Fun flowed at first Flossmoor Brew Fest

  People who bought a ticket
  to Flossmoor Brew Fest got
  to taste 20 samples of three
  ounces each.
(Photos by Carole
  Sharwarko)
 
Smiling faces braced against chilly air to sip frosty beers at the first Flossmoor Brew Fest on Oct. 13 along Sterling Avenue.
 
The fest attracted nearly 300 attendees, with about 175 people buying their tickets in advance and 100-plus getting a same-day ticket. Flossmoor Assistant Village Manager Allison Deitch said she thinks many people came from outside the area.
 
“As we were going through the list of pre-sale names, there weren’t many names we recognized,” Deitch said. “That is what we were hoping for, for this to be a good way to showcase the town to people who don’t live here.” 
 
  An employee from 5 Rabbit
  Cerveceria in Bedford Park
  pours a sample of the
  brewery's La Pina de Mis
  Ojos, an American wild ale.

 
For $29, brew-festers could get their 3-ounce tasting glass filled 20 times, sampling beers from the 12 breweries pouring at the event, including Flossmoor Station Brewery and SoundGrowler Brewing Company from Tinley Park.

Enjoying The Mitten bourbon-aged cider from Virtue Cider were friends Marcus Yancey of Flossmoor and Nathan and Megan Heng of Chicago Heights. Yancey ran into the couple at the fest and they relished the opportunity talk, along with the beer.

Megan said she saw a sign for the event near Meijer and immediately wanted to go. She’s been to Brew at the Zoo at Brookfield Zoo and wanted to support the local effort to adopt a beer fest trend.
 
“It’s nice to see new festivals popping up in the area,” Megan said. “We want to be sure we come check them out.”
 
  Virtue Cider's Mitten
  bourbon barrel-aged cider
  was among the festival's
  favorites.


Local restaurants grilled up festival food and other food vendors attracted people to their booths. Gindo’s Spice of Life hot sauces doled out spicy samples on tiny wooden spoons. Gindo’s owners Chris and Mary Ginder recently relocated from the West Coast to Batavia “for the weather,” Chris joked.
 
It was the couple’s first time in Flossmoor and they raved about the town’s attractiveness and its friendly people. Chris said it reminded him of the small town on the East Coast where he grew up.
 
“We really wanted to raise our kids in the Midwest; that’s really why we moved out here,” Mary said. “It’s so pretty here and it’s really diverse, which we love.”
 
The Ginders connected with Flossmoor Brew Fest via Lou Dog Events, the company hired by the village to plan and operate the fest. According to the contract, Flossmoor paid Lou Dog $3,000 to take care of everything from contracting with vendors and designing the logo, to setting up ticket sales and staffing the event.
 
Village officials have indicated they would like Flossmoor Brew Fest to be an annual event. 

According to Rey Gonzalez of Homewood, the breweries at the first brew fest weren’t prominent enough to bring in the most serious beer tasters. Gonzalez, who regularly goes “beer hunting,” said it was a decent first showing and could put Flossmoor on the festival map, especially with backing from Flossmoor Station Brewery.
 
“The competition is just so good right now. People are raising the stakes and making people create better beer,” Gonzalez said. “I think Flossmoor Station has the potential to be a big name in regional beer.” 
 

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