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Monday, April 22, 2013

Hop On Over to Two Beer Festivals This Weekend

Posted By on Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 12:15 PM

It seems that once spring arrives, it's time to bust out some brews. And we are so down with that.

This Saturday, April 27, Global Brew Tap House & Lounge (112 South Buchanan Street Suite 1, Edwardsville; 618-307-5858) will host the Edwardsville Spring Beer Festival and Ferguson Brewing Company (418 S. Florissant Road, Ferguson; 314-521-2220) will celebrate its second annual Brewfest.

The Edwardsville Spring Beer Festival will run from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. in Edwardsville City Park, and admission is free. Ferguson Brewfest will run from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m., so really you have no excuse not to attend both.

After the response to the Edwardsville Fall Beer Festival last November was so outstanding, Laura High, co-owner of Global Brew Tap House & Lounge, decided to make it a biannual event.

"The response has been so positive," High says. "Last year when we were planning, we had no idea what the response would be. Our goal was 300 people, and we had more than 1,500 in the first two hours. This year we're planning on a lot of people. We're doubling everything -- all the volunteers, all the food and all the beer -- this year."

The festival is free, but you can buy beer tickets to taste beers from twenty different craft breweries from across the U.S. Local breweries will also have selections there, of course. Edwardsville restaurants Bella Milano, the Cup, Cleveland-Heath, Bigelo's Bistro, 222 Artisan Bakery and Craft Chophouse will provide food for the event, but make sure you have cash on hand for them.

A portion of the proceeds from all food and drink sales will go to Hope Animal Rescues, an Illinois-based no-kill shelter.

"We have lots of different passions," High says, "so we're trying to spread the love around. We're all pet lovers, and it's really great when you can help out a cause that's near and dear to your heart."

Hope Animal Rescues will have dogs at the event, and visitors can apply to be fosters or to adopt. No dogs will be adopted from the event, as Hope likes to do thorough background checks for its pooches, but dogs make any event more fun.

High anticipates the lovely weather holding out for the event, but, she says, "if it's not gorgeous weather, we're just gonna get wet." As long as there's beer, man.

Global Brew Tap House & Lounge opened in Edwardsville two years ago, and High and her business partners (husband Ryan High and friend Ryan Lowe -- no joke!) recently opened another branch in O'Fallon. The bar has 50 beers on tap and another 200 in bottles, as well as a select stock of wine.

Global Brew also has a mobile brew van, which High describes as "the coolest ice-cream truck known to man." It's essentially a refrigerated truck with taps, so yeah, coolest ice-cream truck ever.

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