Melissa Whitt of Monticello's Monarch Brewing Company hands a sample of their beer during the 2017 Decatur Craft Beer Festival in downtown Decatur. This year's festival is Saturday, Sept. 8, with a special VIP night on Sept. 7.
Guests will receive a souvenir glass and eight tickets to taste unique craft beers and ciders from local breweries. The event includes live music and access to the on-site food trucks.
“There is also a $10 Designated Driver option for our nonbeer-drinking guests,” said Jerry Johnson, executive director of the arts council.
Those partaking in the tamer drinks can also enjoy the atmosphere with unlimited soda and water.
"It is mostly so you can still enjoy the event with your friends,” Johnson said.
Food can be purchased at four food trucks: University Dogs, Hut 1 Hut, Smoked and Chester’s BBQ. Yard games will be available for additional fun.
The VIP event will be from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, inside the arts council building. The evening, which is $100, will offer tastings of 15 beers and ciders not found at Saturday’s event.
“They will be tasting unique, hard-to-find beers,” Johnson said.
VIP guests will also be served catered hors d'oeuvres and can bid during a silent auction. With the purchase of their tickets, guests will also get admission into Saturday’s festival and a special VIP section.
According to Caleb Brown, MRI marketing and fundraising assistant, the background for the festival is ideal.
“Outdoors is a good atmosphere for the event,” he said. “This is a fun way to fund raise. We have others throughout the year, but this is the most fun.”
Brown said he knows visitors come for the beer, but they also get to learn about the arts council and MRI and their roles in the community.
“We get a lot of name recognition at the event,” he said. “They realize what services we provide.”
MRI provides services for children and adults with disabilities to enhance growth, independence and self-worth.
The Decatur Area Arts Council promotes the arts through education, opportunities, programs and activities.
“The money (from the fundraiser) helps each of us do what we can for the community,” Johnson said.
White Oak Brewing
Riggs Beer Company
Lil Beaver Brewery
Hand of Fate Brewing
Destihl Restaurant & Brew Works
Effing Brew Company
JT Walker's Restaurant & Brewery
The Bling Pig Brewery
Monarch Brewing Company
Decatur Brew Works
Door 4 Brewing Co.
Obed & Isaac's Microbrewery & Eatery
Engrained Brewery & Restaurant
2 Doors Down Brewery
Contact Donnette Beckett at (217) 421-6983. Follow her on Twitter: @donnettebHR