Browsing articles in "beer festivals"
Apr 11, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Nate Byrnes – Good Brew Hunting: Judging homebrews isn’t as easy as it sounds

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Judging a homebrew is a fascinating experience. It’s fun, challenging, and ultimately quite rewarding. It allows one to really get into the nitty gritty of beer, a process that ultimately makes one a more aware and adept beer drinker.

This past weekend I was honored to be a beer judge for the fourth annual Ocean State Homebrew Competition, held at Johnson Wales University and sponsored by JbreW. I spent Saturday helping out with logistics and Sunday judging in the front, which gave me different perspectives into such a big event.

Some might think beer judging is a dream come true, and it IS great, but I wasn’t able to just enjoy beers and write a grade. We rate the beers on five categories: aroma, appearance, flavor, mouthfeel, and overall impression (detailed in my July 4 column — link to it here if you’d like http://goodbrewhunting.com/the-many-aspects-of-beer-flavor/). A good judge will also then write comments for why they gave the score they gave for each section. It can be tough to be critical while remaining positive, and it’s quite the challenge to come up with different ways to say “hoppy” after one’s 10th IPA.

A big contest like Ocean State requires more volunteers than a bake sale at a southern megachurch. Nearly 40 judges worked over the two days to taste all 311 entries (placed into 28 categories). There were also 25 stewards who brought all the beers to the judges and tallied the scores, six staff, and more than 40 student volunteers and chefs to prepare meals for the crew.

I helped judge the “Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer” category, which was an adventure. Beers ranged from an American wheat with cucumber to an IPA brewed with coconut to an oatmeal stout with vodka and vanilla beans. Only one of the six beers I tasted was poor, and I really enjoyed the various flavors.

The process is relatively simple: pour a small amount into a cup, smell it, examine it, taste it, repeat. Judges then discuss the beer, noting if it’s true to its style, picking up on any of the potential off-flavors that might detract from the brew, and talking about what stood out about the beer. Everyone then writes down their comments, puts scores in each category and tallies them (maximum of 50). The judges’ scores are then averaged.

Each rating category has a different weight. In order: Appearance is worth 3 points, Mouthfeel is 5, Overall Impression is 10, Aroma is 12, and Flavor is 20. All but one beer in my group earned a 31 to 40 score, with our “Mini Best-in-Show” going to the really excellent coconut IPA.

After each of the 28 categories have a best beer, the highest-ranked judges (a topic for another column) taste all 28 winners and declare best-in-show for beers, ciders, and meads. At a big contest like OSHC, it takes two full days to winnow the field down to the winners, and those that earn the top spot have been better vetted than a presidential candidate.

Beer events

The 8th Annual Great International Spring Beer Festival will be held this weekend – April 12th from 1-4:30 and 6:30-10. There will be over 250 brews available to sample at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Tickets are $44 http://www.beerfestamerica.com/

The 3rd Annual Newport Craft Beer Festival will hold two sessions on April 26th. It’s a great chance to try every RI brewery and a bunch of others. Tickets are $45.

The big boy of New England beer festivals, the American Craft Beer Fest, will take place in Boston at the Seaport World Trade Center in three sessions on May 30 and 31. There will over 140 brewers there, including quite a few that aren’t available here. Tickets are $51.10 after fees, and are well worth it. Mrs. Hunting and I wouldn’t miss it and will be at the Saturday afternoon session. http://www.beeradvocate.com/acbf/

All former Good Brew Hunting columns are now available online at www.goodbrewhunting.com. I really appreciate feedback! Hit me with ideas for beers, events, or breweries at www.facebook.com/GoodBrewHunting or via email at goodbrewhunting@gmail.com.

Nate lives in Westport with his wife, two kids, pets, a basement fridge full of local craft beer, and assortment of bottles/kegs/carboys of homebrew at various states of completion.


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Apr 10, 2014
Freddie Kitson

It’s all about the beer

The warmer weather is slowly making its way back to our area, and with that we begin the beer festival celebrations. This year, we kick off the beer festival season with the inaugural Beer Geek Festival, happening April 12 from 3 to 7 p.m. inside the Slocum Hollow Lodge on Montage Mountain.

While there is no shortage of beer festivals occurring this year, in the end it all comes down to the beer. Is it simply a fest that will be full of beer that is available year-round on store shelves, or is it going to be full of rare beer that is not available anywhere else?

If you are looking for new and exciting beers that you can’t get elsewhere, then the Beer Geek Festival is for you. Despite it being the first year this fest is taking place, it has already amassed quite the brewery and beer lineup.

Breweries such as Deschutes Brewery, which is not even available in our area yet, will be attending and bringing some of its most sought-after beers with Black Butte Porter, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, and Fresh Squeezed IPA.

While breweries such as Tröegs Brewing Company will be bringing some of its more well-known beers, such as Nugget Nectar and Cultivator, the brewery has also brewed a unique one-off beer just for the festival.

Stone Brewing Co. will also be in attendance and is bringing along a very rare beer, Reason Be Damned, a Belgian Abbey Ale style brew aged in a red wine barrel. Stone is also bringing along its highly desirable Enjoy By 4/20/14 IPA, an extremely fresh and hoppy double IPA.

If none of this has made you drool yet, then keep reading, because Boulder Beer is also brewing a beer exclusively for the Beer Geek Fest. Founders Brewing will also be in attendance with its world class Porter and All Day IPA, along with something special.

Of course you cannot have a true craft beer festival without Dogfish Head in attendance, and the brewery is bringing along some standard as well as some rarer brews, such as American Beauty, Noble Rot, and 120 Minute IPA.

Another appearance at the fest is going to be made by BrewDog. The fantastic Scottish brewery is coming back to the area and is kicking this off with an appearance at the Beer Geek Fest with its amazing Punk IPA, 5 AM Saint, Libertine Black Ale, and Hardcore IPA.

Brewery Ommegang will also be in attendance and will be pouring some beer from its Game of Thrones series along with Gnomegang, Duvel Rustica, and Adoration.

The list of world-class breweries is seemingly endless: Chimay, Unibroue, Breaker Brewing Company, 3 Guys a Beer’d, Orval, Susquehanna Brewing Company, Harpoon, and on and on.

For those who are truly fans of beer, this is the must-attend festival of the 2014 season.

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Apr 10, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Your guide to Spring Fling alternatives

If you’re not exactly Jay Sean’s No. 1 fan or want to escape the hordes of drunken GW students who will crowd University Yard on Saturday, there are plenty of other events outside Foggy Bottom to check out. Here are a few highlights from across the city.

MUSIC
In the mood to dance to something other than “Down?” You’re in luck. Swedish rock band The Sounds will headline the 9:30 Club on Saturday ($20, doors open at 5 p.m.). Having been on the road for the better part of the last 10 years, playing shows like Warped Tour, supporting Panic! and at the Disco and embarking their own world tour, The Sounds’ latest North American stint is in support of their newest album, “Weekend.”

In the mood for a gay dance party that isn’t at Town? Black Cat will host MIXTAPE, a monthly dance party featuring an eclectic mix of music genres ($10, doors at 9:30 p.m.). Washingtonian Magazine dubbed the event D.C.’s “Best Gay Dance Party.”

No way was Program Board going to book Daft Punk for Spring Fling. But if you pay $10 – and don’t actually need to see the famed robot duo – U Street Music Hall will host a Daft Punk tribute night with local DJs and producers Will Eastman and OZKER (doors at 10 p.m.)

BEER
If you’re 21 or older and have some cash to spare, you can enjoy a more sophisticated boozy festival Saturday. Head to Nationals Parks, D.C.’s best springtime venue, for the second annual D.C. Beer Festival.

The event – the second in a lineup of four spring beer festivals – will feature 60 craft breweries, 120 beers, games, music and food. It’s no Bacon and Beer fest (the Penn Social event sold out within weeks), but the park will offer food sold separately from the ticket. Look forward to tasting local, regional, and rare national brews.

Admission to the festival is $40. You can choose from one of two sessions: 1 to 4 p.m. or 6 to 9 p.m. Buy tickets here.

CHERRY BLOSSOMS
Start the Spring Fling revelry early by watching the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade Saturday morning. Jay Sean will make an early performance at the festival before heading over to Foggy Bottom for Spring Fling.

The lineup includes more talent than just ‘90s heartthrob Aaron Carter. “American Idol” champ Candice Glover is set to perform alongside Grammy award-winning singer Sheena Easton.

But, aside from some big throwback names, this year’s festival also included the first annual “Sing Into Spring Competition,” which searched for local artists to perform in the parade. The GW Vibes is one of five acts chosen from the competition, along with Reverb, an award-winning a capella group, and eight-year-old singer Kelvin Dukes.

The parade on Constitution Avenue between Seventh and 17th streets will start at 10 a.m. Spectators can stand on the sidewalk along the parade route between Ninth and 15th streets for free. Grandstand seating prices start at $20.

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Apr 10, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Pennysaver Ampitheatre to Host 3rd Annual BEER FIELDS FESTIVAL, 6/21

Related:
Beer Fields Festival, Pennysaver Ampitheatre


On Saturday, June 21 2014, thousands of craft beer drinkers and music lovers will once again gather together for the Third Annual Beer Fields Festival, happening at the Pennysaver Amphitheatre at Bald Hill, 55 S Bicycle Path in Selden, NY. The all day event will feature more than 75-plus U.S. breweries pouring over 150 types of beer and music from international superstar Matisyahu and some of the best local bands on Long Island. Past events have included performances by Sublime with Rome, The Dirty Heads, The Wailers and others.

The festival begins at 4 pm with free beer sampling until 7 pm. Beer will be available for purchase after 8pm. Ticket prices range $35 pre-sale to $55 regular sale and $75 at the door that day. Cost of admission includes a 5 oz tasting glass with a 2 oz pour line, beer samples, access to all vendors, and concert pass. Food vendors also will be on site offering a variety of delectable pub pairings to accompany the beer.

Coordinators for Beer Fields said the 2014 event was designed to offer a different type of energy and experience than the typical beer festivals. “From the start, we as organizers always wanted Beerfields to have a different level of excitement from your typical beer festival, says organizer James Bonanno, “We not only bring in the best breweries from around the world, but also give the people top notch entertainment as well. We are really excited to be hosting highly acclaimed music artist, Matisyahu for this years festival”.

The festival also hopes to assist in promoting the emergence of the powerhouse Long Island Breweries, which have helped change Long Island’s reputation from a premier wine-producing destination to one of the nation’s fast-growing hubs for craft breweries, 8 of which are attending Beerfields including Blue Point, Great South Bay, Long Ireland, Port Jeff and Spider Bite (with more in the works to be announced). This is a perfect opportunity for Long Islanders eager to jump into the craft beer phenomenon to try all their favorite local buzz beers up close and personal with the brewers themselves.

Also new for 2014 is the Krombacher VIP Deck which includes FREE Krombacher beer ALL DAY, FREE catered food from Bobbique, Private bathrooms, only access to a full liquor bar, and an air conditioned lounge. VIP tickets costs $125.

Those interested in attending Beerfields Craft Beer and Music Festival can purchase tickets at www.beerfieldsny.com. Availability is limited.

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Apr 10, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Sierra Nevada Brewing bringing its ‘Beer Camp’ to Portland

Yesterday at 8:36 PM

The one-day event, set for Aug. 1, could be the largest beer festival Maine has ever hosted.

By Whit Richardson wrichardson@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Craft beer lovers in Maine have reason to rejoice.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., one of the country’s largest craft breweries, will come to Portland this summer to stage what will likely be the largest beer festival Maine has ever hosted.

The Beer Camp Across America Festival: New England Edition is expected to draw thousands of beer lovers on Aug. 1 to Thompson’s Point, the area under development across the Fore River from the Portland International Jetport.

The Maine Brewers’ Guild announced the event Wednesday morning. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime event,” Sean Sullivan, the guild’s executive director, told the Portland Press Herald.

It’s still too early to know how many breweries will be pouring their beer at the festival or how many people will buy tickets, but Sullivan said the event could realistically draw 5,000 people.

Sierra Nevada Brewing, based in Chico, Calif., approached the Maine Brewers’ Guild last fall about bringing its traveling festival to Maine, Sullivan said. Portland will be the fifth stop on Sierra Nevada’s seven-city tour. Of the seven locations, Portland is the smallest city chosen, and the only city in New England. Other locations include San Diego, Chicago, Denver and Philadelphia.

“It’s a great example of how Maine is becoming a hub of craft beer culture in the United States,” Sullivan said.

Maine’s craft beer industry has grown steadily over the past several years. The state now has 53 breweries, Sullivan said.

Sierra Nevada Brewing has invited every craft brewery in the country – more than 2,700 – to participate in one or all of the stops on its traveling festival. It has invited at least 300 breweries in New England and beyond to participate in Portland, Sullivan said.

“This is about tourism in the state,” he said. “This festival will attract people from all over the country. This is about bringing people into Maine and sharing the fastest-growing manufacturing industry in the state with tourists, and leveraging this foodie culture and brand we’re building here in the state.”

Similar comments were made last year when Portland hosted The Festival, a craft beer event that brought some of Europe’s greatest breweries to Maine in what was likely their only U.S. trip.

Despite attracting more than 2,000 people and pumping an estimated $750,000 into the local economy, the event was marred by complaints from the event’s organizer. Dan Shelton, owner of the Massachusetts-based importer Shelton Bros., said he found Maine’s laws governing beer festivals confusing.

In response, state Senate President Justin Alfond, D-Portland, introduced a bill in the Legislature to streamline and simplify the licensing regulations for breweries or wine makers that want to hold tasting events. It also makes it easier for out-of-state breweries that don’t distribute in Maine to participate in large festivals. Gov. Paul LePage signed the emergency bill, L.D. 1637, into law on Tuesday.

Sullivan said Sierra Nevada Brewing wouldn’t have been able to bring the festival to Portland without the change in the law, which was in the works long before the company approached the brewers’ guild. He said it was a coincidence that the announcement of the festival came on the day after the governor signed the bill.

Allagash Brewing Co. in Portland, one of Maine’s largest and best-known craft breweries, had something to do with Sierra Nevada’s decision to bring its tour to Maine.

As part of its festival, Sierra Nevada Brewing collaborated with 12 craft breweries, including Allagash, to develop a dozen beers that will be available in a mixed 12-pack. Ryan Arnold, spokesman for Sierra Nevada, said this year’s tour is planned with its collaborators in mind.

“We’ve been friends with Allagash for some time, and they’ll be great hosts for the kickoff of the East Coast leg. We’re hopeful many more talented New England brewers will hop on board and make their way to Portland,” Arnold said in an email. “We’re partnering with guilds in each of the host states and donating any festival proceeds to them. The Maine Brewers’ Guild is among those doing an excellent job of championing craft beer, so we’re excited to collaborate on this festival.”

Because of the Beer Camp Across America Festival, the Maine Brewers’ Guild will not host its usual summertime craft beer festival on the Maine State Pier, Sullivan said. The festival is an important source of revenue for the guild, but Sullivan said Sierra Nevada has agreed to donate “a portion of the proceeds from the festival” directly to the guild.

The festival is scheduled for 5 to 10 p.m. Aug. 1 at Thompson’s Point. Tickets cost $65 and are on sale now.

Whit Richardson can be contacted at 791-6463 or at:

wrichardson@pressherald.com

Twitter: whit_richardson

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Apr 10, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Raise a glass to this weekend’s brews & ‘cues

The First State? More like The Ferment State.

Delaware’s craft beer business seems to grow stronger day by day.

We are up to nine breweries statewide, Dogfish Head is preparing a Dogfish-themed hotel in Lewes to service beer tourists and the state’s own tourism department has even created a statewide brewery crawl.

With liquor stores now filling growlers, craft brew-themed bars like Two Stones Pub rapidly expanding and new beer festivals popping up on a regular basis, Delaware is awash in suds.

Tasty, tasty suds.

There is no better weekend for Delaware beer-lovers than this one as each of the state’s three counties host a beer-themed festival, two of which are brand spankin’ new.

So hop into the fermentation tanks with us as we preview Delaware State Fair’s new Triple Threat BBQ, Beer Music Festival in Harrington, the launch of the Wilmington Craft Beer Festival and the fifth annual Dewey Beach Brewfest.

Delaware State Fair’s Triple Threat BBQ, Beer Music Festival

Where: Delaware State Fairgrounds, 18500 U.S. 13, Harrington.

When: Friday 4-10 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Cost: $5 (Free for 12 and younger)

The name says it all: The first-time Triple Threat festival is built upon a holy alliance between barbecue, beer and country, rock and blues.

In what will be the largest debut event for Kansas City Barbeque Society – the barbecue cooking organization that overseas hundreds of competitions each year – more than 100 teams will be grilling beef brisket, pork ribs, chicken and pork while vying for a $2,500 grand champion prize. (There’s nearly $20,000 in total prizes up for grabs.)

Fourteen teams are from Delaware, competing against barbecuers from 12 other states, including as far away as California, Louisiana and Florida.

It’s the first spin-off festival event by the fair on its fairgrounds in its 94-year history. Up to 10,000 people are expected over the two days.

“We have the facilities, the staff and the maintenance,” says Danny Aguilar, the fair’s assistant general manager. “It’s been amazing. The barbecue community has been really supportive.”

Meat-eaters can purchase barbecue and carnival food at vendors across the fairgrounds. There will be two opportunities to eat the barbecue cooked by the competitors for the festival’s people’s choice award: a wing tasting goes down Friday night at 6 ($5 for five wings) and samples of pulled pork will be up for grabs ($5 for five samples) at noon Saturday.

You shouldn’t be disappointed. The hundreds of barbecuers on hand take their craft seriously. “These competitors love barbecue. It’s their life,” Aguilar says.

All that sweet, sweet meat will be washed down with an array of beers available, including brews by Dover-based Fordham Brewing Company, Shock Top, Landshark, Budweiser and Bud Light. An array of wines from Felton’s Pizzadili Vineyard and Winery will also be for sale.

And once those bellies are full, you can work off the impending weight gain by shaking your tail feather to one of the bands playing throughout the two-day festival in the Quillen Arena.

The country-heavy lineup includes plenty of twang from The Mason Dixon Band (Friday, 4 p.m.), Texas Heat (Friday, 6 p.m.), Hung Jury Band (Friday, 8 p.m.), the Clifford Keith Band (Saturday, 10 a.m.), and Ty Sherwood the Tydewater Band (Saturday, noon).

If country isn’t your thing, Rehoboth-based Lower Case Blues plays at 2 p.m. Saturday and Southern rock acts Bo Dickerson Band (Saturday, 4:30 p.m.) and Smokin’ Gunnz (Saturday, 7:30 p.m.) also have scheduled performances. A DJ will spin in between sets.

Throw in a cornhole tournament and carnival rides, and you just might think summer has started early.

Wilmington Craft Beer Festival

Where: Santa Fe Mexican Grill, 2006 Pennsylvania Ave., Wilmington.

When: Sunday, 1-4 p.m.

Cost: $45 (VIP tickets that include lunch and allow entry at noon are $70)

Delaware’s biggest city finally has its own craft beer festival.

More than 115 beers from 40 breweries, a one-off performance by reunited Newark rap/rock act Fat Daddy Has Been and an array of hip food offerings will await the city’s beer-lovers.

“If we were going to do it, we wanted to do it big,” says Michael Stiglitz, co-owner of Two Stones Pub, which teamed up with Santa Fe for the inaugural event. “This isn’t half-assed.”

About 600 tickets had already been sold by mid-week.

While the beer will be the star of the festival, the food could steal some of the spotlight.

Food tents and food trucks will be spread out across the Santa Fe parking lot, serving up Dogfish’s new line of bratwursts, Santa Fe tacos and Thai favorites from the recently-launched Kapow Thai Guy Cuisine. Fellow food truck Java Puppy will serve up coffee, tea and espresso, and ice cream from Trolley Square’s Scrumptious will also be available.

High-energy Newark funk/rock act Universal Funk Order will also perform a horn-fueled set. (Fat Daddy closes out the event.)

Proceeds go to Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library.

In an attempt to lure some star-power to the festival, organizers have been busily contacting actor James Franco online in an attempt to get him to visit. (Franco knows a thing or two about reaching out to people online from what we learned this week.)

But before you get too excited about a possible Franco drop-in, he is starring in “Of Mice and Men” on Broadway with a pair of shows Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m.

So we’re sorry to be the ones to break the news, but no Franco for you!

Dewey Beach Brewfest

Where: Gary’s Dewey Beach Grill, 2000 Del. 1, Dewey Beach.

When: Saturday, 1-3 p.m. and 5-7 p.m.

Cost: $30 ($25 in advance)

At least 32 breweries from across the country – including Delaware favorites like Dogfish Head, Twin Lakes, 16 Mile and 3rd Wave – will be represented at this year’s Dewey Beach Brewfest.

Many of the breweries will have representatives on hand to dish about their beers – all with an eye toward raising money for local charities. (In its four years, the festival has raised $10,000.)

This year’s beneficiary is the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition.

There are two different tasting blocks Saturday: 1-3 p.m. and then 5-7 p.m. Both will feature a performance by Jordan Sokel, the New Jersey-based roots rocker fresh from last month’s South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.

The festival started in 2010 for a simple reason: They are totally into beer.

“It’s all about our love of beer. We love to drink beer and we love to try different beers,” says Holly Sloniewski, Gary’s chef and co-owner. “We just thought it would be cool to showcase that love.”

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Apr 9, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Two Roads Brewing Signs with Massachusetts Beverage Alliance

Massachusetts Beverage Alliance (MBA) today announced it will distribute the fast-growing Two Roads Brewing brand throughout the Bay State.

The news comes on the heels after MBA secured the distribution rights to the country’s first Trappist brewery – the Spencer, Mas.-based Saint Joseph’s Abbey — and San Diego’s Coronado Brewing.

Two Roads, which is based in Stratford, Conn., will officially launch in Massachusetts on April 28.

“We are really excited to work with the five distributors of the Massachusetts Beverage Alliance,” Clem Pellani, Two Roads’ vice president of sales and marketing said in a statement. “We’ve known them and worked with them for a long time during our careers in the beer business. To us, they stand apart based upon their commitment and track record for brand building and their rich history distributing world class beers in the state. MBA has an exceptionally strong infrastructure in place to support its craft beer portfolio. With our retail sales team working alongside of their team, we are very optimistic about our brand’s success in Massachusetts.”

In the last year, MBA helped Two Roads bring its products to various Boston beer festivals via one-day distribution agreements.

“Partnering with the folks from Two Roads Brewing by bringing their awesome beers to Massachusetts made a lot of sense to us,” Brian Murphy, MBA’s director of sales marketing said in a release. “They have everything a distributor wants in a new brewery relationship; they are local New England, have experienced leadership with long term vision, great marketing and brand awareness, strong financial backing, capacity with infrastructure to grow, and most importantly, fantastic liquid.”

Two Roads, which launched in 2012, is the brainchild of former Pabst Brewing CMO Brad Hittle. In addition to making its own line of products, the company also produces beer for a number of contract beer companies.

Address:
1700 Stratford Avenue
Stratford, CT 06615
United States

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Apr 9, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Strong Man Beer Festival combines brews and brawn

Just because you enjoy imbibing at beer festivals doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to growing a beer gut. If thoughts of extra inches on your waistband from that last brewski keep you up at night, then you finally have a reason to rejoice.

Lovers of ales and food trucks can rest easy knowing that they can finally pack in the food and beer (mostly beer, if we’re being honest) without feeling guilty about packing on the pounds.

The first Strong Man Beer Fest will take place on April 19 at the Fear Farm grounds in Phoenix and will put a twist on your standard beer festival.

“The Strong Man Beer Festival is two-part event,” says Johann Warnholtz, founder and president of Unleashed Events. “The first part is a variation of the Strong Man Competition, and the second part is obviously the beer festival.”

The Strong Man portion of the event will include 15 challenges sponsored by local Phoenix gyms, like Hammer CrossFit and Urban WarFit, and will test attendees on strength, speed and stamina. The activities range from back squats and push-up contests to tire flipping.

The competition is also set up so that each challenge is judged separately and attendees can pick and choose which ones they want to compete in.

“It’s kind of like a carnival in that it’s not one overall competition,” Warnholtz says. “It works where three friends can go up to one of the challenges, you compete against each other and the winner receives raffle tickets. Then you go to the next one and the winner of that challenge also receives raffle tickets.”

After getting their blood pumping and fat burning in the mini competitions, participants will head into the beer festival. Attendees can turn in their raffle tickets for prizes, enjoy food from a variety of food trucks and guzzle a nice cold one from Old World Brewery, a local operation that’s sponsoring the event, while enjoying live music.

Warnholtz says attendees don’t need to participate in the Strong Man portion to partake in the second part of the festival. They can buy beer tickets and burn the calories vicariously as they watch others sweat it out while chugging a cold one.

Raffle prizes range from Sports Authority gift cards to weight lifting equipment. Schiek, a company that deals in weightlifting equipment, has donated gym bags to give away and The Arizona Republic will be donating sports teams t-shirts.

Warnholtz says the setup will hopefully allow everybody participating in the Strong Man events to win raffle tickets.

“One of our goals with this event is to make it accessible to any level athlete,” Warnholtz says. “The idea is to make it so that anybody who has somewhat of an experience, whether it’s beginning or advanced, could come out and do it.”

Aside from sweating and drinking, the Strong Man Beer Fest also gives attendees the opportunity to give back to the community. A portion of the proceeds, as well as all alcohol sales, will be donated to Heart of Valor, a non-profit organization that provides trips and events to active duty and retired military members.

“They give them a place, time, event and trips to help them unwind and distress from whatever hectic situation they encountered from their job,” Warnholtz says.

Strong Man Beer Festival at Fear Farm, 2209 N. 99th Avenue, Phoenix, www.strongmanbeerfest.com, Saturday, April 19, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., $60

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