Corkscrew & Brew 2019 Brings Craft Beer and Wine Back to Chesterton This March

Corkscrew & Brew 2019 Brings Craft Beer and Wine Back to Chesterton This March

by Mark E. Lasbury for Indiana On Tap

Craft beverages are a big thing in Northern Indiana. The craft beer industry has been around for several years up here, and the wineries/cideries/meaderies are even longer established. Most recently, the artisan distilling community in Northern Indiana has been growing as well, with Indiana Whiskey, 18th Street Distillery and others expanding the reach of craft spirits in this part of the state.

Toward the northwest, Plat 35 Brewery opened late in 2018 and The Chesterton Brewery is prepping for a 2019 opening, so this part of the state has embraced and is continuing to foster the growth of craft beverages. As such, it isn’t surprising that craft beverage festivals have popped up in the area as well, some of the being fairly well established now. This would include the 4th Annual Corkscrew & Brew in Chesterton.

Held on March 16th this year, the Thomas Centennial Park will again host this growing festival from 12pm – 4pm. Many local and regional breweries will be on hand to pour unlimited samples, but there is also a focus on wine, cider, and mead for this festival. No fewer than a half dozen vendors will be on hand pouring the products of fermented fruits and honey, giving this arm of craft beverages a strong place in Corkscrew & Brew – it’s even right there in the name.

image credit: Dig The Dunes

Corkscrew & Brew has grown each year it has been held, from just 150 attendees the first year, to well over 800 in 2018. Duneland Chamber of Commerce Marketing Director Beth Luncsford is happy for the growth, but doesn’t plan on this becoming a huge festival for fear of losing the intimate feel. She said, “We want to keep our event intimate. We’d like people to engage with the beer and wine vendors and have space to enjoy our beautiful Thomas Centennial Park.”

The park is certainly gorgeous, and having the festival there is doubly important as it is one of the beneficiaries of funds raised by the event. The park and the Duneland Chamber of Commerce use the funds raised by Corkscrew & Brew to pay for efforts to attract more businesses and tourists to Duneland and to maintain the park. These are worthwhile causes and craft beverage festivals are always a great way to raise money and awareness.

“Duneland” is an area of Porter County that encompasses Chesterton, Burns Harbor, and Porter – the home of Plat 35 Brewery. This area has been a summer recreation center for many areas of northern Indiana and Chicago for decades, and was a residential area for the steel industry for as long as the American steel companies were a big deal. The summers and falls still bring many tourists to town, but to promote the area to businesses and possible residents in the bleaker winter and spring months, the Duneland Chamber of Commerce has created these kinds of events. The festival’s a good idea for no other reason than it points out how good this region is with beer, wine, and spirits.

image credit: Duneland Chamber of Commerce

The set up for the festival will be the same as in years past, with vendor booths lining the curved walkways of the park. As you peruse the park trying out beers, you will be transported back in time with the old trees, the walkway, and of course the bandstand. The bandstand dates to 1924, and is one of the last original bandstands in the Midwest. Make sure to soak in the history of the park and the bandstand as you taste the craft beers and wines from the breweries and wineries.

Chesterton and Duneland region are making a come back after many years, thanks in no small part to the Chamber of Commerce. People should want to be a part of this region’s growth. The downtown has been revitalized, with additional shops and businesses coming in the last couple of years. The building of the Urschel Industries facility is an example of exactly the type of high tech business that they are looking to recruit. There is also a need for second north-south route to town; these are the things that Chamber of Commerce is working on.

The list of two dozen breweries and wineries pouring at Corkscrew & Brew is impressive to say the least. This year will be the first back for Hunter’s Brewing at the festival after pouring in 2016 and 2017, and Plat 35 Brewery from Porter will also be participating in their first festival since opening in late 2018. Heavy hitters like Burn ‘Em Brewing, 18th Street Brewery, Greenbush and Revolution will be joined by more neighborhood breweries like 10-56 and Fenwick Farms, as well as by more widely distributed Indiana breweries like Flat12, The Devil’s Trumpet, and MashCraft Brewing.

image credit. NWI Times

Leroy’s “Hot Stuff” Mexican Food will be on hand again this year for sustenance, and don’t worry about getting home. Corkscrew & Brew wants you to be responsible, so Epic Limo will be there offering free rides home anywhere in the 46304 zip code. What’s more, Epic will have a warming tent just in case the weather isn’t as warm as might be. Music will be provided by the Gerry Hundt Trio again this year.

Tickets for Corkscrew & Brew are available now (click here), with general admission tickets just $40 and designated driver tickets $10 (you still get the pint glass with a DD ticket). In line with keeping the festival intimate and engaging, tickets are limited and will go quickly, so it is suggested that you make your plans early. Call the Duneland Chamber of Commerce with questions: 219-926-5513.


Note: The Chesterton Brewery will not be open for business by the time of the festival, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn a lot about them and their mission. This is brewery by veterans for veterans. They are in the middle of a project with Hero Box Organization to collect items for care packages for deployed soldiers. The Chesterton Brewery will have an information booth at the festival where you can learn about them and drop off items.

The types of items they are looking to collect include food items such as Beef Jerky, Powder Drink Mix, Dried Fruit, Power Bar/Granola Bar, Microwavable Popcorn, Microwavable Cheesy Mac, Sunflower Seeds, Hard Candy, Twizzlers, Tuna Fish Packets, Instant Noodles, Soup Coffe, and Trail Mix. Hygiene items might include – Baby wipes, Hand sanitizer, Deodorant, Male/Female Body Lotion, Sun block, Toothbrush/paste/mouthwash, Feminine Hygiene products, Lip balm, Tissues, Throat lozenges, Eye drops, Body Powder, Tums, and Rolaids.

See here for more information.


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