A toast—to the success of the second Lansdale Beer Fest.
It’s official—June 25 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the fenced-in grassy area adjacent to Madison parking lot is where the Lansdale 2011 Beer Tasting Festival will take place.
The public safety committee unanimously approved the festival at its meeting Wednesday and council is expected to officially vote on it in two weeks.
This year, the goal is to raise $25,000, with Lansdale Library and Manna on Main Street as the main beneficiaries.
“Last year, we had what we estimate to be about 950 in Madison parking lot under a 50 by 120 tent,” said Lansdale Beer Fest Committee head Drew Stockmal, who presented the plans with co-commiteemen Ray Liberto and borough council candidate Steve Malagari.
“We want to cap it at 1,500 people this year. The space is about 10 times the size of what we used last year,” Stockmal said.
Stockmal told the committee they moved the Beer Fest from the parking lot to the fenced-in area bounded by Third Street, Richardson Avenue, Second Street and Mill Alley at the suggestion of Lansdale Police Chief Robert McDyre.
“The suggestion from Chief McDyre last year was a great one,” Stockmal said. “We’re expecting a bigger event. We are getting a lot of really good feedback, and we have to start to look at changing how we did it.”
The event will start at 12:30 p.m. with a special one-hour premier tasting event featuring specially-catered food and beer.
“We are trying to attract the true beer connoisseur who’s willing to pay a little extra and get a better experience,” Stockmal told the committee. “We’re expecting to have 300 in the first hour and the remainder of 1,200 at 1:30 p.m.”
Those who wish to take advantage of the special hour must buy a $70 ticket.
According to the website, the premier ticket will provide attendees a chance to meet brewers in an intimate setting to discuss the beers and get a head start on the rest of the crowd.
Premier guests also get specialty and reserved beer selections, complimentary food pairings, a 10-ounce mug and an engraved event bottle opener.
Regular admission tickets are $35 and $45 at the gate on the day of the event.
Regular admission gives you access to more than 50 brewers and more than 100 selections with unlimited samples.
(At the end of the article is a list of and links to all brewers expected at the event.)
Stockmal said the event will be cut down by 45 minutes this year to a three-hour event.
“At 4:30, the beer stops flowing, and by 5 p.m., everyone is ushered home or to Molly’s or somewhere other than that space,” he said. “We personally escorted one gentleman home with our own funds through Lansdale Cab. Other than that, it was a really good event.”
Committee chair Mike Sobel joked that the Beer Fest Committee should make sure “the no vacancy sign is lit up over there.”
Committee member Mary Fuller amusingly asked if people could bring sleeping bags to stay for the Smoke Daddy’s Barbecue fest taking place the next day at the same location.
Stockmal said the fest committee has hooked in with the borough’s insurer, Univest. He said the $1,200 policy is good for one day, and it insures the borough for $5 million.
While Lansdale police will have manpower at the event, Stockmal said they will have four off-duty Whitemarsh Police officers there for back-up.
“With 1,500 people, we thought it might be a good idea to have extra security there,” Stockmal said. “They are close friends with Ray and myself that we grew up with. Those guys know how to handle the situation much better than us.”
There will be live music and a DJ. The committee will tap in to the borough’s electric from Richardson Avenue. Stockmal said they would also be borrowing a borough-owned soundboard.
Stockmal told the public safety committee that his committee will perform some upkeep to the area of the event, including repairs and landscaping.
“There’s some areas that need some upkeep, and we don’t mind doing it ourselves,” he said. “We just wanted to make sure the borough was aware of that. There’s some holes in the fence that need to be reinforced, and we just want to make sure that the entire area is enclosed as much as possible.”
He said it isn’t so much having people sneak in, as it is having people wandering around the residential area.
“It abuts up to a residential area, and we just don’t want them to leave the area,” he said. “There’s plenty of space for people to roam.”
Stockmal said they are reaching out to the neighbors on Richardson Avenue to let them know the details of the event.
The Beer Fest Committee wants to put a banner across Main Street to advertise the event, and Stockmal said he hopes the insurer will be able to add something to the policy to allow that in time for the event.
Mayor Andy Szekely said, in his experience with the symphony, all the insurance company would do is put on a rider, and then that rider gets sent to the electric department and PECO.
McDyre said public works would have more details on permits dealing with anything on Main Street.
The big issue with the event is the entrance and parking. The Beer Fest Committee is not sure where the entrance would be just yet, due to the construction in the Madison parking lot as part of the borough’s streetscape project.
“We hope to run the entrance off the Madison Street lot, as long as the area is free,” Stockmal said. “It’s not a terrible spot. It’s just there’s big mounds right now, and I don’t know if the construction equipment wil be sitting there on the weekend. Obviously, we don’t want to have people either going toward or near the area if it’s under construction.”
McDyre said the entrance should never change, and hopefully public works can get stone down and grade out the entrance.
Committee member Matt West suggest putting up orange snow fencing on either side to block off areas off-limits.
Liberto echoed that idea.
“On the grass, as you come down the alley, before you go up the other alley that takes you to the field, if you orange fence the grass and zone that off, that would be the best bet,” Liberto said.
Another option is to bring people in from Richardson Avenue.
“That will be tough,” McDyre said, “but I’m sure that will be open. I think they will be at that point paving the road by then. They are ahead of schedule.”
As far as parking, McDyre said public works director Jake Ziegler would know better if vendors can park in the lot near the water tower off Richardson Avenue.
“Century Plaza has been very cooperative,” said McDyre, regarding another area of parking.
This year, expect to have nearly triple the amount of port-a-pottys: 15 versus six from last year.
“You’d think the people selling the stuff would know,” said Stockmal. “(Last year) I said, ‘Here’s what I’m having. How many do we need?’ They did the math. ‘Well, they’re drinking beer.’ ‘OK. You need six.’”
Stockmal said Eventquip, of Lansdale, will put up tents on the Thursday prior.
“There’s no issue with the Planned Parenthood building or the beautiful, graffiti freightyard, and we are trying to make sure we put tents there so it feels like an enclosed area,” Stockmal said. “They will feel like they are in the middle of some rural area. It’s going to be very nice. We’re very excited about it.”
Sobel and West said word has spread and is spreading about the event.
“What we’re trying to do,” Stockmal said, “is really push the Lansdale-Doylestown line as much as possible. Take the train here. There’s no reason to think about driving.”
The public safety committee was pleased to hear of Manna and the library being the beneficiaries.
“We’re glad to have the event back,” said Fuller.
Stockmal said the festival began as an idea of bringing something fun to Lansdale.
“We wanted to do something for the local community,” he said.
Here are the brewers, including homebrewers, expected at Lansdale Beer Fest:
- AB InBev
- Anchor Brewing Company
- Appalachian Brewing Company
- Bear Republic Bewing
- Boon Lambics
- Boxcar Brewing Company
- Brauerei Aying (Ayinger)
- Dock Street Beer
- Founders Brewing Company
- Great Lakes Brewing Company
- Hometown Beverages
- Ithaca Beer Company
- Lagunitas Brewing Company
- Lindemans Brouwerij
- Long Trail Brewing Company
- Magic Hat Brewing Comapny
- Manayunk Brewery
- Penn Brewery
- Prism Brewing Company
- Redhook/Widmer Brewing Company
- River Horse Brewing Company
- Rogue Ales
- Round Guys Brewing
- Samuel Smith Old Brewery
- Sly Fox Brewing
- Stella Artois
- Stoudts Brewing Company
- Troegs Brewing Company
- Victory Brewing Company
- Wells & Youngs Brewing
- Weyerbacher Brewing Company
- Yards Brewing