Collaborate and Brew: a Fermenta Summer Fest Tale


Summer is here and has ushered in many of our favorite Michigan pastimes, but with Independence Day just having passed, a new countdown has begun: the days until the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival.

We are not sure how you’ve been getting ready for such a happy occasion, but Fermenta has been feverishly planning and executing our summer fest project for over two months.

For the third time, we will have collaboration brews featured at a Michigan Brewers Guild event alongside contributing Michigan breweries. A year ago at Summer Fest, there were ten. This past Winter Fest, there were 19. And now, a year later, Fermenta grows its numbers to 25 collaboration brews. This continues to be a huge triumph for the craft beer industry, highlighting community, education and teamwork.

Having the opportunity to reach out to breweries and to have them respond with equal collaborative spirit inspired Fermenta members to dedicate their time to education and to different communities all over the state. Following the initial summer project, members soon pursued the possibility of future collaborations in the years to come.

However, the majority of our craft collective soon let it be known to the executive board they wanted more collaborations sooner rather than later. To actively participate in the brewing of a beer—to create a recipe, measure ingredients, study the process and ask questions of the experts—was a huge opportunity for Fermenta members and Michigan women interested in learning about the industry. But twice in one year? Would there be enough interest? Was there enough time?

With careful planning, the board started reaching out to breweries, and soon, we had our answer: Yes! And to emphasize just how popular the idea was, Fermenta had breweries calling them to participate.

The growing dedication and excitement shows in our Summer Festival numbers. This reflects both repeat participants as well as newly interested parties. Another change this time around will highlight the importance of scholarship and continuing education. Many breweries have agreed to donate some of their proceeds from the collaboration brew directly to the Fermenta scholarship fund.

Our reaching out to Michigan breweries was met with such great enthusiasm, and combined with our collective members’ interest, we have successfully traveled across all Michigan regions to bring our Summer Fest project to fruition once again.

Each collaborative brew reflects Michigan as a whole, but also the creativity, innovation and ethos of each individual brewery. As a result, our list of beer styles showcases quite a variety, from a Thyme IPA to a French Saison brewed with Slovenian hops.

Trying to capture all of the wonderful facets of Michigan’s craft such as teamwork and dedication, Fermenta members enjoy actively giving back to this industry that has provided them with so much opportunity. For now, our collaboration brews continue fermenting; but the countdown is ticking down, and there’s much more excitement to come!

Below you will find the list of Breweries participating in the 2015 Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Fest Fermenta Collaborations. Each brewery will serve their own Fermenta brew, and the brew will be identified by the same piece of artwork. (Artwork is coming soon.)

25 is a lot to taste in a short period of time, but they are all worth the token!

Arbor Brewing Co.
Batch Brewery
Beards Brewery
Blue Tractor
Boatyard Brewing Co.
The B.O.B
Brewery Ferment
Cotton Brewing Co.
Eternity Brewing Co.
Fenton Winery & Brewery
Founders Brewing Co.
Gravel Bottom Brewery
Grizzly Peak
Liberty Street Brewery
Mittten Brewery
New Holland Brewery
One Well Brewing Co.
Ore Doc Brewing Co.
Our Brewing Co.
Pike 51 Brewery
Pleasant House Brewery
Saugatuck Brewing Co.
Short’s Brewing Co.
Tapistry Brewing Co.
Unity Vibrations

By: Emily Hengstebeck

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