Iron Fish Distillery’s 6th annual Kentucky Derby Party Returns to Thompsonville, Michigan for a Good Cause.

(Thompsonville, MI) – The Two Most Exciting Minutes In Sports comes to Iron Fish Distillery, Saturday May 6th,  during the 6th Annual #IronFishDerby Hats & Horses Kentucky Derby Party, so get your very best hat or bow tie ready, and prepare to be part of a festive celebration while supporting a great cause! Hat’s and Horse’s is a fundraiser for the Garden Theater in Frankfort Michigan.

About Iron Fish Distillery

Iron Fish Distillery is Michigan’s first farm distillery, growing grain and distilling spirits, and barrel finishing sourced whiskey. This MAEAP certified working farm and distillery attracts over 100,000 guests annually to the agricultural destination, reborn on a long-time abandoned 120-acre farm located in rural Springdale Township in Manistee County.

Every step of our soil-to-spirit process occurs onsite. The process starts in our farm fields where we grow and harvest our own grain. We then mill, mash, ferment, distill, and barrel age our spirits on the property. Iron Fish also sources bourbon for finishing in barrels from around the world.  To date, our library of barrel aged spirits exceeds 1,000 barrels, consisting of carefully sourced farm barrel finished whiskies and estate whiskies distilled from grain grown on our farm and from nearby farms. 

Hat’s and Horse’s  is Iron Fish Distillery’s biggest community fundraiser of the year.  Each year, Iron Fish selects a local community group or non profit organization to participate in the event, marked by a real horse race with veteran retired race horses, 50/50 race tickets, and a silent auction.  This year, an anonymous donor, and Iron Fish Distillery Flycaster Club member offered to match every dollar donated during the event.   


“Everyone at Iron Fish couldn’t be more thrilled to have the Garden Theater as our 2023 Derby Party non profit partner,” said Sarah Anderson Iron Fish Distillery and Co-Founder. “Since 1924, the Garden Theater has been a cornerstone of  the region by bringing year-round, diverse entertainment and providing a community gathering space. Funds raised at our event will support a major expansion underway at the Garden and infrastructure improvements that will allow the theater to offer a wider variety of artistic and educational performances to substantially strengthen the cultural richness in Benzie County and beyond. ”  “We are thrilled to be able to bring the community together to support the Garden Theater and honored to know a member of our Flycaster Club will match money raised during the event!”


The Garden Theater has been at the very center of the Benzie County community and beyond since its opening in 1924. More than just a long-time movie house, the theater has a history and tradition of bringing new ideas, experiences, and energy to downtown Frankfort,  bringing year-round, diverse entertainment, personal enrichment, and providing a community gathering space, The Garden Theater enhances the lives of all stakeholders and participants through its events and offerings. The Garden Theater is currently fundraising for their Performing Arts Project which will allow for the theater to offer a wider variety of artistic and educational performances to substantially strengthen the cultural richness in Benzie County and beyond. The proposed project includes entirely new lighting, rigging, video, and sound systems for the theater as well as improvements to the theater’s accessibility and the investment of venue necessities to mitigate ongoing rental costs. These enhancements will transform the Garden Theater into a fully functioning multipurpose venue and give greater access to performers seeking an audience and community members seeking a culturally fulfilling experience.


Iron Fish Derby Party Tickets

Saturday, May 6th – 3:00-8:00 pm (21+ Only)

Arrive on time, to size up the Parade of Horses and get an up-close look at this year’s contenders racing the Iron Fish Dirt Road Derby. Review pedigrees of this year’s racing field and make your pick among Benzie and Manistee County racing legends. The track rounds the bend of Dzuibanek Road with the finish line directly in front of the distillery. Following the race, celebrate the crowning of the winning horse and jockey with the Garland of Roses. That’s just the beginning!

Included with your ticket:

  • Event Admission
  • Two Delicious Derby Drinks (N/A options available)
  • Pre-Dinner Hors d’oeuvres
  • Southern Pig Roast with all the Fixins’
  • Chicken & Waffles with Iron Fish Syrup
  • Yard Games/Bonfire
  • Hat & Bowtie Contest
  • Live Music with Barefoot and much, much more…


Need Lodging? Get 15% Off your room at Crystal Mountain Resort. Reference code: IRONFISH. Code valid 5/4/23 – 5/7/23. You must enter code IRONFISH under the special code tab, and in the box labeled Crystal Connect to view correct pricing with discount.


For more ticket information go to 


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you look so young!

are you over 21?