By Charly SHELTON
Last weekend saw the debut of the Montrose Food and Brewfest, hosted and organized by the Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce. Twelve breweries, one cidery and a wine shop came down to Montrose Shopping Park on Sunday afternoon to provide samples of their craft brews for eager attendees. For the ticket price of $50, or $60 with an extra preview hour, guests were given a 2 oz. shot glass emblazoned with the Montrose Food and Brewfest logo and invited to unlimited pours of some craft beers, both local, including Eagle Rock Brewery and Golden Road Brewing, and not so local, such as Coronado Brewery from Coronado, California and Rev. Nat’s Cidery from Portland, Oregon.
“The one thing that we did that’s different from most brew events,” said Melinda Clarke, executive director of the MVCCOC, “is that we paired these brews with food from the restaurants in Montrose, because we wanted to promote them and promote the area.”
Eateries from the area gave sample size plates to attendees to go with the brews, providing a taste of the local food scene as well as the local beer scene. Guests ate it up – no pun intended.
“It’s fantastic. Weather is a little warm but it’s a great new thing for the community,” said Mike Jarboe of La Crescenta. “It’s a great event, especially for some of the local restaurants to get out and [let us] try some little tasters from places we’ve never been and maybe go back and partake in some of their businesses.”
The weather was indeed warm, with a high of 93 degrees with humidity topping out at 68% according to weather.com. The crowd continued to enjoy themselves, however, undeterred by the heat.
Chelsea Lawrence of La Crescenta attended the event – and was ready for more.
“I want [this event] twice a year, because everybody likes beer,” Lawrence said.
“I love it,” agreed Tracy Kinder of Montrose. “I think it’s great for the community, and it’s a great idea to actually block off the streets a little more and have more community events. I think we should do [the Brewfest] once a month.”
The event was an unprecedented success, with attendance expectations surpassed.
The event was not only a success for the exhibitors and attendees, but for local organizations as well. Proceeds from the event benefitted Glendale Fire Dept., Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Dept. and Glendale Firefighter’s Club to help get the things that they need that are underfunded, said Clarke.
“All the brewers said that this was one of the most organized, best events that they have been to, very well set up, and they want to come back next year,” Clarke said. “They said that it’s a nice, kind of intimate event and actually a lot of the restaurant owners told a lot of the brewers they’re going to start carrying their [beers] here locally, which is good because we wanted to help the community of Montrose.”