The first CarbondALE Microbrew and Music Fest will kick off family weekend Saturday at Hangar 9.
Leah Stover, Carbondale Main Street lead event coordinator, said the beer-inspired bash is a way to promote the area’s growing microbrew and craft brew industry.
Stover said only independent breweries were invited to the event, including Crown Valley Brewing, Big Muddy Brewing, Von Jakob, Schlafly and 4 Hands Brewing Co., because of their popularity in southern Illinois.
“We got (Schlafly) to be the main craft brew sponsor because for St. Louis, where Budweiser is out of, they’ve become huge,” Stover said. “Schlafly has taken the Midwest by storm.”
Beer tasting will take place from 3 to 5 p.m., and music will begin immediately after until 10 p.m.
The three bands at the festival are local acts Sam West and Andy Novara, The Mudsills and Whistle Pigs.
Mayor Joel Fritzler is set to tap a firkin — a gravity controlled keg — so there will be plenty of brew left for the remainder of the festival.
“We decided that he would be the best person to tap the firkin,” Stover said. “He basically goes up, and you kind of just hit it and beer just comes pouring out.”
She said Fritzler was an easy choice because he’s a face everybody can recognize, and the point of the event is to bring people together from all parts of the city.
Fritzler said he needs to prepare for the event because he wouldn’t want anything to go wrong.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “I need to get my mallet out and start practicing because you really need to make sure you hit the tap square into the keg. Otherwise, you’ll spray a lot of beer around.”
Other activities include a washer and bags tournament with a prize, a photo booth and food from Dogz on Wheels and 17th Street BBQ.
Meghan Cole, executive director of Carbondale Main Street, said Main Street can focus more on the activities to make the night more enjoyable because Hangar 9 will play such a big role in the liquor sales.
“They kind of handled a lot of the alcohol sales and the beer tent, so that’s a big stress off of us,” Cole said. “We can concentrate more on the games and activities and the fun side of it, so it has been a great partnership working with Hangar 9.”
Cole said there is a good chance the CarbondALE Microbrew and Music Fest can become an annual event, much like the Friday Night Fair or the Carbondale Rocks Music Revival Festival, if it can draw enough people and there is a high enough demand for another similar event.
“I’d love to see this continue,” Cole said. “It’s been a very fun and kind of young and hip event for us to plan.”
Tickets are $10 for students or alumni with proper I.D. Otherwise, entry will cost $15 and comes with five beer tasting tickets, which totals to approximately 40 oz., Stover said.
“It’s parents weekend,” Stover said. “So come on students. If your parents are here, have your parents pay for you. Bring them because it’s a fun thing to do.”