Ithaca Brew Fest canceled
It's an end of summer treat for beer enthusiasts throughout the Finger Lakes, but this year, organizers of Ithaca's Brew Fest are taking a hiatus. Tamara Lindstrom tells us why and whether the festival is likely to return.
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ITHACA, N.Y. -- Drawing thousands of tasters down to the waterfront each summer, Ithaca's Brew Fest is an event with a purpose.
"One is to promote craft beer in general, the pairing of craft beer with food. And also to try to do more stuff down at Stewart Park. Show people that it's a great place to be doing events and we could be doing more in that location," said Dan Mitchell, Ithaca Beer Company owner.
For five years, the owner of Ithaca Beer Company organized the Labor Day weekend event, raising funds to help renovate the aging park.
"We not only put money into Stewart Park, but we also coordinated upwards of 150 volunteers that came over a course of a couple days. We started on the big pavilion. We got that all renovated and painted and organized painting on a couple older buildings," Mitchell said.
But this year, it's one festival Ithaca will do without.
"My fear is it won't be done properly and if you can't do it properly, don't do it. That's my thought," Mitchell said.
The project that's taken up the owner's attention this year is a brand new 15,000 square foot brewery and restaurant set to open this summer.
"A little off the beaten path, a little quieter. Much more of a farm setting. A much better welcome center for all the visitors that come see Ithaca beer," Mitchell said.
Plans include a beer garden, wood fired pizza pub and self-guided tours. An ambitious project that's pushed Brew Fest to a back burner, at least for the time being.
"It's so much fun that when you're asking about whether I would do it again, it's hard to automatically say no," Mitchell said.