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A World of Beer in Michigan’s Little Bavaria

Also known as Michigan's Little Bavaria, Frankenmuth is one of the most visited cities in the state, welcoming more than three million people annually. It's the spitting image of a Bavarian village complete with authentic architecture, cuisine, brewhouses, and events. Whether you're taking the family on a scenic riverboat ride on the Cass River or meeting up with friends at a local festival, the town has something for every traveler.


The World Beer Expo has been showcasing the finest beers from around the planet for more than two decades. This year’s event will take place on May 19-20, at the Harvey Kern Pavilion in Heritage Park. It’s the largest beer sampling event in the state, featuring more than 300 beers, ciders, meads, and more from all over the globe. Attendees can participate in a beer stein holding contest, karaoke, and Fun Run through the streets of Frankenmuth. A live DJ will perform throughout the event, and a variety of food trucks and local restaurants will serve snacks and meals. The event is a major fundraiser for the Frankenmuth Jaycees, who in turn donate proceeds to a variety of local nonprofits. We got the opportunity to interview Matthew Simcox, Director of Marketing for the Expo, to learn more about this unique beer sampling event.


RAL: How long has the event been running?

MS: This is the 21st Year of the World Expo of Beer.


RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?

MS: Last year we had around 13,000 attendees in 12 hours.


RAL: What demographic does your event attract?

MS: Guests must be 21 or older to enter (Absolutely No Exceptions)!


RAL: What makes this event unique?

MS: The World Expo of Beer is held on the 3rd weekend each May. It's Michigan's largest beer sampling event, and we feature nearly 300 different beers from around the world! The event is a fundraiser for the Frankenmuth Jaycees with all proceeds going to charitable causes!


RAL: Take me through a day at the event.

MS: We have beers for any beer drinker including ciders, porters, IPA’s, meads, stouts, and more! We have beers from local, national, and international brewers.


RAL: What will attendees find for activities?

MS:  Activites include:  

  • Masskrugstemmen Beer Holding Contest

  • Photo Booth

  • Live DJ

  • Karaoke

  • 1Beer1K Fun Run

  • Beer Sampling

  • Food and Beer Pairing


RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?

MS: Yes, we have local radio celebrities scheduled to attend. Also, attendees will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite brewers.


RAL: What dining options will patrons encounter?

MS: We have a variety of different food options provided by food trucks, local restaurants, and snack vendors.


RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?

MS: All of the hotels in the area tend to sell out in advance of our event! So book early! Here is a link to our lodging and transportation options.


RAL: Are there any lodging specials that are set up specifically for the event?

MS: We offer a free shuttle service to most of the Frankenmuth and Birch Run Hotels, and Midnight Madness provides it.


RAL: What does this event mean to the community?

MS: The World Expo of Beer is a fundraising event brought to you by the Frankenmuth Jaycees. All proceeds from the event go to charitable causes!


RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?

MS: Yes, each year all of the local hotels sell out. Plus, our patrons spend money at businesses all over the community.


RAL: Why should people come to your event?

MS: The World Expo of Beer is Michigan's largest beer sampling event, and we are proud to have nearly 300 different beers from around the world! Frankenmuth is one-of-a-kind, and we encourage everyone to visit!

For more information about the World Expo of Beer, please visit the event website.