Let it pour

Brewers’ Bazaar to roll out barrels of craft brews for beer lovers

By ERIK SANDIN – Stillwater Gazette

When the Stillwater Sunrise Rotary Club decided to hold just one annual fundraiser, they went big.

And that means the club’s sixth annual Brewers’ Bazaar set for noon to 4 p.m. May 19 on the Avalon riverboat could be it’s biggest craft beer-tasting event.

"This is the only fundraiser we do for the year," said Bill Miller, Sunrise Rotary co-chairman. "This is the first year we are expected to sell out."

Because the Avalon’s capacity is 750 people, Miller said the club has capped ticket sales at 700.

"Usually with 700 people on the boat, people can move around," he said.

Brewers’ Bazaar tickets are $30 in advance and can be purchased online at www.BrewersBazaar.com, in the Lift Bridge Brewery taproom or from Sunrise Rotary Club members.

"Tickets are still available, but they’re going fast," said Sunrise Rotary President Ken McKinley. "If any are left, they’ll be available at the door, but for $40."

Ticket buyers also get a free Pilsner glass and a bratwurst, given at the Avalon and can buy $10 raffle tickets.

Miller said that along with the individual ticket sales, bazaar organizers are also seeing strong corporate sales.

Those attending the event will hear music by "The Thundermen" and enjoy free samples from August Schell, Brau Brothers, Finnegans, Flat Earth, Fulton, Lake Superior, Lift Bridge, Lucid, Midwest Supplies Home Brewing, Olvalde Farm & Brewing, Rush River, St. Croix Valley Homebrewers, Staples Mill Brewing, Still-H2O, Summit, Surly, The Herkimer and Bass Lake Cheese Factory.

"We’ve got our old standards," Miller said about the participating craft breweries.

Miller said the Brewers’ Bazaar is held on the same weekend as the Spring Art Fair in Lowell Park on purpose.

"With the art fair, there’s for both sides of families," he said.

In fact, Miller said he is surprised by how the event has grown since its debut at The Water Street Inn six years ago.

"It’s a group thing. We started six years ago and people thought we were crazy," he said.

It’s a different story now, according to Miller.

"We just had a hard time finding craft brewers," he said. "Now they’re coming out of the woodwork."

If You Go

What: Sunrise Rotary Club 6th Annual Brewers’ Bazaar

When: noon to 4 p.m. May 19

Where: Avalon riverboat

Cost: $30 in advance, $40 at the door if tickets are available. Purchase at www.BrewersBazaar.com; Lift Bridge Brewery taproom or from Sunrise Rotary members. Ticket buyers receive a free Pilsner glass and bratwurst aboard the Avalon.