They have this great event in Mishawaka called Mayfest, where you pay an entrance fee, which supports the local food pantry, and then they give you free beer!
This year was the second year for Mayfest. It brought in somewhere around 40 vendors from Southern Michigan and Northern Indiana, mostly breweries, that make craft beer, ale and cider. There was even a place sampling mead, with a few very excited drinkers chanting for it while they poured.
I barely have any usable pictures, because after the first sample or so, the darn camera became just too complicated to operate. Not too surprising, because check out the size of those sample cups! They are like a shot glass on steroids. I actually think it was somewhere around 8 oz, and each brewery had several options available to try. There was no limit, at least not as far as I could tell. You just had to be able to walk home.
This is a van with beer taps built in. I was blown away, but it was not hard to impress me by then. It was one of my favorite picks as well, and not just because it was beer funneling out of a potentially moving vehicle, although it does help a bit. Imagine the possibilities!
Wow, was it a fantastic festival. I have had so much fun hunting some of the breweries down since trying them. Some of my favorites were the local places (I am a little biased), such as Evil Czech and Crooked Ewe. I also highly recommend the New Holland Brewing Company. But there were a lot of great places, so you’ll just have to come try them for yourself.
If you wanted to eat, there was a brisket truck which looked pretty decent. They also had some sort of catered meal you could purchase, but I did not eat while I was there. We did meet some people that were walking around with pretzels on a string on their neck, so I guess that’s always an option as well if you want to pack your own snacks.
After eating, you could let some of the beer wear off while listening to the Whistle Pigs, a local band that seems to be everywhere these days. I always seem to come when they are wrapping up, so I have yet to give my opinion. After music, you could go back and try some more beer. I tried as many places as I could handle reasonably, and I barely made a dent in the number of vendors. Can’t say I didn’t hit more than a few port’ a’ johns before heading home, however.
I believe the website stated it was $40, but we paid $45 at the door to the gentleman who conveniently claimed the card readers were down. Ah well, who’s to judge, right? You get to keep the souvenir cup too, which, if you are like me, you can break the next day while washing it.
If you want to know more, you can check out their festival page here. I really hope they have it for a third year, because if they do, I’ll be there.