If you like festivals... and beer... like me, then this sounds pretty rad. The first ever Harvest Festival will commence at the Eastern Market downtown on October 24th 2009. Since the festival is being put on by the Michigan Brewer's Guild and the Metro Times the centerpiece of the festival will, of course, be the beer. According to the festival info website, there will be more than 40 breweries and brewpubs on location and over 200 beers to sample. The samples will be doled out in 3oz sampling cups.
$35 gets you in to the festival if you get your tickets early, which I thought was pretty expensive, but it also gets you 15 drink tokens. If 1 token gets you one sample then that's 15 x 3 = 45 oz of craft beer samples. That's like drinking a 40 of craft beer for $35. There might be some beers there that are extremely high gravity though, and this also includes the entertainment portion of the festival. Food from local restaurants will also be available for purchase. Also, designated driver tickets will be available at the gates for $5, which is awesome, but if Detroit had a metro system that ran to the suburbs then everyone could buy the $35 ticket (hint hint Detroit). All tickets are available at the MBG website.
The Harvest Festival is going to last from 1-6pm. Which I think is rad because then after the festival is over those still wanting to party can hit the bars in downtown Detroit to rabble rouse until the wee hours. Those that want to sober up and head home can step out for dinner at one of the fine restaurants they have sampled food from and then head home. Or if you live in downtown, your home will only be a walk away while it is still fairly early in the evening.
All in all I love festivals like this one. Anytime people come together to celebrate beer, and local beer at that, is a beautiful thing. Plus Fall is the best time of year in Detroit. A window of time when the air is crisp and refreshing yet the ground is free of the ice and snow that plagues the winter months. For more info on the Harvest Festival visit the Michigan Brewers Guild blog, the MASH.
Go get your tickets for The Inaugural Harvest Festival!