The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH)
Beer fest offers cold brews on hot day
Event supports school district athletic programs
Anyone seeking a cold brew on a hot day found what they were looking for at the 2021 Avon Lake Beer Fest, held Aug. 28 at Miller Road Park.
The temperature and the enthusiasm both were high for the third annual event, which started in 2018 to celebrate Avon Lake’s bicentennial. The next year it returned as a fundraiser for the Avon Lake Athletic Boosters.
In 2020, Beer Fest went on hold due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
It returned in 2021 with more than 10 craft breweries and Heidelberg Distributing serving 49 beers. There were 10 wines available, four musical acts, food trucks and community groups, 125 volunteers and 1,700 tickets pre-sold and up to that many more people paying at the gate.
In just four years, the event has become an experience, said Tracey Corbo, boosters president.
“It’s the beer, it’s the community, it’s music, it’s food,” Corbo said. “And I think, too, it’s a celebration of our membership and our support. That’s a big thing.”
“This is the culmination of everybody who has anything to do with the athletic boosters,” said Kristi Blosser, organization vice president. “They all come together to make this possible.
“This particular year, it’s one of the largest events Avon Lake has held since COVID, so it’s feeling to us like a big release,” she added. “Everybody’s really excited about this. I know there are some people that are scared, but most people we hear are like, thank goodness it’s happening.”
“They’re ready for some normalcy, to get out and see their friends,” Corbo said. “And the fact that it’s outside, I think you feel a little bit safer.”
The Beer Fest is Avon Lake Athletics Boosters’ largest fundraiser to support sports team expenses for Avon Lake High School and Learwood Middle School. Corbo and Blosser thanked the sponsors, guests and the city of Avon Lake for their support.
Local craft brewers came out with their kegs and merchandise.
Unplugged Brewing Co., 201 E. Bridge St. in Elyria, started in December 2020 and now distributes to 140 locations, said Carlos Lopez, director of sales.
“We try to do as many brewfests as possible,” Lopez said. “We just like getting out there and spreading the word, at least for Unplugged, it’s not about the beer, it’s about building a place where the community can come together, relax, drink beer,” or water or soda, he said.
“Whatever it is, I just want you to forget about your stress and just have a good time and just enjoy life for just a second,” Lopez said.
Unplugged Brewing Co.’s Buckeyes brew became a new favorite for Heidi Bennett and Raul Cruz of Avon Lake.
“Good, real good. It’s almost like a coffee beer,” Cruz said. Railroad Brewing Co. had a peanut butter flavored brew, but it was not the same, Bennett said.
They have not been to the brewery, but said they planned to check it out. They also were first-time visitors to Beer Fest.