Craft Beer: Learn, Taste, Enjoy at Blues & Brews Oct. 17
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The Upper Cumberland’s second annual Blues & Brews Craft Beer Festival is coming up Saturday, October 17. This event will run from 12-5 p.m. in Cookeville’s beautiful Dogwood Park. Attendees can expect to enjoy a charming ‘day at the park’ in Cookeville’s intimate downtown green space, complete with live music, local food, and tastings of over sixty craft beers from around the country.
Thirty-two breweries will offer tastings of their specialty beers throughout the day. Of these, nearly half are Tennessee breweries, including Calfkiller Brewing Company, Tennessee Brew Works, Yazoo, Little Harpeth, Wiseacre, Jackalope, and more. Several other Southeast breweries will be represented. In addition, several Cookeville food vendors will be on-site selling the eclectic foods and flavors of our community. Vendors include Naked Salsa, House of Thai, West Side Deli, Cosmo’s, World Foods, and Yardbirds Food Truck, to name a few.
As part of the ongoing PBS mission to ‘educate, entertain, and inspire,’ Blues & Brews also features learning opportunities in the realm of craft beer. At the WCTE tent, attendees can view PBS documentary The American Brew, a Roger Sherman film on the rich and surprising history of beer. Additionally, members of the Regional Homebrewers Association will be on-site to share their personal expertise. Jim Patten, coordinator of the Regional Homebrewers Association, shares, “This is the second year that we have had a group of regional homebrewers as a part of Blues & Brews, and last year’s inaugural effort was a real success! Many of today’s best commercial microbreweries started in the homebrew sector, and that process continues to create new microbreweries and brewpubs across the country. Quality beers can be produced with all levels of skill and equipment. Ingredients, hardware, recipes and support are widely available, which has allowed many novices to rapidly progress to a point of making really good beers. The regional homebrewers at last year’s festival surprised many attendees by having beers that many said were ‘as good as or better than’ the commercial brewers.”
Last year’s homebrew beer styles ranged from normal stouts, porters, brown ales and IPAs, all the way to unique beers like a Ghost Pepper Ale. The homebrewers at Blues & Brews will be happy to talk brewing, demonstrate gear, and provide resources for obtaining product and info for those wishing to get started. Patten continues, “We expect to have over 14 different beers on tap to share this year, so I invite any and all attendees to make sure and visit the homebrew area and prepare to be amazed at what these guys (and girls) can create at home and learn how you can do it too!”
Blues & Brews is a 21 and up event. Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the gate and are available online at wcte.org/brews. All ticket sales benefit WCTE Upper Cumberland PBS. Dogwood Park is located at 30 E. Broad St. in Cookeville.
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Photos attached: Regional homebrewers sharing their knowledge and enjoying some brews at the 2014 Blues & Brews Craft Beer Festival. Caney Fork Brew Works and Cumberland Cabin brewers will share their knowledge (and their beer) again at this year’s festival!