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Rotary’s Beerfest features new breweries this year

The Rotary Club of Youngstown will feature 10 new breweries for its sixth Groundhog Beerfest at Stambaugh Auditorium.

Co-chair Samantha Turner said the event that was conceived by a few Rotary members at a Cleveland Indians game could surpass $100,000 in total funds raised since its start.

“Every year we’ve raised more money than the year before,” Turner said. “It’s expanding more and more. We’ve added home brewing in addition to local breweries. It’s not just about fundraising dollars but spotlighting local businesses, which fulfills our mission twofold.”

This year’s lineup features: 1547 Project, Aeonian Brewing, Biker Brewhouse, Birdfish, Blake’s Cider, Brew Kettle (LuvaBella), Crafted Culture Brewing Co., Dope Brewing, Garretts Mill Brewing, Great Lakes, Hartford Hill, Missing Falls Brewery, Modern Methods, Muskellunge Brewing Co., Noble Creature, Paladin, Penguin City, Pumphouse Home Brewers, Rhinegest, Schnitz Ale Brewery and Thirsty Dog.

Groundhog Beerfest does two sessions, the first from noon to 4 p.m. and the second from 5 to 9 p.m. The first hour of each session is open only to VIP ticket holders, with general admission attendees admitted at 1 and 6 p.m.

The evening session tends to be the more crowded of the two, Turner said, and organizers are hoping for about 700 people over the two sessions.

Entertainment will be provided by DJ Jimmy Stuman from Purple Cat in the afternoon and DJ Chip Banks in the evening.

Stambaugh will have food available for purchase during the event, and participating vendors include Sweet Memories Vintage Tees and Candies, Buckeyes and More, Karma Korn Poppery and One Hot Cookie.

Turner said downtown restaurants also benefit from the fest.

“Some will go to dinner downtown before coming and others come to the beerfest for an hour or two and then go downtown to eat,” she said.

In past years, proceeds from the event have gone toward pool repairs at Camp Stambaugh, YWCA Mahoning Valley, Project MKC, the Robinson-Shuba Statue Project and Rotary International’s Polio Plus program.

The Youngstown Rotary will pick beneficiaries from this year’s event after organizers know how much they raised.

If you go …

WHAT: Rotary Club of Youngstown Groundhog Beerfest

WHEN: Noon to 4 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Stambaugh Auditorium, 1000 Fifth Ave., Youngstown

HOW MUCH: $68 VIP and $48 general admission for each session and $25 for designated driver tickets. Tickets are available online at experienceyour arts.org and by calling 330-259-9651.

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