The Quad Cities’ first all homebrew festival is Saturday, July 18th from 2-6pm down in The District in downtown Rock Island. River’s Edge Homebrew Festiv-Ale will feature over 50 different beers brewed by 10-12 home brew clubs from around the Midwest. The brewers will be pouring their own beers, so attendees will be able to meet the ladies and gentlemen behind the craft and chat with them about their concoctions.
In addition to the brews the clubs are bringing, the festival will also have Reverse Collaboration beers to sample. Every year for QC Beer Week in May, the commercial breweries all host a group of home brewers to develop a recipe to make on a massive scale. This Reverse Collaboration had a brewer from each commercial brewery go and brew on a small-scale system.
Jason Parris, the event organizer, is also a local home brewer. As a member of River’s Edge Fermentation Society, one of the QCA’s local home brew clubs, Parris wanted to do something different and celebrate all the interesting and different beers that area home brewers are creating.
“It seems like there are a lot of great craft beer festivals already and not a lot of attention is brought to the home brew world.”
According to the Homebrewer’s Association, there are 1.2 million homebrewers in the nation and two-thirds of them developed the hobby after 2005; simply stated, it’s on the rise. What is also prevalent though, are all the legalities surrounding home brewing and having it available outside of the home it’s brewed in. Each state has different, often restricting laws regarding homebrewing; limits on how much one can brew, where and how it can be served, and no one can ever sell it for a profit.
Parris had to his own hurdles to jump when getting the liquor license worked out with the State of Illinois. Thankfully the City of Rock Island was very supportive of this event happening and being successful. Parris hopes to grow this inaugural event into an annual festival, highlighting a hobby that’s taken off in the country.
Tickets for the River’s Edge Festiv-Ale are $20 in advance here, which gets you entry, a sample glass, and 15 sample tickets, also the first 200 attendees get a pretzel necklace! If you wait ‘til the day of, tickets are $25 at the gate. Attendees must be 21.