Two annual events will be overlapping this Saturday downtown Warsaw, with one event providing an opportunity for adults to enjoy homebrewed beer while raising money for Combined Community Services, and the other event for everyone to celebrate diversity through food, performances and music.
One Warsaw’s Celebrating Us starts first. From 4 to 8 p.m., it will extend from City Hall across Center Street to the county courthouse lawn. A free event, there will be participating local businesses and organizations, foods from around the world, performances and music and activities for adults and children.
The 2023 Kettleheads’ Homebrew Fest goes from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday under the large tent in the 100 block of North Buffalo Street, Warsaw. Early bird tickets are $25 through the website at www.ccsgives.com/kettleheads2023, with tickets available at the gate for $35. All proceeds from the event go directly to CCS to continue offering vital assistance to the community, including food pantry services and utility assistance.
Jason Rich, Kettleheads president, said this is the 12th year for the Homebrew Fest, third year for it being downtown and the second year for it coinciding with Celebrating Us.
“We really enjoy the downtown venue as far as it’s very accessible. There’s lots to do around before and after the Fest because downtown has such vibrant businesses,” he said.
There will be around a dozen brewers offering over 30 samples of lagers, Belgian beers, ciders, IPAs, fruit beers, smoked beers, beers made with candy and stouts.
“The only thing we pour are things that we have made in our own kitchens or garages or yards. You will not drink these anywhere else except in that tent. Every year we get asked where they can buy a certain beer, but we have to tell them, ‘Sorry, what you’re drinking now is all you get,’” Rich said.
He is bringing several beers, including a couple he made with local connections. He made a stout with beans from Courthouse Coffee and a Belgian triple with oak that he soaked in the local distillery’s Streven’s Gevell Gin.
“Many of the brewers will debut beers here. There will be some familiar favorites from years past,” Rich said.
Ticket-buyers can sample as many of the drinks as they want. They also will get a tasting glass with the Kettleheads’ logo on it.
Kettleheads, the county’s only homebrew club, was formed in 2010, Rich said. They have members “from every walk of life, profession, brewing ability from rookie brewers to people who have been brewing for over 20 years,” he said. Over the years, they’ve raised over $80,000 for CCS with their motto “Brew Good, Do Good.”
Rich said the Kettleheads are proud to have Lewis Salvage again as the title sponsor of the Homebrew Fest. This is the second year Lewis Salvage has been the title sponsor. Maple Leaf Farms has been a significant contributor to the event, Rich said, since the beginning.
In a provided news release, CCS Executive Director Randy Polston said, “Kettleheads continue to work directly with CCS to impact many lives in Kosciusko County. It takes a village to make a difference and Kosciusko Kettleheads have continued to be a part of our village.”
Participants are reminded to have a designated driver and eat food.
For more information about the Homebrew Fest, visit the website at www.ccsgives.com/kettleheads2023.
If Homebrew Fest participants get hungry, there are downtown restaurants, but Rich said, “We are happy to have next to us the One Warsaw - Celebrating Us that will have some wonderful food trucks.”
Food vendors as of Monday will be Biryani Kitchen, Bomy’s Authentic Indian Food and Taco Jalisco, according to Travis McConnell, One Warsaw.
He also provided a tentative stage lineup for Celebrating Us, with Leo Patino as emcee.
At 4 p.m., Charles Cotton may play his saxophone, with clean comedian Bailey Hostetler as a back-up option. Ballet Folklorico dancing on the stage at 4:30 p.m. Diane Rogers brings her drum circle at 5 p.m., with Deb Collier’s School of Dance performing at 5:30 p.m. Singer and songwriter Marena Moonflower is scheduled for 6 p.m., followed by illusionist and comedian Kevin Long at 6:30 p.m. Rounding out the night’s entertainment will be “Family Feud,” hosted by Kelly Mager, from 7 to 8 p.m.
For kids, there will be inflatables to bounce around in. Warsaw Cricket Academy will offer demonstrations, and there will be a drum circle and dunk tank.
Over a dozen booths from local organizations will be on hand for people to check out.
One Warsaw is comprised of a group of individuals that “really care about celebrating all and know that we have to take action within our community to make a difference,” according to their website at onewarsaw.org. Their goal is to connect and share ideas, events and diversity initiatives in the community.
Celebrating Us is an opportunity to bring the community together while showcasing the diverse organizations that serve different groups throughout the county. The goal is to educate people about the resources present and available in the community.
For more about One Warsaw, visit their website at onewarsaw.org.