Crystal Mountain Serves Nearly 3,000 People at Annual Beer & Brat Festival

Many people consider Memorial Day weekend the unofficial start to summer, and with the weather warming up like it is it certainly fit that feeling now.

Crystal Mountain continued a tradition today for the 14th year

And it’s one that draws thousands of people to Northern Michigan each spring.

“You really can’t beat having a beer and a brat to get the summer season started,” says Crystal Mountain’s director of public relations, Brian Lawson.

Beer and brats: that combo drew more than 3,000 people to Crystal Mountain Saturday.

“We started this thing 14 years ago with four breweries and now we’re up to 36 and that can fluctuate to up to 40 on any given year,” Lawson said.

It started small, but that’s not the case anymore. The festival ordered 144,000 ounces of beer and nearly one ton of brats.

“It’s all Michigan. From the beer, from the brats and then we do about 600 pounds of asparagus from Grossnickel Farms so it’s all Michigan all the time for this event,” he said.

Crystal Mountain says they are one of the first in Northern Michigan to pair the two together for a festival.

“It’s been a huge success. We see people coming back year after year after year and that’s always a great thing,” Lawson said.

Jackson Landis-Hutchinson is one of those people who came back for a second year

“We wanted to support both local and other Michigan breweries in general and it’s a really fun event. Crystal Mountain knows what they’re doing when it comes to special events in general,” Landis-Hutchinson said.

And he and Mike both agree…

“I had the jalapeno cheddar I believe. It was very good,” Landis-Hutchinson said.

“Cheddar jalapeno, oh you liked the cheddar jalapeno,” says Mike and Michelle Palmondon.

The jalapeno-cheddar was a stand out.

Michelle and Mike say they’ll be back for more next year.

“I really like how the festival has grown over the years. And gotten more vendors and more breweries.”