Sometimes it's the simplest things in life; things like comfort food. That said, it's the return of the Kalamazoo Growlers' Mac and Cheese Festival in October.

Apparently the Mac Daddies (the Kalamazoo Growlers' alter-egos) did this festival a couple of years ago, and the event sold-out. So now they're billing it as "the festival you never knew you wanted but always knew you needed." This 2nd annual Mac & Cheese Festival is Saturday, October 9th at Mayor's Riverfront Park, from 4p-8p, with VIP's getting an extra two hours at the mac and cheese at 2pm. The team says the festival will be highlighting (mostly) local food vendors and their unique take on mac and cheese. And to add to that, some beer samples "and even milk stations on the field". (Presumably, not mixing the beer and milk together, though what is cheese but a milk byproduct.

Here's the current lineup of vendors who'll be slinging the mac and cheese on October 9th.

  • Barrett's Smokehouse will have "Gourmet Mac N Cheese With Bacon Gourmet Cheese Sauce Made with Five Different Smoked Cheeses and Bacon Mixed into a Traditional Elbow Noodle."
  • Bomba's will offer up a Bacon Jalapeño Mac
  • The Burger Bros. will have Mac-a-BRO-ni & Cheese with 100% Angus beef, caramelized balsamic onion, goat cheese, pablano toreado, frizzled onions, crispy jalapenos, BB Sauce.
  • Comensoli's offering Smoked Gouda Mac with Peppadews.
  • Finley's Grill & Smokehouse will have Smokehouse Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese Noodles, 5 cheese blend topped with our pulled pork.
  • Fletcher's Pub goes another direction with Seafood Mac and Cheese Bites (Deep fried seafood gourmet mac and cheese balls)
  • Gilmore Community Healing Center has on the menu a Maple Bacon Mac & Cheese (thick cut Maple flavored Bacon marinated in Maple syrup melted into a creamy shell & cheese.)
  • Kalamazoo Growler. The home team will have Oberon Infused Smoked BBQ Chicken Mac & Cheese (Smoked BBQ chicken infused with Bell's Oberon beer mixed into a creamy mac and cheese.
  • Lodo Company is planning on Lodo Pot Roast Mac & Cheese (Creste di galli pasta smothered in a pink peppercorn horseradish gruyere sauce loaded with pot roast, pork belly crumbles and scallions.)
  • Louie's Trophy House Grill will ladle up the Louie’s Trophy House 1918 Beer Mac (Fire roasted peppers, onions, andouille sausage, and crab meat tossed with cavatappi pasta In a smoked beer cheese sauce Made with our house session ale 1918. Finished and topped with a potato chip crust.)
  • Mangia's Blue Plate Food Truck will have Mangia's Melt Down MAc n Cheese.
  • Meals by Mark serves up Roasted Jalapeño Popper Mac and Cheese.
  • One Well Brewing has a play on their name: One Mac Done Well (their House Xalapa Beer cheese and featuring their Special Fooled You Pepper which packs the full flavor of the Jalapeno pepper without the spice.)
  • Paw Paw Brewing Company will have Return of the MAC (Somebody had to name it that; made with their St. James amber ale and an eclectic plethora of cheeses blended with macaroni then baked in the oven for a flavor packed crust.)
  • Presidential Brewing Company has another great play on words, Mac America Cheesy Again.
  • SJ Soul Catering from Mt. Clemens will have Baked Mac & Cheese.
  • TNT Lil Bros BBQ will have 5 Cheese Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese
  • Travelers Pub and Cafe will serve up Midwesterners Delight, a Four cheese macaroni topped with breadcrumbs and bacon.
  • ​The Mac Shack at Ybar & Bistro will offer a Cheese Sauce Choice (the Mac Shack's homemade three cheese alfredo with freshly baked bacon sprinkled on top, with an option to have homemade gluten free cheese sauce with freshly baked bacon on top!)
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