Sometimes you just have to spend Saturday sampling local craft beer, picking out small art items to make home more fun and contributing money to a good cause. And sometimes you get lucky enough to find all of that in one place.

That day was Saturday, June 6th, and the place was downtown Anderson, where the entire city block in front of the Paramount Theatre was closed off to vehicle traffic for the second annual Anderson Brewfest.

One ticket price got each beer and festival lover a fresh, clean pint glass, good for 3-ounce samples of any and all of the handcrafted beers from 20 Indiana breweries, and a swag bag.

Along with some of the finest small brews in the region, three food trucks offered varied cuisines to balance out all that hoppy goodness. Also part of the festival were some new companies who are becoming part of the Indiana Brewing scene, bringing local barley and malt to the area and custom-made beer taps.

Eleven art and culture vendors brought beautifully crafted items ranging from paintings to yarn work to repurposed, found-object art and woodwork. Art from gallery-ready to funky and fun…it was easy to find and buy something to support local artists. And, local bands were featured, including The Stampede String Band, Yukon Fox, Apathy Wizards and Alex Wnek.

To make Brewfest even more interesting,edibleIndy hosted a stein-hoisting contest which pitted strong men and strong women against other competitors to see who could hold a Bavaraian-style stein at 90 degrees for the longest amount of time. Winners in each category (we had some fierce competitors!) received a gift package from Upland Brewery in Carmel. So worth the pain they suffered in their beer drinking appendages.

Perhaps the best part of the day was the beneficiary. Beyond spending time with friends, old and new, and having the chance to experience Indiana’s finest brews, festival-goers contributed to a most worthy cause – Project Brewify. This Anderson group funds local education, community projects, arts and culture to help keep the city moving into a successful future.

Beer geeks... and their official beer dog. Anderson Brewfest. Mary McClung Sugar Creek Malt Co. Making Indiana beer really local. Mary McClung Risking that beer sampling appendage for stein-title pride! Mary McClung Bavarian stein hoisting contest hosted by EdibleIndy. Mary McClung

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