Saturday, Sept. 19

Lansing-area residents have a chance to take the field Saturday at Cooley Law School Stadium, but they won’t be trying to drive in runs or shag fly balls. Instead, they’ll be sipping IPAs and stouts under the bright lights at Beerfest at the Ballpark.

The festival is a collaborative effort between the Lansing Lugnuts and I’m A Beer Hound, a Lansing-based event organizer and online beer news outlet dedicated to covering Michigan breweries and craft beers.

April’s installment of Beerfest at the Ballpark drew some 3,100 people to Cooley Law School Stadium, and Paul Starr, founder of I’m a Beer Hound, hopes a new partnership with local businesses will attract even more visitors to this weekend’s festival.

Starr struck a deal with the Tin Can (West Lansing and Dewitt locations), Hopcat in East Lansing and Meijer in Okemos to provide party bus transportation from those locations to the stadium. Transportation passes ($45) also include VIP festival entry and food discounts.

“I’m very excited that we are working with the Tin Can, Hopcat, and Meijer to provide rides and meal discounts for festival-goers,” Starr said. “It helps to alleviate a parking issue the festival tends to experience, while also offering some great food deals for our guests.”

For those who don’t want to pony up for the transportation pass but still want to get home safely, taxis will be available at the stadium exit. There are also designated driver passes ($10) that grant entry to the festival but don’t include drink tickets.

As usual, the festival boasts an extensive list of breweries from all over the state of Michigan, but his installment also includes several international brewers from Germany and Belgium. Offering over 200 varieties of beer, mead and cider from a total of 70 different breweries and cideries, there will be plenty of options for beer fanatics to sample.

The festival features some of the biggest names in Michigan brewing, such as Bell’s Brewery, Founders Brewing Co., and Dark Horse Brewing Co., but will also showcase some brewers who are just making it on the scene. Breweries making their festival debut this fall include Canton Brew Works, Jaden James Brewery, Old Nation Brewing Co., Railtown Brewing Co., Roak Brewing Co and Spartan Beer Co.

While attendees sip samples of suds, they can also take in live music from Lansing-area bands like Lights and Caves, Showdown and the Black Barn Band.

One of the things Starr is most excited about for the fall festival is being able to hold the activities on the baseball field inside the stadium.

“In the spring we had all of the tents in the parking lot because the field was too soft still,” Starr said. “It was still a great time, but to me there is something special about being on the field in a baseball stadium trying different beers and hearing live music. It’s really an amazing atmosphere for this type of event.”

Beerfest at the Ballpark

5-10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19 Tickets start at $30 ($10 for designated driver ticket) Cooley Law School Stadium 505 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing beerfestattheballpark.net

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