Millvale Brewfest pours out more than beer
Peculiarly named beer wasn't the only thing on tap Saturday during the Millvale Brewfest.
The Hoodoo and the Fruli flowed freely, but more than 1,000 people converged at Millvale Riverfront Park to also sample specialty food truck items, including Belgian waffles stuffed with chicken tenders, kale salad and maple syrup-infused hot "dawgs."
The 11th annual festival just off the banks of the Allegheny River was its most successful yet, organizers said.
Hosted by the Millvale Community Development Corp., the event is expected to bring in more than $20,000, board Treasurer Denise Rudar said.
"We put it back into the community," she said.
The development corporation has an incentive program for businesses, she said, where if an owner fixes the façade of a storefront they can be reimbursed up to $500.
The all-volunteer group launched the event in 2007 with little more than 200 friends gathering. It has grown into an all-day affair with 30 breweries serving 180 craft beers. Food trucks lined the grassy lane near the park pavilion and people mingled and munched on a dizzying array of treats, many that included brew baked-in.
"I tend to like spiked baked goods, so I started experimenting, and it's taken off," said Brittany Coleman, owner of Sinister Sweets & Treats.
Her specialty, an oatmeal stout cookie, is the perfect adult dessert, Coleman said.
Other food vendors included Bull Dawg's, Frank's Pizza and Chicken, Just Right Spice, Nova Café, Onion Maiden and The Coop Chicken and Waffles.
Coop owner Justin Fitzgerald enjoyed his first foray at the Brewfest, saying the setting along the river made an impression.
"It's a great day," he said. "It looks like people are enjoying it."
Sammie Unger and Dennis Guy, owners of First Sip Brew Box, showed off some of the uncommon items available through their subscription service.
"You can get beer honey, beer soap and beer jelly," Unger said. "We make it so you don't actually have to visit the brewery to get these things."
Eddie Figas, Millvale administrative services director, thanked his return customers for keeping the event successful.
"We see a lot of the same people, and we're thankful," he said. "Our sales have remained as steady as ever, and we're having a fantastic day."
Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. Reach her at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, email@example.com or @tawnyatrib.