Beer enthusiasts from all over Northwest Indiana traveled to Blue Chip Casino and Spa in Michigan City on Saturday for the 7th annual Blue Chip Brewfest.
Over 2,000 people attended the event and were privy to over 80 breweries, including Figure Eight Brewery, Dogfish Head Brewery, Bell’s Brewery, and more and featured over 300 different types of beer.
“The Brewfest started about seven years ago when we kind of jumped on the craft beer craze, which hasn’t died in seven years and I don’t see it dying any time soon,” said Jack Elia, Assistant General Manager of Blue Chip Casino. “It’s a great way to have people taste different beers and experience what’s going on out there in the brewery business.”
The event featured three different packages that beer enthusiasts could buy: the general admission into the main tasting event with over 80 breweries, the VIP package that included admission in the Dogfish Head Brewery tasting and early admission to the tasting event, and finally, the Brewmaster package, which featured a luncheon with the owner of Bell’s Brewery, Laura Bell.
Bell’s Brewery was founded 32 years ago and is the country’s seventh largest brewery. It has been in attendance at the Blue Chip Brewfest for the past seven years and for Bell, it’s always a fun and exciting day.
“We do so many different kinds of brewfests in so many different places so it’s always really cool to see the local flare of each community,” Bell explained. “Plus, you get to meet so many cool people and we get to hear about their experiences with our beer in their own community.”
The main tasting event began at 1:00 pm and when patrons began making their way to the local and out-of-town breweries, the brewmasters were ready with delicious and unique beers. Jazmin Lennon has been with Dogfish Head Brewery for a few years, but this is her first time representing the company at the Blue Chip Brewfest.
“It’s really fun to get out and talk about our beers and see how people respond to our product,” Lennon explained. “It’s always great to see positive affirmation and see people enjoy the beer, come back, and tell us we’re a great brewery.”
Thousands of people walked from vendor to vendor trying an assortment of drinks, from porters to ales to even a few ciders and were entertained with live music from the Allen Wronko Band. For many, it’s an annual tradition to come out to the casino and taste new and old favorites.
“I’ve been coming to the Brewfest since they first started it seven years,” said Zach S. from La Porte. “I’m a big beer person, so this is a great chance to come out and try some different and new drinks.”
The Blue Chip Brewfest is a great way for beer lovers to taste new and exciting beers, but it’s also a way for the casino to give back to the community every year through the United Way of La Porte County, a charity that benefits and creates opportunities for people in need.
“A lot of the breweries donate things to us, and we sell glassware, t-shirts and speciality items, plus the silent auction we do in the main tasting event,” Elia explained. “It’s just one of our charitable contributions that we do every year and all of those proceeds go to the United Way of La Porte.”
It was another successful Brewfest at Blue Chip Casino and Spa, with thousands of beer lovers enjoying their drinks and the beautiful weather. And with their contributions all going towards a great cause, everyone was able to raise a glass and say, “Cheers!”
For more information about Blue Chip Casino and Spa, go to www.bluechipcasino.com.