Glass City Beer Fest to slake thirsts March 2Written by Joel Sensenig | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Craft beer devotees will soon pour into the Erie Street Market for the sixth annual Glass City Beer Fest.
The annual fundraiser for two local charities has grown into the largest collection of high-quality beer fans in Northwest Ohio. Slated for 7-11 p.m. March 2, the Glass City Beer Fest assembles 27 breweries under one roof to show off 89 beers to the masses.
The event enters its sixth year as a popular event, with attendance rising from 700 in 2007 to 1,225 in 2011, and proceeds up in that time frame from $8,500 to $21,300.
“We continue to grow,” said Carla Wells, executive director of the Northwest Ohio Hemophilia Foundation, which splits Beer Fest proceeds with The Arc of Lucas County. “We grow about 15-20 percent in attendance each year.”
In addition to featuring popular national brewers like Samuel Adams, Sierra Nevada, Stone Brewing, Rogue and Goose Island, the event will also have plenty of local flavor, courtesy of Toledo’s own Great Black Swamp Brewing Company and Maumee Bay Brewing Co. Great Black Swamp will feature its Sand Piper Golden Ale, Mosquito Red, Bull Frog Stout, Bay Front Pale Ale and Wild Duck IPA, while Maumee Bay will be pouring samples of its appropriately named Glass City Beerfest Blood Orange Imperial Wit, Buckeye Beer, IPA, Dark Heart Cherry Chocolate Porter, Total Eclipse Breakfast Stout and Rye Level DIPA.
Advance tickets are $25 (available at The Andersons stores). Tickets are $30 at the door ($20 for military members, police and firefighters). Admission includes 12 3-ounce pours, with additional pours costing $5 for six. Tasting cards are available to help beer fans keep track of their favorites, as well as ones to avoid.
To help soak up the drinks, City Barbeque will provide pulled pork sandwiches, burgers and fries. Pizza will be available, as will pop and water. The soundtrack for the evening will be provided by 56 Daze.
Bobby DeSeyn, Northwest Ohio sales representative for Cavalier Distributing, is looking forward to his first trip to the Glass City Beer Fest. Cavalier, which distributes only craft and imported beers, is bringing about 25 of its brews to the event.
“We’ll be there as support staff, educating pourers about the beers and getting the word out about good beer in Toledo,” DeSeyn said. “It’s not just about our beer, it’s about craft beer, it’s about being able to get these awesome beers into Toledo and people to know about them. … People may say, ‘I don’t know anything about beer.’ Well, let’s start you with something easy, something that you’re somewhat familiar with.”
DeSeyn almost sheepishly admits to working for one of the Big Three beers (Budweiser, Miller and Coors) in Wyoming prior to arriving in Toledo last year to work for Cavalier.
“My heart was always in craft beer,” he said. “(The Big Three beer) wasn’t the most exciting thing to sell.”
DeSeyn said he sees signs of a growing craft beer scene in Toledo venues, which the Beer Fest helps highlight.
“There’s some really great and positive growth, especially with The Attic on Adams, Swig in Perrysburg, Rocky’s Bar on Secor,” he said. “They’re really picking up and running with this craft beer thing, and a lot of times it’s a lot more profitable than selling $2.50 pitchers of Natty Light.”
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 wit 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.
DeSeyn said the camaraderie among the craft beer population makes events like this special.
“I’m looking forward to meeting a lot of the craft beer community,” he said. “That’s kind of what it’s all about, meeting people that enjoy the same beers that you do.”
The Erie Street Market is located at 237 S. Erie St. For more details, call (419) 724-BREW (2739) or visit www.glasscitybeerfest.com.
Tags: Bay Front Pale Ale, Bull Frog Stout, Glass City Beer Fest, Goose Island, Great Black Swamp Brewing Company and Maumee Bay Brewing Co. Great Black Swamp will feature its Sand Piper Golden Ale, Mosquito Red, Rogue, Samuel Adams, Sierra Nevada, Stone Brewing, Wild Duck IPA