WINONA LAKE — The Kosciusko Kettleheads invite anyone age 21 and older to sample and vote on a variety of unique brews at the sixth annual Homebrew Fest.
Set for 6-9 p.m. Saturday, June 25, at Cerulean Gardens, Winona Lake, the event will feature more than 40 home-brewed craft beers, all in one location. The event is a fundraiser for Combined Community Services and this year’s proceeds will go towards the organization’s energy assistance program and to the organization’s food pantry.
Jason Rich describes the Kettleheads as, “a group of people from all walks of life, all professions, histories, bound by
a love of brewing.” With a motto of “brew good, do good,” they are also bound by a desire to help their community.
“We have a really fun hobby and an opportunity to use it to do some good,” he said.
There are no commercial beers featured at the festival — they are all handcrafted and each brewer has his or her specialty. For example, Buckley Watson uses vegetables. Stephen Possell, CCS executive director, remembers sampling Watson’s arugula beer.
“I was just kind of fascinated by it,” Possell said. “They’re not just throwing things together to make a beer. There’s a particular passion there.”
Even with the lack of commercial beers, Watson was quick to add, “there are commercial-quality beers.” It is also an opportunity for those sampling to talk one-on-one with the brewers and ask questions.
“You get to talk one-on-one with the people who made it and find out how they made it, how long it takes,” Kettleheads member Kelley McGuire said.
Fans will determine their favorite beer in a token-a-vote contest and the winning brewer will take home a traveling trophy. Jars will be placed at each table for voters’ convenience.
“Some beers will be true to style and some will be of the experimental variety,” Laura Watson said.
Approximately 300 people are expected, so those wishing to attend will need to reserve tickets quickly. The Kettleheads ask that no one younger than age 21 be present at the event and that all who come to sample also bring a designated driver. All designated drivers get in free and water will be available.
Tickets are $28 and are sold in advance or at the door for as long as they last. A limited number of VIP tickets are also available for $48 apiece and include early admission beginning at 5 p.m. to sample some beers that will not be available during the main event.