Hundreds attend first ever ‘Art of the Brew'

Item photo by Shea Singley
Item photo by Shea Singley

Hundreds of people filled the Hamburg Field House on Saturday, May 3, for Hamburg’s first ever “Art of the Brew” beer tasting festival.

The festival, hosted by Our Town Foundation, highlighted favorites from 15 breweries in and around the area as well as music by two local bands The Barren Wells and Uncle Jake and the 18 Wheel Gang.

“The craft beer industry is definitely on the rise and with other communities hosting successful tasting events, we felt we wanted to give it a try as well,” said Deena Kershner, Director of Our Town Foundation, in a press release prior to the event. “We are very fortunate to have Windsor Distributing, our local beer distributor on board and assisting us with book the breweries.”

Our Town Foundation’s goal was to sell 300 tickets for the first time event and they not only met that goal, but passed it. Advanced tickets sold out on Friday leaving a limited number available at the door. At total of 283 regular tickets and 40 designated driver tickets were sold.

“From the comments being made by both the breweries and the attendees, everything went well. Most of the breweries have already committed to next year, and many people asked if we were going to be doing this again on their way out. Several people said it was a great event,” said Kershner.

Attendees were able to taste various samples from the breweries as they made their way around the Field House. Many stopped to chat with new and old friends while enjoying the drinks as well as the music which had quite a few up and dancing. Along with the tables set in a circle featuring the breweries were also tables along one side featuring different sauces and other beer related items that were available for purchase.

Attendees not only were able to sample from the breweries for the price to get in, but they were also treated to a meal with choices from Dietsch Eck Restaurant of Lenhartsville for the cost of admittance.

“I personally never attended a brew fest before, so it was a learning experience for me and many of the committee members,” said Kershner. “Or course there were suggestions made and the committee will discuss the suggestions at our wrap up meeting.”

The first time event is set to become an annual event with the possibility of combining the beer tasting with the annual Arts Fest, which is always held the third weekend of May. Kershner and the committee hope that the festival will grow as other events have in Hamburg.

“Just like the Taste of Hamburg-er Festival, it started small and expanded every year to what it is today,” said Kershner. “Other town who hose these brew fests said that we can expect it to grow until we reach a few thousand attendees. Some communities are known to sell out of their tickets within hours after they go on sale, so that will be our goal down the road.”

Next year’s “Art of the Brew” is already scheduled for May 2.

All proceeds from the event benefited Hamburg’s Southgate Neighborhood through a program managed by Our Town Foundation.

Follow The Item on Twitter @hamburgitem.

About the Author

Shea Singley

Shea Singley is the editor of The Hamburg Area Item. She grew up in Berks County and spent three years at the University of Arizona, Tucson, where she double majored in Creative Writing and English before transferring to Kutztown University where she majored in Professional Writing. Shea graduated from Kutztown University in 2012 and during that time completed an internship in the publication department of a non-profit organization in Washington, DC. She joined Berks-Mont Newspapers in March of 2013 and had enjoyed getting the chance to explore the Hamburg area and meet the readers. Reach the author at ssingley@berksmontnews.com or follow Shea on Twitter: @hamburgitem.