Local craft breweries pour into the fest
Art, in liquid form, will take center stage at the Stranahan Theater on Friday, February 28 with Toledo’s Glass City Beer Festival. With food vendors, live music, and plentiful beer selections for sampling, this festival is not to be missed.
Local breweries slinging suds
Though the festival will include breweries from across the country, it is anchored by a growing and diverse group of breweries from northwest Ohio. In addition to local staples such as Wildside Brewing and Earnest Brew Works, this year’s festival welcomes new local breweries including Funky Turtle Brewing and Aistear Brewing. Funky Turtle Brewing’s Troy Secrest sees The Glass City Beer Fest as their introduction to the Toledo craft beer community.
“Being the new kids on the block, we hope that people are curious about us,” Secrest said. “Only being in the Toledo market for a short time, there are many that haven’t heard about us and this is going to be a fantastic platform for us to promote the Funky Turtle. We will take the time to speak with anyone that wants to talk about Funky Turtle or craft beer with us.”
With beers should breweries bring?
This year’s festival will feature over 40 craft breweries showcasing more than 230 beers. According to Nicholas Scott of Wildside Brewing, selecting which beers to bring is always important.
“If I am choosing a barrel-aged beer, I’m looking for ones that have matured and are the best tasting,” Scott said. “If it’s an IPA, I’m looking for freshness. Basically, I am choosing beers that will present what we are about to those in attendance.”
A growing and maturing industry
The craft beer industry continues to grow rapidly. According to the Brewers Association mid-year 2019 report, there are 1,000 more breweries operating in the U.S. than a year before. Additionally, the production volume for the craft beer segment increased 4 percent during the first half of 2019. According to Scott, the availability and growth of craft beer have made for a much more informed consumer.
“The beer community has grown in size every year and has also become very well informed,” Scott said. “The type of educated questions from people with growing and experienced palates is very encouraging. Craft beer is an ever-evolving experience so it’s exciting to see people who enjoy trying and experiencing new styles and the intricacies of each beer.”
Drinking for a Good Cause
Proceeds from the Glass City Beer Festival continue to support programs and services of Courageous Community Services and the NWO Hemophilia Foundation. Courageous Community Services serves individuals with developmental disabilities. The NWO Hemophilia Foundation support those affected by bleeding disorders. Both organizations serve individuals with life-long impairments by providing education, advocacy and support.
According to Secrest, participating in events like The Glass City Beer Festival is one of the best parts of the job. “We feel like kids in a candy store,” Secrest said. “We have been working hard for the past year for this moment, seeing our own kegs going out into our home market, seeing people drink our product and their faces light up when they are enjoying it. The Glass City Beer Festival is going to be more of the same feeling.”
Tickets, $40 in advance and $50 at the door, includes 18 taste tickets.
VIP tickets, which are $60, include early admission, access to VIP-only brews, and free finger food.
7-11pm (6pm entrance for VIP ticket holders)
Friday, February 28
The Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd.