WINONA LAKE — The Kosciusko Kettleheads held their ninth annual Homebrew Fest on Saturday, June 22. The event took place near Cerulean Gardens in Winona Lake.
Purchase of a $25 admission ticket gave patrons the opportunity to sample approximately 40 locally made beers and ciders.
The brews ranged from an Easter beer made with several pounds of jelly beans and a beer made with yams. Net proceeds from the event are donated to Combined Community Services.
The idea of a charity homebrew festival was conceived in 2011, according to Kettleheads President Jason Rich, who said at that time they realized there were plenty of beer lovers locally who probably were not aware there were people in their neighborhoods making quality beer in their own homes.
Buckley Watson, who has been creating his own brews for ten years, has participated in all nine of the homebrew festivals.
According to Watson, every beer he has brought to the annual homebrew festival has had some type of vegetable or “some kind of weirdness in it.”
Brian Sager offered four selections, including a jelly bean ale, a stout, a cider and a double IPA. Sager also makes his own labels for his bottled brews.
“I do all kinds of stuff. I have a jelly bean one, which is kind of unique,” said Sager. “I’ve been brewing for three years. Last year was the first year I served.”
Rodney Wolfe brought a double chocolate stout made with ice cream. According to Wolfe, this is the first time he’s incorporated ice cream into one of his brews. In addition to the ice cream stout, Wolfe also served a raspberry honey wheat brew and an apple raspberry cider.
Alcohol content in the drinks ranged from 5 percent to 12.5 percent.
Besides tasting the large selection of beers and ciders, attendees were able to chat with the local residents who created them, as they asked questions and learned about the processes and flavors of the individual brews.
Jars were placed on each brewer’s table so that attendees could vote for their favorite beer using tokens. The winning brewer will take home a traveling trophy.