Still, you might think an outdoor brewfest in February is a chilling idea, but it’s not a new one; it isn’t because the 3rd Annual Shelf Ice Brewfest will be held on Saturday, February 18th in Michigan City. The fest is the brainchild of the Michigan City Main Street Association, an organization that was formed to hold events to promote the uptown arts district and to promote the revitalization of the Michigan City downtown.
“We felt our community needed events in the downtown to show people what we had to offer,” said Justin Post, the Treasurer of the organization and this year’s Chairman of the Festival Committee. “The downtown has a lack of foot traffic in the winter, so we created something that has reach – beer! And since our organization was founded to support and appreciate the arts, and since brewing craft beer is truly an art, we thought the brewfest was a perfect fit, especially since Michigan City is a three brewery town.”
The fest will be held on Franklin Street between 6th and 8th Streets (from the railroad tracks to Washington Park) from 1:00 pm until 5:00 pm. More than 40 craft breweries will be represented, including all three Michigan City craft beer brewers: Shoreline Brewery, Burn’em Brewing and Zorn Brew Works.
Other Northwest Indiana craft beer brewers that will be on hand include the Bulldog Brewing Company from Whiting, Crown Brewing from Crown Point, the Devil’s Trumpet Brewing Company from Merrillville, Figure Eight Brewing from La Porte and Four Father’s Brewing from Valparaiso.
Other Region breweries that will be represented are Pokro Brewing Company from Griffith, St. John Malt Brothers, 3 Floyd’s Brewing Company from Munster, Wildrose Brewing Company of Griffith, and the One Trick Pony Brewery from Lansing, Illinois. In addition, other notable brewers from around the state of Indiana will be present as well as a couple of national name brands. There will be eight local artisan food vendors on hand to provide food during the event and there will be plenty of outdoor activities that will take place during the brewfest as well.
The event is a rain or shine festival, or probably more appropriately, a snow or freezing temperature event. However, should the weather feature heavy snow or bitterly cold temperatures as Northwest Indiana weather is wont to do, there will be four heated tents on hand complete with brew handles for relief from the elements. But Northwest Indiana weather is unpredictable, and while one might expect the worst at an outdoor brewfest in February, the truth be told, the first two Shelf Ice Brewfests featured sunny skies and 60 degree temperatures.
The fest is a 21 and over event, and there are two ticket packages. The VIP ticket costs $60, and includes a one hour early, noon admission to the event and a souvenir scarf featuring the Shelf Ice Brewfest logo that was created by local Michigan City artists.
The general admission ticket costs $40, which of course gives a purchaser all you can drink access to all the different breweries. There is also a $10 Designated Driver ticket; but it goes without saying that designated drivers cannot partake of the brews at the fest. Brewfest patrons should be aware however that in order to take advantage of the food artisan vendors on hand that they will need to bring cash. In addition, there will be a free shuttle service to the Brewfest offered by the Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City for festival patrons who wish to stay at the hotel. “The Michigan City Main Street Association is all about the arts,” said Post. “In Michigan City, we have them all: Fine Arts, Culinary Arts, Industrial Arts and the Brewing Art; because brewing craft beer is truly an art.” “And although we cannot guarantee 60 degree temperatures again this year, we urge everyone to come out and see what the Michigan City downtown is all about.” Tickets to the 3rd Annual Shelf Ice Brewfest are available at www.eventbrite.com.
For more information, interested persons can visit www.shelficebrewfest.com or they can visit the Michigan City Main Street Association’s page on Facebook.