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Biz Buzz: Hundreds of different samples to be offered at Beer Fest this weekend

Biz Buzz

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Mountain Brewers Beer Fest 2018 | Courtesy photo

Do you want to know what’s happening on the eastern Idaho business scene? We’ve got you covered. Here is a rundown of this week’s business news across the valley.

BIZ BRIEF

IDAHO FALLS

25th annual Mountain Brewers Beer Fest gets underway Saturday

People lining up during last year’s Beer Fest at Sandy Downs | Courtesy photo

IDAHO FALLS – Hundreds of brewers, food vendors and beer lovers will be descending on the Sandy Downs Arena on Saturday for the 25th annual Mountain Brewers Beer Fest.

One hundred percent of the proceeds from the event benefit many local charities.

Lisa Smith, the director of the event, tells EastIdahoNews.com ticket pre-sales have already raised $1.5 million for charity.

“We’ve seen an 18 to 22 percent increase in attendance each year. Last year, we took a little bit of a dip because six days leading right up to the event we had horrific weather. So (attendance) was down last year for the first time in at least 20 years,” Smith says.

RELATED: Cheers to the 24th Mountain Brewers Beer Fest

Favorable weather and strong ticket sales are putting them on track to have a larger turnout this year, she says, and there’s always a large group that is attending for the first time.

Smith says people can expect the same formula at Beer Fest as they’ve seen in previous years. The event will begin at the race track at noon. One hundred different brewers will be there with a plethora of samples for people to choose from. Among the local brewers will be Anheuser-Busch, Idaho Brewing Company, Snow Eagle and Jim Dandy from Pocatello. Several Boise area brewers will also be in attendance.

“Long Drop Cider is coming. That’s kind of important. There’s going to be several cider breweries there. There are a lot of people that actively seek out the ciders,” says Smith.

Most of the brewers will be under the 50,000-square-foot tent, but there will be some outside hosting games and activities.

There will also be many different food vendors at Beer Fest, including BJ’s Bayou, Cafe Sabor, and Texas Roadhouse.

Regatta De Blanc and Rooke, two local rock bands, will provide live entertainment. The event will go until 5 p.m.

“Everyone is a volunteer in some capacity. This year it’s 849 people. That’s what it takes to make the show happen. It’s amazing the way the community supports this and the turnout we get,” says Smith.

Coinciding with Beer Fest is “Idaho Beer Week,” which Governor Brad Little declared in a proclamation. Many local vendors are hosting events leading up to Beer Fest. The Art & Ale exhibit at The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho will feature beer growlers decorated by local artists. It’s happening Friday, May 31 at 7 p.m.

Organizations benefitting from Beer Fest include The Art Museum of eastern Idaho, Breaking Boundaries, Hospice of Eastern Idaho, and the Idaho Falls Zoo at Tautphaus Park. The North American Brewers Association also sponsors three academic scholarships.

Attendance is limited to 5,500 people, and tickets are selling fast. The cost is $40, or $10 for designated drivers. The ticket price gets you unlimited 3-ounce samples, and with all the brewers, 500 samples will be available.

The event is limited to those 21 and older.

Tickets will not be available at the gate. They are only available online or at local vendors prior to the event.

“If you’re a beer enthusiast, where are you ever going to see the variety that you get at a festival all in one place? The music is great, and people dance out on the grass and enjoy themselves. It’s just a really good time,” says Smith.

Sandy Downs is at 6855 South 15th East in Idaho Falls. Learn more about Beer Fest on the website or Facebook page.

BIZ BITS

CORRECTION:A previous version of this article stated Johnson Brothers in Idaho Falls is moving locations. That is incorrect. The Boise location is moving to a new location. EastIdahoNews.com apologizes for the error.

Pocatello zoo offering free admission this Saturday

POCATELLO – You’ll be able to meet more than 80 animals at Zoo Idaho for free Saturday, thanks to Connections Credit Union. Along with free admission, a full day of activities is planned, including a barbecue, bounce houses, face painting and scavenger hunt. Zoo Idaho is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Aug. 31.

New gaming store opening in Rigby soon

Nerd Geek U, a new gaming store, will go in right next to Domino’s in Rigby | Courtesy Randy Water

RIGBY – Nerd Geek U, a gaming store, will be opening next to Domino’s Pizza on West Main Street in Rigby. The owners are moving from their current location at 119 North State Street. NGU is a premier tabletop gaming store owned by combat veterans. The company works with game designers and distributors to bring a variety of tabletop games to eastern Idaho from all over the world. We reached out to the owner and hope to post a more in-depth story soon.

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If you have a Biz Buzz item you want to share, send it to rett.nelson@eastidahonews.com. Remember to use “Biz Buzz” in the subject line. Also, don’t forget to sign up for the free Biz Buzz email newsletter.

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