DECATUR – Over 80 beers and ciders from the area will be available at the Decatur Craft Beer Festival benefiting Macon Resources, Inc.
The event will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, at Doherty's Pub and Pins, 242 East William St. Tickets are $20 for four samples of beer.
The event will also offer participants a souvenir tasting glass as well as food and live music. Designated drivers can join in the festivities for $10.
A silent auction will also be part of the fundraiser. According to Kelly Gagnon, public relations director for MRI, the items include many beer and sports memorabilia donated by the vendors. “It is fun, cool items,” she said. “Things you can't get at other auctions like this.”
Auction items will be arriving up until the day of the event. In the past, items have included memorabilia such as a 55-gallon wood beer barrel and a surf board.
In previous years, the event was titled “Pints for Pups,” benefiting Homeward Bound Pet Shelter. The no-kill shelter was a program under MRI, but has since closed its doors. MRI kept the beer festival because of its continued popularity. Other organizations to benefit from this year's event include Good Samaritan Inn and Northeast Community Fund.
The event was created in an attempt to bring new events to Decatur. “Craft beer is a popular thing now,” Gagnon said. “It reaches a diverse group, from business people to farmers.”
Since the first festival two years ago, the event has doubled in participants and vendors. It continues to expand by offering a wider variety of ales and brews. “This year, the vendors will be distributing their beverages from bottles instead of drafts,” said Decatur Brew Works co-owner Micah Koll.
Decatur Brew Works collaborated with MRI to organize the festival along with Doherty's Pubs and Pins. The businesses have been able to line up breweries from Central Illinois as well as others from all over the world. “We have samples of beers such as porters, stouts and ciders, which people love,” Koll said.
With the larger amount of vendors during this year's festival, the event has spilled over into the Doherty's parking lot and in front of the business. Brynn Hanson, Doherty manager, believes 80 beers is a good number. “We go to our vendors and they give us a huge list,” she said. “The first year was 20, then 40; we just keep doubling.”
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