Brewfest growing

HOUGHTON – The Keweenaw Brewfest has been a successful fundraiser for the Keweenaw Community Foundation, and this year, it’s going to have more beers available than in past years.

Mike Rose, founder and director of the Keweenaw Brewfest, said this year 45 brewers will provide 145 beers for the event to be conducted from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the East Houghton Waterfront Park next to the Super 8 Motel.

The event is for people 21-years old and older only, Rose said.

Rose said the cost for the event is $30 per person, if purchased before Saturday. Tickets are available at Keweenaw Brewing Company on Shelden Avenue in Houghton, or at the KCF offices at 236 Quincy St. in Hancock. They can also be purchased online at Tickets at the door will cost $40 per person.

After discussing with Dick Gray, owner of KBC, the fundraising brewfests he attended in other states, Rose said he thought having such an event locally would be a good idea. His wife, Barbara Rose, is the executive director of the KCF.

“I decided to try it,” he said of the brewfest. “I just wanted to do something.”

For the first brewfest, Rose said his expectations of ticket sales were exceeded when 650 were sold.

“Some people told me if I can sell 300 tickets, that would be great,” he said. “I thought, ‘I gotta be able to do 450.'”

Rose said the second year for brewfest, 1,000 tickets were sold, the third year, 1,100 were sold, and last year, 1,200 were sold. He’s hoping for even more this year.

“I’d like to do 2,000 people,” he said.

However, Rose said he isn’t certain that many people will want to travel long distances just to come to the brewfest. He does know some people plan to bring out-of-town or out-of-state visitors to the event.

Food from local restaurants will be available, also, during brewfest, Rose said, but the cost for food is separate from the cost for the beers. Music will be provided by Mid-Nite Storm and KBQ.

Rose said he’s been pleased with how the Keweenaw Brewfest has progressed, so far. Proceeds from the event have provided about $70,000 to the KCF.

“It’s a great fundraiser,” he said.