For some craft beer, hop over to CarbondaleALE Brew Fest


By Jose Perez, JosePerezDE_

The list of places to catch a buzz in Carbondale will become a little longer this Friday.

To promote the local brewing community, the CarbondALE Brew Fest will host a showcase for local and national breweries.

The Brew Fest is being sponsored by Carbondale Main Street, the SIU Fermentation Science Institute, Southern Illinois Brewers, Hangar 9 and Illinois Liquor Marts.


“All large breweries started out locally, so it’s important to support the development of local breweries,” said Matt McCarroll, SIU Fermentation Science Institute director. “Promoting breweries is positive for the local economy and region which ties in to our educational mission at this institute and the universities.”

After a year and a half, the institute has implemented a bachelor’s in fermentation science and promoted the local brewing community overall.

The organizations are planning to use some of the funds to build new bike racks around Carbondale and continue organizing public seminars and workshops, according to the CarbondALE Brew Fest website. These seminars and workshops help support the growth of fermentation in regional industries.

Debuting a special wood-aged IPA at the festival is the Southern Illinois Brewers.

Ten club members individually made five gallons from the same beer recipe and then mixed those 10 beers into one, 50-gallon bourbon barrel to age for 10 weeks.

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The club started when home brewers started meeting at the now-closed Kindling Spirits & Grill in Carterville to taste each others’ brews.


Six years later, the group continues to introduce people in the local community to the craft of brewing no matter their experience level.

Emily Bechtel, of Carbondale, brewed for a year prior to joining the brew club.

“It’s a very involved community for brewers in the Carbondale area,” she said. “At the event, I’ll be showcasing the Turmeric Triple Brew which I made myself, but is actually a Scratch Brewing Co. recipe.”

The Southern Illinois Brewers will be the only local group showcasing their beer, alongside a number of professional breweries.

Tickets for the event are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. General admission includes a souvenir tasting glass and unlimited tastings for the brews. For $15 more, attendees can have the VIP experience which includes a larger glass, swag bags and more.

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After 9 p.m., Hangar 9 will be hosting the official afterparty with a final performance from the band V2T2 Cabaret. 

Apart from local brewers, Urban Chestnut Brewing Company will have a special featured tent at the event as well as breweries from Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and California.

The CarbondALE Brew Fest will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at the Town Square Pavilion.

Jose Perez can be reached at [email protected] or 618-536-3325.