Over 1,100 Take In 1st Annual Door County Beer Festival

(Left to right) Mark Escribano, Arthur Ircink, and Kyle Cherek of Wisconsin Foodie start the day off with a seminar in the Baileys Harbor Town Hall at the first annual Door County Beer Festival. Photo by Katie Sikora.

The first Door County Beer Festival sent people home from Baileys Harbor buzzing Saturday, June 16.

Over 1,100 people flooded the grounds of the Baileys Harbor Town Hall Park for a day celebrating craft beers, local food, and some of the latest innovations in brewing and local agriculture.

“This event exceeded all expectations,” said founder John McMahon. The food vendors, the music, the seminars, and of course the beer were all big hits. But what made the day was how great the crowd was.”

It was a crowd full of beer lovers and foodies, attracted not by a desire to fill a mug but to broaden their palates.

McMahon lauded the venue and praised the Town of Baileys Harbor for being so supportive of the event. The festival featured over 140 craft beers, seven seminars, local food vendors, and three great bands, including the acclaimed bluegrass band The Tumbling Bones of Brooklyn.

The festival attracted Kyle Cherek and the crew from the public television show Wisconsin Foodie to the county for three days of filming local personalities, chefs and business owners.

The first Door County Beer Festival offered over 140 different beers for patrons to sample. Photo by Katie Sikora.

Kevin Frost of Menominee took home the first Robert “Doc” Wahl Cup as the best in show winner of the Door County Homebrewing Championships, which featured more than 70 entries from around the country.

George Bregar and Shawn Bigelow of Milwaukee took home five medals. Danny McMahon, producer of the homebrewing competition, said the “great batch of beer made it difficult to choose winners.” The complete list of winners can be found at

“We’re thrilled to have created an event unlike anything else in Door County,” said co-owner Dave Eliot, who also assisted in organizing the festival’s partner event, the Ride for Nature to Benefit the Ridges Sanctuary. The ride attracted a record 734 participants, up from 484 in 2011. “We couldn’t have pulled it off without the support of the volunteers and business community of Baileys Harbor.”

Keep an eye on for updates on next year’s event.