It was a cool day to brew up some hot craft beer trends at the 7th Annual Blue Chip Brewfest. The event drew more than 1,800 ale and epicurean enthusiasts to the Stardust Event Center at Blue Chip Hotel Casino Spa on Saturday, April 8.
The annual fest has more than tripled in size since its inception, growing from 30 breweries and 125 beers to now nearly 90 breweries and more than 300 custom brews, said Jack Elia, Assistant General Manager at Blue Chip Casino.
“It’s giving our customers and people the ability to taste all these different beers that are out there at one event,” said Elia. “It’s pretty special.”
The highlight event was the Brewmaster luncheon with guest speaker Laura Bell, CEO of Bell's Brewery, at 11:30 a.m. The four-course luncheon featured dishes prepared by Blue Chip Executive Chef Larry Donahue and expertly paired with select Bell's beers. The guests then moved into the VIP event that featured Dogfish Head Brewery with their impressive lineup of craft beers that included the 120 Minute IPA 2009, the World Wide Stout 2010, Palo Santo Marron Imperial Brown 2014 and the Fort Strong Ale 2015, all fine ales that grow better with age.
The Allen Wronko country band played to the buoyant crowd while they traveled from booth to booth to sample some of their favorite brews as well as some new flavors.
“The photo booth was non-stop as people were having a great time eating food from the Blue Chip food truck and munching on pretzel necklaces,” said Elia.
Aside from the VIP and General Admission tickets, Blue Chip also sold a designated driver ticket.
“Our designated drivers were not forgotten as we had a dozen different varieties of non-alcoholic soda and water to drink all day,” said Elia. “We make it a fun time for everyone.”
A silent auction that included unique items from breweries and sports paraphernalia raised nearly $5,000 for United Way.
“It will be bigger next year because the response has just been incredible,” said Elia. “We have a ton of commitments from the brewers that were here. It’s a great event for our guests and the breweries that we look forward to each year.”