Saturday, March 8, 2-6 p.m.
Joe Waizmann has been celebrating craft beer at “AleFests” in Ohio, Illinois and Kentucky as a livelihood. He’s now expanding into Indianapolis with AleFest Indy, March 8 from 2-6 p.m. in the Egyptian Room at The Murat Centre. Tickets at $30 each are available at the Murat box office. Designated driver/non-drinker ticket is $10.
A home brewer, Waizmann is also a collector of distinctive brews worldwide.
Citing his own AleFests as an example, Waizman points out, “The youth today have a wide choice of beers with flavor. When I grew up it was fuzzy yellow with only a few exceptions. I educated myself and became immersed in craft beer.”
His objective is for AleFest to be educational and to promote responsible consumption of beer.
“I want to share the wonders of craft with as many people as possible. Instilling love and respect of craft beer is gratifying, wonderful, rewarding. It is a quality of life and a culture that has drawn me to this industry.”
Waizmann encourages attendees to use their 20 glasses limit wisely. “Speak with knowledgeable people at the tables. They volunteer as a labor of love. Sample as many styles as possible.” Waizmann suggests attendees jot down notes on the sampling guide.
“It can be overwhelming. The more you can write and remember after the fact, the more educated you become. You can note [next to a beer you’ve tasted], ‘I want something maltier or hoppier,’ and go on to other tables, express that desire until you get the beer that you like.
“We sample visually, by smell, by taste and memory of taste. It’s good to go from light to medium to full body to complex samples. Maltiness is a sweet taste. Bitterness is predominately from hops. Yeast influences beer. There are fruit beers and incredibly complex aged beers.”
Participating breweries include a handful from Indiana and national as well as imported craft brews.
While the brochure states on the cover: “First Annual AleFest Indy is a charitable craft beer festival showcasing the finest beer styles of the world,” Waizmann clarified it as “a portion of proceeds will go to the designated 2008 charity, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
“This is my one-person, full-time job. I have five events a year and that is my sole source of income. They [charities] have no risk. I believe in giving even though it is not required as part of AleFest.” Waizmann estimates his events over the years have raised about $40,000 for charities in Ohio.
Brewers of Indiana Guild, sponsors of the Brew Festival held at Opti Park in Broad Ripple, released the 2007 event’s figures for charities: Optimists Club, $6,000; Indianapolis Arts Center, $500; Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, $24,000 (which includes pledged sponsorships and income from the festival)
Call 937-298-4545 or log on to www.AleFest.com for more information.