Kosciusko Kettleheads’ motto is “brew good, do good,” and with Homebrew Fest 11, they’ll continue to do just that.
It is Sept. 24, from 5 to 9 p.m., on Buffalo Street downtown Warsaw, with all proceeds benefitting Combined Community Services.
“We have a big tent. Your purchase price – which is basically a donation – gets you a tasting glass and access to dozens of locally made beers and ciders. As much as you want to try,” said Jason Rich, president of the Kettleheads.
Tickets are $25 online and $35 at the gate. The online link can be found at CCSgives.com or through the website at https://checkout.square.site/buy/6OWOK3WRAWTF2OALMLRJMREC.
In the last 10 years, Rich estimates that the Kettleheads have raised around $60,000 for CCS.
“We have this ability to make beer and ferment things, which is a great and terrible hobby at the same time, but our motto is ‘brew good, do good.’ If you have a skill, especially if it’s one you really like, then see if you can put it to some good use. So, that’s what we all do and so once a year we brew things that we normally brew, or normally wouldn’t brew; some things that we really know we like to do well or things we want to make that are special and serve it at this. It’s just great fun seeing people … and pour them beer. It’s more fun than anything,” Rich said.
This year, there’s going to be several stouts, IPAs, lots of Belgian beers and lots of flavored beers.
“There’s at least one of our members who likes to see how much candy he can cram into a beer,” Rich said.
There will be very light beers and very heavy dark beers and more. “It runs the gamut. There’s not just one style or kind of beer. There’s absolutely everything, and there’s about three dozen of them,” Rich said.
This year is a little different because HopLore and Ledgeview breweries also will be on hand with some of their offerings.
“They’ve made some Octoberfest-style beers that they’ll be pouring along with us, and all those guys started out as home brewers, too, and now they have their own breweries. It’s going to be great fun pouring alongside those breweries,” Rich said.
CCS Community Outreach Coordinator Kiira Churchill said the title sponsor for this year’s Homebrew Fest is Lewis Salvage. There’s also sponsorships from Maple Leaf Farms, Crossroad Bank, Blue Note Design, The Spectacle Shoppe and Dr. Michael Lyons with Parkview.
She said having the sponsors is a huge help “because then when people come to the gate to pay for their entrance, 100% of that money goes toward CCS as a donation.”
The money raised will probably go toward a mix of needs at CCS, Churchill said.
“Right now, we’re seeing the highest numbers that we’ve seen even during COVID times, and so the need is great in our food pantry, the need is great in our utility assistance. So we help with offsetting the cost of NIPSCO, REMC, LP Gas we’ll even help in some circumstances,” she said. “In August alone, we saw 651 households served in our food pantry, and, to date, we’re a little over $22,000 that we’ve helped in utilities thus far.”
Churchill said some of the families seeking assistance are reporting inflation as playing a huge role in that, but there’s also families who are under-employed, circumstances such as medical needs they may be facing or a combination of factors.
“People are having to choose: Do I buy groceries this week, or do I pay rent? Do I pay utilities or do I get dog food? There’s many things they’re having to choose or give up,” she said.
Money raised through the Homebrew Fest will be a big help for CCS to help others, she said.
“The Fest has expenses and us brewers donate all the beer. That’s a lot of grain, a lot of ingredients, but there’s still expenses of a tent and glassware and other things, so we’re really grateful to the sponsors for helping us defray the costs of those things,” Rich said.