Screw City Beer Festival draws 2,000 to downtown Rockford - – Rockford’s News Leader

Third Annual Screw City Beer Festival draws 2,000 to downtown Rockford

Tapping into your inner brew-master didn't take too much effort today in Rockford. In it's third year, the Screw City Beer Festival drew in 2,000 guests, and a lot of brewers too.

Some are using festivals like this to replace some old favorites no longer in the area.

"This event was geared around the idea that Rockford needs a beer event. we needed to do something fun, unique and no one's done it yet. so let's get together and make it happen," says  Chris Wachowiak, Screw City Beer Festival Co-Coordinator

Three years later, the resulting Screw City Beer Festival is gaining momentum, attracting brewers from all over the country, and their customers.

"The nice thing about this is you're building community, the craft beer crowd is a community, it's an association of bonded people that have like interests, that like to try interesting new things," says Wachowiak.

But being a craft beer expert is not a requirement for entry. However tickets are, if you were luck enough to get one. They sold out four days ago.

For $25, each ticket holder got to sample their choice of 130 craft beers from all over the country.

"it's something different, a chance to bring a lot of people together and good for the downtown area."

This was the first summer Rockford has gone without its 'On the Waterfront' festival in nearly 30 years. The event would have been held last weekend, had it not have been canceled.  

"We really miss On the Waterfront, we loved On the Waterfront and so we were disappointed when intended and so this for us kind of replaces On the Waterfront," says Kim Foreman, a festival-goer.

After sampling all the stouts, IPAs, and lagers, Screw City Beer Festival organizers made sure its patrons got home safely. A designated driver company was on hand giving rides for just $10.

Live music was  new this year to the festival. But the size of the event will always remain the same. Organizers say limiting tickets sales to only 2000 makes for a more intimate setting.

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