LORAIN — Residents will have the opportunity to sample beers at Black River Landing this Saturday as Brewfest migrates from Broadway to the riverfront pavilion.
Howard Ross, who organizes the event now in its fourth year with Chris Nabakowski, said the main reason for the change it’s easier from a setup and teardown standpoint.
“We don’t have to close the streets to do it at Black River Landing, and it still accomplishes what our main goal is: to bring people downtown to see its benefits and potential,” Ross said.
Ross said festival organizers no longer have to rent tents in case of rain because Black River Landing has pavilions. Brewfest benefits Lorain Growth Corporation, and not renting tents means it will get more money, he said.
There will be 40 brewers at this year’s event, including Franklin Brewing Co. of Elyria and three new Lorain County breweries — Avon Brewing Co., of Avon; Bascule Brewing, of Lorain; and Railroad Brewing Co., of Avon Lake.
Mathias Hauck, who co-owns Avon Brewing Co. with his father-in-law and two brothers-in-law, said the company, which launched in August last year, is excited to show off its craft to area residents and beer enthusiasts.
“We’ve been home-brewing for about 15 years, and when we decided we wanted to all do something together we jumped in feet first,” Hauck said. “We weren’t able to participate in Brewfest last year, so we’re definitely excited to do it.”
Hauck said the company will serve some of its Avon-centered brews, including its Eagle IPA that is named after the high school’s mascot and its French Creek Pale Ale.
“The French Creek literally runs right by us,” he said. “Our restaurant sits on top of it, basically.”
Bascule Brewing, which is renovating a storefront but isn’t open yet, also names its creations after things that are special to its community, including its Charleston Common and Erie Ghost Ship Porter. Its beers are on tap at Brown Bag Burgers in Lorain.
“It’s a nervous excitement,” Bascule co-owner Chris Kambouris said about participating in this year’s Brewfest. “It’s going to be surreal being amongst such respected peers but also gives us a little dose of reality of finally realizing our goal of becoming a fixture in this community. I just plan on reveling in the moment and really enjoying people’s reactions to our beer.”
Presale tickets for the event can be purchased at brewfestwd.com and are $25 per person. Tickets can also be purchased Saturday for $35. Attendees must be 21 years or older but designated drivers can attend free of charge.