We're Here, We're Queer - Now Where's The Beer?

By Shelby Clark

Nothing chases away a winter chill like a pint of beer. Wine, mead and hard cider can be equally appealing after a day spent shoveling snow.

Luckily, Royal Oak plays host to two separate beer fests featuring local and national beer, wine, cider and mead.

The first event, the Royal Oak Beer Fest, will begin at 8 p.m. and run until 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18 at the Royal Oak Farmer's Market, 316 E. 11 Mile Road.

Multiple craft breweries will be featured, including Michigan microbreweries such as Brewery Vivant out of Grand Rapids, Saugatuck Brewing Company out of Saugatuck, and Motor City Brewing out of Detroit. The festival will also have beers being poured from Boston-based Sam Adams, Ohio-based Great Lakes Brewing and even Quebec's famous Unibroue. Large macrobreweries, including beers from Magic Hat and Blue Moon, will also be present.

Some standout beers to be poured include Oskar Blue's Ten Fidy, Dragonmead Brewery's Final Absolution and Griffing Claw Brewery's Norm's IPA. The latter two breweries are located in Warren and Birmingham, respectively, and have already won multiple awards for their beers. Gallo Winery, Jagermeister and Woodchuck will also be present for those more inclined to wine, spirits and cider.

Proceeds from the Royal Oak Beer Fest will help benefit Planned Parenthood.

Tickets are $10 for designated drivers, and $40-60 for all others. The event will open an hour earlier for VIP ticket holders. For more information, visit http://www.royaloakbeerfest.com

Royal Oak's second beer extravaganza begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25 at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. The "Royal Oak Craft Beer Fest" focuses specifically on "craft" beer from national and local breweries.

Some featured breweries include Warren's award-winning Kuhnhenn Brewing Co., Dexter and Ann Arbor's famous Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, and the much-beloved brewery out of Bellaire, Short's Brewing Co. Breweries outside of Michigan, which will pour libations including Lagunitas Brewing Company, Brooklyn Brewery and New Belgium Brewing, among others.

Not into beer? Vander Mill Cider Mill & Winery and Mckenzie's Hard Cider will be on hand.

Tickets are $5 for designated drivers, $40 for general admission and $60-65 for VIP tickets, which allow for earlier entry into the beerfest. For more information, visit http://www.royaloakcraftbeerfest.com.

Both festivals will feature multiple vendors and food trucks, and give 20-drink sample tickets with festival entry. All attendees must be 21 and older, including designated drivers.

For more information on other events in Royal Oak, visit BTL's calendar at http://www.pridesource.com/calendar.html.

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