By Tony Wittkowski | Reporter | MLive – Muskegon Chronicle
WHITEHALL, MI — Both art and beer will be on tap in Whitehall on Saturday, Aug. 23.
The Artist-N-Beer event is coming back to the White Lake area, but in a new venue. From 4-8 p.m. on Saturday, residents have the opportunity to buy artwork and wet their whistle behind the planned site of Fetch Brewing Company, located on 100 W. Colby St.
Kim Harsch, the executive director of the Arts Council of White Lake, said this will be the second time the Artist-N-Beer event will take place in Whitehall, as it has been one of the few events that has been focused around both beer and art.
“It’s going to be unique. There are a lot of beer-tasting events, not many focus on the art of beer-making,” she said. “Combining artwork with beer is a little bit of a unique experience, so we’re glad to have an event like this.”
Along with the craft beer, attendees will be able to browse artwork provided by ACWL artists and the Nuveen Center, as well as musical performances.
The new location is more equipped to host a beer–tasting event, as the council first held it in front of its office two years ago.
The event will include music from local musicians and is expected to be held every two years alternating with the area’s wine-tasting event.
“The last time (we had this event) was two years ago,” Harsch said. “We’ve been rotating it with a wine-tasting event. Two years ago we had about 140 attendees, but this year we are shooting for at least 200.”
Tickets can be purchased ahead of time for $30 in advance, while increasing in price to $35 at the gate. Harsch said tickets can be bought online at artswhitelake.org, where there is a limited amount of 200 tickets that will be sold.
Since grant funding doesn’t always cover costs for nonprofit groups, the money raised from the event goes toward supporting the Arts Council of White Lake operationally.
“We are really fortunate the committee is made of all volunteers from the community,” Harsch said. “We are really, really fortunate to have such support.”
One of the main intentions for this year’s Artist-N-Beer will be to educate the public on the process of making beer. Additionally, the beer selection will not be something the ordinary shopper would find at any local store.
Jennifer Hain, who runs the Fetch Brewing Company with her husband, Dan, is a member of the committee and is known for her extensive knowledge of beer.
When bringing this type of event to the public, Hain strategically handpicked people who were familiar with craft beer.
“There are actually quite a few beer connoisseurs in this area,” Hain said. “They are working directly with distributors to bring in unique styles and tastes. It will all be Michigan beer.”
Since their initial plans to open a brewing company in Whitehall, Hain became very familiar with the Arts Council of White Lake and decided to throw her hat in to helping with the community-wide event.
“They were looking to do an event that had been done two years ago,” Hain said. “With their art knowledge and our beer knowledge, it was a good pairing. Beer is a form of art, and bringing the artists into where you are doing the sampling of beers was a solution for raising funds.”
(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Aug. 17, 2014)