21st Annual Garden City BrewFest Among Events to Kick Off Spring in Missoula

The Missoula Downtown Association will host the 21st Annual Garden City BrewFest this Saturday, May 4 from 12-8pm in Caras Park. This annual event draws 6,000 attendees to sample 70 beers and 12 wines. It is one of the many exciting events taking place in Downtown Missoula this weekend to celebrate Spring.

The monthly First Friday art walk kicks off the weekend at various downtown venues 5-8pm on Friday evening. Starting at 8am on Saturday, vendors at the Clark Fork River Market (near the Higgins Ave Bridge) and Missoula Saturday Market (East Pine St.) showcase their spreads of local goods for the first time since October. Across town at the Flying H Stables, 5,000 runners will race in the Color Me Rad 5k benefitting the Zootown Arts Community Center. The Missoula Downtown Association welcomes participants in these events to join in the festivities at Caras Park for Garden City BrewFest.

Admission is free, but those who want to try the beverages must purchase a 7-ounce commemorative glass, a wristband and two beer tokens for $12. Additional tokens are $1 each. Live entertainment will be provided by three Missoula bands: The Hasslers (12-2:30pm), Shakewell (3-5:30pm) and The BoxCutters (6-8pm).  The BoxCutters and The Hasslers are coming off big wins at the 2013 Zoo Music Awards and this is the first time these exceptional local musicians will play at BrewFest.

This year’s BrewFest is sponsored by Flathead Lake Brewery, the Top Hat Lounge, Bayern Brewing, the Trail 103.3, Missoula Independent and Montana Headwall.

Garden City BrewFest Logo

“This is a great annual event to showcase new beers from accomplished brewers across our region,” said Ellen Buchanan, chair of the BrewFest Committee and Director of the Missoula Redevelopment Agency. “Missoulians are proud of our craft beer businesses and we celebrate their contributions to our state each year at this fun event.”

BrewFest will once again be part of Missoula Craft Beer Week – a variety of events to celebrate the microbrew industry in the Garden City.  Ryan Newhouse of MontanaBeerFinder.com and Alan McCormick of GrowlerFills.blogspot.com have put months of work into planning a full slate of events and the schedule can be found online at www.missoulabeerweek.com.

The Zoo City Zymurgists, Missoula’s local home-brew club, will be judging the beers again this year and presenting awards to the top brews. The club will also be offering samples of its community brew contest’s winning beer.

Approximately 150 individuals volunteer to staff this event, and most of the volunteers come from MDA member businesses. Many of them have been volunteering at this event for nearly 10 years.

“We are so lucky to have a dedicated group of Missoulians who pitch in to help MDA produce large events like BrewFest and Roots Fest that draw thousands to our Downtown,” said Todd Frank, Board President of the Missoula Downtown Association. “The MDA’s success lies squarely on its ability to attract and retain exceptional volunteers committed to the mission of this non-profit organization that does so much for Missoula.”

Food will be provided by the Sentinel Kiwanis – offering brats and pizza as an annual fundraiser for the club – plus El Cazador, Vietnam Noodle, Lil’ Orbits and Kornutopia. Soda, water and t-shirts will also be on sale.

Mountain Line will operate FREE all day and U-Dash will transport riders to and from the University area. Attendees should have a safe departure plan made in advance to avoid drinking and driving.

For more information, visit www.missouladowntown.com or call the MDA office at 543-4238.

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