All about the beer
AleFest focuses on the good stuff
By Tyler DavisPosted Feb 1, 2012
Columbus is home to one of the fastest growing micro-brewing and craft beer communities in the U.S., and along with the fact that it has played host to Oktoberfest and Beerfest in the last few months, it’s easy to see that Columbus loves beer.
The upcoming 7th Annual Alefest Columbus at the Aladdin Shrine Center on Saturday, Feb. 4 continues to demonstrate that love.
The Alefest is a craft beer festival featuring over 250 great beers including rare draught and cask from more than 100 world class breweries.
While 2012 will mark the seventh successful year of this sudsy celebration in Columbus, the first ever Alefest took place in Dayton 14 years ago.
The festival was initially the dream of Joe Waizmann, a man who has been brewing for 17 years while being involved in the business itself for over 30 years.
From his days working for the United Beverage Company in Dayton back in 1981 to being a judge in the Great American Beer Festival in 2011, this humble man has made his passion into his profession in a way most of us can only dream about.
And with beer, no less.
“Many people have a thirst for knowledge,” said Waizmann. “I’ve always wanted to share what I know and love. What better way than to offer a craft beer sampling?”
Indeed, the success of the festival has led to the Aladdin Shrine Center booking the festival through 2014. This year with $40 paid admission, either in advance at alefest.com/columbus or at the door, guests will receive 20 samples of craft beer, a commemorative tasting glass and a tasting guide.
“First and foremost, this festival is about the beer. I would highly recommend that guests take some time to look over the tasting guide,” Waizmann said. “With your 20 sample tickets, after studying the guide, you’ll find different areas to try different styles and types of beers. It really gives people a chance to leave their comfort zone and try new things.”
The tasting guide includes beverage profiles so that guests may focus on specific kinds of beer such as ones that are more hoppy or fruity.
Alefest Columbus will have a number of food vendors, and some musical performers, but unlike other alcoholic events, the focus here is on the beverages themselves. Big name companies such as Guinness and Great Lakes will have a number of products available, but there will also be smaller brewers such as Two Brothers, Buckeye and Columbus Brewing.
“This is a great opportunity for craft beer and brewing enthusiasts. The attendees, the representatives from the breweries, the staff… everyone is there to help you learn and enjoy,“ said Waizmann. “It really is a very open and sharing community.”
For those people who are on a bit of a budget or want to be the designated driver for someone else at the festival, Alefest Columbus is offering a non-drinker admission for $10 which will get you a bottle of water, allow you to enter the festival, give you a chance to speak with brewers and will also entitle you to an AleFest sampling glass as you exit. All in all, Alefest promises to be a bubbly way to stay warm and happy this winter.