The lilacs that bloom on Mackinac Island are among the oldest in the nation.

Located in Holland, Michigan-- home of the Tulip Time festival-- Big Lake Brewing is no stranger to a flower festival. That's why they've teamed up to create a limited edition brew in honor of the historic Mackinac Island Lilac Festival.

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About the Mackinac Island Lilac Festival

First created after World War II Michigan's famous Lilac Festival has taken place annually since 1949 and the 76th annual celebration is currently underway!

lilacs Mackinac Island Michigan
Mackinac Island - Canva
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From June 7-16, 2024 visitors can celebrate the beauty and unique history of this flowering shrub. According to the Mackinac Island website you can expect lilac walking tours, lilac planting seminars, a cornhole tournament, family-friendly fun and games, live music, the Grand Parade and the crowning of the Lilac Queen.

How Did They Get To The Island?

Famed author Henry David Thoreau is credited for one of the earliest documentations of the lilacs on Mackinac Island, having visited shortly before his death in 1862. However, as more families began moving to the island they also brought more lilacs with them.

One such example is the Hubbard family who moved to Mackinac Island from the New England area. As is tradition in Europe the family planted lilacs near their farm for good luck. Claims the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau,

Some of the lilac stems near that farm, which later was developed into...an area known as Hubbard’s Annex, are about 100 years old and are offspring of older stems that were also about 100 years old. So, it has been about 200 years since lilacs were brought to Mackinac Island, making them the oldest in the country.

big lake brewing mackinac island
Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau via Facebook/Big Lake Brewing
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New Commemorative Lager

Big Lake Brewing has released a limited-edition spring lager to commemorate the 2024 Mackinac Island Lilac Festival. Featuring notes of tangerine what's even more impressive is the artwork on the can.

According to the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau's social media the can wrap is this year's Lilac Festival poster winner by Emily Ryers titled My Chariot Awaits.

As for where to find it? That's the bad news. If you or someone you know is headed to "the island" soon have them pick you up a 6-pack because it appears these cans are only available on-site in cans and on draft at Horn's Bar, Mustang Lounge, and the Pink Pony.

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