Empire Celebrates Annual Hops Festival

Northern Michigan food and beer were celebrated Saturday in Empire at the area’s annual hops festival.

This is the fourth year for the festival that brings together some of the most popular restaurants and brewers from northern Michigan.

It also follows the harvest time for hops, a crop that has become increasingly important to Leelanau County.

More than 1,000 people were expected to attend the event that’s grown each year.

Organizers say it’s a great way to taste some of the best that northern Michigan has to offer while celebrating the agriculture behind the food and drink.

“All the food vendors, over 50 percent of the food they use today has all been grown or supplied locally, we’re a zero waste event, and the breweries, the furthest one is Creston from Grand Rapids but they’re all using Michigan hops,” said event organizer Paul Skinner.

The festival also benefited the non-profit Bay Area Recycling for Charities.

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