//Kick-off, beer’s big month

Kick-off, beer’s big month

Photo credit: Therese Padgham
Photo credit: Therese Padgham

Wolverine’s market Oktoberfest festival returns
Therese Padgham
Guest Writer

Sept. 27, 2014 was a pitcher-perfect-day for the second craft beer Oktoberfest at Kiefer Park in Port Huron. Hundreds joined at the park on scenic St. Clair River to celebrate the beer tasting festival. A dozen Michigan brew houses presented both keg and bottled products from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Oktoberfest included more than 60 national and international brands, ranging from traditional ale to exotic stout.
Port Huron’s Thumb Coast Brewing Co. served Lake Pilot Cream Ale, while Detroit’s Atwater Brewery served Vanilla Java Porter. Many local breweries including, Roho Red by Griffin Claw, offered color, taste, aroma and body.
Attractions included more than just beer; the crafters infused their hopped-up recipes with complexities from coffee, chocolate, fruit and spices.
Many local restaurants, including Fuel Wood Fire Grill presented themselves at the event, offering their signature specialties. Dave Peters of Mountain Babies performed their Freak Folk sound and their ambient vocals. But it was the ice-cold samples of that naturally fermented bitter brew with the frothy head that starred the event.
“Brew Bold, Pour Proud,” is the motto and practice of his team year-round.
In addition, Oktoberfest’s event sponsor Wolverine Market hosted the international wine and beer tasting events. Wolverine’s Certified Sommelier, Andy Bakko, shared: “Next year we will add wine and bring more music.” He went on to say, “this event was cosponsored by Citizens for a Vibrant Community – Art on the River.” CVC is a nonprofit group that uses proceeds to promote art and music.
Wolverine Market enjoys promoting their products at special events. Oktoberfest organizer Nate Bakko finds this year’s attendance a positive sign for future events. He has plans to promote in 2015 using radio. This year, the WSAQ/WBTI truck was on-site providing live broadcast to the community.
To ensure greater pre-sales, Bakko wants to advertise events to the west side of the state and Canada. “The north-end of Port Huron enjoys the Canadian customers,” said Bakko. “We want those customers to discover what downtown has to offer.”
Wolverine Market has extensive wine and beer selections with locations in Port Huron and Marysville.