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Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

A taste of the homeland will get everyone rocking

By Margie Wuebker
MINSTER - Another festival is brewing on the horizon after Minster Civic Association representatives received the official go-ahead to host a beer-tasting event featuring 75 different varieties on tap.
"Bock to Rock" will take place May 31 from 4 to 11 p.m. at Four Seasons Park with organizers intending the first-time event to become an annual festival.
Shawn Sharp, an association member and one of the organizers, told Minster councilors Tuesday night the planning phase has taken nearly two years with everything falling into place over the course of recent months.
"I think this is a good lead into summer," the local dentist added. "We plan to have plenty of big name German beer, which a lot of us consider the real deal."
Organizers have been working with a Cincinnati distributor and whittling down 625 available varieties to just 75 including imports, microbrews and crafts. Roughly one-third of the offerings will be German.
Plans call for visitors to pay an admission fee entitling them to a designated number of samples with the option to purchase more.
"The hard part has been coming up with small-town pricing," Sharp told The Daily Standard. "Tickets for ale-testing events in Dayton cost $35 to $40, but we envision a considerably lower price."
The group is considering a policy allowing designated drivers to enter without charge. Non-alcoholic beverages would be available for purchase throughout the event.
Although admission prices have not been determined as yet, organizers plan to finalize an agreement with a band later today.
The Minster-Jackson Township Fire Department has come on board with plans to handle food service. The firefighters are well-known for their metts, brats, frankfurters and kraut served at the annual Minster Oktoberfest each fall. Although the menu has not been finalized, Sharp expects traditional Bavarian fare to be included.
Council approval allows the civic association to seek a needed beer permit for the one-day event and extends park hours to midnight with music ending at 11 p.m.
Initial plans suggested placing a 40-by-100-foot tent at the rear of the parking lot. However, councilors suggested locating it elsewhere might provide more room for parking. Temporary electrical service will be installed by the village with more permanent utilities considered if the event grows in successive years.
Like the Oktoberfest, a beer drinking area must be designated. Village administrator Don Harrod suggested snow fence as a possibility. The Oktoberfest, which draws thousands of people to Minster Machine Centennial Park each year, uses streets bordering the north and south park area as parameters.
"Everybody asks how many people we expect," Sharp said. "We know a similar event last year in St. Henry had such a huge turnout that organizers are looking for a bigger place. Our distributor indicated a tasting event with just four beers drew 400 people at Jungle Jim's in the Cincinnati area."
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Civic Association's various philanthropic projects including the community, local schools, the fire department, Minster Area Life Scouts and local Scout troops.
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