Burning Foot Beer Festival Art Connection.


Lee S. Brown & Chip VanderWeir

From the beginning, the organizers of the Burning Foot Beer Festival were interested in a connection with art as part of the festival experience. In 2015, the festival’s innagural year, the Hop Head Man logo was created and used in event branding. At that time,  initial concepts were developed for a centrally located flaming tower which eventually made its appearance at the Burning Foot Beer Festival in 2016 .

The Flaming “Hop Tower” was inspired by the circular layout of the festival, which in early renderings, resembled a medieval encampment. The beer centric tower needed height and a major presence, given the scale of the beach at Pere Marquette.  An initial cauldron, or drinking vessel idea to top the wooden structure was scrapped and a hop cone similar to the “Hop Head man” logo was conceived and eventually executed in steel. A custom propane burner was created to evoke an ancient signal fire and a further nod toward the brewing process.

Knowing that the tower would need to be erected on the beach, and removed afterward, a system of hinged wooden legs was added to the hop bud base.  When assembled on the beach this looked like a giant hop octopus.  With some trick knot tying, skilled driving of the Sky Lift, and excellent volunteers, the Hop Tower was raised, and the legs positioned themselves neatly beneath it, and were then pinned to the beach!

When the propane was lit just before opening, the crowd cheered and festival goers were seen taking selfies and group photos in front of the tower all thru the event. The artistic presence at Burning Foot adds to a unique experience. Beer, Beach, Flaming Artwork, Great People. What’s not to love?