Michigan Winter Beer Festival rescheduled due to flooding concerns

Posted at 5:42 PM, Feb 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-22 20:49:51-05

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. — The 13th Annual Michigan Winter Beer Festival is being rescheduled for March 2-3.

The Michigan Brewers Guild initially planned the festival for Feb. 23-24 at Fifth Third Ballpark.  However, they announced Thursday that it would be pushed back due to flooding concerns.

“It blocks access for the roadways and just in general, creates an unsafe situation for that many people, so it was a really hard decision for us to make,” Executive Director of Michigan Brewers Guild Scott Graham tells FOX 17. “We regret having to do it but really think that it’s the right thing to do to first and foremost have safety in mind.”

The Grand River is expected to crest at or near record levels between 1 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday.

According to Graham, over 9,000 people were expected to attend the festival.

“After meeting with the Whitecaps staff and taking into consideration information provided to us by the National Weather Service and the Kent County Emergency Management, the MBG Board of Directors has decided to take cautious approach and postpone the festival by a week to allow the Grand River to drop below the flood stage,” the Brewers Guild said in a release.

All tickets that have already been purchased for the festival will be honored for the new dates, the Brewers Guild said in a release. Graham says if people with tickets can no longer attend, they can get a full refund.

“We certainly recognize that there are a lot of people that have been looking forward for a long time to coming to enjoy some of their favorite beers and having a nice time,” Graham says. “We really regret having to change plans. We really hope most everybody can come next weekend.”

140 Michigan breweries and brewpubs take part in the event, which draws thousands each year.  Though Saturday’s tickets are sold out, Graham says refunded tickets would open up availability.

More ticket information about the festival is available here.