Sam Porter, of Porterhouse Productions, thinks big. Having returned to Traverse City after time spent in Montana, he’s bringing a penchant for booking big name acts to the City Opera House, like Shawn Colvin coming in October, as well as smaller gems. Now he’s launching the first-ever Microbrew and Music Festival in Traverse City and, well, he’s thinking big.

Thirty-plus breweries will be on hand with 75+ beers. There will be 40+ musicians performing, workshops on local hops, mead making and more, and a tent featuring local food for sale. And much of it under 40 tents of all sizes. It will be a rockin’ five hours on Saturday night, August 29, 2009, from 5pm when the doors open til 10pm when they close. $25 gets you eight pours, entrance to the seminars and all the music you can handle. $50 gains entrance to the Brewer’s Happy Hour, a pre-show gathering with the brewers between 3-5pm, featuring beer-and-food pairings and free limited-edition merchandise. There’s also a pre-festival gathering at North Peak Brewery on Friday night, August 28, 2009 from 8pm to 2am.

Advance tickets are available at all local box offices, as well as at Right Brain Brewery, North Peak, Oryana & Old Town Coffee in TC. A service fee will be added to all online purchases; online tickets available at Ticket purchases at the door on the day of the event will be $30 for general admission and $55 for Brewers Happy Hour. Last chance to purchase advance priced tickets will be Friday night, August 28, at the PRE-PARTY at North Peak Brewery.

"Our goal is to establish a long-standing tradition that celebrates great beer, music, culture, local food and sustainable practices with Northern Michigan patrons and vendors," says Porter. "The long term vision is to create an anchor event with the Microbrew and Music Festival to support a community non-profit, week-long annual Epicurean Harvest Festival celebrating food and craft beverage as well as arts and culture for all ages. We also aim to raise funds to support local youth empowerment programs through the Good Work Collective (GWC) and Little Artshram."

Craft beer is at the core of this celebration. Right Brain, Short’s, Founders, Bell’s, Jolly Pumpkin, Tri City, New Holland, Magic Hat, Sierra Nevada, Michigan Brewing Company, Three Sergeants, Red Hook, Goose Island, Stone, Arcadia, Keweenaw, Arbor Brewing, North Peak, Dogfish Head, Great Lakes Brewing Company, Breckenridge Brewery, Summit, Wolverine, Lagunitas, Atwater, Mt. Pleasant Brewery, Grizzly Peak, Widmer, Dark Horse, Stevens Point Brewery, Left Foot Charley, and B. Nektar, plus regional mead, wine, cider, nonalcoholic ales and specialty brews.

Blues, zydeco, acoustic folk, bluegrass, gypsy jazz, funk and rock musicians, as well as Scottish bagpipers will perform on two stages. The lineup includes the legendary Buckwheat Zydeco Band, Clumsy Lovers, Caravan of Thieves, Mike Moran & Levi Britton, Delilah DeWylde & The Lost Boys, Luke Winslow-King and Grand Traverse Pipes & Drums.

The "Local Hops" workshop will feature Dr. Rob Sirrine, director of Michigan State University’s Leelanau County Extension and "Mead" will feature Brad Dahlhofer of B. Nektar Meadery Homebrewing.

Master of ceremonies is Chris O’Brien, award-winning author of Fermenting Revolution: How to Drink Beer and Save the World and and A dining tent will feature local food for sale, demonstrations by “Lord of the Gourd” carver Pat Harrison, and workshops educating attendees about local hops, home brewing and mead making.

The festival will be a “green” event, with Porterhouse and, a Michigan Land Use program, providing support from compostable serving ware, eco merchandise, green printing and even a wind powered stage, lights and sound.

The Village at Grand Traverse Commons is on 11th Street a block west of Division Street just west of downtown Traverse City. Shuttle service will be running every half hour to locations around Traverse City. You must be 21+ and have a picture ID to be admitted to the festival. Attendees are encouraged to designate drivers, take the shuttle, walk and ride bikes.

Have ideas for next year’s festival? Porterhouse Productions is now accepting applications and ideas from breweries, artists, sponsors, vendors and volunteers via

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