13 Nov First Annual La pour Brewfest More Than Worth The Drive
I was unsure of what to expect from a brew festival held in the recently renovated historic La Porte Civic Center. But I was curious enough that on November 7, 2015 I made the two and a half hour trek north to LaPorte, IN for the first annual La Pour Brewfest. The thought of sampling beers from breweries I do not get a chance to visit often, or ever, made the trip through rural Indiana seem shorter. That could also be attributed to me keeping mental notes of places I may want to visit in the future. I love driving through the country and finding restaurants and bars off the beaten path to visit. That is for another article though.
The La Pour Brewfest is an idea that was generated during the La Porte County Convention and Visitors Bureau meeting. It was headed by Brett Binversie and Thaddeus Cutler with the intent of raising money for the annual Maple City Grand Prix on Stone Lake. This race hosts tunnel boats that reach speeds of over 100 mph and drift in turns like the cars in the Fast and the Furious movie franchise. By creating La Pour, the council hoped the money raised would take some of the pressure off of asking local business for donations. This festival reminded me of Tax Man’s Death and Taxes release festival held this past summer. It was small, intimate, and allowed time to talk with the brewers and staff of the event.
The entry process was very well organized. There were several entry lines with a separate line for will call and day of purchase tickets. I had a VIP ticket at will call and waited less than five minutes for my wrist band, t-shirt, souvenir glass, and sample cup. The fest was held on a basketball court in the middle of the civic center and the layout was perfect for the space. Breweries lined three sides of the court and there were tables, water/soda carts, and rinse water stations placed in the middle of the hall for everyone’s convenience. There was live music being played on the stage in front of a large American flag. The entire scene was very inviting and left me with a relaxed and unrushed feeling to visit the brewer tables before they ran out of anything.
There were many other offerings at the event and I enjoyed many of them. If I took the time to write about every beer I had this article would be ten pages and no one will read all of that no matter how good the writing is. I suggest next year that you get over the concern of a long trip up north and possibly even get a hotel room in the area. There are several good breweries in the area and they are all worth visiting after La Pour is over. Why not make a weekend trip out of it and visit some of the great northern Indiana breweries that you may not under normal circumstances? Keep drinking great beer and talking about it. I know I will!