Wednesday, April 30th, 2008
First-time festival to give sampling of 75
By Margie Wuebker
MINSTER - Visitors to Bock and Rock will not find Busch, Coors, Bud or Pabst on tap when this event billed as "A Beer Tasting Experience" takes place May 31 at Four Seasons Park.
The first-time event, a fundraiser for the Minster Civic Association and Minster-Jackson Township Fire Department, will feature 75 beers to sample, including imports, microbrews and craftbrews.
Committee member Shawn Sharp likens the event to wine tasting with participants having an opportunity to experience new varieties.
Organizers worked with Cavalier Distributing of Cincinnati to cut the available field from 630 to just 75. Roughly one-third of the offerings are German in nature with English ales, Belgian products and American craft beers rounding out the smorgasbord of brew.
"We wanted a lot of good, select beers," fellow committee member Jim Stubbs told Minster Civic Club members Tuesday night. "And we came up with some really interesting ones."
The first pour takes place at 4 p.m. with those plunking down the $20 admission fee receiving a 4- to 5-ounce tasting glass, 15 tickets to redeem for samples and beer-tasting information. Only those 21 and over will be admitted and issued wristbands
"Four to 5 ounces is enough to get a good feel for what a beer tastes like," Stubbs said.
Additionally, four draft beers will be on tap including three of Minster's own varieties - Wooden Shoe Lager, Wooden Shoe Bock and the new Stallostown Wheat. Rounding out the quartet is North Coast Red.
Designated drivers and others not drinking will pay a $5 admission fee entitling them to a commemorative sampling glass and bottled water.
"Delimit" performs at 8 p.m. with local musicians Chet Gigandet, Justin Gusching and Matthew Sommer appearing on stage. There is no additional charge for the entertainment.
Firefighters plan to serve hamburgers, brats, hot dogs and assorted non-alcoholic beverages.
The idea for such an event came from an annual party attended by committee members Andy Phlipot, Marc Pelletier, Dale Dahlinghaus, Sharp and Stubbs. Many of them brew their own beer from time to time and then meet for sampling.
They also attend beer tasting festivals like the Ale Fest, an event at Carrillon Park in Dayton drawing thousands of visitors annually with more than 300 offerings on the menu. Closer to home, hundreds of people came to St. Henry to sample 50 different varieties. The latter event has outgrown the hall originally used with planners moving outdoors this year.
The committee, which has received endorsements from local village councilors, plans to rent a pair of 40-by-80-foot tents. However, Stubbs pointed out that rain and even thunderstorms seldom deter beer-tasting aficionados.
"Rain poured during the Ale Fest and people used water running off the tents to rinse out their sampling glasses," he added. "They are a hardy group of individuals."
Committee members have pulled all the details together in a matter of months, receiving permission from the village to use the local park and applying for a required liquor permit. They even designed a colorful logo showing a horned goat and a guitar-strumming musician.
Pelletier explained most people know bock is a kind of beer. However, the word means goat in German so that's how the four-legged critter ended up being part of the design.
Newspaper stories earlier in the planning phase sparked considerable interest and the Web site www.bockandrock.com has drawn more than 1,000 hits in just three weeks.
"This could end up being an awesome event and a good fundraiser for both the civic association and the fire department," Sharp said. "And we expect a crowd."
Getting the necessary manpower for the event is now a prime concern with association President Mark Prenger announcing he would be sending out sign-up sheets. Help is needed for setup, on the grounds May 31 and for cleanup.