Beerfest brings local brews to downtown
Among 10 tickets for 10 samples, the bags tournament and live music, even those unassociated with the university who had to pay $5 extra at the gate seemed to be in good spirits on the Strip with friends, family and classmates.
“This is just a great excuse to be downtown,” said Patrick Sullivan, an SIU law alumnus from Carbondale.
Mayor Joel Fritzler stopped by as well to tap a firkin — a gravity controlled keg — from one of his favorite breweries.
“He’s a big fan of our beer,” said Chuck Stuhrenburg, owner and founder of Big Muddy Brewing in Murphysboro. “We’re just glad to be helping out our thirsty neighbors.”
In addition to the brews from Big Muddy, Crown Valley Brewing from Ste. Genevieve, Mo., Von Jakob Brewery from Alto Pass, Schlafly Beer and 4 Hands Brewing Co., both out of St. Louis, joined the event to fill sample cups with regular and seasonal ale.
The event, hosted by Carbondale Main Street, Hangar 9 and Schlafly Beer, featured tasting from 3 to 5 p.m., food from Dogs on Wheels and 17th Street BBQ and music from Sam West and Andy Novara, The Mudsills and the Whistle Pigs.
Festival attendees were given plastic sample cups and 10 beer tickets, good for a sample each, upon their entry into Hangar 9’s parking lot.
City Council member Jane Adams, the City Council representative for the Main Street board, assisted Schlafly in pouring Oktoberfest, Dry Hopped APA, porter and Hefeweizen samples for an eager crowd.
Besides CarbondALE, Main Street will also organize the Downtown Art and Wine Fair Saturday at town square.
Meghan Cole, executive director of Carbondale Main Street, said the money raised at the festival will go toward Main Street, an organization that promotes economic and social vitality for downtown Carbondale.
Though Cole said she would not be sure of how much money the event raised until later this week, she said she believed the festival raised close to $3,000.
“The festival was an overall success, and we plan on doing it again,” she said. “It went as well as it could for a first-year event.”
Kent Householder, a Schlafly Beer representative, said he jumped at a chance to put his job skills to use in a town he had been coming to since his teenage years when Main Street called on him to help with the event.
“It was exactly what we were hoping for,” he said. “A great mix of beer and people.”
David Quinney, a junior from Crystal Lake studying geography, called the event a sort of everyman’s beer festival despite the event’s undeniable revelry.
“It’s a very good introduction to craft beer I suppose, but if you’re into craft beer already it might be disappointing,” he said.
However, Quinney said the festival created a seasonal atmosphere he and his friends could enjoy.
“I live with quite a few people and we made some pumpkin, chocolate-chip pancakes this morning just to get into the spirit of the season,” he said. “But the beer has definitely made it a lot better.”