Beer festival set for downtown next weekend

ALPENA — Alpena enjoys strong summers in terms of tourism, but extending the tourism season is important, according to Fresh Palate owner Eric Peterson.

In order to help do so, Peterson and his staff have been planning the Sunrise Suds Tap Takeover, which will be a large outdoor beer festival Sept. 30 in downtown Alpena.

Peterson said he has wanted to host a beer festival for some time and began putting the pieces together about a year ago. He said because of the popularity of craft beer, the event could draw people not only from Alpena, but out the area as well.

“Tourism has been blossoming here and this is a way to stretch the tourism season out beyond summer,” Peterson said. “Beer fests are the big rage right now and I wanted to host it downtown because I feel the vibe of Alpena is picking up and I want to help put people on the map as a beer destination.”

Peterson said there will be over 30 beer vendors at the event, most of them from Michigan, but there also will be several out of state.

Peterson said Fresh Palate, As You Wish and Cabin Creek Coffee will be open and serving food and there also will be other food vendors. He said there will be bands performing, The Tosspints, Gun, Erie Brothers and Rootstand, during the events and during the after party, which will keep people downtown and prevent everyone leaving at one time.

“It has taken a whole year, so I want the party to last as long as it can and for people to stay downtown and have fun as long as they want,” he said.

This may be the first time for the event, but Peterson already is looking toward the future. He said he intends to have another one next fall and possibly a second one earlier in the year.

“Like I said, we need to extend the tourism season, so I think having another one in the spring would help do that,” he said.

Peterson said tickets will be $40 and will increase to $50 at the door. Each ticket holder will receive a tasting cup and 12 tokens to try the beers of your choice. There also is a VIP ticket for $75, which includes 15 tokens, access to a VIP section with reserve beers, Sunrise Suds mug, $10 food vendor certificate, a T-shirt, backpack. stickers and koozie.

Peterson said there also are under age and designated driver tickets for $10.

“They can come in have fun and enjoy the food and entertainment,” he said.

Tickets are available at Fresh Palate, Alpena General Store and Cracker Barrel Party Store. They also can be purchased online at The event begins at 3 p.m. and concludes at 9 p.m. The after party will continue on in until 12 a.m.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews.