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      A growing tradition with beer and friends

      The Keweenaw Brewfest is growing. Bryant Weathers from Chassell has attended each festival since it began three years ago.

      "It's definitely grown," said Weathers. "The grounds are a lot bigger. It's definitely improved, a lot more breweries here."

      The event at the Houghton Waterfront started with 600 people attending back in 2010, according to founder and organizer Mike Rose.

      "This year we're looking at 1500 people," said Rose. "Just the hub-bub, the music, the vibe, it's really good."

      Thirty-five breweries were there displaying over 100 different beers. One local distributor had a special guest.

      Tyler Hunter is a brewmaster for Anheuser-Busch. He was at Peterlin Distributing of Calumet's booth, educating people about their products.

      "Our distributors are what sell our beer, they're the ones that keep us going," said Hunter. "Whatever we need to do for them, we're there for them to help them sell beer."

      Hunter said the American Lager beers he makes are very challenging to keep consistent but celebrates the success of smaller breweries making craft beers.

      "My whole goal is to elevate the image of beer, and any brewer, I respect any beer that they're making," commented Hunter. "I love the taste of beers, I love the creativity that goes along with it."

      One family found Saturday's event by accident. The Carnago family is from downstate St. Clair. They have spent the week camping in the Copper Country. One of their favorites beers was from the Keweenaw Brewing Company.

      "We've enjoyed their bar a lot. Their beer is really good," said Mary Carnago.

      As more people discover the event and ticket sales grow, the whole community benefits. Saturday's proceeds go to the Keweenaw Community Foundation.

      "That foundation has more than 65 endowments in it that help special areas of the Keweenaw and make the life better here," Rose said.