Beer Tasting Festival draws crowd to support local charities
A crowd of nearly 4,000 enjoyed the sunshine — and of course beer — June 22 in downtown Lansdale at the fourth annual Lansdale Beer Tasting Festival.
Organized by Lansdale Area Fundraising Society, the popularity of beer fest continued to grow this year with 3,800 ticket sales. Combined with nearly 200 volunteers and the brewers, the festival saw its largest crowd yet.
“Really the payout for this event is when we can give a check to a local charity,” said Drew Stockmal, chairman of the event. “These charities and organizations, from Manna on Main Street to Lansdale Little League, are the pillars of our community and really need our support.”
All money raised through ticket sales benefited the North Penn Rotary Club that gives scholarships to students from North Penn High School among funding many other activities in the community. The money raised from the vendors, T-shirt sales and raffles supports the LAFS fund, which the group pulls money from to donate to local charities and those in need in the community.
“We’re just a bunch of citizens trying to do good for our town,” Stockmal said.
The organizers said the idea for the festival came from a brainstorming session on how to raise money for the community on a back deck in Lansdale. In its first year, the festival had 800 attendees, 2,200 in its second and 3,200 last year.
Stockmal attributes the success to the unique and exclusive selection of beer, the great vendors and the friendliness of the people in Lansdale.
Commencing at 1: 30 p. m. for general admission ticket holders, a little more than 125 brewers offered beer samplings. Local breweries, including Round Guys Brewing Co. of Lansdale and Free Will Brewing Co. of Perkasie, joined the ranks of brewers sampling their beers.
Free Will Brewing Co. served a Coffee Oatmeal Stout described as a “strong, luscious, malt-oriented ale, with notes of caramel, brown sugar, graham cracker and aged on coffee.”
John Stemler, Free Will’s brewmaster, said he was very busy and ran out of beer around 3: 30 p. m. The Coffee Oatmeal Stout is a rarity for Free Will, whose most popular beer is its Citra Pale Ale, according to Stemler.
A relatively new brewery that started brewing in 2010, Free Will has participated in the festival since its inception.
“We have fun at this event,” Stemler said. “I especially love when people ask, ‘ Who’s Will?’”
Just so you know, there’s no Will on the team – Stemler’s co- founder’s first name is Dominic.
The most popular question of the day: “What was your favorite beer?”
Lansdale Mayor Andy Szekely, Stockmal and co- chair Ray Liberto all agreed the Troegs Brewing Co. Mango Triple IPA was their favorite.
A bachelor party concluded that its favorite beer was Bell’s TwoHearted Ale.
Ray Lorden, owner of Anytime Fitness in Chalfont, praised the Widmer Brothers IPL.
Overall when the event wrapped up around 4: 30 p. m., police and the volunteer security said there weren’t any problems and all attendees were friendly and well- behaved.
At one point, Liberto ran into Tent No. 1 when he heard yelling, thinking a fight broke loose.
“I got in there and they had the wave going from one side of the tent to the other,” Liberto said. “That was my favorite part of today.”
A group of friends give a toast during the fourth annual Lansdale Beer Tasting Festival June 22.