Festiv-Ale 2015: Good Drinks & A Great Cause Make For An Awesome Fest

Festiv-Ale 2015: Good Drinks & A Great Cause Make For An Awesome Fest


By Writing & Reporting Community Member Kristina Traxler

It’s hard to believe that Indiana is host to so many craft beer events when non-Hoosiers think it’s just a massive corn field. On October 3rd there was 14 events on the Indiana On Tap calendar happening in various cities around the state. Where do you even begin?

Something that caught my attention on this day was the Festiv-Ale Fundraiser supporting Indiana’s chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation sponsored by Big Red Liquors and HotBox. If you’re going to spend money on beer anyway, it doesn’t hurt to have a portion of the proceeds go to an awesome cause.

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that results in persistent lung infections and overtime limits the ability to breathe. At this time there is no cure. The goal of the foundation is to bring awareness as well as support to find new therapies to prevent progression of the disease and one day find a cure. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has put on this Festiv-Ale event since 2000. This year they were able to raise over $28,000 for the foundation on their webpage, which I don’t believe includes everything from the event itself. Dozens of local Indy businesses supported the silent auction which had everything from paintings to golf packages. I tried to get my hands on a Granite City craft beer package but was outbid and immediately regretted not bringing more cash.

The event took place for a solid 3 hours (or 4 if you were VIP) at the state fairgrounds. You know it’s a big deal when they have to hand you a map to navigate the 80+ booths. There was plenty of beer, wine, spirits, and food (probably enough to fill the entire fairgrounds). I was handed a tasting glass and a reusable shopping bag as soon as I walked in the door. Most of the breweries and vendors handed out their fair share of coasters, stickers, and koozies. My bag was full of freebies within the first hour. It was impressive to see so many businesses and volunteers donating both their time and merchandise to a great event.

Some of the highlights from my favorite Indiana breweries: 

  • Evil Czech’s General George Patton Pilsner – Mishawaka’s finest came to town with a kick. I have a lot of respect for a full flavored pilsner. This slightly hoppy brew with a crisp finish had a spicy pepper aftertaste that left me wishing my tasting glass was a little bigger. 
  • Metazoa Brewing’s Strong Scotch Ale – This creamy malt brew had hints of toffee and caramel which went perfect with my chocolate covered strawberry from The Melting Pot’s booth. 5% of the proceeds from Metazoa go to various animal sanctuaries; stay posted for their opening date this fall. 
  • Blind Owl Brewing’s Phantom Forest Oktoberfest – The fresh amber was an exceptional compliment to the fall day. It made me feel like I should be sitting by a fireside with this modest malt and dry finish brew. It also reminded me that I really need to check out the brewery itself which is now open on 62nd street. 
  • Indiana City’s Tribute Pale Ale – After much anticipation I was thrilled to finally try this newer release. This light-bodied pale ale had a full hop flavor that wasn’t too overpowering for my malt-lover self. It can be found in cans as well as on draft at their taproom. I also love the new graphics on the canning, doesn’t hurt to drink something that’s also nice to look at. 

As I look back at the way I spent my time on this busy beer weekend, I’m very happy with my choice to spent my night at the Festiv-ALE Cystic Fibrosis event. The Indiana Chapter’s headquarters is right here in Indianapolis, and there are plenty of ways to get involved. There’s donation opportunities, events such as the Guys and Dolls Gala they have on November 7th at the Hyatt, and volunteer positions. It’s satisfying to know that your money is going somewhere to make a difference. I plan to continue to raise my glass to this cause, and I can’t wait to see what next year has to offer. Cheers.

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