Glass City Beer Fest pours into Erie Street MarketWritten by Joel Sensenig | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Prefer your beer to be brewed by a company that doesn’t spend millions of dollars on Super Bowl ads featuring dogs, chimpanzees or Clydesdales performing stupid human tricks? The Glass City Beer Fest is your kind of fundraiser.
Taking over the Erie Street Market for its fifth straight year, the event offers beer connoisseurs (and novices) the chance to sample a wide variety of brews, mingle with others who know the difference between India Pale Ales (IPA) and American Pale Ales, and help two local charities at the same time.
“We have a really nice beer list this year,” said Carla Wells, executive director of the Northwest Ohio Hemophilia Foundation, which will be splitting the proceeds with The Arc of Lucas County. “We’re really excited about it. We’ve got something for just about everybody’s tastes.”
Adding local flavor to the event is a newcomer to the Toledo beer scene, Great Black Swamp Brewing Co., which has begun distributing its beers to taverns in the Toledo area. Black Swamp will feature all five of its beers at the beer fest: Sand Piper Golden Ale, Mosquito Red Ale, Bull Frog Stout, Bay Front Pale Ale and Wood Duck IPA.
Maumee Bay Brewing Company will also be in attendance and feature its Buckeye Beer, IPA, Amarillo Brillo, Total Eclipse Breakfast Stout and Irish Red.
The beer fest runs from 7-11 p.m. March 4 and features nearly 100 offerings from 24 microbreweries of the local, regional and national varieties. A number of the breweries will have their brewers or staff members in attendance to discuss their respective suds.
Advance tickets are $25 (available at The Andersons stores). Tickets at the door are $30 ($20 for military members, police and firefighters). Admission includes 12 3-ounce pours, with additional pours costing $5 for six. Score cards are available to help tasters keep track of their favorite (and not so favorite) suds.
The fest will also feature pulled pork sandwiches, burgers and fries from City Barbeque and pizza from Vito’s. Pop and water will be available. Live music will be provided by 56 Daze.
Despite the economic downturn, Wells said the event has been increased in popularity during its first four years.
“We’ve had a steady growth in attendees — each year we’ve grown 15 to 20 percent,” she said. Last year’s event totaled about 1,200 people, including volunteers. While hoping for growth, Wells said the fundraiser is being careful about being too ambitious.
“When beer fests get too big, it’s almost not fun because you have to wait in line so long to get a 2- to 3-ounce sample. We’ve been able to avoid that for the most part,” she said. “And I will say people that attend the event are getting excited about it earlier and earlier every year.”
The Northwest Ohio Hemophilia Foundation addresses the needs of individuals and families impacted by bleeding disorders within a 22-county area.
The organization provides family networking activities, trips to camp for both youths and adults, a family crisis fund and educational programs and workshops.
The Arc of Lucas County is a nonprofit association made up of people with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities, as well as their families, friends, interested citizens and professionals in the disability field.
The agency provides support and education for families affected by developmental disabilities and advocates for human rights, personal dignity and community participation of individuals with such disabilities.
The Erie Street Market is located at 237 S. Erie St. For more details, call (419) 724-BREW (2739) or visit www.glasscitybeerfest.com.