Beer Tast­ing Fes­ti­val draws crowd to sup­port lo­cal char­i­ties

North Penn Life - - NEWS - By Jennifer Con­nor jcon­nor@21st-cen­tu­ry­media. com

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.”

Photo by MARK C. PSO­RAS

A group of friends give a toast dur­ing the fourth an­nual Lans­dale Beer Tast­ing Fes­ti­val June 22.

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