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Wisconsin Breweries Gather in Minocqua to Share Winter Beers for a Good Cause
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
    MINOCQUA — A celebration of Wisconsin beer brought 36 Wisconsin breweries to downtown Minocqua at the end of January to help raise funds for a local non-profit.

    The 18th Annual Ice Cold Beer Festival featured nearly 150 Wisconsin beers inside of a heated big-top tent, which makes for one of the more unique settings for a winter beer festival. The mix of craft beer, live music, food, and fun is a significant fundraiser for the Howard Young Foundation's Dr. Kate Hospice, the beneficiary of more than $55,000 in contributions from the event since its inception.

    The brainchild of Dennis Kohl, manager of Cellar 70 at Trig's in Minocqua, the Ice Cold Beer festival has grown from a small community gathering into one of the largest winter celebrations of craft beer. Two years ago, the Wisconsin Brewers Guild contributed organizational and promotional support to help grow attendance. The organization also brought the Midwest Regional Brewers Conference to Minocqua, which provided attending brewers an opportunity to engage in continuing education seminars prior to the festival.

    “This is truly one of the most unique beer events of its kind and it’s a pleasure to see that it has grown to showcase Wisconsin beer while providing support for Dr. Kate Hospice.” said Mark Garthwaite, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Brewers Guild. “We’re very proud of the area breweries that have poured their hearts into organizing this event.”

    In addition to Dr. Kate Hospice, the Ice Cold Beer Fest contributed to other local charities through donations by Food Marketing Services and raffle tickets sold by volunteers from the Lakeland ATV/UTV Club.

    The heavy lifting for organizing the event locally was provided by Minocqua Brewing Company and owners Dan, Laurie, Ryan and Dustin White. Bo Bélanger of South Shore Brewery in Ashland, and Jason Rasmussen of Angry Minnow Restaurant & Brewery in Hayward invested significant effort to provide an infrastructure that could accommodate over 700 beer tasters in the friendly confines of a heated tent. The four hour celebration featured a variety of winter warmer beer styles and unique offerings from breweries all across Wisconsin.

    "We have seen the value of this event from day one.” said Bo Bélanger. “When entire communities embrace fulfilling the needs of such a worthy cause, it becomes infectious and the South Shore Brewery is proud to play a role. Involving the Wisconsin Brewers Guild hopefully has generated awareness to this event beyond its original outreach and it is a goal to make that check bigger every year."

    Local sponsorship was provided by Ritchie Oil & Propane, Woodruff Ace Hardware, Minocqua Taxi - DISCAB, Sam's Rental, A1 Septic, Best Western Concorde Inn, Trig's of Minocqua, Campanile Center for the Arts, Reuland's Catering, and Custom Caretaking.

    Posted by Wisconsin Brewers Guild at 3:15 PM
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