BrewFest Another Big Hit at Coca-Cola Park
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For the sixth consecutive year, BrewFest was a home run at Coca-Cola Park.
We were treated to some of the finest brews, made locally and beyond, on an afternoon of great weather – even despite a brief, refreshing afternoon shower. PBS39 and more than a thousand of our nearest and dearest friends shared the good feeling of being together, united by a love of beer and public media, for a day to remember.
On a personal note, this was my first year running the show. I found out that I would be taking the reins of PBS39’s biggest annual fundraiser back in March, and I knew from the start that the responsibility was not to be taken lightly. BrewFest is an enormous undertaking, and there were so many components to the event that I had only observed in 2015. Suddenly, I found myself overseeing it all, and charged with making this year’s event a success.
After hearing and seeing people’s reactions to Saturday’s event – I had to smile every time I heard a swelling cheer emerge from the Coca-Cola Park concourse – I feel confident in saying that we pulled it off. As always, I am incredibly proud of the effort of PBS39’s staff and volunteers. So much of BrewFest’s success, however, is thanks to the many great people and organizations who play a role, year-in and year-out.
Let’s start with our gracious hosts, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Coca-Cola Park proves time and again to be a tremendous venue for BrewFest, and makes our event special every single year. The hospitality of the IronPigs staff toward our volunteers, patrons, and brewers is exceptional, and is a big reason why we are excited to return to this gem of the Lehigh Valley for BrewFest each year.
Without the support of our event sponsors, none of this would be possible. So, thank you to Cigars International, The Express-Times, Fig Bethlehem, Gillespie Printing, Holiday Inn Express, Lehigh Valley Style, The Morning Call, WDIY, and WZZO. All of the above organizations helped to spread the word and enabled us to put on a successful event. Gratitude is also due to Joe Wagner Jazz Trio and Cunningham & Associates, who added to the afternoon with their gift of music.
We also owe our gratitude to the many local media organizations and businesses who helped to make the public aware of BrewFest. Whether it was by spreading the word via social media, publication, event, or by accepting our fliers and coasters for distribution, your efforts and support are a big reason why our Sixth Annual BrewFest was a success.
Thank you to our non-beer vendors, who always add new and exciting elements to our event every year: Bespoke Bacon, Brewscuits, Cheers Sunglasses, Crystal’s Glass Designs, iGourmet.com, Kupkake Kandi, St. Obnoxious, and Whimsical Wonders by Kris. We hope to see you all out again next year.
Of course, it wouldn’t be BrewFest without brewers. This year, we had more brewers than ever – I believe our final count was 48 – who brought their best concoctions for a chance to be awarded one of the event’s seven trophies. While every single one of them is a winner in my book, we could only choose one winner per category. They are listed below. Congratulations to those who won!
Best Lager: Brooklyn Brewery (Brooklyn Lager)
Best IPA: Funk Brewery (Citrus)
Best Wheat: Shipyard/Sea Dog (Blue Paw Blueberry)
Best Belgian: Sly Fox (Grisette)
Best Hybrid: Susquehanna Brewing Company (Shady Spot)
Best Pale Ale: Yards (Philly Pale Ale)
Best Porter: Flying Monkeys (Manifesto)
On that note, thank you to our ten community judges for freeing up your busy schedules and using your taste buds to determine those seven winners. It’s hard work, and we’re glad we can count on you to do it!
Last, but certainly not least, thank you. Yes, you. If you came to BrewFest, you were a part of this year’s magic. We hope to see you back at Coca-Cola Park in 2017!