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Tips for a Successful 2023 Michigan Beer and Brat Festival

Established in 2006, the Michigan Beer and Brat Festival is a Memorial Day Weekend tradition at Crystal Mountain, where we gather with friends and family to kick-start summer.

Festival attendees enjoy an enormous selection of Michigan-made microbrews, in addition to mead, hard cider, wine, and liquor, plus the finest gourmet brats from northwest Michigan markets. Make the most of your festival visit with the following tips and tricks:

1. PLAN AHEAD AND BE RESPONSIBLE. We want everyone to have a safe and fun time at the Michigan Beer and Brat Festival, so we've partnered with Benzie Bus to provide FREE rides for locals to attend the festival from off-site. Pre-schedule your free ride at least one day in advance by calling or texting  231-325-3000 .

We encourage our guests to assign a designated driver or use on-property shuttles when leaving the festival. Cars parked overnight at the festival will NOT be ticketed or towed.

2. PURCHASE VIP ADMISSION FOR EARLY ACCESS TO THE FESTIVAL. With VIP admission, you'll enjoy specialty reserve brews and an extra hour of music from Barefoot! Plus, if you arrive early you will have first dibs on a table. Buy Admission »

3. BRING YOUR I.D. The one thing you can’t forget – identification! Make sure to bring I.D. that includes your birthdate and have it ready for inspection upon entry to the festival.

4. AVOID THE WILL CALL LINE.  Pick up admission tokens now through noon on Saturday, May 27 at Crystal Mountain's Front Desk, located in the Inn at the Mountain . Picking up tokens before the event allows you to streamline your entry into the festival. If you arrive after noon on Saturday, you may pick up admission tokens at Will Call after 2pm in the lower level of the Crystal Center.

5. TOKENS AND WRISTBANDS ARE NECESSARY. Admission tokens are designated with your appropriate festival entry time. VIP may enter at 3pm. General Admission may enter at 4pm. Upon entry, guests will be given a color coded wristband to verify age and admission. If you do not provide an admission token, you will not be issued a wristband. Wristbands must be worn at all times. Guests age 21+ MUST wear their wristband to sample beverages at the festival. Anyone who removes their wristband will not be served alcoholic beverages. If at any point you choose to leave the festival and want to re-enter, you must be wearing your festival wristband. If you remove your wristband and try to re-enter, you will not be granted access.

6. FIND YOUR ENTRY POINT. Did you know there are two entrances to the festival? Once you have an admission token, you may enter the festival near the Crystal Center, just outside the Tickets and Rental area OR use our second entrance, located between the Lodge and Hamlet. Day-Of admission purchases and Will Call pick-up is only available at the Crystal Center, so be sure you are at the correct entrance. 

Beer Brat Map

7. GRAB A MAP, GLASS AND TICKETS. Maps are available at the entrances of the festival, so you can find your favorite brewers and brats. It will show you where all of the vendors are located, plus includes a full list of what's available to eat and drink. The commemorative glass and drink tickets included with your admission purchase, will be provided to you upon entry into the festival.

8. BRING A BLANKET OR LAWN CHAIRS. Create your own comfortable seating anywhere on the lawn. If you're planning to be closer to the live music, find a spot near the stage located further up the ski slope within festival grounds. Bands performing at this year's festival »

9. LEAVE BACKPACKS, COOLERS AND OUTSIDE FOOD AND BEVERAGES AT HOME. These items are not allowed in the festival, so save yourself a trip back to the car. Purses, medical bags and diaper bags will be searched prior to entering the festival.

10. NO PETS ALLOWED.  Pets are not allowed to enter the festival. Only approved service animals are welcome to attend.

11. NEED MORE TICKETS? Your admission comes with food and drink tickets (20 tickets for VIP and 10 tickets for General Admission). Additional tickets may be purchased for $1 each. Food and drink tickets are non-refundable.

12. TRY SOMETHING NEW!  Half sized brats are a great way to taste test new flavor combinations. Plus, with dozens of craft brews, meads, ciders and more, there's a pairing to fit every palate.

13. BE WEATHER READY. The Michigan Beer and Brat Festival happens rain or shine.

14. BE SOCIAL. Use hashtag #MIBeerNBrat on your social media. We'll be posting all day long - look for yourself in photos and videos!

15. HAVE FUN! If you're ready for a hoppin' party, join us for the 16th Annual Michigan Beer and Brat Festival on Saturday, May 27 from 4-8pm. We look forward to seeing you there!

Buy Admission »

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