Six years ago, the Rotary Club of Ketchum and Sun Valley hosted the first Sun Valley Brewfest. The modest event featured a dozen brewers in the Ketchum Town Square, and a couple hundred people stopped in to enjoy libations and festivities.
So far this year, more than three dozen brewers have registered to take part, and according to Brewfest Committee Chairman Holden Morgan, that number represents just one area in which the festival has expanded in the course of its short life.
“This year, we’re bigger and better than ever,” Morgan said. “We’re expecting about 1,500 people. About half come from the Sun Valley area—the rest come from all over. We get a really big spread of beer lovers from the intermountain region.”
Indeed, those with a Falstaffian streak will have plenty to look forward to this year as brewers, millers and zymurgists from throughout the Northwest congregate to share their wares.
Each participating brewery brings several products, meaning the festival will offer an impressive variety of beverages. Morgan estimated somewhere in the area of 150 unique beers and ciders to sample.
For the price of one ticket, every attendee will receive a commemorative pint glass and limitless tastings, at least assuming supplies last.
Those tickets purchased online will also provide the ticketholder with a free entry in this year’s raffle. Two winners will be selected to win either a two-night free stay for the 2020 Brewfest, courtesy of Alpine Lodging, or a 2019-20 Sun Valley Ski Pass.
Revenue from tickets—which go for $30 the day of the event or $25 in advance online—all goes to the Rotary Club to help fund its various philanthropic endeavors.
“The Brewfest is 100 percent run by volunteers, and 100 percent of all proceeds go to charities in the valley,” Morgan said.
Not only do the event organizers and operators donate their time to set up, manage and clean up after the event, but all the participating brewers attend without charging, donating man-hours, arranging their own travel and lodging and providing seas of beer.
In addition to the enticing plethora of beverages available, the Sun Valley Brewfest is a proper celebration. The city closes off East Avenue to accommodate the festival’s sprawling offerings, including music, food trucks and a number of games and activities, such as corn hole, hammerschlagen and ping-pong.
Raising money for charity is the primary objective of the Brewfest, but another aim is for people to have fun and springboard into summer.
“We want to get summer cranking,” Morgan said. “We really feel like it’s a kickoff for summer, a great community event.”
So, swing by Ketchum Town Square on Saturday, June 15 , between noon and 6 p.m. For more information or to buy advance tickets, visit sunvalleybrewfest.com.