Ypsilanti’s first Annual Cider Fest is this Saturday

A while back, I’d heard from from a friend that the Michigan Brewers Guild had put out the word that, going forward, they wouldn’t be allowing cider makers to participate in their big, annual Ypsilanti Beer Fest. Being skeptical by nature, and knowing how much cider is increasing in popularity, I just assumed that this friend of mine had gotten ahold of some bad information. So I wrote to the Brewers Guild today and asked for them to confirm it, which they did. “The decision was made,” they told me, “to only offer Michigan beer at our beer festivals.” It seemed shortsighted to me, given that cider sales, from what I’ve read, are growing, while craft beer sales seem to be leveling out, but I suppose it’s possible that the brewers felt that it didn’t help them to have similar but competing beverages at the same event. Whatever the reason, Michigan’s cideries were cut out, leaving an opportunity for some enterprising entrepreneurial types to jump in and fill the void. And, as a result, Ypsilanti is going to have its first annual Cider Fest this Saturday, from noon to dusk, on College Place, between West Cross and Emmet streets, in the shadow of the water tower. The event, which will feature around 45 different ciders from about 15 Michigan cideries, is free, open to the public, and family friendly. [You can buy ciders, donuts, and food from Cross Street vendors like Tower Inn, Veg O Rama and Insomnia Cookies.]

For those of you who would like to know more, I shot a short video this evening at the Wurst Bar, where I sat around sampling ciders with industry insider Besnick Aliko and bar owner Jesse Kranyak… And, no, I don’t have a financial interest in this. I just like Jesse, who I own a building with downtown, and appreciate the fact that he and his West Cross neighbors are shutting down a street, having a party, and creating a new fall festival, which could turn into a pretty good thing for Ypsi.

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7 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    Posted November 2, 2018 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    You had me up until the mention of root beer cider.

  2. John Brown
    Posted November 2, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Go for cider AFTER knocking on doors to get out the vote!

  3. Erin Morrison
    Posted November 2, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Heading to this with a few friends tomorrow – looking forward to it! The perfect festival for a Michigan autumn. Also, Bez is the man; I’ve been to a couple of his beer tastings, he really knows his stuff.

  4. Posted November 2, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    How does a band get picked to play Cider Fest? Mercury Salad wants to apply for next year.

  5. Jesse
    Posted November 2, 2018 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Hey brook, you can email us at wcrossciderfest@gmail.com for band info!

  6. iRobert
    Posted November 5, 2018 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    I don’t know why everybody doesn’t drink cider instead of beer. It just makes so much more sense. Of course, I’ve been drunk since Friday. So you might want to take anything I say with a grain of salt.

  7. wobblie
    Posted November 5, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Thank you to John Chapman, check out the Botany of Desire for the history of apple cider.

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