Photo by billaday
Article by Christi Griffis

Beer lovers from far and wide will converge in Frankenmuth on May 21st and 22nd for the annual World Expo of Beer. Presented by the Frankenmuth Jaycees, the Expo is the largest beer tasting of its kind in the state and attracts aficionados from around Michigan who will have the opportunity to sample 250 different kinds of beers from 24 different breweries. Even the most die-hard brew-lover is sure to find something new to try.

A wide variety of breweries old and new, from near and far will be on hand for the event. Spaten Franziskaner, based out of Germany, has been in the brewing business since 1397 and is the longest established brewery on the roster. The brewery prides itself on brewing to traditional Bavarian standards. From the other end of the timeline, Tri-City Brewing Company out of Bay City will also be on hand. Despite having been established only 3 years ago, the brewery is a local favorite and brewer of Loons Ale, named for the Great Lakes Loons baseball team and the official microbrew sold at the teams’ home, Dow Diamond.

Though the Expo features brews from Bay City to Munich, there is a decidedly Midwestern lean. Several of the breweries are located right in Michigan, including Liberty Street, New Holland, Frankenmuth Brewery, and Bells. Brewed in Comstock, Bells is another local favorite, with release of their seasonal beer treated like a holiday in some circles. The recently reopened Frankenmuth Brewery is an obvious mainstay and specializes in their own Bavarian-style brews. 

Expo-goers not satisfied with simply sampling beers can take their experience a step further on Saturday with beer school. Chefs from event sponsor Tiffany's Food and Spirits will be on hand teaching classes on pairing beer with food and pairing beer with  fellow sponsor Cabot cheese. There will also be live music Friday and Saturday night, and food available from local vendors.

The Expo runs from 5 pm until 10 pm on Friday, and 3 pm until 10 pm on Saturday. Event sponsor Sullivan’s Black Forest Brew Haus and Grill will host an after party both nights. To ensure responsible merriment, a shuttle service from the Expo to the after party will be provided, as well as to and from local hotels before and after. Admission to the Expo is $7 and tickets for samples are 4 for $5 or $1.25 each. For more information, including a complete list of participating breweries and directions to the Expo, visit

© Christi Griffis, 2010