since its inception, the festival has supported area nonprofits, and this year the gathering partnered with Habitat for Humanity, Noah Project, and Kids’ Food Basket, each of which were able to fund-raise during the gathering. Additionally, Habitat ran the bike valet, Noah Project operated the shoe check-in, and Kids’ Food Basket offered festival goers the chance to get a pretzel necklace to munch on as they downed their beers.
[Click on any of the photos below to see the full image.]