PORTLAND, Mich. — Portland’s fifth annual Beerfest on the Bridge coincides with the city’s sesquicentennial.
Craft beer, wine and cider are the featured beverages at the city’s 150th-anniversary birthday bash. More than a dozen Michigan breweries, two cideries and three wineries participated. Saturday’s event was scheduled to run from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., on Veteran’s Memorial Bridge in downtown Portland. Food-truck options also were offered, along with live music.
Eric Proctor is event organizer and promoter for Beerfest. He came up with the idea for it five years ago. He says the celebration also takes place on the city’s boardwalk and park.
Jim Hilligan, owner/brewer with Confluxity Brewing Co., told FOX 17 recently his company got to make this year’s “Portland Strong” brew: a mulberry a-la-mode porter. He says it’ll later be on tap at their taproom. The “Portland Strong” slogan emerged after a tornado struck the Ionia County city in 2015. Says Proctor, “Everyone in town comes together, every time something happens…the flood, the tornado. So we made this beer for it.”
Beerfest on the Bridge included a contest in which people were encouraged to wear clothes representing their favorite decade or time period. The crowd was asked to vote for its favorite dress-up, and various prizes were given to the winners.
“It’s exciting that our fifth Beerfest on the Bridge is coinciding with Portland’s Sesquicentennial Celebration,” said Portland Downtown executive director Tina ConnerWellman. “We can’t wait to welcome our local fans, as well as guests from around the state. Be prepared for an extra special Beerfest, because we’re adding in more fun and unique take-aways.”
The 1890-built Veterans Memorial Bridge offers a scenic vantage-point as a gateway into downtown Portland.