If you enjoy craft beers, live music, gnawing on grilled brats and skiing and riding, but not necessarily in that order, make plans to head to West Michigan’s Boyne Highlands Saturday, March 9, for the fourth annual Brew-Ski Festival.
Located just north of Petoskey and Harbor Springs, The Highlands celebrates its annual countdown kickoff to spring when the lifts serving its 55 trails and 435 skiable acres start up at 9 a.m. that day.
The outdoor festival area opens at noon at the base, where you can taste four-ounce samples of more than 150 microbrews served at multiple snow bars. Some Michigan, and Midwest, favorites being poured include Bellaire’s Short’s Brewing (which can’t be had anywhere but Michigan), Kalamazoo’s Bell’s Brewery, and Jolly Pumpkin, with breweries in Ann Arbor, Traverse City and Dexter, along with others from across the country. Tickets sold on the grounds, and proper I.D., get you a shot at the four-ounce samples, along with food and merchandise, and live music until 5 p.m. The fun then moves indoors to spots like Boyne Highlands’ legendary Zoo Bar.
To encourage attendees to enjoy drinking responsibly, Boyne also offers a special weekend package. Starting at $239 per person, it features a Friday-Saturday stay at Boyne Highlands; unlimited skiing Saturday and a 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. ticket for Sunday; two buffet breakfasts; five drink tickets; a t-shirt and commemorative mug. A two-day lift ticket alone is $136, and lodging can start with breakfast at $240 per night, so that package is definitely the way to go.