The fourth annual Mile High Brewfest is on the horizon - Saturday, June 20, to be exact - and it's a chance for beer and music lovers to have fun, while helping children in the community.
The Mile High Brewfest, founded by event coordinator Gillian Haley and Christian DeLeone, benefits the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Arizona. The clubs - located in Prescott and Prescott Valley - give parents affordable after-school and summer camp care for their children, said Kristen Kerns, the clubs' development coordinator.
"At the time, almost 5 years ago now, ... we were talking about how to raise money in the middle of the recession," Haley said, "and the idea was, instead of (an expensive gala), we decided to get a whole bunch of people to contribute a smaller amount."
Today, the concept has morphed into the Mile High Brewfest, which still is "one of the lowest-cost beer festivals in the state of Arizona," she said.
The cost to enter is $30 for tickets in advance (includes tasting tickets & souvenir tasting glass); day of the event, $35 (includes tasting tickets & souvenir tasting glass). Tickets are available online at www.milehighbrewfest.com.
Oh, what fest-goers get for that!
The event is from 1 to 6 p.m. in downtown Prescott on Cortez Street (moved there this year for more shade, Haley said) and the list of brewers, which started at 10 or 15, currently confirmed to attend includes:
Stella Artois, Goose Island, Shock Top, Lonesome Valley Brewing, Four Peaks Brewing Co., Founders Brewing, Sierra Nevada, Marble Brewery, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, Firestone Beer, Odell Brewing Co., Sleepy Dog Brewery, Coronado Brewing, Redhook, Widmer, Kona Brewing Company, Victory Brewing Company, Stone Brewing Company, Sonoma Cider, Lumberyard Brewing Co., Freak'N Brewing Co., Prescott Brewing Company, Sonoran Brewing Company, College Street, Deshutes, Lagunitas, Mudshark Brewery, Mother Road Brewing Company, Sun Up Brewing Company, Woodchuck Hard Cider, THAT Brewery, North Coast Brewing, Granite Mountain Brewing, and FunkWerks.
"And more are calling daily to sign up," Haley said, adding that all of the brewers from the tri-city area and Skull Valley will be there.
Participants can sample regional brews from across the Southwest while dining from Arizona food trucks and local cuisine and listening to some of the top bands from around the area.
The music is borne of returning acts:
Pick & Holler plays from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. (Blue Grass Country);
Alice Wallace, 3 to 4 p.m. (Folk Country); and,
Whiskey Kiss will be on stage from 4:30 to 6 p.m. (Rockabilly).
Haley said attendees in prior years have stated on surveys where they're from, with more than 50 percent coming from out of the Phoenix area. That helps the Prescott bed tax, puts people in the hotels, restaurants and bars, she said. "We close down early so local businesses can benefit too."
And, it's all for the kids.
Haley said the event is 100 percent volunteer with no promoter, with "100 percent of the proceeds going straight to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Arizona."
And, this year, to promote the event in a little bit different way, organizers have put together Facebook giveaways. To enter, visit the Mile High Brewfest page on Facebook, comment and share the event to be entered to win. The prizes: Arizona Diamondbacks tickets and "a really awesome barbecue donated by Lowe's," Haley said.
The event also is dog friendly, and there will be a taxi stand available thanks to Dial-A-Ride if anyone needs a way home, Haley said. They also will have face painting, a kid corner, and games.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Arizona focuses on four key areas: Academic Success, Healthy Choices, Character Development and Leadership, and Fun with a Purpose, providing youth with the tools they need to enjoy childhood and become successful adults, Kerns said.
Every year, hundreds of children and teens benefit from programs through the clubhouses and outreach services in the community. Kerns said the clubs' membership has topped 500 and 80 to 100 children visit the clubs' programs every day.
The money from the Brewfest enables Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Arizona "to be able to provide low-cost care - the most affordable after-school and summer day camps in the area," Kerns said.
"We're 100 percent community funded," she added.
For more information about the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Arizona follow them on Facebook: facebook.com/BGCCAZ or visit www.bgccaz.org.
- by Tim Wiederaenders, The Daily Courier