Tapped Beer Festival parks at new location

Downtown Midland’s favorite frothy beverage festival, Tapped, returns on Saturday, June 18 from 6 to 9 p.m. Tapped’s seventh annual event  features live music, food vendors, samples of craft beverages, lounge areas, and outdoor games. 

Downtown Events Coordinator for the City of Midland, Renee Smith, says this year’s event is expected to be bigger than ever. “This is our seventh year doing Tapped, which was established in 2015,” Smith says. The event was not held in 2020, and was pushed back to August in 2021, a departure from its typical Father’s Day weekend date.

“This year, Tapped is the biggest it’s ever been brewery-wise,” Smith says. “We have 50 different breweries, a lot of craft Michigan beer, some national breweries as well, and we’re also featuring ciders, seltzers, wine, and canned cocktails. That’s brand new this year.”

Smith says a new location at Larkin Parking Garage also makes the outdoor event a bit more “weatherproof” for rain-or-shine conditions. This year is also the first time they’re hosting an evening event. 

Beer from 50 breweries will be available for tasting.
“All 50 breweries are going to have their own table, so you’ll be able to taste whatever samples we have at the table from that brewery, and we’re going to be having 14 brewery reps coming so you can talk with them, and get swag from them. I think that’s an element of the festival we didn’t have last year that people missed,” Smith says. 

“We’re going to have over 100 different beverage options,” she says. “We have a huge amount of different samples you can try.” The festival includes non-beer options like ciders, seltzers, and canned cocktails.

Tapped will utilize all three floors of the parking ramp. The first two floors are covered, and will be split into concourses, with breweries scattered throughout. The top floor will be an interactive beer garden, four food vendors, outdoor games, lounge areas, and feature the live music stage. Grub will be available from Proper Taco, O’MACARON, Dominos and Fancy Dog’s Hot Dog Cart, and tunes provided by Brett Mitchell & The Michfits.

Smith says attendees are encouraged to park in other places to visit the festival,  because the parking ramp will be closed to traffic. The Larkin Parking Garage entrance is on E. Ellsworth Street. 

The event is expected to sell out, with around 1800 attendees. Tickets are $30 for general admission beginning at 6 p.m., and $10 for a designated driver option. An early 5 p.m. admission option is available for $50, which includes lawn seating at the Great Lakes Loons game the same night. Tickets include admission to the event, six drink samples and a commemorative glass. Extra drink tickets will be available for purchase on-site. All attendees must be 21+. Tickets can be purchased online. 

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Sarah Spohn is a Lansing native, but every day finds a new interesting person, place, or thing in towns all over Michigan, leaving her truly smitten with the mitten. She received her degrees in journalism and professional communications and provides coverage for various publications locally, regionally, and nationally — writing stories on small businesses, arts and culture, dining, community, and anything Michigan-made. You can find her in a record shop, a local concert, or eating one too many desserts at a bakery. If by chance, she’s not at any of those places, you can contact her at sarahspohn.news@gmail.com.