Cheers: Celebrate summer at Royal Oak Beer Fest

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Beer festivals are a great way to sample undiscovered products from a variety of breweries in one location. This weekend the Summer Beer Fest in Royal Oak gives aficionados an opportunity to try 150 local and regional labels.

Located at the spacious Royal Oak Farmers Market, expect to find super local brews like Final Absolution from Warren’s Dragonmead and Milkshake Stout from Rochester Mills. There will also be national brands like Leinenkugel, Woodchuck, Blue Moon Brewing and New Belgium.

Cider fans should go directly to the Blake’s booth where the Armada, Michigan cider mill will have several of its superb products. Besides the incredibly crisp and naturally gluten-free Flannel Mouth, Blake’s will also have the El Chavo, a unique product made with habanero peppers, mango and, of course, apples.

For those looking for something unfamiliar, Deschutes Brewery will have a presence at the Summer Beer Fest. The Oregon-based beer is the seventh largest craft brewery in the country, but we’re just starting to see more of it in southeastern Michigan. Deschutes makes a hoppy IPA, a summer ale, pale ale and a porter.

In addition to all the libations, the Summer Beer Festival will also have food, live band Cosmic Groove, dancing and games. Tickets are $45, or $65 for a VIP session that gets you in an hour early and 20 drink tickets instead of the standard 15. Designated drivers can attend for $15. Learn more at

Deliciously Brief

■The first MOD Pizza restaurant in Michigan opens Monday in Livonia. Several more branches are planned for the area. The highly customizable pizzas are cooked in an 800-degree oven after guests choose from more than 30 toppings.

■Look for four new restaurants in downtown Northville. Wok Asian Bistro at 144 Mary Alexander Court and Urge Juice, 137 E. Main, are open now. Tapas restaurant Lucy & the Wolf, 102 E. Main, is scheduled to open this week. Center Street Grill, 135 N. Center, will open next month.

Food & beverage events

Art of the Cocktail at M-Brew and Valentine Distilling Company: Bartenders from Ferndale bars and restaurants will compete to create a drink that will become the “official cocktail of Ferndale.” Sample creations from Andy French of Go! Comedy, Steven Michael of Zeke’s Rock-n-Roll BBQ, Lisa Thaqi of the Bosco, Kyle Thousand of the Oakland and more. The event is a fundraiser for public art. 6-10 p.m. Thurs. $40. 161 and 177 Vester, Ferndale. Get tickets at

Delish Detroit tour at Eastern Market: Sample foods, hear the history of the area and meet local vendors. 9:30 a.m.-noon Sat. $29. Meet at Rocky’s to register at 9:15 a.m. 2489 Russell, Detroit.

Founders Fest 2015 in Downtown Grand Rapids: A celebration of craft beer and music with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and more. 3-11 p.m. Sat. Tickets on sale at

Rocky IV Dinner at Bacco: This “Rocky”-themed dinner for Father’s Day pits chef James Rigato from the Root Restaurant & Bar against Rock City Eatery’s Nikita Sanches. The eight-course dinner will use ingredients chosen by Bacco’s chef Luciano Del Signore. 7 p.m. Sun. $100. 29410 Northwestern Hwy., Southfield. (248) 356-6600.

Underground Pop Up in Detroit: The location is a secret (for now), but this hidden pop up will feature food from Gourmet Gone Wild and Mudgie’s Deli with beverages from Fieldstone Winery and Brew Detroit. The best part is it’s a fundraiser for Covenant House Michigan, a Detroit-based youth shelter. Location is within five miles of downtown Detroit and will be revealed to guests next week. 5:45-8:30 p.m. June 25. $35. Call (313) 463-2342 to reserve a spot.

Dining in the Dark at Menagerie Kitchen: Enjoy a four-course dinner prepared by chef Travis Waynick of Rochester Tap Room while blindfolded. Ticket price includes four paired cocktails. A cash bar featuring Tito’s vodka will be available during an afterglow where guests can view photos of what they just ate and discuss the experience. Partial proceeds benefit Rochester Hills Lions Club. 7-10 p.m. June 25. $69. 31 N. Saginaw, Pontiac.

Michigan Brewers Guild’s 2015 Summer Beer Festival at Riverside Park: Sample from 800 products from 80 Michigan breweries at this popular annual beer fest. 5-9 p.m. July 24, 1-6 p.m. July 25. $35-$40 in advance, $40-$45 at the gate. W. Cross and N. Huron, Ypsilanti.

Hockeytown BrewHaHa Fowling and Feasting at Joe Louis Arena: Local and regional craft beer tasting paired with seasonal dishes, plus fowling with members of Detroit’s Fowling Warhouse. 6-10 p.m. July 31. $47.50. 19 Steve Yzerman Drive, Detroit.

Ypsi-Arbor Beer Week: Some events in this week-long celebration include a Short’s rooftop garden party, pub crawl, and brewery vs. brewery events. July 31-Aug. 7. Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor.

Melody Baetens