Drink Up: 11th Annual Benz Beerfest returns to Cedar Rapids

Benz Beerfest
Over 200 beers will be available for tasting at Benz Beerfest. — image courtesy of Benz Beverage Depot

11th Annual Benz Beerfest 2015

Benz Beverage Depot — Saturday, May 9 beginning at 1 p.m.

The 11th Annual Benz Beerfest will offer Eastern Iowans the opportunity to take in the area’s booming craft beer scene this Saturday, May 9 starting at 1 p.m.

The Beerfest, which takes place outside Benz Beverage Depot (501 7th Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids), has grown from a modest tasting of 40 beers from its start, to a sprawling event that this year will include more than 200 different beers from 60 breweries and distributors.

Matt Hanlin, the general manager of Benz Beverage Depot, says that he is especially excited about the increased presence of Iowa breweries at the festival, which he attributes to the current craft beer renaissance and more consumers who are choosing to shop local.

“Each year we seem to add two to three Iowa breweries,” said Hanlin. “Just in the immediate area we will have representation from Lion Bridge, Big Grove and Turner Alley, along with Backpocket and Millstream.”

In addition to local beers, Hanlin says that there will be several beers available for tasting that are extremely difficult to find or exclusive to Beerfest. Lion Bridge has brewed its Trudy IPA especially for Beerfest, and Third Base Brewing will bring four beers that are unavailable in their Cedar Rapids taproom.

The event will feature live music will from Jordan Bruce and the Derelectics, and food will be available for purchase from Blend Event Services.

Tickets range from $20-$35 and can be purchased online or at Benz Beverage Depot. A special V.I.P. option is also available, which includes more beer tickets and early access to the festival. All proceeds from the event will benefit the American Heart Association.

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