Sell-Out Corn Maze Beer Fest Sets the New Standard

Sell-Out Corn Maze Beer Fest Sets the New Standard

maze1By Megan Banta & Kristina Traxler

What started as an idea sparked by some hard cider and spitballing turned out to be a one-of-a-kind beer festival we’re already looking forward to for next fall.

Imagine weaving through stalks of corn (over 5 acres to be exact–and with a handy map for those of us who rarely leave the house without opening Google Maps) and emerging in different open areas with multiple breweries and hundreds of other fellow beer lovers, and you have a glimpse of just one of the things that made Saturday’s Corn Maze Beer Fest a sell-out event.

“It was a mixture of the brewery (staff) kind of sitting down and talking after a long day of making some Legendberry (one of 450 North’s Gnarly Grove hard ciders),” Brad Brookbank, the official, unofficial festival founder said, when describing how the idea for the event started. “We looked out the back door at the corn field, and we were just like, “How cool would it be to go into a corn maze right now?’”

Add the interest and support of the 450 North Brewing Co. owners, David Simmons and Brenda Simmons, and what started as a crazy idea that was more of an inside joke became a reality after months (and months) of planning.

Brookbank said the organizers (including Indiana On Tap, their event partner for the festival) really were writing the book for the event, since it was the first of its kind.

Call them successful authors if you want, then, because from the maze itself, which sometimes turned you around but always got you to somewhere you’d want to be, to the set-up in each of the pods, the festival had a lot to love.

But the most important thing that made the festival great was, of course, the beer itself.

There were a variety of breweries, from the likes of ZwanzigZ, Powerhouse and Upland that didn’t have to drive too far, to others like Burn ‘Em, Tin Man and Noble Order who made the long trek to Columbus for the highly anticipated event.

And they brought some of their best, including ZwanzigZ’s Ghost Pepper Stout, and Burn ‘Em’s Double Imperial Cream Ale.

450 North itself did a special, one-day release — “Children of the Bourbon Barrel,” a Russian Imperial Barrel-aged Stout — for the event.

With its rich, creamy start and bold stout finish and the sweetness and strength of the aging process, the special brew went down smooth — almost dangerously smooth for 11% ABV. Thankfully, there were a wonderful variety of food trucks on hand to help those who heavily enjoyed it (and the other brews) in order to get their bearings to go back in the maze.

Our only complaint? Long bathroom lines (especially for those of us who can’t as easily go in a corn maze…not that it stopped us from doing so). But that’s an easily solved issue for next year.

The fun didn’t stop at 5 p.m. when the event technically ended, though.

There was an after party, open to the public and all ages, immediately following the event, which let you catch up with people who might have always been just a couple pods over while also enjoying live music, a screening of Children of the Corn and plenty of beer, wine and cider to go around.

Needless to say, we’re already waiting to get our tickets for next year (before it sells out like this year–nearly 2 weeks before the event). And if Indiana On Tap is involved, you know it will be bigger, better, and with more potential surprises around every (maze) corner.

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