Friday, September 8, 2017

Weekend To-Do: BenFest & DIY Invitational

It's hard to believe that we are actually turning the corner from summer into fall but in addition to cooler weather (which will hopefully stick around) there are only two beer festivals on our radar for this weekend. One is a two-day event even, meaning no hard decisions about what to attend and what to skip or how to manage a marathon day of multiple events!

This year marks the eighth year of the festival, a festival that was inspired by a photo snapped at the Cheers to Belgian Beers dart throw featuring four brewers named Ben. What started as a joke became a festival that rotates venues and increases more Ben brewers and beers each year.

This year there will be nearly 20 beers and ciders available with the proceeds of the event benefitting Ben Flerchinger's memorial fund. One of the original BenFest Bens, he passed away unexpectedly and suddenly earlier this year, leaving a hole in this beer community. In addition to the standard line-up there will be special tappings of cellared beers at 2pm, 3pm, 4pm and 5pm (4oz pours will be three or four tickets each).

Saturday, September 9 1 - 8pm
Gigantic Brewing Company (Back Lot)
5224 SE 26th Ave
Advance tickets: $30 (entry + 10 drink tickets), additional tickets $1

Growler's Taproom DIY Invitational
Those familiar with the area of 33rd and SE Hawthorne may have noticed that changes have been taking place at the former growler fill station, Growlers Hawthorne. Bihn Pham and Joe Rodgers purchased the business earlier this year, transforming it from a fill-only location (no consumption on premises allowed) to a more common model which allows for drinking on site or fills to go. Their grand opening celebration was the last weekend of July and this Saturday and Sunday they'll host their first beer festival.

The festival is the brainchild of local favorite bartender (and employee) Jim Parker and it will fill their 35+ taps with beer, cider, mead, kombucha and soda by breweries that are self-distributed. Self-distribution, available to breweries producing up to 7,500 barrels/year, costs breweries more in time and manpower to sell and distribute their product with the trade-off being that they retain the full purchase price of the kegs sold. Breweries who contract with a distributor commonly split the profit, retaining 70%.

September 9 & 10 11am - 11pm
3343 SE Hawthorne
No entry fee or tickets
Purchase beverages in 4oz, 12oz and 16oz sizes

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