Eli Cannon’s held their first annual mini-beer fest this past Monday, August 1st. 21 breweries were represented with nearly 40 beers available for sampling. Along with the plentiful beer, Eli Cannon’s supplied a spread of pulled-pork or beef sliders, chicken wings, macaroni and cheese, and salad.
In total around 60 people were at the event which proved to be an energetic evening despite the rain. The clouds looked foreboding at first but everyone crossed their fingers and hoped for the best. Around 6:00 PM the storm opened up on us and we all grabbed what we could (beer, laptops, flyers, etc) and fled into the safe haven of Eli Cannon’s. Even though everyone was all cramped together inside with the storm raging outside, the spirit of the Fest was in full swing.
Packed in snugly the vendors all set their beer up on the bar top, stools, tables, and wherever else they could find. Barely delaying because of the move, with more people showing up for the Beer Fest every minute, the vendors started serving up beer samples to the eager crowd: who now had the luxury of having the beer served directly to them rather than having to walk around for it! The intimate nature seemed fitting for Eli Cannon’s and everyone fell into easy conversation about what beer they had before, what they were having now, and what they planned on having real soon.
After 2 hours or so the storm cleared out, and all the vendors moved their booths back outside while people streamed into the sunlight to get their hands on beers that had passed them by. Once outside the head manager of Eli Cannon’s, Carrie Carella, commented on how things were going. She had organized the event herself, which was over a year in the thinking and was put together in around a month. She was very pleased with the turnout and thought that things went awesome even with the rain. This was the first big multiple brewery event that Eli Cannon’s has held, with more hopefully to follow.
The event was held to benefit the Oddfellows Theatre which recently had suffered the major loss of much of their props and costumes. According to Matt Pugliese, the Oddfellows Executive Director, when a storage building collapsed on Main Street the Oddfellows lost costumes and props that had been collected over a 36 year period. Some of the lost items were one of a kind. The beer fest was organized by Carella who approached Pugliese and offered to help their cause. A portion of all the beer fest money was then awarded to the Oddfellows.
All in all it was a good day for CT beer fans and for Oddfellows Theatre. If you want to see reviews of some of the beers that were present and high quality pictures of the event (taken by JAdametz), follow the link to my personal blog: Malted Musings.