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  • Writer's pictureCamp Nisswa

Grand Brewfest 2023 Recap: A Groovy Celebration of Beer, Food, and Fun

November 17 - 19, 2023

We are thrilled to share our experience attending the Grand Brewfest at Grand View Lodge in Nisswa, MN for the third year. This year's event embraced a groovy 1970s theme, and many participants enthusiastically dressed up to celebrate the era.

The Grand Brewfest weekend is packed with exciting activities, from the opening night kickoff party to live music, beer poking, a beer dinner (available for purchase separately), breakfast, a beer run, a bloody mary bar, seminars, a bag tournament (new this year, in support of Lakes Area Heroes), and the main event, the Grand Tasting!

While we've enjoyed the kickoff party and beer run in the past, they didn't fit into our schedule this year. However, we made sure to attend the Grand Tasting, which took place on Saturday evening and is an absolute must-do experience. The flexibility to purchase tickets on the day of the Grand Tasting allows even last-minute attendees to savor the event. (This option may sell out depending on the year.) Your ticket includes a tasting glass, a commemorative Grand Brewfest glass, and entrance to the event. This year, 24 breweries from across the state (see the full list below) showcased their creations, offering over 120 beers for sampling! And let's not forget the delectable food options (see menu below) and desserts that complement the beer perfectly.

The event was held in the Gull Lake Center, and all the breweries wholeheartedly embraced the 1970s theme. Their booths were decorated in groovy patterns and psychedelic colors, and the staff was dressed in bell-bottoms, tie-dye shirts, and afros.

Whether you're a seasoned beer enthusiast, a curious newcomer, or a local simply looking for a fun night out, the Grand Brewfest is a fantastic event. The atmosphere is buzzing with energy, and there's something for everyone.

Camp Nisswa Choice Awards

To add a touch of fun, we've compiled our top five favorite beers and top five favorite food items from the event. We call it the Camp Nisswa Choice Awards! (Disclaimer: We're not professional beer tasters; we just wanted to create a lighthearted list based on our personal preferences or what caught our attention in terms of unique names or can designs.)

Top 5 Beers:

Top 5 Foods:

  • Gyro Carving Station

  • Smoked Chicken Wings

  • Beef Wellington

  • Mini-Cheesesteak

  • Rumaki

Official Judging Results:

In conclusion, the Grand Brewfest is an exceptional late-fall activity in the Nisswa and Brainerd Lakes Area. The lively atmosphere, diverse beer selection, and delicious food options make it a must-do for anyone looking to enjoy a weekend of beer-centric festivities. As we eagerly await the announcement of the 2024 dates, we encourage you to mark the Grand Brewfest on your calendar for a memorable experience. Cheers to a groovy celebration of beer!

Recommendation and Tips:

Whether you're a seasoned beer connoisseur or a casual attendee, the Grand Brewfest offers a fun experience. To make the most of your visit, here are some recommendations and tips:

  • Secure Your Tickets: Purchase tickets in advance or consider the Grand Brewfest Package for the event and lodging.

  • Transportation: Plan for a designated driver or use ride-sharing services for a safe return home. (If you are not staying at Grand View Lodge)

  • Pacing Yourself: With an array of beers to sample, pacing is key to savoring the experience.

  • Engage with Brewers: Take the opportunity to chat with brewers and learn more about their creations.

  • Take Notes: Keep track of your favorite beers and food items using the provided guide sheet.

  • Get Into Character: While not mandatory, embracing the event theme enhances the overall atmosphere. (There are prizes for best dressed)

  • Hydration: Stay refreshed by interspersing water with your beer tastings.

Please note that as of now, the dates for 2024 have not been announced. We will update our blog with the official dates as soon as they are released!

2023 Grand Brewfest Breweries

2023 Grand Brewfest Food Menu (1970s Themed)

  • TV Dinner

  • Gyro Carving Station

  • Fondue Station

  • 7 Layer Dip

  • Charcuterie Platters

  • Cheese Platters

  • White Bread Pinwheel Sandwiches

  • Chicken Ala King

  • Porcupine Meatballs

  • Smoked Chicken Wings

  • Mini-Cheesesteak

  • Brie & Bacon Jam Toast

  • Rumaki

  • Beef Wellington


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