Fest brews up support for WDIY
English beer. Belgian beer in many varieties. German-style beer. Even Chocolate Peanut-butter Stout.
Beers of every sort were available to sample July 8 at the Second Annual Homebrew Fest organized by WDIY, the Lehigh Valley’s Community NPR station. Twenty-six homebrewers contributed their wares; nearly 300 guests sampled among the many offerings. One guest described the event as “heaven for beer lovers.” It was also a very successful fund-raiser for WDIY.
The Charles A. Brown Ice House on Sand Island, where the fest took place for the second year, was packed for the family-friendly event. Every guest signed in at the door. Anyone who wanted to sample homebrews were carded, then given tiny beer mugs. Designated drivers were welcome to attend, too. They were offered free non-alcoholic drinks to enjoy.
Brewers stood at tables around the walls of the large main room of the Ice House, offering 2-ounce servings of their beers for guests to sample. Large plastic buckets were available to dispose of any beer that a guest didn’t finish. No drunkenness or rowdy behavior was observed in the large crowd. The vibe was friendly and positive.
The fest also featured a competition to determine the favorite beer offered. Each guest was given five tickets and invited to deposit one ticket, or more, in a cup on the table of the brewer of a beer he or she especially liked. Five judges, one of them a professional brewer, made the final cut.
The winner of the competition was John Litak of Bethlehem. Litak’s beer was “Crustless PB&J on Wheat,” a distinctly American brew. His prize is the opportunity to work with Sam Massotto, the master brewer at Bonn Street Brewery in Bethlehem, to develop his recipe. Sam and John will be interviewed about their experience together on WDIY.
Interviewed after the event, Wagner Previato, WDIY executive director, reported that he and his colleagues were pleased with this year’s Homebrew Fest.
“We plan to be back next year,” he added.